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Character Skills

Horse Feathers TLC understands the importance of building good character. It is our ultimate goal to incorporate character skills into all our programs. We support and recognize these 49 characters skills.

Alertness
"Being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses."
Action Steps:

  • Keep my eyes and ears open
  • Recognize and heed warning signals
  • Choose to do right before I am tempted
  • Tell others of danger
  • Stay away from unsafe places

Attentiveness
"Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration."
Action Steps:

  • Look at people when they speak to me
  • Ask questions if I don't understand
  • Sit or stand upright
  • Not draw attention to myself
  • Keep my eyes, ears, hands, feet and mouth from distractions

Availability
"Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve."
Action Steps:

  • Put others ahead of myself
  • Find a way to help, not a way to hide
  • Be ready when I'm called
  • Be glad for the chance to serve
  • Check with the right person before I make commitments

Benevolence
"Giving to others' basic needs without having as my motive personal reward."
Action Steps:

  • See the needs of others as quickly as I see my own
  • Give freely without expecting anything in return
  • Not hoard things for myself
  • Not profit from the misfortunes of others
  • Give more as I get more

Boldness
"Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right and just."
Action Steps:

  • Not be afraid to speak the truth
  • Keep a clear conscience
  • Support others when they are right
  • Be willing to stand alone
  • Speak with humility

Cautiousness
"Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions."
Action Steps:

  • Think before I act
  • Follow safety rules
  • Ask permission
  • Talk at the right time
  • Look out for danger

Compassion
"Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others."
Action Steps:

  • Stop to help
  • Listen when others want to talk
  • Give of my resources to help those in need
  • Look for lasting solutions
  • Comfort others without regard to race, gender, faith, age, or nationality

Contentment
"Realizing that true happiness does not depend on material conditions."
Action Steps:

  • Be thankful for what I do have
  • Not complain about what I don't have
  • Not always ask for "one more"
  • Value people above things
  • Want less and give more

Creativity
"Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective."
Action Steps:

  • Use my talents for good
  • See things from more than one perspective
  • Use principles to solve problems
  • Learn all I can
  • Look for new ways to be a person of character

Decisiveness
"The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions."
Action Steps:

  • Not look back
  • Do what I say
  • Make the right decision and stick to it
  • Look at things from more than one point of view before making up my mind
  • Not give in to peer pressure

Deference
"Limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me."
Action Steps:

  • Notice those around me
  • Respect the feelings of others
  • Not use offensive language
  • Not play loud music in public
  • Be careful how I dress

Dependability
"Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice."
Action Steps:

  • Keep my word
  • Be careful what I promise
  • Correct my mistakes
  • Pull my share of the load
  • Not have a bad attitude

Determination
"Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition."
Action Steps:

  • Set goals
  • Make sure my goals are right
  • Ignore distractions
  • Not be discouraged by others
  • Face problems head-on

Diligence
"Investing my time and energy to complete each task assigned to me."
Action Steps:

  • Finish my projects
  • Do a job right
  • Follow instructions
  • Concentrate on my work
  • Not be lazy

Discernment
"Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen."
Action Steps:

  • Ask questions
  • Not judge hastily
  • Learn from experience
  • Not repeat mistakes
  • Trace problems to their causes

Discretion
"Recognizing and avoiding words, actions and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences."
Action Steps:

  • Choose my words carefully
  • Practice good manners
  • Listen to criticism
  • Not make fun of others
  • Turn down any invitation to do wrong

Endurance
"The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best."
Action Steps:

  • Not be a "quitter"
  • Accept both instruction and correction
  • Not waste my time, energy and talent on meaningless pursuits
  • Bend instead of break
  • Put my whole heart into everything I do

Enthusiasm
"Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort."
Action Steps:

  • Be an energy-giver to others
  • Smile
  • Treat every job as important
  • Put my whole heart into what I do
  • Not be discouraged by failure

Faith
"Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how."
Action Steps:

  • Expect the best
  • Make right choices based on principles of character rather than whims of circumstance
  • Believe the truth and reject a lie
  • Not take things for granted
  • Trust those who have proven character

Flexibility
"Willingness to change plans or ideas according to the direction of my authorities."
Action Steps:

  • Not get upset when plans change
  • Respect the decisions of my authorities
  • Not be stubborn
  • Look for good in changes
  • Not compromise what is right

Forgiveness
"Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge."
Action Steps:

  • Be quick to forgive
  • Not cover up my own wrongs but will be quick to ask forgiveness
  • Not seek revenge
  • Respond kindly to those who hurt me
  • Not take up offenses for others

Generosity
"Carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need."
Action Steps:

  • Share what I have with others
  • Recycle
  • Not expect anything in return for my generosity
  • Give of my time and talents
  • Praise the good I see in others

Gentleness
"Showing consideration and personal concern for others."
Action Steps:

  • Show good manners
  • Reject violence as a solution to my problems
  • Look for ways to ease the pain of others
  • Not annoy or irritate others
  • Be a peacemaker

Gratefulness
"Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefited my life."
Action Steps:

  • Show my parents and teachers that I appreciate them
  • Write "thank you" notes
  • Take care of my things
  • Be content with what I have
  • Count my benefits rather than my burdens

Honor
"Respecting those in leadership because of the higher authorities they represent."
Action Steps:

  • Be attentive to those who lead me
  • Show loyalty to my authorities
  • Speak only the truth
  • Obey cheerfully
  • Give place to those who are older or hold positions of prominence

Hospitality
"Cheerfully sharing food, shelter or conversation to benefit others."
Action Steps:

