In every single person, relationship, team, or organization, there is something that works. What’s working within you or an important relationship? What’s right in your team or organization? Whatever that something is, there are bound to be personal strengths playing a lead role.
When thinking about strengths, we often think of achievement-based strengths – things we do well in school or at work like writing, problem solving, or strategic thinking. Or we think of special talents – things that allow us to succeed in sports or create a gorgeous garden in the backyard.
The 24 invigorating paths to well-being are the less familiar character strengths. Character strengths are globally recognized human traits that embody us when we’re at our very best. According to the VIA Institute On Character, the organization behind the science and practice of character strengths, we use the following 24 character strengths in our daily lives:
Creativity * Curiosity * Judgment * Love of Learning * Perspective
Bravery * Perseverance * Honesty * Zest
Love * Kindness * Social Intelligence
Teamwork * Fairness * Leadership
Forgiveness * Humility * Prudence * Self-Regulation
Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence * Gratitude * Hope * Humor * Spirituality
Think of a situation when you were at your absolute best. You probably accomplished things easily and energetically. Maybe you felt unstoppable or sought out ways to continue what you were doing. Perhaps you felt “in the zone.” It felt like the “real you.” These are clues of your top strengths at work.
When using our top character strengths, we express our highest and best selves. In the right amounts and situations, they create pathways to greater well-being in key life domains – work, school, relationships, and health.
Consider the following summaries of VIA’s research findings, posted on their website as of 7/3/14:
In the Workplace…“The study of character strengths at work has rapidly increased in the last several years. Consultants, executives, human resource professionals, and managers are now regularly weaving character strengths exercises to help their employees become more engaged, productive, and happy. The use of character strengths to improve the skills of leaders, teams, and entire organizations is emerging as a popular and successful avenue as well.”
In Education…“…the vast field of education has found enormous benefit to teaching students, teachers, trainers, and entire schools on becoming more character strengths-based. The new science of character that has emerged in the last 10 years offers a significant change to traditional approaches to character education in schools (Linkins, Niemiec, Gilham, & Mayerson, 2014).”
Want to learn more? Here are 3 simple things you can do:
- Click on this link and take VIA’s free character strengths assessment on the VIA Institute On Character website. http://JaneAnderson.pro.viasurvey.org.
- While you’re there, check out my recently posted article “3 Insights to Deepen Your Strengths Knowledge” http://www.viacharacterblog.org/3-insights-to-deepen-your-strengths-knowledge/
- To learn even more about what’s right with you and your character strengths as a pathway to greater well-being, contact me by clicking on the My Story tab at the top of your screen and scrolling down to the contact form at the bottom of that page. I’m giving away a complimentary phone consultation to the first 3 people who contact me before October 9 – take advantage of this opportunity while it’s available!
Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press and Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. www.viacharacter.org
Seligman, Martin E.P. Flourish. New York: Free Press, 2011, p 38.