Inquiries: Onboarding and Contracting

Strengths assessment

Please complete the strengths assessment: Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) by going to (

The survey will take 30 minutes, and you will receive a free report ranking your character strengths. The top 5 of your strengths are designated as signature strengths. Your signature strengths are essential to who you are, your authentic self, and bring excitement, energy, and fulfillment when expressed.

As you acquaint yourself with your character strengths profile, consider how you might keep your strengths visible; how could you symbolize your strengths?

How are your signature strengths instrumental in achieving your vision?

Also, reflect on how your strengths already appear in your chosen life domain for coaching.

During the coaching sessions, you will add depth to your understanding, start spotting how character strengths are developed in everyday moments and build an appreciation for where your character strengths may be underplayed or overplayed and the need to balance them.

Please share your signature strengths with your coach by email before your next coaching session.

Goal inquiry

Inquire about your desired results from the coaching engagement. Review these instructions and ponder the questions; journal your thoughts and insights as you feel inspired. 

What public and private goals do you want to commit to?

What main focus areas do you want to bring to coaching?

What goals have you set?

What values do you want to honor in your life?

What motivates you to action?

How have you created change in the past?

What works?

Target behavior

What changes do you want to make in your life?

How would you like things to be different for you?

What things in your life would you like to be different?

What goals do you have for changing your behavior?

Designing the alliance

In our initial coaching session, we will design the working alliance. For this purpose, please ponder these questions and prepare to answer them in our session: 

What work do you want to do? What would you like to achieve as a result of our work together?

How do you want to receive feedback?

What do you expect from me in our relationship?

What can I expect of you in our relationship?

How do you want me to be as your coach?

What kind of support do you want from your coach?

Do I have your permission to intrude, challenge, and hold you accountable as your coach?

“Best Possible Future Self” exercise

Write expressively about yourself. Imagine what might be possible in your chosen life domain if you were to develop your character strengths each day and everything was going as well as possible.

Adapting the writing procedure developed by King (2001), you will write for 20 minutes at a time about different experiences and topics. 

Here are your instructions: 

“Think about your life in the future. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded in accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realization of all of your life dreams. Now, write about what you imagined.” 

Do this for 20 minutes per day for three days in a row. 

Alternative Instructions

Imagine that in 12 months, you are your best possible self. Think about the major life areas and the positive changes you’d like to see happen. Taking this time to reflect helps you clarify your goals and life direction, giving you a stronger sense of purpose. It also helps you by highlighting the small steps to create your ideal future. It’s important to ensure your vision is authentic. Focus on tuning into your real desires, not just what you think is expected of you or what you think you should want. When you have a fairly clear visualization, write the details of your image and be as specific as possible. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling; write continuously for 10 minutes.

Research Background to the “Best Possible Future Self” exercise

A study by Sonja Lyubomirsky showed that after just four weeks of doing The Best Possible Self (BPS) exercise once a week, participants showed significant increases in wellbeing compared to a control group who didn’t do the exercise.

Further research has indicated that the BPS exercise is an effective positive psychology intervention for improving wellbeing, optimism, and positive mood. 

When will you complete the BPS exercise?

Your representation of wellbeing. 

These questions help you examine your representation of wellbeing and the potential tensions between wellbeing and performance.

How would you define wellbeing?

What does wellbeing mean for you?

How do you know you have found it? How do you know when you have lost it?

What makes you happy? How do you know?

Who makes you happy?

What are you doing when you are happy?

How important does it feel for you to be happier?

How important is wellbeing for your performance?

When you walk into your office in the morning feeling happy, are you more or less likely to attack a difficult report? Do you have more or less a chance to deliver a good presentation?

What comes to mind if you are asked to compare two questions; “How can I get the most out of my people?” with “How can I support people to perform at their best?”

Integrated Wellbeing Dashboard

The exercise aims to build a composite picture of your current happiness as you perceive it.

If life was a ladder, on which stairs would you position yourself?

What is your current level of satisfaction concerning your health, work, and relationships?

How would you rate your current level of positive emotions? Negative emotions?

