In the fall of 2013 our staff was first introduced to the VIA Character Strengths work. Karen Graves joined our staff and trained us. We took the VIA survey and discovered what our strengths were. We learned what that meant and how we could use that to work better together. I wasn’t really surprised by my results, but what was surprising was how just simply acknowledging them allowed me to better harness and call on my strengths when I needed to. We started to adopt a culture where we would notice and call out our own strengths and the strengths in our fellow colleagues. What this did for me personally was allow me to better understand the people I was working with. It created a more positive atmosphere, increased my happiness during my work day, improved communication and decreased frustration. I am fascinated by the Character Strengths work and I am proud to work for an organization that internalizes this concept and puts it to work.
Starting this month we will be spending an entire month focusing on one of the 24 strengths. For September we will be focusing on Bravery. VIA describes Bravery this way; “If Bravery is your top strength, you are a courageous person who does not shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. You speak up for what is right even if there is opposition. You act on your convictions.” Bravery is one of my top strengths. I have never written a blog before and writing is a bit of a challenge for me, it doesn’t come easy for me. But this is an area I wanted to grow, so I decided to give it a go. Because Bravery is a top strength for me, even though I was a bit scared, I was also excited to do it and to overcome that.
For more information about Character Strengths, visit VIA Institute on Character.
Bravery, from the VIA Institute:
Bravery falls under the virtue category of Courage. Courage describes strengths that deal with overcoming fear. These strengths can manifest themselves inwardly or outwardly as they are composed of cognitions, emotions, motivations and decisions.
There are three types of bravery (an individual may possess one of these or a combination)
• Physical bravery (e.g., firefighters, police officers, soldiers)
• Psychological bravery (e.g., facing painful aspects of oneself)
• Moral bravery (e.g., speaking up for what’s right, even if it’s an unfavorable opinion to a group)
I took a brave leap in writing this blog. I look forward to continue to call on this strength and keep writing. Will you take a brave leap with me today? What fear will you overcome today? Be brave!