The strengthsanalysis is based on the theory of Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Psychology. AI theory states that the type of questions you ask determines the outcome. Instead of focusing on what is missing (or falters), AI focuses on a person’s natural competences and how these can be built up.

This method is consistent with the idea that if you nurture something, it grows. Positive Psychology is concerned with a person’s growth and development, instead of following the more traditional psychological path of trying to improve someone. The method zooms in on someone’s basic, natural abilities and how these can contribute to growth and happiness.

Most competence management systems in organizations mainly concentrate on what has yet to be developed (what is not going well yet). Focusing on what is going wrong drains you of energy and doesn’t provide immediate results that can help to get it right. It is far more interesting to see how someone can work from their strengths to overcome their weaknesses and thus further develop their own strengths. By nurturing what is already internally there, it’s easier to grow as a person. It is the road of the least resistance and therefore the way to excel quicker. Working from your strength generates energy and growth. You use what is naturally there and build on that.