strengths at work kettle bellsWhenever I lead a workshop or coach a client around applying their values and strengths at work, I know it’s going well when I start to sense a little discomfort.

Doubt. Skepticism.

Love? I can’t use that in my job.

OK, I get teamwork, but zest, kindness, forgiveness? At work?

Spirituality? They pay me to balance books, not save souls.

Values in Action

The Values in Action (VIA) Survey of Character Strengths was developed as a way to frame the conversation around and coordinate action toward helping young people reach their full potential.

It’s based on rigorous research around character strengths, specifically, the ways in which character has been valued across time and in all cultures for which there are written records.

The VIA Survey provides a common language and framework through which we can understand and maximize ways of being in the world that energize us and elevate others.

While it’s easy to think of work and “real life” as separate, checking our values-based character strengths at the office door can negatively affect not only our well-being, but also our effectiveness.

When we show up fully, in all domains of life – including using our character strengths at work – we  benefit ourselves, those around us and our organizations.

Help Yourself

Research indicates that these positive outcomes are correlated with intentionally and creatively applying character strengths:

Elevate Others

You’re not the only one who benefits when you apply your strengths.

Others are elevated simply by witnessing you exercise yours.

It think it’s connected to the way that, while we tend to resonate most deeply with five or so “signature strengths,” we all have all 24 VIA strengths.

While justice may not be among my top strengths, when I witness you expressing your strength of justice, I experience some of the same benefits as if I were using a strength of my own – even if it wasn’t connected to a job-related task.

Benefit the Organization

When people use their strengths at work, they are likely to be more engaged and more likely to see work as a calling, both of which benefit the organization as a whole.

Questions, Questions, Questions

As much as I love to teach workshop participants and clients, I love to help them think and apply what they learn even more.

I find that questions like these spark that kind of thinking and transformation:

If you’re like most people, you spend more time at work than doing anything else, including sleeping.

Do you really want to spend that much of your limited time on this earth squandering your values and missing out on the potential benefits of maximizing them?

How much time do you want to spend around co-workers who aren’t encourage to use their strengths?

Do you want to do business with organizations where expressing character strengths like hope, kindness, love or creativity is squelched? Or would you rather support businesses where all strengths are recognized and supported?

If you can’t exercise your values, in a way that makes you feel better, elevates others and serves the organization, what exactly are you working for?

Learn More. Get Support.

Want to learn more about how to apply your character strengths, at work and in all areas of your life? Jumpstart Your Journey is a great way to start.



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