When I first started this series, I mentioned that I’d previously run it on Facebook over a couple of weeks. As I was carrying out my research, (yes, I do that), I happened upon a website called
16 Personalities. Actually, no I didn’t, it’s on the image to the right of this text.
Anyway, I had a look at the site and got so caught up in taking the test and reading my results that I actually forgot to write anything for this post, (on Facebook).
The “Featured Image” on this post is a screenshot of my results. I found the whole exercise very interesting, and I’d love to say it was flawlessly accurate. However, although the report was very accurate, the email which came in after the fact was, I remember, rather inaccurate.
I’d recommend giving it a go to anyone even remotely interested. Just keep in mind that humans are complex creatures, and no one can fit completely into any one category without something ‘sticking out’ as different in some way or other.
So, about building on one’s strengths.
There is much speculation, and opinion, around the inter-web as to whether it is more important to build on your strengths or to build on your weaknesses.
The reasoning behind the ‘build on strengths camp’ is that it is far easier to build on one’s strengths because you can improve a great deal more by starting with what you’re best at and, as a result, getting better. Those in the ‘strengthen weaknesses camp’ say that there is a “gap” that needs to be either closed or maintained, (as opposed to widened by working on strengths only), thereby finding some balance.
Today, therefore, I think I’ll take the middle ground and suggest a couple of ways to work on both strengths and weaknesses.
It probably goes without saying that in order to work on a weakness, it has to be recognised as a weakness. Think of areas that have presented challenges to you in the past. For example, someone may have pointed out to you that you put things off until the last minute.
Try a little re-framing. If you procrastinate, are you spending time thinking about solutions to problems before you tackle them?
My wife brought home some laminate flooring for our relatively small kitchen a few years back. That flooring lay in the hall for at least 6 weeks before I tackled the job. It went well. I’ll never know if I’d tackled it right away, would the job have been done with the same ease and, (almost), perfection?
Likewise, if you are quiet and reserved, might this not mean that you are a good listener?
Turn these new perspectives into strengths. If you procrastinate, spend some time actively thinking about a solution to a problem or issue you have. If you are quiet and reserved, spend some time actively listening to others whom are expressing an issue. You might even, at some point, become the person that others come to for advice because you listen well and have become good at coming up with answers to problems.
Use calendars, lists and to-dos. These are great for getting organised if you have difficulties in that area. Also, try writing a To-DON’T list. A list of things that you are determined NOT to do. To state the obvious, you’ll need to keep that handy, at your desk or somewhere you know you’ll see it AND REFER TO AND STICK TO IT.
As creatures of habit, sticking to changes in our habits and routines does not come easy for humans. We tend to revert back to our old ways if we don’t make effort to keep up the work we set for ourselves.
Another way to identify your weaknesses is to think about which situations you tend to avoid. And, conversely, when you can identify what you enjoy doing, or situations you feel happy and powerful, right there you could identify at least one of your strengths.
In conclusion, yes, build on your strengths. But don’t put yourself down or feel bad about your so-called weaknesses. Turn your identified weaknesses into strengths by turning them around and thinking about them from a new perspective. Remain teachable and evolve. Be open to new experiences and, as you grow, you will change. Your strengths, weaknesses and skills will change.
Embrace that constant change and don’t be afraid of the future.
What about you; can you identify one of your own weaknesses that you’ve managed to reframe? What strengths are you building on?