Are You Relying Too Much On Your Strengths?

A popular notion is that you should only focus on your strengths rather than develop weak spots. Is that the secret of career success?

Of course you need to appreciate your strengths. If you don’t, you can fail to leverage core skills to help you be more effective in your present job and move you toward your next career goal.

On the other hand, certain skills relied upon too heavily can become weaknesses. Being overly decisive, for example, can lead to the impression by others of micromanaging or being too aggressive. Or, not realizing that you need to develop additional skills, can prevent you from being effective. For example, your analytical ability can be a real asset in a technical specialist position. But once you move into management, what becomes much more critical is building and managing relationships. If that is a weak point for you, you can’t afford to ignore it.

Pay Attention to Both Strengths and Weaknesses.

1. Get Informed. Get a clear honest picture.
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? There are a number of ways to get informed; 360-degree assessments, StrengthFinders or direct feedback from your boss and others you work with. This is the first step to positive change.

2. Get Real: Evaluate perceptions.
To what degree does your view of your strengths and weaknesses match how other people see you? If you underrate your abilities, you may be under-performing. If you overrate your abilities – thinking you  re better than you actually are – you may be damaging your effectiveness..

3. Get Moving: Set goals for improvement.
Are your strengths having the effect you want? How are your weaknesses impeding results? What one thing could you do differently that would have the most beneficial impact if you were successful in changing?

Career Success Tip:

It’s not one or the other. Rather, determine what skills or behaviors will best serve you and your organization. Ultimately, development is development. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to build on strength or lessen a weakness. The important thing is that you are growing your potential, getting better at what you do, and building your career.

Do you want to develop Career Smarts?