Have you ever been in a situation where a colleague with the least amount of skill to complete specific tasks always volunteers to take the lead on those tasks?
You know, the person who brags that she can get the job done quickly despite history indicating otherwise.
Every time it happens, you sit in silence, wondering how long it’s going to take someone to realize that the task would be completed faster if someone more skilled was selected to take the lead!
We’ve all been there, and we know it’s painful, which is why today we’re continuing our discussion on self-awareness. More specifically, today’s topic is about strengths and weaknesses, and why knowing your strengths and weaknesses is important.
This is the third post in a series of four about self-awareness. If you haven’t already read the other posts, you can read them here:
Who You Need To Know To Be A Strong Leader
Why You Need To Know Your Values & Beliefs
Strengths are the skills and abilities that are easy for you. So when you’re leveraging those skills and abilities you do quite well. Knowing your strengths means you know what activities to engage in that will allow you to shine
Weaknesses are those skills and abilities that don’t come easy to you. When you are using those skills and abilities, you might struggle. Knowing your weaknesses allows you to understand how you can work around them.
Strengths and weaknesses are part of being self-aware. When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can create a development strategy that focuses on your specific development needs.
People often ask me if they should work on their weaknesses, or focus on their strengths?
For me, it depends on the situation. Let me explain.
For example, say you’re a supervisor whose strength is being a cheerleader, but analyzing reports not. If you’re on a team of supervisors, then someone else can be the subject matter expert on analyzing reports while you focus on motivation.
So, in this situation, you have the opportunity to focus on your strengths and avoid your weaknesses. Now that’s not going to last forever, but that’s one of those situations where focusing on your strengths make sense.
As an executive, one of your responsibilities is understanding and managing a profit and loss statement. If you don’t know how to manage a profit and loss statement, then you might have some challenges. You need to understand a profit and loss statement to make effective decisions.
This is a situation where I’d encourage you to develop your weakness. It doesn’t mean you have to become an expert. But it means you should develop your weakness to strengthen your ability to make effective financial decisions.
It’s important to realize that your strengths are the value you bring to the world. Always lead with your strengths. This doesn’t mean avoiding your weaknesses. It means to focus on those activities that allow you to demonstrate your value.
Ask yourself if your position allows you to lead with your strengths. If your position forces you to consistently use your weaknesses, you’re going to struggle, but there is a chance you will see improvement. But, who wants to always focus on developing that which you may never become a strength. Your strengths are those things that come easy to you so sure you’re in a role that allows you to leverage those strengths.
If connecting with people is your strength, what are you doing outside of work to do use your skill? Look to use your strengths in your hobbies, and your interactions with others. Also, look for activities to engage in outside of work that allow you to leverage your strengths.
I don’t necessarily advise that focus on developing your weaknesses or try to get rid of them for that matter. If you can work from a place of strength, then do so. If not addressing your weaknesses is detrimental to your success, I encourage you to focus on your gaps. But, only to the degree that it’s necessary to perform at an acceptable level.
To develop strong self-awareness, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses.
Strengths reflect those things that come easy to you.
Weaknesses are those things that don’t come easy to you.
How you manage your strengths and weaknesses determines your ability to thrive in the world.
Knowing your strengths allows you to engage in activities that will enable you to shine
Knowing your weaknesses will allow you to make decisions on how to compensate for them.
Whether you focus on developing your strengths, or your weaknesses, is up to you.
Lead from your strengths and you will be a rockstar!
Today, you learned about strengths and weaknesses and how they fit in with self-awareness.
I’m not sure if you know how to identify your strengths and weaknesses or how to develop them. If not, I have a solution for you. You have access to a FREE guide called How to Develop Self-awareness. This guide will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, and discover your values and beliefs. It is designed to help you get to know yourself better. Complete the form below and it’ll be sent to your inbox!
I’d also love your feedback on today’s topic. Please leave comments in the comment section letting me know if today’s topic was helpful. If you’d like more information on focusing on your strengths and developing your weaknesses let me know.