What are your strengths?
For most people, you might think your strengths are those things co-workers, family and friends mention when they say your name. “Oh, I love Kevin. He’s so smart.” You probably know what your strengths are and just never took a moment to admit them out loud. But, play along. What would you say are your top three strengths when it comes to work?
Maybe you’re extremely organized and punctual.
Maybe you’re an excellent speaker or a great note-taker during meetings.
Maybe you work brilliantly alone and consider yourself quite independent.
I bet you’re a leader and can gather people together easily and get them to work on a project flawlessly, under budget and on-time.
Whatever your strengths are, consider this: our strengths tend to also be our weaknesses.
I know! Mind. Blown!
In my experience, it tends to be true. Maybe not 100% of the time, but more likely than not. If you think about it, it makes sense. If you’re someone who is organized and punctual, you may not be as comfortable working in a crazed unorganized environment. Being extremely organized can be a great thing, but when things aren’t in regular order, you may not fare as well. Chaos is not your friend.
The more we understand what we’re good at and embrace what we’re not so great at, the easier it is to facilitate our work environments and also our lives to have a better chance at succeeding. If we can embrace our strengths and acknowledge our weaknesses, we can only do better as individuals because we have more information and understand ourselves better. Information is power, especially when it’s information about our own selves.
More importantly, if we notice that our co-workers (and all people in our lives for that matter) have strengths as well as faults, we may be more apt to deal with situations that occur far better. For example, if we know someone is not a great leader, then we won’t set them up to fail by putting them in positions that require them to lead. We acknowledge that their strength is working and getting things done skillfully in a group supportive setting instead of harping on the fact that they don’t do well as the person in charge.
Whether you’re the boss, receptionist, executive, mail room clerk, or whomever, no one is perfect at everything. We all have strengths and weaknesses and acknowledging that alone will change your whole perspective on how you treat yourself and just as important, how you treat others.
So, look at your strengths again. Now name your top three weaknesses. Is there a connection?