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Do You Focus More on Your Weaknesses or Your Strengths?

Do You Focus More on Your Weaknesses or Your Strengths?

I'm a huge fan ofĀ personal developmentā€”because that's what self-leadership is all aboutā€”but there's definitely a tendency to focus a lot of time on our weak areas, instead of improving upon our strengths.

I've got my own share of weaknesses, just like everyone else. It's a constant battle to stay humble, and I'm prone to working too much without leaving enough time for family or rest.

I need to work on that.

How many times have you heard that phrase? “I need to work on that.”

It'sĀ usually true, especially when it comes to our faults that affect others the most. We need to work on that.

But people focus an incredible amount of time and effort on improving theirĀ weaknesses when they would be better off focusing on their strengths.

I'm not asking you to ignoreĀ your shortcomingsā€”that would not be wise. But as my wife so simply putĀ it,Ā “Trying to lead with your weaknesses is like trying to write with your left hand.”

“‘Trying to lead with your weaknesses is like trying to write with your left hand.' – @TheRachelMeese”

You can work on your weaknesses all you likeā€”and you just might improve a little. But what if, instead, you focused on growing your strengths?

That's the central theme of StrengthsFinders 2.0, a Gallup book by Tom Rath about finding what it is you do best (and doing more of that).

The bookĀ comes with access to a survey, which is designed to identifyĀ your top five strengths.

Once you know these strengths, you can lean on themĀ to compensate for the weaknesses you might otherwise have displayed.

IĀ took StrengthsFinders 2.0Ā for the first time only months ago, and my results helped me better understand who I am and who I may become.

Here are my top five strengths:

  1. Strategic.Ā This strength is what allows me to sort through massive amounts of information and pull out key points or facts while mentally discarding the irrelevant. I see patterns and systems where others might see unrelated facts.
  2. Individualization. I'm intrigued by the unique qualities of each person, and gain satisfaction from helping other people succeed. Once I get to know someone, I can often predict how they'll react in a given situation.
  3. Achiever.Ā I like lists. I like goals. I take satisfaction in being productive (though not for productivity's sake alone). I'm constantly looking to leaveĀ a positive influence on an individual, culture, orĀ world.
  4. Belief.Ā I'm driven by a set of core values that don't reallyĀ change, and together these values form a purpose for my life. I can envision a futureĀ without the problems we have now, and I'm always looking for ways to help us grow closer to that world.
  5. Responsibility.Ā I hold myself accountableĀ for my goals, values, and results. I work harder and achieve more, whenever high expectations are set (even if I'm the only one who set them in the first place).

“Once you know your strengths, you can embrace themā€”and be confident in who you truly are.”

Question:Ā Have you taken the StrengthsFinders assessmentĀ before? What were your results?