Character strengths

Character strengths are positive, individual, and measurable units of good character, such as perseverance, teamwork, and honesty (Harzer & Ruch, 2013). It is interesting to note that character strengths can be ranked regarding their centrality for the individual (Harzer & Ruch, 2013). In other words, perseverance may be more present in some people, while teamwork may be more central to others.

Signature strengths and task performance

While the individual’s core character strengths, i.e. highest character strengths, are the person’s signature strengths (Harzer & Ruch, 2013, 2014; Peterson & Seligman, 2004), task performance is the in-role behavior as illustrated in the description of the job (Harzer & Ruch, 2014; Katz, 1964; Williams & Anderson, 1991).

Relevantly, the individual’s signature strengths seem to be associated with task performance (Harzer & Ruch, 2013, 2014). For instance, teamwork, perseverance, honesty, prudence, and self-regulation were empirically found to be consistently associated with task performance (Harzer & Ruch, 2014, p. 200).

Three concrete ways on how to apply character strengths at work:

Take-home message

Applying your highest character strengths at work contribute to task performance and there are varied manners on how to apply them. For instance, if teamwork is one of your signature strengths, you could apply it at work by proactively collaborating more with your teammates. Have you ever considered what your character strengths are? Discover them for free at the VIA Institute on Character. Would you like to have a free online coaching-session on your signature strengths? Then subscribe here. The 10 first people subscribing to this link and showing their interest will get the online session with me for free.

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