Core Quality Framework

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The Core Quality Framework (created by Daniel Ofman) provides a way of assessing your strengths and weaknesses in relationship to each other. It frames your weaknesses as your strengths taken to an extreme.

To use it, you fill in the four boxes below by answering the following questions:

  • What is your core quality? Brainstorm a list of your core qualities in the top-left box, then highlight the one you want to focus on.
  • What does too much of your core quality look like? This is your pitfall. Put it in the top-right box.
  • What is the positive opposite of your pitfall? This is your challenge, an area of potential personal development and growth.
  • What is your challenge taken to an extreme? This is your allergy, and it speaks to why your challenge is a challenge in the first place — you don't want to behave in a way to which you're allergic. This should also be the negative opposite of your core quality.

Core Quality

Too much of a good thing


negative opposite

positive opposite


Too much of a good thing



Let's say that one of your biggest strengths (i.e. your core quality) is that you are a unifier.

Your pitfall is your core quality taken to an extreme, which might be described as people-pleasing.

The positive opposite (i.e. your challenge) of people-pleasing might be staying true to myself.

Your allergy is your challenge taken to an extreme, which might be described as inflexibility. This could also be seen as the negative opposite of your core quality, being a unifier.

Core Quality Pitfall


Too much of a good thing


negative opposite

positive opposite
Allergy Challenge


Too much of a good thing

Staying true to myself

If this rings true to you, it speaks to a potential focus for personal development, which is staying true to yourself. It also helps explain why you find this so challenging — because you're allergic to people who are inflexible, and you don't want to cross that line.


This is a great framework to use for your own personal development. It can be particularly powerful when used with a team (as a type of 360 feedback exercise), because your team may see different strengths and weaknesses than you see in yourself. Because it's strength-based, it also helps open people up to feedback.

One way to do use this as a team is to:

  1. Have everyone fill out a Core Quality Framework for themselves and every other member of the team.
  2. Make sure every member of the team has all of their filled-out frameworks (one they did for themselves and ones filled out by every other member of the team).
  3. For each member, celebrate their core strengths. Tell stories and provide context, including naming what rings true and what doesn't. Brainstorm practices that might help that member with their Challenge.
  4. Each member picks which Core Quality and Challenge they're going to focus on and commits to a set of practices.

See Also