“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
This was (and still is) one of my father’s favorite phrases to me growing up. He was usually right. This adage helped me to balance my signature strength of curiosity (wanting to explore new and interesting experiences and opportunities) with a healthy skepticism (the character strength of judgment/critical thinking) and caution (the strength of prudence). Who knows how many times this “strengths balancing” helped me make the right decision or get me out of a jam? Using these strengths in combination has helped me weigh the best approach to products, courses, and campaigns with clever marketing and advertising.
But, let me offer you a rare exception in which this phrase does not apply:
Take a free course in applying character strengths in coaching, leadership, health, and teaching! All 5 monthly webinars will host different instructors and are completely free and open to all. I will be joined by positive psychology luminary and best-selling author, Tal Ben-Shahar, and other leading presenters. The first webinar is Monday July 14th. Join the hundreds who have already registered and learn more at the Wholebeing Institute site.
Sound too good to be true? I’m being honest (one of my signature strengths). Here’s a bit of background and rationale to offer further insight.
I just returned from a major positive psychology conference in Amsterdam, where top practitioners and researchers discuss the latest science and practices in positive psychology. The energy was high. The curiosity palpable. There was an underlying desire from participants to want to spread the findings on happiness, meaning, and engagement far and wide.
As I wandered around the historic Beurs van Berlage building where the conference was held, I spoke with practitioners, students, and scientists from around the world. We walked across piers and under stone archways and after many conversations I realized a trend. Each person already knew something about character strengths and the work of VIA.
One thing is clear: The VIA character strengths have arrived and are solidly in the consciousness of those who study positive psychology.
Far gone are the days in which I had to spend time correcting people mispronouncing VIA (“vee-uh”), educating professionals who referred to VIA by its previous name of “values in action,” explaining why character strengths are important for various outcomes, or instructing people how to take the VIA Survey online. Professionals in the field now have a working knowledge of character strengths – both of their own top strengths as well as ideas for helping clients identify their strengths. Now, participants are eager to dig deeper and to expand their versatility in working with strengths.
The VIA Institute’s new partnership with Wholebeing Institute does just that. Both entities are interested in contributing to the knowledge of those who are teaching and helping others discover and express their strongest characteristics. We believe this will contribute to greater well-being in the world. This course offers another entry point for learning about strengths.
I invite you to join an ever-expanding group of coaches, educators, managers, leaders, and other professionals in learning new ways of applying the VIA Survey and character strengths in your professional life. You will learn ways to help others be more engaged, productive, and happy. Best of all - it's all online!
E-mail me if you have any questions.
VIA Institute (the nonprofit organization)
VIA Classification (the system of strengths and virtues)
VIA Survey (the research-validated test)
VIA resources (for practitioners, managers, educators, and other professionals)