Enhance ALL elements of PERMA+ by focusing on your Character Strengths day-to-day.
- Identify Your Character Strengths
Complete the VIA Character Strengths Survey. Print and post your rank order of strengths somewhere you will see them every day (your refrigerator, workstation, or digital desktop). Becoming AWARE of your strengths is the first step to reaping the benefits.
- Shine a Light on Your Signature Strengths!
The Character Strengths at the top of your list are known as your Signature Strengths. These are the strengths that come most naturally to you. No one has to remind you to use your Signature Strengths; these are where you innately shine. When you experience a challenge or adversity, you will most likely rely on your Signature Strengths to pull you through.
Further, your particular strengths profile is generally stable over time. That means, when you look at your Signature Strengths, you likely have as many stories to tell from childhood about those strengths as you do from last week. For example, if curiosity is at the top of your list, your parents will likely tell stories about you exploring the world or asking tons of questions at a young age. Or, if appreciation of beauty and excellence ranks high for you,
perhaps you made your bed every day as a child.
- Find Your Strength’s Sweet Spot
Our Signature Strengths enable us to be our very best, yet when overused can lead to challenges. Some refer to this as the “shadow side” of our signature strengths. To reap the full benefit of knowing and using our strengths, we must become masterful at finding the sweet spot — where our strengths are being used in the right context, at the right time, to the right degree, and for the benefit of ourselves and others.
Sweet Spot Reflection
Strengths serve us best when they are balanced. Sometimes we overuse a strength while, other times, we underuse a strength. What we want to do is find our strength’s sweet spot. As you go to the right, think about what “too much” of this strength may look like. For example, someone who leans too heavily into their leadership may come across as bossy. On the other hand, someone could come across as not interested if they don’t leverage their leadership. What does “too much” and “too
little” look like for each of your strengths? What is your “strength’s sweet spot” when you are at your best?
- Set Your Strengths Goal
Strengths are best when they are mindfully and intentionally put into action. Set a goal to use one of your Signature Strengths in a deliberate, thoughtful and unique way for each of the next 7 days. Reflect and consider the impact of keeping that strength top of mind. How has it affected you? And, those around you? Then, set another strength goal for the next seven days and repeat through each of your five Signature Strengths. Pause with each to understand its effect on you and others.
- Share Your Strengths
Ever feel taken advantage of for your strengths? As though, just because you are high in perseverance and never give up, you tend to end up with the longer/larger work tasks assigned to you? Or maybe, your family is always teasing you for what you now know is the overuse of your signature strengths?
To reap the relationship benefits of strengths, we must share our strengths. Find time to sit with a loved one, close friend, or colleague and discuss your strengths. Encourage them to take the VIA survey and identify and share their strengths back with you.