Qualities play an important role in the field of positive psychology. Everyone has his / her own qualities. Often there are some qualities that you are aware of. But you also can have qualities that are so normal to you that you don’t even notice them anymore. Qualities, however, are not objective traits, they depend on a person and a context. What one sees as “direct”, can be seen as “blunt” or “tactless” behaviour by someone else. Do you know what your qualities are? And to use them to your advantage? Keep on reading to discover your qualities. We will provide you with guidelines on how you can best use your character traits in your daily life and it will also help you to better understand the behaviour of others.

Core quadrant of Daniël Ofman

The core quadrant of Daniël Ofman shows that qualities can be experienced both positively and negatively. In addition, the core quadrant also provides tools for correcting qualities that are too much of a good thing (pitfalls) and at the same time you learn from the qualities that others possess, something that is seen as important from the perspective of positive psychology.



  • A quality is a positive trait. Core qualities are often qualities that show who you are, but you can also develop these. Let’s take the quality “responsible” as an example:
  • Strong qualities often also have a pitfall; you are going too far in the quality that you have. The pitfall of the quality ‘responsible’ could be: taking on too many responsibilities, causing you to become unbalanced or unable to perform your own responsibilities properly because you already have too much on your plate.
  • To get back to your quality from your pitfall, it is important to be balanced again. You do this by taking on your challenge. For example if you take too much responsibility, then your challenge can be to make other people take more responsibility.
  • People who go too far in your challenge are probably people who are in your allergy. You probably have a difficult relationship with them. In this example that would be: the person who shifts responsibility to others. He / she let others take full responsibility.

How do you fill in the core quadrant?

The great thing about the core quadrant is that you can start anywhere. For example, you can see what quality is behind the pitfall and how you can balance it again. But you can also use it to learn what your own qualities are behind the allergies that you have for others. The people who are in your allergy have probably already mastered a quality that you have as a challenge! For example, you have a colleague who you cannot stand because she is very patronising, she is in your allergy. You can fill in a core quadrant for yourself. For instance:

  • Allergy: patronising
  • Quality: Being very formal (what is the positive opposite? In other words: what quality does the colleague lack?)
  • Pitfall: Distant appearance (what happens if I am too formal/ distant)
  • Challenge: Be careful (what more do I have to do to make myself appear to be less distant / formal?)
  • Allergy: patronising – what happens if you are too caring?

Fill in the core quadrant for someone else

You can also fill in the same core quadrant for your colleague. The allergy that you have for someone else is probably their pitfall (at least in your opinion). In the previous example that could be:

  • Pitfall colleague (according to you): patronising
  • Challenge colleague (according to you): a distant approach
  • Suspected allergy from a colleague (and probably your pitfall): detachment
  • Suspected quality of colleague (and probably your challenge): caring

As you can see in these examples, the people in your allergy often have the trait which you are lacking in abundance. They are therefore also the people from whom you can learn to see how you can apply and develop that characteristic more. For example, if your pitfall is that you take too much responsibility, go and look at people who barely take responsibility! Maybe they have some convenient ways of not taking the responsibility for once, but leaving it to others!

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