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...]

Using Strengths During Life Transitions

via for transitions

After nearly 30 years working as a graphic designer for a government agency, Robyn  Eskenazi-Gray increasingly day dreamed about retirement.  She imagined long sunny afternoons in her garden, traveling around the globe to visit her three grown children, or opening a small shop of handmade goods. But, rather than energize her, these future scenarios left her feeling stressed and defeated. “I got … [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...]

VIA Stories: A Strengths Infusion

gaining strength

As the writer for the VIA Story Project and a long time student of Positive Psychology, I often have Character Strengths on my mind.  I speculate about the strengths of others while buying groceries. I’ll devise new ways to apply strengths when I’m having trouble falling asleep. You could say VIA Character Strengths are to me what college basketball is to my son (it’s that serious!).  But, it … [Read more...]

Finding Meaning Through Career Change

Career Change

CW Conner left home when he was fifteen years old. His family had gone bankrupt. He was the oldest of six children and decided he’d be better off on his own. He packed a small bundle of things and headed down the road, quickly landing a job at a local dairy farm that was glad to have his help. He talked the owner of an old, beat-up trailer into letting him rent it for $75.00 a month.  He found … [Read more...]

Strengths In and Out of Prison

focusing on strengths

            Nearly fifty years ago, Art Winstanley decided he wanted to be a Denver Police Officer. As a young man in his early twenties with a wife and two young children, he liked the idea of having a secure job that also offered adventure and power. He was athletic, energetic and eager to please, so it wasn’t long before he was putting on his uniform and sitting shotgun in the squad … [Read more...]

The VIA Survey: The Great Discussion Starter


The VIA Strengths Survey is often called, “The Great Discussion Starter.” I have used it often in my own life, with friends and family, as well as with many others in my work. So when I was asked to write for the VIA Story Project, I was thrilled at the opportunity to scout out and communicate great stories of Character Strengths in action. … [Read more...]

A Classroom of Character: A Parent’s Perspective


Why Strengths? “We push our kids to be good at school, good at sports, good at playing the piano, all in the hopes that they’ll be happy and successful. But, we also want them to be good human beings,” says Melanie Perschon, mother of a 4th grader at Bella Vista Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah. … [Read more...]

VIA Stories: A Teacher’s Perspective


The Teaching Life “Teaching is such demanding work,” says elementary school teacher, Jay Sharp, who retired from teaching after thirty-two years. “It requires so much from your heart, your mind . . . and your body, especially when working with younger kids. I was utterly worn out.” … [Read more...]

“Only One Thing Endures… and that is Character”

character strengths and productivity

One look at Trevor Wilson and you think “success.” He’s well dressed, articulate, strikingly handsome and commands the attention of his multinational clients with ease.  He has a loving wife and children, owns his own consulting company and is in the process of writing his second book. So, it can be strange to hear this quintessential businessman say that he is “four years old.” So, what’s up … [Read more...]