Character Science | The Science Of Character

Serious Character Science, Playfully Deployed

Research published in peer-reviewed, scientific journals has demonstrated that character strengths have robust relationships with important outcomes. Character influences well-being, work performance, and other outcomes of interest for both individuals, teams, and organizations.


Developing character strengths has serious benefits.*

  • Better work performance (task performance, creative performance, job dedication
  • Higher ROI
  • Higher engagement
  • Higher job satisfaction
  • Lower stress
  • Higher Well-being

Learn more about character science

Why should you care about character in business?

Strong character strengths result in better ROA, more engaged employees, and more satisfied and loyal customers. In Return On Character, Fred Kiel found that companies led by CEOs with strong character outperform those led by CEOs with weak character in the following ways:

  • A five times higher Return on Assets (ROA)
  • Greater individual employee engagement
  • Approximately 20% more job pride and satisfaction
  • Higher customer satisfaction: Leading the Customer Satisfaction Index versus coming in last

Finally, Tilt’s character science research shows that developing balance in the 12 character strengths of the Tilt model transforms team climates with the psychological ingredients to optimize productivity, creativity, and innovation. To learn more about our science, submit a request for our technical reports here.

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The Tilt Framework

The Tilt framework delineates 12 key character strengths and shows how these strengths are interrelated. Strengths in the same quadrant are strongly related and combine to describe one of four meta-strengths: Resilience, Courage, Wisdom, and Humanity.

Character strengths in opposite quadrants are counterbalances to each other. There is a common misconception that more is better when it comes to character strengths, but both too much and too little utilization of a character strength can be detrimental. Using character strengths in a balanced way yields positive outcomes, while both overuse and underuse can lead to negative outcomes.

Overuse and underuse can be counteracted by having a balanced amount of a strength and the strength shown opposite in the model. For example, overusing integrity can lead to being rigid and unbending, which is detrimental to likability.

Likewise, overusing likability and deferring to what everyone else wants is detrimental to integrity. Balance in all 12 character strengths is key for agility.

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Reliable and valid assessments that encourage human innovation

The True Tilt Personality Profile and the Tilt 365 Positive Influence Predictor have undergone rigorous psychometric evaluation and have shown evidence for reliability and validity. In addition, the assessments are continuously being revised, improved, and re-evaluated. Click here to learn more about the science of character!

Character science research using the Tilt Framework has shown that when leaders have balanced character strengths they encourage a team climate conducive to creativity, innovation, and change. This team climate is a necessary precursor for team agility.

* References

1. Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2014). The role of character strengths for task performance, job dedication, interpersonal facilitation, and organizational support. Human Performance, 27, 183-205. doi:10.1080/08959285.2014.913592

2. Kalyar, M. N., & Kalyar, H. (2018). Provocateurs of creative performance: Examining the roles of wisdom character strengths and stress. Personnel Review, 47(2), 334-352.

3. Lavy, S., & Littman-Ovadia, H. (2016). My better self: Using strengths at work and work productivity, organizational citizenship behavior, and satisfaction. Journal of Career Development, 1-15. doi:10.1177/0894845316634056

4. Kiel, F. (2015). Return on character: The real reason leaders and their companies win. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

5. Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2013). The application of signature character strengths and positive experiences at work. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 965-983. doi:10.1007/s10902-012-9364-0

6. Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2015). The relationships of character strengths with coping, work-related stress, and job satisfaction. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 165. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00165

7. Goodman, F. R., Disabato, D. J., Kashdan, T. B., & Kauffman, S. B. (2017). Measuring well-being: A comparison of subjective well-being and PERMA. 321-332 Journal of Positive Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2017.1388434

8. Freidlin, P., Littman-Ovadia, H., & Niemiec, R. M. (2017). Positive psychopathology: Social anxiety via character strengths underuse and overuse. Personality and Individual Differences, 108, 50-54. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2016.12.003

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