You need to know your weaknesses to boost your success
“Focus on your strengths” has been the mantra for the past decade when it comes to advancing professionally and, while it’s sound advice, focusing solely on your strengths can potentially create an imbalance in your performance at the workplace. work.
Let’s say your strength is collaboration, but your weakness is standing up for yourself. While you focus on being a contributing member of a work team, you risk not getting promoted because you haven’t improved your self-promotion skills. You may be the best cheerleader in the world, but that could ultimately hurt you as you build your executive presence.
If you have a strong right arm and a very weak left arm, you will always prefer your strong arm to carry something heavy. Over time, you may twist your back because you put too much weight on one side of your body.
The same logic applies to our personalities when it comes to strengths and weaknesses. If you overlook your weaknesses, they will eventually overshadow your strengths. Your weakness can become your Achilles heel.
Focusing on your weakness is strength in disguise
The willingness to accept your weaknesses in the interest of self-improvement is actually a life force. It will play a central role in your personal and professional success.
Seek and welcome feedback on areas that might need improvement. Even if you disagree with the comments you receive, the ability to simply consider them, to openly receive the comments, to think in your head as a possibility, shows great strength and humility.
When a person cannot tolerate any criticism or accept that they may be weak in an area, it creates a barrier for themselves and for those with whom they interact, both personally and professionally.
Keep an open mind and play the role of curious observer as you get to know each other.
It can be embarrassing to admit that you are short in certain areas. Negative emotions can come up. Allow them. Don’t get attached to them.
Negative emotions come and go, but they stay when given attention. If you hear something you don’t like, listen to it and think about it if you don’t completely agree at first.
How to turn your weakness into strength
The good news: science has taught us that we are constantly building neural connections. We have the ability to grow and evolve. We have the ability to develop our weaknesses.
However, you must first know what your weaknesses are. The best resource for discovering where you need improvement is people who know you well.
- Do a mini 360: Ask people who know you personally and professionally: what do you think are my strengths and weaknesses? Knowing how you stand out may shock you (it might not), but you want to have that knowledge under your belt. You may think you’re the best communicator in the world, but if everyone around you sees you as a poor communicator, you’re a poor communicator and you need to work on it. Be open to the fact that you are not perfect.
- Practice the skill. Just as you unintentionally practice your strengths (such as favoring your strong arm), you need to start building your weaker muscles. Real practice goes hand in hand with real-time feedback, so be honest with people around you (professionally and personally) about what you’re working on and get real-time feedback.
- Hire a trainer. If your business is ready, maybe it will pay. Otherwise, invest in yourself. A good coach will keep you on track, provide feedback and objectivity about your progress. It’s great to have someone in your corner who supports you at the same time and doesn’t let you down.
- Look for someone whose strength is your weakness. Model their behavior. Ask for advice/coaching etc. Maybe it was once a weakness for them and they found a loophole to turn it into a strength. Maybe one of your strengths is their weakness and you can mutually benefit from each other.
- Attend a training workshop specific to the weakness you want to work on. You might walk away with tools you can use and responsible partners. Plus, it might reassure you to meet other people who are in the same boat as you.
- Be upfront with people about what you’re working on. One of the best things you can do is be open and honest about what you’re working on (if you have a psychologically safe work environment and home environment) so that the people you’re close with can provide insights. comments at the time regarding competence. you work on development.
Commit to yourself
In 2022, make a commitment: not only will you continue to develop your strengths, but you will adopt a growth mindset to work on your weaknesses.
I’m not suggesting ignoring your strengths. Knowing your strengths is important to excel in life. Your strengths will most likely allow you to be hired and promoted; if you are an entrepreneur, these will be the fundamental skills to build your business.
But it is also crucial to know what your weaknesses are. If you focus only on your strengths, only your strengths will improve, while your weaknesses will atrophy.
It’s not about fighting and/or feeling less than. It’s about development. It’s about accepting rather than denying. It’s about realizing your creative and human potential.