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Strengths, Strengths, Strengths – Why are you always talking about strengths?

Let’s talk about strengths, baby
Let’s talk about you and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be (well, mostly the good things here)

– with apologies to Salt N Pepa

What do I mean when I talk about strengths and why does it matter? There is a growing body of research on the measurement, definition and utilization of strengths based (or asset based) coaching across multiple domains. In the next several posts I will try to describe how science is leading to better understanding of life satisfaction and some steps we can take to get there.

What are the major strengths?

What are your top strengths?

What strengths are most associated with life satisfaction or happiness?

How can I develop those strengths?

Listed below are the 24 strengths identified by Peterson and Seligman in their groundbreaking research on the topic based on the Values In Action (VIA) survey. They fall under 6 broad categories.

Wisdom and Knowledge
Creativity, ingenuity & originality
Judgment, open-Mindedness, critical thinking
Love of Learning
Perspective, wisdom

Bravery and Valor
Perseverance, industriousness
Honesty, authenticity, genuineness

Capacity to Love and Be Loved
Kindness, generosity and nurturance
Social Intelligence


Forgiveness & mercy
Modesty & humility
Self-Regulation, self-control

Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence
Hope, optimism, future-mindedness
Humor & playfulness
Religiousness & Spirituality

To give you an idea of who I am, my top 5 are:

1)    Gratitude

2)    Bravery & Valor

3)    Humor & Playfulness

4)    Creativity, Ingenuity & Originality

5)    Honesty, Authenticity, Genuineness

–      Sounds about right, not so much temperance (who would have thought)

More next time.