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Friday, March 23, 2012

Dimensions of CHARACTER (Part 1)



THE MORE I OWN MY CHARACTER STRENGTHS,
the more resilient I can be in life


Previous: What is C., Part 2

NOTE: The focus of these posts are the healthy, positive, useful character traits. Naturally we all exhibit the negative version of them as well (some listed in future post), but as we heal from our damage we can express the very best of ourselves, especially our more outstanding traits.

IMPORTANT: No one has all of these positive qualities in the same proportions or intensity. Our goal is to identify in ourselves as many as we can, appreciate them, hone them - as well as accept & strengthen those we are weak in.
✶ DO NOT let Self-Hate be your guide in listing your innate ASSETS!

Some WAYS TO GROUP Character
Many studies, including those from Positive Psychology, have defined & classified Character, naming it as the key to understanding what makes up a psychologically good life.

1. For RESILIENCE
Michael Baizerman, Professor of Youth Studies at the University of Minnesota, writes that Personal Strengths or competencies are the individual characteristics associated with healthy development and life success. He refers to this as “phenomenological resilience,” that which can be seen, observed, and measured. 
• From a recent Post on Control (Types of Self-Control, Part 3 - Nov. '11) :
Ego resiliency is the flexible & appropriate expression of ego control in the face of uncertainty, change & environmental demands - without which people tend to become either over- or under-controlled.”

Baizerman says the following qualities do not cause resilience, but rather allow resilience to flourish:
• Social  Competence : Altruism, Caring, Communication, Compassion, Empathy, Forgiveness, Responsiveness
• Problem Solving : Critical Thinking, Flexibility, Insight, Planning, Resourcefulness
• Autonomy : Adaptive Distancing, Humor, Initiative, Internal Locus of Control, Mastery, Mindfulness, Positive Identity, Resistance, Self-Awareness, Self-Efficacy
• Sense of Purpose : Achievement Motivation, Creativity, Educational Aspirations, Faith, Goal Direction, Hope, Imagination, Optimism, Special Interest, Spirituality Sense of Meaning

2. As PREDICTORS
: This list is the assessment being used by KIPP NYC, a non-profit network of free, public charter schools that prepares students for success in college and life.  Their efforts are primarily focused on the development of seven highly predictive CS, which are based on Dr. Seligman’s work:

• Curiosity  : Students are eager to explore new things.  Ask & answer questions to deepen understanding.  Actively listen to others
• Grit : Finish whatever they begin. Try very hard even after experiencing failure.  Work independently with focus

• Gratitude : Recognize and shows appreciation for others AND for their opportunities
• Optimism: Get over frustrations & setbacks quickly. Believe that effort will improve their future

• Self-Control - School work : Students come to class prepared.  Pay attention and resists distractions. Remember and follow directions. Get to work right away, rather than procrastinate
• Self-control - Interpersonal : Remain calm even when criticized or otherwise provoked.  Allow others to speak without interruption. Are polite to adults and peers. Keep temper in check

• Social Intelligence :  Able to find solutions during conflicts with others.  Demonstrate respect for feelings of others. Know when and how to include others
• Zest : Actively participates.  Shows enthusiasm.  Invigorates others

3. At WORK :  Another way to group Character is with the DISC Assessment System, by Inscape Publishing, developed for corporate work settings. 

D = Dominant personality, also known as the “A” type personality. They are outgoing with a strong desire to get things done! They need constant stimulation & activity because they become bored so easily. This type has some great natural strengths.  Ds are:
• able to juggle priorities   • born leaders  • clear communicators  • don’t accept rejection   • great multi-taskers     • high achievers  • self-motivated  • get more accomplished than any other type

I  = Inspiring personality, are also outgoing  like the “D” types but more interested in fun! Is are:
• creative thinkers     • energetic   •  extroverted  • great at persuading and motivating others   • imaginative    •  optimistic    • people oriented     • relationship builders

S = Sweet personality, which says it all. These people love to help others and even though they are more  reserved than the first two types, they still like to build relationships just like the “I” personalities. Ss are:
• caring  •  great finishers   •  quality producers  • peace-makers   • relationship builders   • sentimental   • team builders  •  mediators

C = Cautious personality, who find themselves always thinking. They are reserved, task oriented and perfectionists. They may not talk all the time, but when they do they will say something important.  Cs are:
• cost-conscious    • deep thinkers  • great researchers   •  planners  • quality-driven  •  resourceful         • systematic  •  task-oriented

NEXT: Dimension of C, Part 2

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