We believe that any work engaging young people in what they want to do, has to involve helping young people explore what are their Character Strengths. In our Facework training sessions in India we spend time helping students identify their Character Strengths and how we can develop these Strengths.
Building on the work undertaken in the UK by the University of Birmingham’s Jubilee Centre (Framework for Character Education in Schools (2013) we ran a series of activities which helped students uncover their strengths like what? Concrete and detailed illustrations. The youth responded enthusiastically to a screening of ‘The Science of Character’ film www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3nT2KDAGOc which describes the importance of character strengths and uses a range of international ‘voices’ to show how these are relevant to young people. The film helped us build rapport with the students (they spontaneously clapped at the end of the film) and helped the discussion about how you identified your own character strengths.
Most of the students had never heard of, or been able to partake in a personality type indicator such as https://www.myersbriggs.org), so helping them to identify simple virtues and personal character strengths had a remarkable positive impact, especially because they were able to have these strengths recognised and affirmed by others.
Edgar Schein’s ‘Career Anchors’ (2013) Retrieved from https://rapidbi.com/careeranchors) concept which argues that that every one of us has a particular orientation towards work and that we all approach our work with a certain set of priority and values is relevant to this Character Strength exercise. The introduction of this exercise was critical to the success of the programme and illustrated the vital link between personal development and growth and aligning values to vocational careers. further work on how young people growing up in India are able to hold on to their motivations, values and priorities would be important to undertake.
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Some of the students we worked with in Nagaland, North East India.
This film helps you understand the importance of Character Strengths and how you can grow your strengths.
The importance of Character Strengths in facing work.