“Prudence is the necessary ingredient in all the virtues, without which they degenerate into folly and excess.”
-Jeremy Collier, Theatre Critic and Theologian
Prudence is all about the ability to form effective short-term and long-term plans while wisely balancing risks with reward, and many of us have pulled on our prudence strength more than usual in the past year and a half. From considering the long-term consequences of our actions, controlling ourselves based on practical reasoning, and practicing restraint, prudence is a valuable strength across diverse roles from marketing to client-facing to executive. People with this strength excel in environments when caution and practical wisdom are necessary and appreciated.
Studies have found the character strength of prudence can also create a buffer against the negative effects of stress and trauma. In Michelle McQuaid’s book, Can You Put Your Strengths To Work, prudence is described as your ability to think/act in ways that help attain future aspirations and long-term goals while considering how present decisions will affect certain outcomes.
Need some inspiration? Check out these stories of prudence!
- Could mandatary time off be a prudent choice for your organization? Companies Cloudera, SimpliFlying, and Chatbooks made this choice to combat employee burnout and mental fatigue.
- For Women’s History Month, our partners – including Strong Cincinnati Network members – shared about ways in which inspiring local women have used prudence in their workplaces. Join the Facebook Group to see the stories!
DID YOU KNOW…
The three least prevalent character strengths in human beings are prudence, humility, and self-regulation according to the study Character Strengths in Fifty-Four Nations and the Fifty US States? So, if you have them, spread them around … every team needs their fair share!
PUT IT IN PRACTICE
- Make a Plan A major piece of prudence is goal-setting and planning skills. Combine with your kindness strength and plan out the best way to show appreciation to a co-worker, or with your creativity strength and plan a way to counter any logistical holes in your original idea.
- Take A Necessary Risk. A misconception of prudence is that it’s all caution, no risk when that’s not the case. A positive application of prudence is mitigating unnecessary risks and knowing when a risk is worth it.