SMART Strengths: Building Character, Resilience, and Relationships in Youth

The Big Idea

  • The key idea is that adults and youth need to shift from concentrating on improving weaknesses to focusing on assets. This needs to start with the adults learning about their own strengths, which makes it easier to identify strengths in others. Strengths are natural abilities or assets. They are all good, although they can be used badly as the explanation of strength buttons demonstrates. Strengths are measurable, subject to numerous influences, and some are more malleable than others. Research shows that people who use their strengths are more engaged in their life and work, are happier, and are more productive. You should start by taking the free 20-25 minute Values in Action (VIA) Signature Strengths Test. There is also a version for children 10-17 that you can access with your free adult account.
  • SMART stands for: Spotting, Managing, Advocating, Relating, and Training. These are the five steps the authors include along with worksheets in each chapter to help you nurture your strengths and the strengths of those you work with.
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