The VIA Character Strengths framework began as the Values in Action Inventory developed by two eminent researchers in the field of positive psychology, Professors Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman.
This framework, which we utilise in our consulting work and in our everyday lives, is now used by millions of people to foster self awareness and enhance personal wellbeing through strengths awareness.
What does it look like?
There are 6 virtues, which are underpinned by 24 character strengths:
- Wisdom: strengths that help you gather and use knowledge. These strengths are creativity, curiosity, judgment, love of learning and perspective.
- Courage: strengths that help you exercise your will and face adversity. These strengths include bravery, honesty, perseverance and zest.
- Humanity: strengths that manifest in caring relationships with others. They are interpersonal in nature and include kindness, love and social intelligence.
- Justice: strengths that help you connect in community or group-based situations. They include fairness, leadership and teamwork.
- Temperance: strengths that help you manage habits and protect against excess. They include forgiveness, humility, prudence and self-regulation.
- Transcendence: strengths that help you to connect to the larger universe and provide meaning.
What does the assessment tell you?
Your survey responses generate a report that tells you what the order of your strengths are ranked in order from 1 (your strongest) to 24 (your weakest).
In my case, the top 5 (signature) strengths are:
- Creativity: someone who generates ideas or behaviours that are novel or unusual and these make a positive contribution to the life of the individual or the lives of others.
- Humour: someone who has the ability to make others smile and who can see the light side in adverse situations which can help to sustain a good mood and cope with challenges.
- Leadership: someone who provides a positive vision or message that inspires people and who is effective in goal setting, achievement, enlisting help, building coalitions and resolving differences.
- Perspective: someone who sees the bigger picture in life and looks at whole systems and weighs up multiple sides before making a decision.
- Appreciation of beauty and excellence: someone who notices and appreciates the good things in life which fall in three categories – physical beauty, skill or talent and virtue or moral goodness.
What does that mean for me?
Undertaking the VIA Character Strengths survey was a lightbulb moment for me in that the results that I got from it really put some science and structure around what I intuitively knew – what my character DNA is as demonstrated in the work that I do and the approach that I take in doing it.
For me, the VIA Character Strengths Survey delivered:
- A framework that I can use to optimise my use of my signature strengths (kept in balance) which is great for my wellbeing and support my lesser strengths when I need to use them.
- A filter through which I can explore work opportunities to determine if they are a good fit for me and my strengths.
- A greater level of confidence in expressing the inner me in line with my character strengths profile.
- Validation that my signature strengths provide me with a great toolkit for the work that I do in people and culture and leadership consulting.
You can undertake the VIA Character Strengths Survey for free at https://www.viacharacter.org. That will provide you with a simple list of your character strengths from #1 – #24.
You can also invest in a Total 24 report for around 70AUD which provides you with a lot more detail on your character strengths profile plus a range of strengths exercises, tips on using, overusing and underusing your strengths.It is worth getting this. I found it was a good return on investment.
Also see our posts on Gallup Clifton Strengths and Sharetree.
If you would like to know more about implementing a strengths-based approach in your business, contact us on 1300 108 488 or at email@example.com