We are all unique and we all have strengths which allow us to contribute to the world. In the early 2000’s, Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson developed the VIA Character Strengths. Their research determined that there are 24 common character strengths that each of us possess to one degree or another, giving us a common language to use, but still recognizing that each of us is unique.
Each of these Character Strengths fall under one of six broad categories called Virtues. These Virtues and Character Strengths have proven to be universal across cultures and nations. Over the next few weeks, we will explore each of the 24 strengths that we all share, yet make you uniquely you!
We will start with the Virtue of Wisdom, which brings together those strengths used to gather and use knowledge.
The Character Strength of Judgement is one that is often misunderstood. In the context of the Character Strengths, Judgement is thought of as open-mindedness, meaning thinking through things and situations and examining them from multiple perspectives. If Judgement is a strong strength for you, you are likely someone who considers all of the evidence and is open to points of view that may differ from your own.
When Judgement is absent it can lead to ineffectiveness due to the inability to think outside of established patterns or beliefs. It's opposite is a tendency to be gullible and 'believe anything'. In excess it can turn into cynicism and being skeptical of everything. Understanding these opposites, absences and excesses can help us identify Judgement being used effectively by ourselves and others. We all have the strength of Judgement and it is expressed by each of us in our own unique way.
Judgement can be a challenging strength for some to lean into. It involves critically thinking things through and fairly weighing the evidence while still being open to other opinions and perspectives. People with this strength are particularly helpful during times of change and transition as they can see beyond biases, are accurate decision-makers and are usually not as swayed by sensationalism or manipulation.
Some of the ways you can experiment with your Judgement strength (and you do have it) are to think about a past event and consider ways you could have handled it differently or look at a strong opinion that you hold and experiment with what someone holding the opposite opinion might think. Give it a try and see if your Judgement might lead you to some new ideas or conclusions!
If you would like to learn more about Judgement and your individual strengths, you can visit the website below and complete the free VIA Character Strengths Questionnaire.