Today’s article originally appeared on strengthscope.com, written by Ana Loback, consultant with Strengths Partnership (based in the UK).

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How do we define strengths and how can they be used to maintain and enhance wellbeing and productivity at work?

“Strengths are the underlying qualities that energize us and we are great at (or have the potential to become great at).” — Brewerton and Brook, 2014

Strengths are positive traits that are reflected in people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours, helping individuals to maximize their potential and achieve optimal levels of performance. They can exist in different degrees and can be studied and measured like individual differences.

The actual construct of character strengths has its origins in positive psychology. A growing body of research suggests that strengths are universally endorsed across different cultures all over the world, like Peterson had suggested (2006) and that they are linked with wellbeing and satisfaction with life.

What is the value of strengths and how can they be applied to help us live life to its fullest and perform at our best?

Research has demonstrated that by simply following our strengths we can generate optimism and confidence; develop an enhanced sense of vitality; build psychological resilience and generate positive emotions.

The strengths approach to the workplace is also related to many positive business outcomes such as increased employee engagement, wellbeing and increased performance and productivity.

Strengths reflect the unique contribution individuals bring to work. A strengths-based approach provides a more positive, solutions-based way of approaching work, guiding employees’ performance and careers in a more productive direction. A focus on strengths provides a powerful new framework for assessing and developing people through what energizes and motivates them.

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