Cultivating a Character Strengths Focus

A Free Professional Development Course for Teachers, Coaches, and Leaders
As a manager, coach, consultant, trainer or teacher, highlighting character strengths constructively fosters engagement and well-being in individuals, teams, schools, and organizations. Join us for a free course on using the VIA Survey assessment in your professional work to help others be more creative, productive, and happy. Created in partnership with the world’s leading experts on character strengths at the non-profit VIA Institute on Character and top Wholebeing Institute faculty who are steeped in strengths-based approaches, you’ll learn about the latest science-based tools and strengths practices available today to make a difference in the lives of those you serve—and make your own job easier in the process.

VIA Character Strengths Are “The Backbone of Positive Psychology”
Positive psychology is the scientific study of strengths and virtues, and many other tools and practices, that help people thrive. The landmark book Character Strengths and Virtues by Drs. Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman define 24 universal positive traits—what’s best in you. In this online course consisting of recorded webinars, you’ll understand the importance of spotting signature strengths in others, and how you can help your students, clients, and those you manage see strengths within themselves.


Course Content and Faculty

Your Professional Strengths-Building Toolbox: Understand the science-based tools, practices, and reports through VIA Institute on Character that support your efforts in bringing out the best in others. For leaders, coaches, consultants, trainers and teachers.
ryan.niemiecDr. Ryan M. Niemiec, VIA’s Education Director, is author of several books including Mindfulness and Character Strengths: A Practical Guide to Flourishing. Ryan is a licensed psychologist, certified coach, and international workshop leader. He develops VIA’s courses, reports, and programs and applies strengths as the centerpiece of Character Strengths Coaching. His weekly blog What Matters Most? can be found on Psychology Today.

Coaching for Positive Change—Building on Strengths, Stories, and Success: Weave the science of character strengths with the art of storytelling to help your clients explore the strengths and successes they can build on to successfully pursue new goals for positive change. For coaches, future coaches, and anyone in a coaching/mentoring role.
LyndaLynda Wallace is a Certified Positive Psychology Coach, the author of the bestseller A Short Course in Happiness, the creator of the coach training program at Wholebeing Institute, and a mentor to coaches across the country. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and earned a certificate in Positive Psychology from Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar and certification as a Positive Psychology coach from Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener.

Strengths for Transformational Speaking: Learn to use the science of strength-based tools and practices as a speaker (to improve your own capability) and on behalf of your audience members (to increase their capacity to both learn and transform). For presenters, trainers, lecturers and teachers.
MariaDr. Maria Sirois, PsyD, is the Vice President of Curriculum at Wholebeing Institute and an inspirational speaker, seminar leader, and author who has worked at the intersections of wellness, psychology, and spirituality for nearly 20 years. As a wellness guide, Maria has been invited to keynote throughout the country at conferences for wellness centers, hospitals, hospices, philanthropy, business, academic and corporate institutions, as well as for the general public. Her books include Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith, and Resilience from Children Facing Illness.

Strengths-Based Leadership: Learn to lead with ease as you focus on what others do well, harnessing each person’s signature strength in a collective whole-team approach to forward progress.
MeganMsm-150x150Megan McDonough, CEO of Wholebeing Institute, is the award-winning author of Infinity in a Box and A Minute for Me. Megan uses divergent thinking and creative perspectives to build organizations and networks that harness the best in people for the greatest good. A national media source for Fast Company, Yoga Journal, and Woman’s Day, Megan is an explorer at heart, working with the WBI team to navigate the tricky path from dreaming about the summit to actually climbing the mountain.

Character Strengths for Wholebeing: Learn how a strengths-based approach applies to the whole person using a systems thinking perspective of well-being. This panel discussion with VIA and Wholebeing Institute faculty starts with an overview of wholebeing by positive psychology thought leader Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, followed by a question and answer session.
TalDr. Tal Ben-Shahar, CLO of Wholebeing Institute, is an author and lecturer. He taught one of Harvard’s most popular and life-changing courses on Positive Psychology and is currently teaching at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, where he co-founded The Institute for Positive Psychology in Education. His bestselling books include Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment. He holds a doctorate in organizational behavior and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology from Harvard.



Each webinar within the series has been recorded and is available in the virtual classroom for your convenience.

The course takes place in a “virtual” classroom. After registering for the free course, you’ll receive an email with information on how to log-in to the student-only area. You’ll have all the course material needed in this virtual classroom, including:

  • Recorded webinar access
  • Recommended resources that build on the coursework
  • Suggested homework to strengthen your understanding
  • Digital notebook to keep your ideas electronically organized


Questions? Ask our student support manager.