Human being not human doing

Find Your Zone Of Power: The Role of Character Strengths In Living Your Purpose

Human being not human doing

Who we are, not just what we do, is fundamental to living a life of purpose and meaning. Discovering your signature character strengths is an evidence-based, practical way to tune into your uniqueness and elevate your experience of work.

What Are Character Strengths?

Character strengths are positive traits that are personally fulfilling, morally valued and core to our being/identity. When we express our character strengths, we produce positive outcomes for ourselves, others and the collective good.

Character strengths are NOT the same as skills and talents. They run deeper than these (but when they align, we are in our ‘zone of power’).

As Character Strengths expert Dr. Niemiec puts it:

‘Talents can be squandered, resources can be quickly lost, interests wane and change, skills diminish over time, but when all seems completely lost, we still have our character strengths’

24 universal character strengths have been identified and validated in over 300 peer reviewed articles.

But we each have ‘signature character strengths’ that are most central to who we are. Mine are:

  1. Love of learning
  2. Zest
  3. Perspective
  4. Social intelligence
  5. Curiosity

Discover yours by taking the free VIA assessment.

Why Do Character Strengths Matter for Wellbeing?

Success without deep fulfilment is all too common. By tuning into and using your character strengths at work, you increase your ‘purpose energy’, engagement, wellbeing and discover more meaning and sense of calling at work.

If you are feeling physically, mentally and emotionally energised but lacking in meaning and purpose, character strengths might be the missing part of the puzzle.

How Do I Put This Into Practice?

Start with taking the free survey (see link earlier) and then try one of these 3 evidence-based character strengths interventions:

  • Spot strengths – Put on your strengths glasses and intentionally notice character strengths in others (see the full list here). Just by looking out for strengths, you can improve your entire experience of work.
  • Appreciate others’ strengths –  when you spot a strength in someone, tell them! Let them know the character strength you observed, what you saw in them that demonstrated that strength and why you personally value it.
  • Energise your routine at work – List the five tasks that you do most frequently at work (e.g., emails, leading team meetings, having 1:1’s, writing reports etc.). Review your Top 5 strengths in your character strengths profile from the VIA Survey. Write down one way you can use any one of your top strengths with each of the five work tasks. Next time your perform these tasks, mindfully infuse them with your chosen character strength.

For even more ideas, check out this helpful infographic of workplace activities to try.

How can I dive deeper?

Over To You!

What has resonated with you? What was your favourite resource? How might you use this week’s ideas in your own context?


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