Technical Sheet

Activity IdentificationDimensionNumber of ParticipantsDuration (minutes)
4 Character Strengths Cards – SolitaireSELF KNOWLEDGE8 - 1245

The aim of the Activity

To help participants identify and explore their personal Character Strengths and resources.

Gaining insight and knowledge about one’s Character Strengths and resources enhances the possibility to reinforce these. Vocabulary and knowledge of personal Character Strengths are both motivating and useful when trying to create lasting improvements in life.


Print, laminate, and cut out a deck of 24-Character Strengths Cards for each participant.

Link to Character Strengths Cards:

Print handout 4 My Character Strengths ‘Solitaire’
Print a chart from the handout for each participant.

For group work: Print out a full set of cards, chart, and instructions.


  1. Introduce the concept of Character Strengths and present the different strengths on the cards, one by one, to the participants.
  2. Split the participants into groups of 2 or 3. Hand out a set of cards, charts, and instructions for each group. This allows them to share views on, and examples from, strengths from everyday life.
  3. Ask each participant to rank all the cards from ‘most like me’ to ‘least like me’. You may use the guiding questions from the handout instructions to help the participants rank the strengths.
  4. Each participant must find at least 5 to 7 top strengths.
  5. Ranking the strengths makes each participant aware of own personal Character Strengths, which helps create resourceful narratives about opportunities in life. Use the handout to write down the list of their Character Strengths. If possible, ask them to take a picture of their lists (e.g. with a phone) to help them remember.
  6. Ask the participants to present their choices and why they have chosen these strengths.

Observations / Suggestions

This activity may be combined with the VIA profile Character Strengths – online assessment. View the result from the ‘VIA online profile’ and discuss these results in the group, if the two activities have different outcomes. When discussed in pairs/groups, it will enhance the awareness of the others’ strengths.

The results of the two activities can be compared and discussed in the plenum with the guidance of the facilitator. This discussion can be quite interesting, depending on the relationship between the facilitator and participants.

It is also possible to combine this activity with the My Strengths – strengths spotting interview activity.

The images on the Character Strengths Cards can help strengthen the dialogue.

When working with very vulnerable participants be aware that the 24 cards used altogether may be too overwhelming. Please select fewer cards. We suggest that you ask participants to choose the 3-5 most relevant ones and 3-5 least relevant ones.

Source / Links / Further Information

The 24 Character strengths have been found to be universal across religions, cultures, nations, and are considered the ‘basic building blocks’ to a flourishing life. This work is reviewed in the scholarly text, Character Strengths and Virtues (Peterson & Seligman, 2004) and considered relevant in cross-cultural work. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 23, No. 5, 2004, pp. 603-619 provides an overview of the character strengths.