Recently, there has been a good deal of buzz in the business community about focusing on your areas of strength rather than being concerned about your areas of personal weakness. I completely agree that a focus on your areas of strength will bring you greater opportunities for contribution and being involved with work you actually love. But in my experience, entirely ignoring your areas of weakness opens the door to possible mistakes and oversights that can impact your success and career long term. On this episode of The Success Talk Show, I explain 7 strategies to help you effectively address areas of personal weakness so that you can make the greatest contribution possible by maximizing your areas of strength.
What should you do about your areas of weakness?
When coaches and leaders talk about focusing on your areas of strength they are trying to address the tendency many of us have to obsess over areas of weakness. But the reality is that all of us have got to pay attention to our areas of weakness so they don’t hinder us in our productivity or overall success. It’s my opinion that you should address your areas of weakness, but that doesn’t always mean working hard to compensate for them. There are other ways you can address them that are much more effective and take much less of your mental bandwidth. This episode is devoted to showing you some of the strategies you can use to do exactly that. I hope you take the time to listen.
Addressing areas of personal weakness is not about what you like to do, it’s about contribution
I’ve heard many people say that you need to operate in your areas of strength because those are the areas that bring you the most satisfaction. It is true that the areas you are strong in will bring a greater sense of personal fulfillment, but that is not the bottom line reason why you need to focus on your main areas of gifting. Your focus should be about something bigger than yourself, about the contribution you make to the overall team and the world as a whole. In this episode, I make the distinction between those two mindsets in a way that will help you address the problem more effectively so that you can find the right solutions to fit your situation. I found it to be a very helpful concept and believe you will also.
Once you are clear on your weaknesses you’ve got to learn how to say “No.”
In my 7 step process for identifying and dealing with your areas of personal weakness, I walk you through how to identify the areas of weakness that you want to address. But once you are aware of what they are, you have to do something about them. One of the most effective ways of avoiding situations where your personal weaknesses will be most glaring is to learn how to effectively say “No” to opportunities where your weaknesses will be highlighted. In this episode, I describe a few situations from my experience where I had to learn how to say “No” to opportunities that didn’t fit my skill set and strengths. I hope my example will help you gain the wisdom and courage to keep yourself out of situations that highlight your weaknesses.
Delegating is not always a one-way street
One of the most effective ways to deal with your areas of weakness is to learn the skill of delegation. But when we think about delegation we don’t always consider that it could be a two-way street. What I mean is that delegation is not only about passing the tasks you are weak at to someone else, it is also an opportunity for you to help them operate in their areas of greatest strength. You can do that by sometimes taking on projects they may be saddled with that are more suited to your skill set. It’s a careful balance but one that can create a greater sense of fulfillment and purpose within your team, not to mention greater impact. On this episode, I explain how you can take this approach to delegation and make your entire team a more effective, happier group of people to work with.
Outline of This Episode
- [0:42] Why I’m talking about 7 strategies to address your weaknesses
- [2:23] The reason it’s vital to address your personal weaknesses
- [2:51] STRATEGY 1: Get clear on what your weaknesses are
- [4:56] STRATEGY 2: Evaluate the percent of time you spend on areas of weakness
- [6:27] STRATEGY 3: Choose the areas of weakness you are most motivated to address
- [10:14] STRATEGY 4: Where you are able to do so, learn to say “No”
- [11:39] STRATEGY 5: Delegate away from your areas of personal weakness
- [13:52] STRATEGY 6: Collaborate to work alongside those who complement you
- [16:32] STRATEGY 7: Assess new opportunities in light of your personal weaknesses
Resources & People Mentioned
- Episode 7: Emotional Intelligence: What Every Leader Must Know
- Episode 27: Delegating to Improve Your Brand and Increase Engagement
- Donna Ceriani on LinkedIn
- MyOwnSuccessCompass.com – find out more about my coaching and courses