How frustrating is it when you trip over your own weakness?
When you truly know and own your strengths and weaknesses you are armed with a deep understanding of yourself and how you function. When you understand your strengths, you remain in control of your perfect choices. You are able to clarify your goal, create an effective plan to reach your vision, and construct a strategy to address issues before they happen.
Taking an honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses is an important key in your journey of self-development. To start, let’s take a different view of how you and others perceive the value of your individuality.
The Annual Performance Review Fallacy
Any of you who have worked in a corporate position has had to sit through the annual performance review. Typically, there is a section about your weakness and steps you should take to improve in this area. I have found that this section was always the same for me. This is my weakness for goodness sake, and this will never change.
Given that this area is not your strong point, business can use this information in a variety of ways. It can be used as leverage to remove you from your position or block a promotion or it can be used as an area of awareness with steps taken to minimize the impact.
Here’s an example. I am dyslexic, and this is something I have dealt with my entire life. I have worked for employers who have ridden me on this, creating frustration and diminishing my focus on what I did bring to the organization. And then I have had employers who recognize this, and we put into place an editing process to minimize the impact because what I write is powerful.
Maximize Your Strengths
Think of your time and energy as though it were money. How should you choose to spend the next dollar? When you spend this on your gifts (strengths) you become even better, even stronger, and even more confident in your abilities and chances are your dollar (strength) will grow. When you focus on your weaknesses, you dilute your strengths, weakening your dollar and your spending ability.
When I was searching for corporate work, early in my career, I used a method to identify my perfect company. It is called force field analysis. On the one side I listed my likes and motivators throughout my life and on the other side I listed things that just do not work for me. This resulted in creating a corporate avatar, the company profile of values I did and did not want. This also highlighted what I brought to an organization and why we were the perfect fit.
I used this approach for my employees as well when it was “annual review” time. I needed to know the gaps in our ability, so I could hire accordingly. The team worked like a puzzle, all pieces unique yet together created the perfect picture, leveraging the abilities of each individual, honoring their strengths.
Through your journey of self-development, you will become conscious of your weaknesses. Understand the category these fall into. For example, Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a measure of your emotional weakness and can be (and should be) improved upon. However, your weakness in your innate skillset and characteristics that are uniquely you are areas you are not strong in and can not be changed.
Your weakness is an area of improvement that has the greatest opportunity for growth. NOT SO! You can not be good at everything and you can only be great at a few things.
Knowing your weaknesses gives you additional tools to make choices that are perfect for the individual that is you. You can choose activities that support your abilities and have a more powerful impact on your life. It makes space for those who have the skills you are missing to step up and strengthen their abilities. It helps you avoid the frustration of failure over something you will continually fail at. Where is there purpose in that?
Understand your strengths and weaknesses and take ownership of your choices.
You have the ability to become empowered with maximizing your strengths. You can develop becoming even more conscious of how to make choices that are perfect for you, expanding your capacity for even better results.
If not now, when?
Choose knowing your strengths and weaknesses, or not. Either way, you have chosen.
Gail Kraft, Author, Trainer, Strategist, and Mentor guides her clients in navigating their relationship to life.