So, what actually is pride and why is it a strength?
“Pride - a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired”. Oxford Languages.
In a world just shy of 8 billion, it would make sense that the world’s top realised strength is pride, after all, most people want to do well, don't they?
People who have pride as a top strength genuinely feel good about themselves. They are proud of their personal efforts and in doing a job well.
Seltzer describes pride as a bit of a double-edged sword though, explaining that “true pride is world' apart from false or "hubristic" pride. He explains that a health pride represents a notion of positive self-worth. Individuals with this strength are not satisfied with mediocre, rather striving to get the best out of themselves. These people are high performing and, in career terms, successful. ‘Their sense of self-worth merits being seen as “earned.”’
People who have pride as a strength are in the ‘can do’ bracket. They are inherently positive and inspire and motivate those around them.
People with pride as their strength love to watch others succeed too, be it their children, colleagues, or friends – especially those who have succeeded through determination or hard work.
In a work environment, pride works best when the whole team are driven to the same high standards. Can you imagine how high performing these teams are?!
When would pride be a weakness?
Pride can become a problem when it stops the person from acknowledging their misgivings. In a work context, this could manifest in never admitting to making mistakes and/or apportioning blame on another – neither of which are conducive to a healthy, working environment. Excessive pride can come across as over-confident, arrogant, devaluing of other peoples’ skills and achievements and negative.
Going back to what Seltzer says, ‘true pride is world' apart from false or "hubristic" pride’.
For the individual, it is about knowing when it is a strength and when it is not.
If you want to know more about your own strengths, consider strengths-based coaching. You can also explore our strengths workshops for teams and leaders too.