  • Welcome visitors
  • Make others feel important
  • Prepare for guests
  • Gladly share my things
  • Not expect anything in return

Humility
"Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life."
Action Steps:

  • Praise my parents, teachers, teammates and coaches
  • Not think more highly of myself than I ought to
  • Take responsibility for all my actions
  • Try again after each defeat
  • Give credit to those who have made me successful

Initiative
"Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it."
Action Steps:

  • Do what is right before being told
  • Not put off until tomorrow the things I can do today
  • Contribute to the success of the whole team
  • Be a part of the solution rather than the problem
  • Look for ways to help others

Joyfulness
"Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions."
Action Steps:

  • Look for good in all things
  • Smile at adversity
  • Not give in to discouragement
  • Not allow my emotions to rule my mind
  • Take time out of every day to laugh and to sing

Justice
"Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right and true."
Action Steps:

  • Respect the authority of the law
  • Speak out for what is pure, right and true
  • Never prejudice others
  • Always remain open to reason
  • Keep my own conscience clean

Loyalty
"Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve."
Action Steps:

  • Serve my family and teachers
  • Encourage others in hard times
  • Not mock authorities
  • Point out the good in others
  • Honor my country

Meekness
"Yielding my personal rights and expectations, with a desire to serve."
Action Steps:

  • Be slow to get angry
  • Not boast
  • Not grumble or complain
  • Look for ways to help those in need
  • Be willing to go last

Obedience
"Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the wise direction of those who are responsible for me."
Action Steps:

  • Obey my authorities immediately
  • Have a cheerful attitude
  • Complete all that I am expected to do
  • Not complain
  • Go the "extra mile"

Orderliness
"Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency."
Action Steps:

  • Pick up after myself
  • Keep my work and play areas clean and neat
  • Put things back where they belong
  • Use things only for their intended purpose
  • Return lost things to their rightful owners

Patience
"Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it."
Action Steps:

  • Change the things I can change and accept the things I can't
  • Keep trying until I succeed
  • Make the most of my spare time
  • Not interrupt
  • Not complain if I don't get my way

Persuasiveness
"Guiding vital truths around another's mental roadblocks."
Action Steps:

  • Point others in the right direction
  • Not stretch the truth to make it more attractive
  • Appeal to a person's conscience in terms of character
  • Wait for the best time
  • Not argue

Punctuality
"Showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time."
Action Steps:

  • Be at the right place at the right time
  • Prepare for unexpected delays
  • Do my work ahead of time
  • Plan a daily schedule and keep it
  • Not fall into the trap of "just one more"

Resourcefulness
"Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard."
Action Steps:

  • See values in objects, ideas, and people
  • Repair, reuse, and recycle
  • Make wise use of my time, talents, energy, and mind
  • Give away or sell the things I do not use
  • Not litter

Responsibility
"Knowing and doing what is expected of me."
Action Steps:

  • Keep my promises
  • Not make excuses
  • Do all my work to the best of my ability
  • Make things right when I do wrong
  • Know my duty and do my duty

Security
"Structuring my life around that which cannot be taken away or destroyed."
Action Steps:

  • Not worry or fret
  • Look to my authorities for protection
  • Correct unsafe conditions
  • Find peace of mind in a clear conscience rather than personal comfort
  • Not meddle in the concerns of others

Self-Control
"Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right."
Action Steps:

  • Not act impulsively
  • Not equate desires with rights
  • Set my own limits
  • See my anger as a sign that something is wrong in me
  • Walk away from things that aren't right

Sensitivity
"Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me."
Action Steps:

  • Listen to others fully
  • Watch facial expressions
  • Notice tone of voice
  • Put myself in others' shoes
  • Show that I care

Sincerity
"Eagerness to do what is right, with transparent motives."
Action Steps:

  • Be all that I can be
  • Take responsibility for my own actions
  • Respect others' opinions
  • Always mean what I say
  • Not take advantage of other people

Thoroughness
"Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words, if neglected."
Action Steps:

  • Plan my work
  • Pay attention to details
  • Make a list so I don't forget
  • Finish what I start
  • Clean up before I quit

Thriftiness
"Allowing myself and others to spend only what is necessary."
Action Steps:

  • Save more and spend less
  • Make good use of what I already have
  • Look for the best value
  • Budget my money, time, and energy
  • Not confuse what I need with what I want

Tolerance
"Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development."
Action Steps:

  • Not confuse what is right with what is popular
  • Expect the same of myself as I expect others
  • Look for ways to help others mature
  • Accept my own unchangeables and the unchangeables of others
  • Listen before I form an opinion

Truthfulness
"Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts."
Action Steps:

  • Tell the truth
  • Encourage others to be truthful
  • Not cheat or steal
  • Admit when I am wrong
  • Not exaggerate to make things seem different from what they are

Virtue
"The moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right."
Action Steps:

  • Do what is right and encourage others to do the same
  • Guard my eyes, ears, words, and thoughts
  • Learn to stand alone
  • Abstain from anything which might damage or pollute my mind or body
  • Treat others as I would want them to treat me

Wisdom
"Making practical applications of truth in daily decisions."
Action Steps:

  • Listen to my parents and teachers
  • Learn from correction
  • Choose my friends carefully

Developmental Assets

Horse Feathers TLC knows what kids need for positive development. This is why we recognize and support these 40 developmental Assets. There are four separate lists of development assets, based on age. Here are links to them:

Remember there are consequences to all my actions. Ask, "What is the right thing to do?"