VIA Institute and Wholebeing Institute Partner to Offer Professionals Complimentary Course on Character Strengths Approach

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Wholebeing Institute and VIA Institute on Character recently announced a partnership to offer professionals a free online course on approaches to working with character strengths.

Wholebeing Institute and VIA Institute on Character recently announced a partnership to offer professionals a free online course on approaches to working with character strengths. Created by the world’s leading experts, including Wholebeing Institute co-founder Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, and VIA Institute's Education Director Dr. Ryan Niemiec, this free course shows how to use the VIA Survey assessment in coaching, leading, or teaching to foster engagement and well-being in individuals, teams, schools, and organizations.

“Cultivating a Character Strengths Focus” runs from July-November, with one live webinar per month along with recommended reading, reflections, and suggested action plans to implement a strengths-based focus professionally. For more information or to register, visit

"Focusing on character strengths brings out the best in people," says Megan McDonough, CEO of Wholebeing Institute. "By partnering with VIA—the world's leading organization on character strengths—we can teach professionals how to apply the survey in a business, training, or coaching relationship, making a positive difference in people's lives individually and organizationally."

“For the first time in history, we have a common language for discussing what is best in us,” says Dr. Ryan Niemiec, Education Director of the VIA Institute. “These 24 character strengths are at the core of who we are as human beings. Learning this groundbreaking language, and the latest science and tools surrounding it, strengthens us both personally and professionally. It enables us to reach what was previously unreachable, to break barriers and to really connect with our clients, students, and employees.”

Taught by leading experts in their respective fields, this five-part course includes: “Your Professional Strengths-Building Toolbox” by Dr. Ryan M. Niemiec, Education Director at VIA; “Coaching for Positive Change—Building on Strengths, Stories, and Success” by Lynda Wallace, certified positive psychology coach; “Strengths in Action for Transformational Training” by Dr. Maria Sirois, PsyD, Vice President of Curriculum at Wholebeing Institute; “Strengths-Based Leadership” by Megan McDonough, co-founder and CEO of Wholebeing Institute; and “Character Strengths for Wholebeing” by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, co-founder and Chief Learning Officer of Wholebeing Institute.

Wholebeing Institute is an educational organization committed to spreading ideas and practices that help individuals and groups live life to the fullest. The term “wholebeing” is a synthesis of two words: whole person and well-being. To lead a full and fulfilling life, to enjoy a deep and lasting sense of well-being, it is necessary to take a person’s full nature into consideration—spiritually, physically, intellectually, relationally, and emotionally. These essentials create the acronym SPIRE, which is the cornerstone of the WBI curriculum.

Established as a non-profit organization in 2000, the VIA Institute on Character continues to advance both the science and practice of character by studying, teaching, and disseminating best practices in strengths. VIA strives to “bring strengths to the world” and help people cultivate greater virtue through wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Its VIA Survey has been taken by over 2.6 million people in 193 countries and over 20 languages, resulting in better workplaces, schools, teams, practitioners, and lives the world over.

Both institutions are grounded in the principles of Positive Psychology—the scientific study of strengths and virtues. For more information about Cultivating a Character Strengths Focus, visit For more on the VIA Institute on Character, visit

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