This is our last Hoots for this season and you can listen to it on our podcast Chirping with ABA Owls. This should take you to our podcast page or you can listen on iTunes, Podbean and other podcasting apps.
As you might know by now, every month we discuss a book or article(s) that we find interesting – It’s not always ABA themed but it will be behaviour related.
This time Carla is discussing The Power of Character Strengths by Ryan Niemec and Robert McGrath.
What is the topic?
This book is a good introduction into what strengths are – it categorises our personality not into types, but into virtues and strengths. Each Strength belongs to a type of virtue and the authors use WH-questions to explain What each strength is, Why is it important and How do we use it.
Who should read this book?
Anyone interested in personality traits and improving themselves will probably enjoy this book.
This book comes from the VIA institute, which was founded in the U.S. – the creators divided personality into strengths instead of types, as mentioned above.
Anyone can take their 24 strengths survey for free on their website.
The book is divided into 3 parts: introduction, discussing the 24 strengths and building up your strengths.
They’ve divided the strengths within 6 different virtues: Wisdom, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance and Transcendence. There is also an explanation as to why these are the virtues.
Within each virtue there are strengths assigned – for example, within Humanity you have Love, Kindness and Social intelligence.
The last chapter, the strength builder, is very self reflective. It has a few tables and writing exercises with the purpose of making you think about your strengths, how you use them, where else you could utilise them and applying them to life challenges.
Something I want everyone to understand is that this book is one of MANY resources offered by the VIA institute. I first came across the survey and then the book.
We do discuss the book in more detail on the podcast episode, but we will leave you with some of our comments below.
When you take the survey, be advised that it relies a lot on your perception of yourself. If you view yourself as a brave person, you probably will get that character strength. We think it would’ve been beneficial to have some questions about the actions a person has had in the past and what actions they want to have in the future.
It’s normal that your strengths change over time, because we are constantly changing, learning – or at least, we should be. If you take the survey once a year (or every 2 years, etc.) you might notice that your strengths will show some variances.
We would’ve liked some of the research mentioned to be referenced – throughout the book, the phrase “research finds” keeps popping up, but no actual research or studies are mentioned.
The website does have plenty of resources, not just books, but also activities, webinars, workshops, etc. Maybe one of those resources will have more guidance on how to develop each particular strength.
Nevertheless, I would still recommend taking the survey and reading more about each character strength. I found it to be a really good way to work on yourself.
Where can you get the book?
Disclaimer: the prices might have changed since the time this post was published or the podcast episode recorded.
Ebay: £ 16.99
World of Books: £16.79
Not found in: Blackwell, Book Depository nor Waterstones
Apple books: £16.99
Not found in: Google Books
We hope you’ve found this helpful, we will try our best to publish blog posts as the podcast episodes come out.
You can also follow us on Instagram (@ABA_owls), send us an email on email@example.com or leave us a comment below.
Thank you for reading,
Carla and Lauren