Your Greatest Strength is Not Your Greatest Weakness
Your strengths are not what you are good at and your weaknesses are not what you are bad at even though that is what you have heard all your life. You will continue to hear until you can identify and state what they are and are not. Be honest with yourself when you look at your talents and then your strengths and weaknesses. It has to be what you know you love and then what you know just doesn’t fit. Your strengths and weaknesses will never change to be the opposite. Your talents and strengths are not always going to be the same.
What are Strengths and Weaknesses?
A strength is an activity you consistently do exceptionally well. You might even say perfectly. Consistently is key here. Because a strength is something you do consistently. It’s an activity that you are successful with and can see yourself doing repeatedly and enjoying it all the time. Your strengths leave you excited. You can do the activity forever. Your strengths make you feel good and strong. When you finish you may be drained. However, you are satisfied and feeling great. Once you take a break will be ready to go again. I find with my strengths I can really concentrate on the activity while growing from or with it. I know my brain is growing from them.
People may compliment you on a job well done or completing a deadline. Of course, the compliments make you feel special. However whatever it may be is something you are bored doing. You don’t enjoy doing it even if you are good at it all the time. In other words, because someone compliments you it doesn’t make the ability or trait a strength.
A weakness is any activity that makes you feel weak after you have done it. You may be very good at it yet your favorite part is the ending. You are so glad to be finished you may even think to yourself, “ I can’t wait to get this over with now.” Now that is a weakness!
Bringing Your Talents into Play
To develop a strength you need certain innate talents. Your skills and knowledge, when applied to your talent, will make the talent better. In other words, practice makes you stronger, makes the ideas flow more smoothly. You can have a skill when combined with your talent gives you the foundation to build on a strength. So when you identify your most powerful talents and then make them better through skills and knowledge, you will be creating your strengths.
Maximize Your Strengths and Manage Your Weaknesses
You do need to be sharp and think about what you need to complement your weaknesses. It is not necessary to be strong in every detail of your business or perhaps as a leader in a school or after-school club. Think of it this way: The vision for your business once you get into it will have activities that you are good doing, yet totally drain you and you hate doing them. There will be activities that you really have no idea what to do and need to learn a new skill. For a while, you will need to just do it.
It does not mean to ignore your weaknesses rather you learn how to deal with them. Research shows people will only get seventeen percent better with a weakness when they work on making it stronger. Why would you want to work on your weakness(es) when you can only get a bit better rather than get stronger?
Here is another example of how strengths and weaknesses will vary with talents. One of your talents is fashion design and working with fabrics to bring your designs to life. Your strength is in designing apparel. You instinctively know where to source the best fabrics to create the apparel. One of your talents is negotiation and it is definitely a strength. You consistently negotiate the best prices, delivery and shipping details. This is stuff you love and could spend your time doing it almost 24 hours a day (with a couple of hours of sleep). You thrive on bringing all the pieces together to arrange the most profitable and fashionable apparel designs for your business.
Your Strength Zone is Your Comfort Zone
Your trait to be detailed-oriented allows you to become stronger with your apparel designing, fabric sourcing, and negotiating. However, no matter how detailed you are with bringing all the components together to create your apparel designs, you dread doing the paperwork in the office. You will procrastinate getting the details of the paperwork organized even though you know if a fabric shipment is lost or late the information is needed for tracking the shipments. No matter how much your business partner or administrative person will harp on you to get it done, it is the kiss of death for you. It takes you away from being creative and working to make your customers happy.
To make matters worst, what you dread even more is tracking shipments that are slowed down, lost, or delayed. If a fabric shipment has to be tracked because it may be lost or is really really late in arriving, you are not the person to do it. No matter how much you try to do this type of work, you will never reach the point that it is second nature to you. It is just not in you. These activities are considered weaknesses. You need someone who looks at the tedious activities as a challenge to overcome. You know this person loves to get in the middle of the problem, figure out what needs to be done to solve it, and then gets it done. This person thrives on restoring order and saving the day.
How to Manage Your Weaknesses
There is more than one way to solve your challenge, stop doing it. You may need to do it yourself at first- but when possible get someone else to do it. Find someone to do it in your business or on your team. You are much more valuable working within your strength zone in your business than on a weakness. Here are a couple of options to consider: Find a friend or relative who will work with you, possibly one that loves to organize paperwork and solve mysteries, like what happened to the deliveries. You may have neighbors with experience who want to help. They are just waiting for you to ask.
Your strengths and weaknesses will usually be just the opposite of another person’s strengths and weaknesses. This leads to partnering with someone whose strength is in the area of your weakness. This is someone who can work with you, alongside you, and shares your vision and mission. A suggestion to help keep your sanity: make sure you actually like this person and can work together. Find somebody you can work with at 3 a.m. even if you are tired and cranky. Bill Gates did that after a bit and he found a partner.
Final option when all else fails at the time. Do everything yourself until one or more of the above options become available.