Strength-based personal development

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TL:DR: this page explains our strength-based personal development model. It provides a step-by-step guide for writing your own personal development plan and using it in your 1:1s.


At Wonder, we use a strength-based approach to personal development. This means we set goals and develop our skills using what we are good at and what motivates us, rather than what we are less good at. Note that concentrating on strengths does not mean ignoring challenges, but using strengths to overcome them.

This approach corresponds to our values and the way we think about people. It is grounded in positive psychology and is based on the belief that employees and organizations best flourish by focusing on the positive qualities or the talents of each individual. It positively influences employee’s well-being, employee’s positive affect, and employee performance (Meyers and van Woerkom, 2017).

How it works

You write and own your own personal development plan. This document consists of

  • Your strengths (what you're good at)
  • Your drivers (what motivates you)
  • Your goals (what you personally want to achieve)
  • Ideas on how to make space to develop in that direction

The templates for all documents lie in a shared Gdrive, make a copy to your drive, this way it is only visible to you and your manager. You will bring it to every 1:1 to review it with your manager, share challenges, wins, and ideas for action. The important point is to connect your strengths to your goals and to your daily tasks. That's what the 1:1s are for!

Find out more about how we run 1:1s here: . If you're a manager, make sure to check out our

How to get started

If this is the first time you're doing this, this is how it goes:

  • Get in touch with Paulova, who will help you set up the following sessions
    • You will take a standardised online test that gives you a first assessment of your strengths (you will receive a link)
    • You will join one of Paulova's sessions to find your drivers (you will receive an invite)
    • You will connect your goals and strengths on the development plan session with your manager (you will receive an invite)
  • Bring your filled out personal development plan to every 1:1. You will review this plan periodically (at least every 6 months)

Why we do this

The idea is that Wonder implements a strength-based approach for the team’s personal development. This means the individual uses the previously identified strengths on their everyday performance to reach goals and develop their skills for the next level challenges. A strengths-based approach allows employees to boost their productivity and performance as well as their work engagement and satisfaction. Concentrating on strengths does not mean ignoring challenges, but using strengths to overcome them.

The long-term goal is that the strength-based approach is an unconscious practice at Wonder and that identifying strengths becomes a built-up muscle for the individual as well as for managers.

Further reading:

Tips for managers