“Characterizing” the Workplace: Using Character Strengths to Create Sustained Success

business and strengths

By Neal Mayerson Introduction Organizations cannot succeed in a sustained manner with only 1 in 5 of its employees fully engaged and motivated and with 1 in 5 employees either dreading work or wishing they could just stay at home instead (Asplund, Lopez, Hodges, & Harter, 2007; VIA Institute, 2015). Business is a human enterprise in which multiple people come together to produce value for … [Read more...]

Leadership Strengths


Positional and situational leadership As any successful leader will say, it is important to know thyself – to know one’s strengths and how to use them in managing or leading a group of people toward a common mission or goal. This is particularly important for “positional leaders” who have a role at their company to manage a group of people. The more that these positional leaders can bring forth … [Read more...]

VIA Strengths at Work

Sharing ideas

The VIA Institute on Character joined up with workplace well-being expert and best-selling author, Michelle McQuaid, to check on the progress American workers are making in identifying and leveraging their strengths at work. 1,000 employees across the country, ranging in age from 18 to 55, were randomly surveyed to see if attitudes towards developing workplace strengths have changed significantly … [Read more...]

VIA as Crochet Hook

slide 11-core values

When Carol Kauffman was approached by a client who needed immediate help relating to students, she began with the VIA Survey. Her client was at a loss – student evaluations were low; she was considered boring; her boss wanted improvement and had suggested she may want to try to ‘just be funny’. Viewing the list of strengths, Carol was able to see that humor was near the bottom, not something her … [Read more...]

The Confidence to Coach

bring out your clients strengths

    When Carol Kauffman was recently contacted by a Fortune 500 Company to “Help keep us from firing this person!” she knew exactly what she needed to do – rely on her strengths. As one of the most sought-after coaches in the world, Carol frequently faces high level/high stakes clients who could easily intimidate the best of coaches. From the first introduction, she’s keenly aware of the … [Read more...]

VIA and Motivation

character education

Fiona Trembath stands in front of a classroom full of kids with a wide grin and merry eyes. Author of Crackpot, a tale of a lively young girl and her eccentric family, Fiona mesmerizes her audience with her own tale of the long, tumultuous process of publishing the book. One rejection after another, an eventual prize won, a publishing deal gained, and lost. Her exuberance elicits laughs and gasps … [Read more...]

Strengths-Based Leadership

leading with strengths

Interview with Megan Dalla-Camina, Director of Strategy for IBM in Australia and New Zealand, where she is also responsible for Organizational Culture and Change and Gender Diversity. Megan is Executive Sponsor of the Positive Leadership Program. 1. Why did IBM A/NZ (Australia/NZ) go down the strengths-based leadership path? We were impressed by the overwhelming research that has emerged … [Read more...]

VIA as Velvet Hammer

strengths coaching

When leaders need to be at the top of their game, yet seem to be missing the mark, Carol Kauffman relies on the VIA Survey. She gets to the heart of her client’s issue by taking a hard look at their top VIA strengths, often finding that they are in contrast to what the client is actually doing day to day. She probes the reasons the client is choosing not to use their strengths in a productive … [Read more...]

Harvard’s Institute of Coaching Conference 2012


This video features Neal and Donna's presentation at the Harvard Institute of Coaching Conference. They illustrate the value of focusing on an individual's character strengths and the importance of infusing strengths into our lives, work and relationships. They also explain the significance of understanding character strengths with regards to the field of leadership. … [Read more...]

VIA Portrait

strengths portait

The VIA Portrait is a dynamic customized graphic tool to access the power of the VIA.  Kathryn Burnett developed this tool in order to see a person’s strengths at a glance, to key into the patterns of their virtues, and to explore any discrepancies among these and how they’re living their daily lives.  She finds this tool to be an ideal way to present the concept of an individual’s unique … [Read more...]