Being aware of our strengths and weaknesses is crucial for our personal development. Many times on KPI-Life we encouraged you to make a personality test such as Gallup for example, that based on your spontaneous answers to questions and preferences determines your top strengths. But what’s next when we know what we are good at and where is still a potential to growth? Should we rather focus on our strengths or weaknesses?
Strengths and weaknesses – Two different perspectives
There are two contrasting personal development approaches. The conventional approach says that we should keep doing what we are doing well and focus primarily on improving what we are struggling with. The strength-based approach, in contrary, encourages to further develop your strengths and accept and manage the weaknesses so that they have no negative impact on our success. Which model will benefit us more the conventional one or the strength-bases approach?
A study on speed-reading that was conducted at University of Nebraska in 1960 shows an interesting point. They observed two groups on their speed-reading ability. At a starting point, average readers that read 90 words per minute and above-average readers 150 words per image. Both groups participated in a speed-reading course and after taking the course their took another test. It turned out that average readers where able to read around 150 words per minute and the above-average readers were able to read over 2000 words per minute! This shows that if you are talented in something you can master that skill many times more and much quicker than if you would try to master your weakness. Taking all the above into consideration demonstrates that following the strengths-based approach in working on your strengths and weaknesses can benefit you more than the conventional approach.
Tips for implementing the strength-based approach
- Start focusing on what you can do great naturally. Make sure your boss and team members know what your strengths are. Recognize the fact that we all have our special talents and areas that we are good at. For example, one of the my top strengths is ‘positivity‘. I make use of it at work via, i.a.: spreading an optimistic aura, motivating my team, giving an optimistic view on difficult situations.
- Spend more time on discussing your strengths and talents with your boss than weaknesses and failures. Ask yourself: What am I good at? What did go well? What did I achieve?
- Use your strengths at work and in your private life. If you can, delegate tasks that you are not good at, e.g. you don’t know how to cook but you enjoy cleaning, ask your husband to cook and you can take over tidying for him. Or at work, e.g. if creative tasks are not your strength suggest to take over operational activities which you can handle easily.
Have you heard before about the strength-based approach? Are are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses? How do you use this knowledge in your professional and private life? Are your team and boss aware of your strengths? We want to hear from your! Share your thoughts in the comment box under this post or write us a message!