What is your current energy level?

Considering everything, do you view activities of your life as truly chosen by yourself?

What indicator appears particularly relevant for you today?

What other questions would you ask to get a snapshot of your happiness?

What indicators would you include if you would design your dashboard to capture your daily states the way you see them? 

Map Your Happy

What brings you positive emotions?

What activities do you get completely absorbed in?

What relationships bring you joy and support?

What larger purpose or cause do you feel drawn to and connected to?

What would you like to accomplish in the next week, month, and year?

What areas are your strongest? Where could you give more attention to flourish?

Values identification

Awareness of your unique combination of strengths has the potential to mediate any gaps in alignment between your authentic self, the team, and the organizational vision.

What are you consistently drawn to and why?

What truly matters to you, and does your job enable you to fulfill this?

What do both you and your organization gain from what you are doing?

Who are you working with, and what larger tasks are you doing collectively?

What mattered most when you were working on a collective task?

Strengths identification

Please recall a scenario where you and your team performed particularly well, and you were enthusiastic and highly engaged.

What was it that you and your team performed well? Please identify and label it.

Which situations bring out this strength in you?

Which situations block you from using this strength?

When might you want to tone down this strength?

What could you change that would allow you to use this strength more?

How might you use two or more of these strengths in conjunction with one another?

Name instances in which two strengths together produced a superior result than either alone might have.

How is this strength instrumental in achieving your vision?

Create your transformational “Everest” vision or goal.

What is the highest aspiration you can achieve?

What colorful and inspirational language can exemplify what you believe in?

What do you care most deeply about that should be pursued?

What symbols capture the objectives you wish to attain?

What strengths will you use to achieve your Everest vision?


Think about your life for a moment.

What is your vision of a fulfilling life? What would that be like?

Living according to what you value most; would that be fulfilling?

Your Big A Agenda

What do you want your life to be?

What is your vision?

Who are you becoming?

What is present when life is most alive for you?

Strengths identification exercise: You, At Your Best

{This exercise can be used as a “Strengths Introduction” in a group setting as a positive way to introduce members to each other when forming a new group.}

This strengths identification exercise will take 45-60 minutes.

You have many resources to close the gap between where you are at the moment and where you want to be in the future. One of these resources are your strengths. Strengths identification through storytelling aims to increase your awareness of your unique strengths. By asking you to draw upon an actual experience in your past, the strengths you identify become very intimately personal and authentic to you. By reliving the experience, you also savor that memory of your best self, as well as increase self-efficacy, resilience, hope, and optimism.

Take some time to think about and reflect upon an experience when you were at your best. Take the time to write your story as objectively as possible.

Once you have written your story, please share it with me before our next coaching session. We will review your story together in our conversation, where I will ask you to highlight the strengths that are apparent to you. The purpose is to raise your awareness about your strengths and learn to spot and identify when and how strengths become enacted and embodied in your daily experience. I may also add my observations of what the story exemplifies as your strengths.

Being at your best is predominantly a subjective feeling and experience. We are not concerned about an actual outstanding performance delivery or an exemplary outcome.

It is important that being at your best is meaningful to you; it is not an attempt to impress or conform to what others think.

Instructions: You, At Your Best. 

Find your story.

Think of a specific time, recently or a while back, when you were at your very best. You may have been facing a particularly difficult situation or enhanced an already positive one. You were expressing the qualities that make you feel the most authentic and energized. The experience made you feel proud and happy to be alive. 

Develop a story for that experience or for that moment in time.


Write your story as concretely as you can. Allow the facts of the story to demonstrate your strengths and values. What happened in the situation? What role did you play? What did you do that was particularly successful or useful to someone? What kind of feeling did you experience?

Beginning, middle, end. 

Give the story a beginning and a middle, and try to close your story with a powerful ending. You might relive the positive experience in your mind, just as you were watching a movie. Write your story down.


After writing about your experience, go back and read your story. As you read through it, circle the words and phrases you consider related to your strengths.

Find your strengths. 

Write down a list of the strengths you identified from reflecting upon a time when you were at your best.