About Strengths in Focus

Inspiring people and organizations to see strengths differently

Original SIF Logo Circle 150 jpgStrengths in Focus is committed to helping individuals, businesses and organizations to think differently, then leverage those new ways of thinking and perceiving to achieve extraordinary outcomes. Interestingly enough, the insights that help at-risk teens succeed are the same ones that help adults in transition, businesses in crisis and organizations seeking to move from good to great: mindset, self-perception, awareness of and alignment with strengths, and the ability (and desire) to assume 100% responsibility for what they create.

Strengths in Focus lives this commitment through powerful keynotes that change minds and inspire hope; coaching for individuals and teams; strengths assessment, training and support; facilitation of groups; and the development of books, audio, and other learning products. More importantly, we are engaged in an ongoing exploration of new ways to collaborate and engage with you to effect positive change.

Chris Trout Profile 300x300Chris Trout is a lover of great jazz, fascinating people and transformative ideas – a direct reflection of his remarkable ability to see what others do not, then leverage those insights to inspire extraordinary outcomes. A visionary speaker, writer and advisor, Chris has ignited diverse audiences from South Central Los Angeles to rural Canada, and inspired individuals from New Zealand to South Africa. A serial innovator, he has created model programs for high-risk youth, co-developed a nationally recognized substance abuse prevention strategy, and coached individuals, organizations and businesses through dramatic and transformative change. His unique insights and strategies are born of decades of in-the-trenches experience, helping people and organizations tap their unique and often unrecognized strengths, re-write their own stories, and reconnect with what energizes them.

Chris is the author of Reflecting Strengths: Transformative Lessons from Resilient Youth, a companion training workbook for educators and youth workers, a 10-hour audio series on the art of discovering and living from your strengths, and more than 350 essays on a diverse range of topics, from personal and work relationships to parenting to the power of our perceptions in shaping reality. These writings have inspired readers in more than a dozen countries around the globe.

Home-base is the beautiful coast of Maine, where Chris lives with his wife, artist Suzanne Drown, cheering on their two adult children, who are true masters of becoming.

Countries with Chris' readers

Keynotes, workshops & trainings

Inspiring words written

a note from Chris…

As you peruse the internet, you will find endless programs, processes and systems designed to help you shift your thinking, transform your life/ family/ school/ business/ organization and, presumably, to get extraordinary results. As appealing as these answers-in-a-box can be, you know it doesn’t really work that way. Change process does not fit into neat little boxes on a website – or in life. It is a nuanced dance, each step informed by the one before it. And quite frankly, that is the fun and the magic of it all – listening, adjusting, creating and watching in wonder as answers arise from the most unlikely places.

So, what does this mean to you? You’ll find many options here for how to work with me. If you have a unique situation, a different need, a different idea, no matter how unorthodox or “un-boxed,” call. Ask. Start the conversation. Perhaps we’ll create something new together.

In return, I will never say yes unless it is a full, enthusiastic, committed yes. If I think someone else can better serve you, I will help you make that connection. If I have an idea that builds on yours, I will share it. And if we’ve just had a fascinating conversation to be continued, it’s been a good day.

Please feel free to contact me at

(207) 767-2024



What others say about Chris…


“Chris possesses an aura of ease, trust and honesty that makes his work genuine. I have never met a person who could make others feel so grounded while challenging them to reach for the stars.”

~ Teri Nickerson, Director of Human Resources,
Stanford Management, Portland, Maine

“Rarely have I attended a program that has so strongly impacted me, both personally and professionally.”

~ Lucy Pulitzer, Albany, NY

“I had the opportunity to hear Chris at a time in my life when I was ready for some next steps. For me, the connection I felt hearing his presentation in person was absolutely key. I felt ‘this guy gets me’.”

~ Anonymous

“This was one of the best presented, clear, and insightful trainings I have been to.”

~ Christine McNulty Grant, Portland, ME

“It isn’t every day I attend a conference where I come away feeling empowered with information I can … put into practice in my everyday life, both at work and at home. I loved it!”

~ Carol Hendricken, Alberta, Canada

“…I can honestly say that I have never been happier or more excited about my future. I can’t remember the last time I had anxiety about where I should be going or what I wanted to do with my life. These worries have been put to rest in the most magnificent of ways.”

~ Eric Koll, NY

Speaking to Ignite

Keynotes, workshops, trainings

Transitions Coaching

Personal, leadership, team, creative solutions

Artful Facilitation

From small groups to large rooms.

Words that inspire action

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