What does a signature strength mean?
Signature strengths are the strengths that usually appear at the top of our strength profile. As the CEO of Mightifier, Mervi would describe it:
“The signature strength is the strength you would not be able to live without, or it would feel like you are someone else. In other words, it is what makes you who you are. You may yourself be aware of using a lot of some specific strengths but signature strengths are also seen in you by people around you. Signature strengths are the strengths that come naturally to you, strengths that you do not have to think about while using. They are also the strengths that you use in different situations very smoothly even if the environment and the people around you change.”
Why focus on signature strengths?
Often we focus on our weaknesses; things that we should improve in ourselves and in our behaviour. Today’s trend is to constantly develop and make yourself better in all areas of life. We aim to be perfect in everything we do and that makes us tired, frustrated and dissatisfied in ourselves. This mood and attitude are highly unlikely to motivate us in learning new and actually becoming the best versions of ourselves.
That is why in positive psychology and especially in the character strength theories the focus is on what we are great at and how we could thrive even better with the amazing strengths we already have in ourselves. This more positive way of looking at yourself and others can have enormous benefits. Other than making you able to improve yourself in your strongest qualities it has been proven to make people less depressed and feel more gratitude and happiness. Also focusing on your own strengths will make you more likely to also see the good in others.
This is of great importance when it comes to parenting or teaching. If you are able to see the good and the strong strengths in the children, you will be more likely to give them credit for those and therefore spread the positive attitude further and encourage the children to thrive and blossom and improve the great strength they all have in themselves.
How to find your signature strength?
Finding your signature strength may feel difficult at first especially if you have not thought about it before. However, by increasing your self-knowledge and awareness of what you are especially good at and what you could maybe try and improve is the first step. But how to gain that information?
One tip is to listen carefully when you get feedback from someone. The feedback may be coming from work, from a friend or a family member but if you are not willing to receive feedback and either deny what others say or do not listen to it in the first place, you are narrowing the view of yourself. Positive feedback helps us to find our signature strength but critique can also be taken as a good thing, as it gives us some idea of what we could try and improve in the future.
Another great way to gain more self-awareness is by doing the VIA Character Strength survey. It is free and available in multiple languages. The Character strengths we use in Mightifier, are based on the VIA strengths. By taking your time to do the test and maybe even asking someone close to you to answer it as if they were you, will give you a lot of information about your strengths.
Like mentioned, usually, our signature strength is one that appears at the top of the list in our results. After doing the test we recommend you to read the result carefully and think about how accurate you find them and how you use your top 5 strengths in your everyday life.
We would love to hear from you how you get on with finding the signature strengths in yourself as well as with your students. If you want to know how MIghtifier app can help you with your students, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org