Step One: Talking About Strengths and Taking the VIA

The VIA Survey is a widely used and validated tool that is used for assessing character strengths. This assessment explores 24 strengths and six organizing categories called virtues. The VIA Survey is an online self-administered assessment tool.

The VIA-IS was developed to measure character strengths. While the report provides a list from 1- 24, the 24th is simply a less used strength and not meant to be viewed as a deficit or weakness.

The survey was influenced by the great religious and philosophical traditions of the world. So for example for any of the strengths to be included, all cultures, traditions, people, would agree that the strength is valued. Courage for example is seen as a character strength by all people, as is Humor or Compassion.

The VIA fits with the Appreciative Inquiry belief that we move in the direction of what we study. So if we want to build an organization that is built on the strength of its people, then the first step is to create a process that allows for these strengths to be identified and appreciated. Once these are identified, they then serve as a resource that can be used in service of community or organizational goals or team initiatives.