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Character Counts - What Do Your Top Qualities Say About You?

Character Counts - What Do Your Top Qualities Say About You?

According to the VIA Institute on Character: Personality is the sum total of our psychological makeup and how we uniquely express ourselves in the world. It is the pattern of emotional qualities, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, attitudes and habits that make us who we are.

The VIA Survey is “a psychometrically validated personality test that measures an individual’s character strengths.” It only measures one’s good character, for instance qualities such as: love, kindness, fairness, zest and hope.

“Research shows that people who know and utilize their unique strengths have stronger relationships, find more engagement in their work, and lead happier, more fulfilling lives,” says the VIA site. Well who wouldn’t want to find out how to have a more fulfilling life? Count me in. I took the survey, and you can too, at

I was happy to see my top 4 character traits come in in this order:

1. Kindness

You are kind and generous to others, and you are never too busy to do a favor. You enjoy doing good deeds for others, even if you do not know them well.

2. Fairness

Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

3. Gratitude

You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.

4. Leadership

You excel at the tasks of leadership: encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included. You do a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen.

What did you learn about yourself as a result of taking the VIA Character Survey?



Marie Swift is President and CEO of Impact Communications, a full-service marketing communications firm serving a select group of independent financial advisors and allied institutions.

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