Care Coaching – A Strengths Approach when Caring for a Loved One

Strengths Care Coach Cascade ARMORED

Are you a Care Coach? Caring for a loved one with a major illness brings lots of challenges. How can you use your Strengths to give of your best, and bring out the best of your loved one, to aid recovery?

Discover how to use your CliftonStrengths® to provide the best care for your loved one, and take care of yourself, during these challenging times.

Dawn F. Landry sets out ten Battle Strategies in her book ARMORED.

What is a Care Coach?

Dawn F. Landry, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, learnt how to apply her strengths when caring for her husband through cancer and a stroke. On their journey, she developed the concept of being a Care Coach. She writes;

Being a Care Coach still encompasses the conventionally ascribed aspects of care. However, it is more personalized, individualized, and includes deep love, devotion, compassion, and respect. Care Coaching also entails much more such as being an advocate, providing hope, reminding the patient of who they are and what they are fighting for, as well as being a strong supporter through the most challenging of times. Most of all, Care Coaching is about lovingly motivating the patient through their battles with unwavering faith.

Care Coaching, Battle Strategies and CliftonStrengths®

ARMORED Dawn F. Landry book strengths cancer heart attack

Wanting to help others in similar situations, Dawn shares her own story in her book ARMORED. In it, she describes her ten Battle Strategies. These are designed to help position you as the carer to provide vital family support for your loved one during this critical time. Crucially, they also create a holistic approach that includes looking after you, the carer, too.

Working with Richard Sterry and his Cascade tool for Gallup Strengths Coaches, Dawn and Richard have created two new resources for Care Coaches. The new Cascade worksheets explore how the CliftonStrengths® themes can turn the Battle Strategies into action:

A Gallup Strengths Coach helps a client use their Strengths productively in the most challenging of situations. These two new Cascade worksheets are designed for use either by coaches personally, or with clients in care-giver roles. Caring for your Loved One examines how each Strength can help provide the best care. While Taking Care of Yourself focuses on maintaining the wellbeing of the carer. Burning out is not an option, so the worksheet explores ways for the carer to stay motivated and strong.

Strengths Advantage Worksheet in Cascade

Cascade Strengths Advantage Care Coach for loved one

The Care Coaching worksheets are in the Strengths Advantage section of Cascade. Each page contains the carer’s CliftonStrengths® across the top and some questions down the side. Use the space in the grid to explore how each Strength helps with answering the questions.

Cascade is the popular tool for Gallup Strengths Coaches using CliftonStrengths®. It creates personalized coaching reports for individuals and teams.

These self-awareness questions go a long way in supporting caregivers to ask for what they need, and in return give what is most helpful to their loved one.
As a coach, I can see how helpful this clarity would be for my clients who are weathering the storm of a loved one’s crisis.

Dawn’s story is special. She reminded me that we really do have what it takes to get through challenging times when we find ourselves suddenly forced to be a caregiver. The Cascade tools gave me pause to proactively think about engaging my strengths in a potential caregiver mode to my spouse.

Shari Kreuger strengths coach

Shari Krueger

Principal, Krueger Connect

Care Coaching – Practical Strengths Examples

Looking at the CliftonStrengths® themes, here are some specific examples for the two worksheets.

Care Coaching – Caring for your Loved One

Develop Battle Strategies, supported by your Strengths to care for your loved one. Intentionally using your strengths will help you both stay more motivated during the long battle.

The Strategic Thinking domain loves data and information, researching medical articles and testing theories. Consider the volume of facts and figures you need, then prepare a condensed version your loved one is able to digest.

CliftonStrengths® Examples

The theme of Communication® helps people to articulate a clear message. Sharing information to your loved one in ways they will understand, will help to put their mind at ease. Keeping family members and close friends informed will help them feel involved.

My Relator® would definitely kick in. I’d build solid relationships with every nurse, every doctor, and every person involved knowing they are more inclined to respond to patients they enjoy knowing. Strong relationships with caregivers create trust and promptness and it’s important. (I’d probably throw in some homemade cookies and bring Christmas gifts to their kids to cement their active engagement with us.) Shari Kreuger

My Individualization® shines when personalizing the program. I know there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to getting the best out of people, especially when they are ill and not functioning at their best. My Strategic® works best in an orderly environment. I know that my skill as a persistent advocate is enhanced when I have multiple options and freedom to course-correct as needed, and to do that I need my facts and timelines straight. Ruth Calabrese

Context® Once you have invested the time to develop your loved one’s individual plan, examine which parameters that you can implement to create milestones and measure its success. Looking back to look forward helps to gauge progress with awe of how far you’ve come in a short time span. Dawn F. Landry

Care Coaching – Taking Care of Yourself

You are important. Without you, your loved one will not have someone to provide their immediate needs. Looking after yourself is crucial in maintaining your motivation and clear thinking.

CliftonStrengths® Examples

Maximizer® can be a huge barrier when seeking help – because no one is better at taking care of me than me, right? But when I recognize the need for self-care, my Activator® and Relator® should be what I lean into the most. Taking action quickly to seek out professional help and leaning into that tight circle of friendships to provide support would be a healing balm for me. Shari Kreuger

My theme of Responsibility® wants to take ownership of situations, often doing things myself. Learning to trust others who offer help reduces burnout. Sometimes they do a better job than me! Richard Sterry

Empathy® Caring for a loved one involves many emotions, especially those feelings of being able to offer understanding. Don’t forget to turn that compassion inward toward yourself. Catch yourself if you’re being too hard or demanding with your inner voice to yourself and cut yourself some slack. Would you speak to a friend the way that you’re speaking to yourself? Dawn F. Landry

As a Cascade subscriber for several years, I have witnessed the value that it provides my clients with each use. It is such an honor to team up with Richard to offer ARMORED’s Care Coaching Worksheets in Cascade. Throughout our development process, Richard’s and my respective Strengths were not only activated, but perfectly aligned to successfully create this new enhancement to an already fantastic product — Cascade.

Dawn F. Landry ARMORED

Dawn F. Landry

CEO & Founder, Authentizity

ARMORED is one of the few books that inspired me to take action. Fuelled by my personal situation of caring for my elderly parents, I wanted to create a tool to apply our Strengths in the toughest of times. Drawing on Dawn’s experience and my ability to create practical resources, we created these two worksheets, adding to the Cascade portfolio.

Richard Sterry

Richard Sterry

Owner, Releasing Strengths

Further Information


Author: Dawn F. Landry
The book ARMORED available at and
Dawn is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach from Houston, Texas and runs her own coaching business Authentizity.

Cascade Strengths Reports

Developed by Richard Sterry at Releasing Strengths Ltd. The Cascade tool is immensely popular with Gallup Strengths coaches in more than 50 countries. Saving preparation time and creating beautiful handouts for clients, make Cascade the go-to tool for CliftonStrengths®.
See a sample of the Cascade strengths Reports.


Formerly StrengthsFinder®, the CliftonStrengths® assessment identifies innate talent, how we can do things naturally well. Investing in these talents, builds strengths that can be applied to our daily situations.
Gallup®, CliftonStrengths® and the 34 theme names of CliftonStrengths® are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.  All rights reserved. 

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