What Matters Most?

Using your strengths to impact well-being

VIA Survey or StrengthsFinder?

Compares and contrasts the VIA Survey (VIA Institute on Character) and the StrengthsFinder tool (Gallup Organization), the two dominant strengths assessment instruments in the field. Want to work with your strengths, a client's strengths, or the strengths within an organization or school? Read this blog post first. Read More

Two are Better than One

First, kudos to Dr Ryan Niemiec for his well written article. We can spot VIA character strengths of perspective, fairness,and open mindedness in the article. As well as spot StrengthsFinder talent theme patterns such as analytical, ideation, and responsibility.

Both strengths based assessments are valuable. With my strengths based coaching practice, I liken the StrengthsFinder talent themes as the head. The innate talent potential hard wired into the brain. I liken the VIA character strengths as the heart. The values that grow out of the heart. Both assessments are making a positive impact in the growth of the strengths movement.

What I would love is for StrengthsFinder and VIA Survey to collaborate with each others research because two are better than one. All of us is smarter than one of us.

Brent O'Bannon - www.StrengthsFinderCoaching.com

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VIA or both?

Hi Brent,

Thanks for the positive feedback and for sharing how you use both instruments together in your practice. I hope others that use both instruments simultaneously will join in the discussion as well!
FYI: VIA has always been open to collaboration with SF/Gallup (and at one point discussed with Gallup about hosting our VIA Caucus survey www.viacaucus.org in which we had people spot and rate the character strengths of the various political candidates during the last 2 Presidential elections in the U.S. In the end, Gallup was way too costly for our small nonprofit to afford and there was no effort made by them to collaborate). Our door remains open.
In the meantime, those practitioners interested in both - or already working with both - should keep up the discussion. If particularly powerful practices or integrations of the instruments are discovered then perhaps this might grab the attention of a researcher in the field.

Meanwhile, VIA will continue to support good research on character strengths and champion those people around the world educating others, researching, and practicing with character strengths. Those working with character strengths are multiplying!

Keep up the good work, Brent,


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Ryan M. Niemiec, Psy.D., is the education director at the VIA Institute on Character.


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