Breaking the biggest career myth: Your talent is NOT your strength.
What is strength and how to use your strengths (and weaknesses) to transform your career?
Have you ever questioned yourself as to what are you doing in your job or area of work? Who you are becoming professionally and are you happy with it? What contribution do you want to make professionally? And if you be more, do more, achieve more- then how?
The above are just a few of the most frequently asked questions from people who have reached a point in their career journey and have started to question their professional contributions with respect to their job satisfaction.
Ever wondered what separates someone who feels happy and fulfilled in their jobs in contrast to someone who doesn’t? It’s their ability to know their strengths and weaknesses and to channelize it into their very being—not just in personnel lives, but professionally too. It’s because, achieving a professional nirvana is not just a part of what you do but who you are. And in order to do that, you need to be very aware and receptive of your strengths and weaknesses, and play to them both. This blog aims to equip you with just that.
A few solid facts as to why you need to know and work on your strengths and weaknesses?
“A strength is not simply something you are good at. It is also something that makes you feel strong. But the definition of a weakness is similar. You may well be good at an activity—or good enough—but it doesn’t make you feel strong, in fact, you feel weak.”- Michael Hyatt, New York times best-selling Author and Speaker
- Talent can only get you so far, it is when you play to your strengths and tweak your weaknesses in a manner that they become your strengths is what will keep you onwards and upwards.
- Identifying your strengths and weakness and working upon them in a balanced way makes you more aware of your path and next steps.
- As rightly said by Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn, that often each strength has a corresponding weakness. If you try to manage or mitigate a strength, you will inevitably eliminate the corresponding weakness too. The wise way is to find a sweet spot and you can only do that if you know what your strengths are. As an example, do you face difficulty in crafting and communicating colorful and inspiring visions for people to follow? Instead, try to harness your skill of attention to detail and be known as the detailed pragmatist capable of creating and executing tactical plans that turn ideas into reality.
- Investing in Strengths leads to higher incidence of better performance than otherwise. As per Gallup white paper, “Investing in Strengths, managers who use a strengths-focused leadership approach have an 89% higher incidence of above-average performance than those managers who don’t.”
- You’re less likely to hit burnout if you play to your strengths and manage your weaknesses well. You can manage and operate on them more productively when you are aware of what they are.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
When asked what is strength, many people say it is something you are good at and about weakness, it is something you are not very good at. This definition is not quite clear and can also be misleading. Instead, before understanding what a strength and a weakness is, let’s first try to understand what is a talent and a skill.
Talent- It is a pattern of thought, feeling or behaviour that one can apply productively.
Skill- A skill is something you have learned to do well by practice and/or training.
Now coming back to defining a strength and a weakness-
Strength- A strength, strengthens you- gives you energy emotionally. When you combine your talent with your skills, that’s your strength.
Weakness- A weakness, weakens you- drains your energy emotionally. When do an activity in which you are skilled at but you don’t enjoy doing it that much. Now you might do it well but that’s not your strength. Instead, it’s a weakness because it drains your energy.
How can you identify and work on your strengths and weaknesses?
By becoming more self-aware- This simply means to be more receptive of yourself and your emotions when doing any activity. As an example, what are the activities that leave you feeling energised and refreshed? Also, what are the activities that you procrastinate all the time and don’t enjoy doing much?
By becoming more aware of what others have to say or react towards your activities- Notice what are the areas or activities that you receive most applause or appreciation for, list them out and try to figure out what is the connecting link between them all. Additionally do this exercise for the areas and activities where you’ve put in a lot of hard work using your skills but the outcome wasn’t appreciated that much. Asking for feedbacks proactively on a quarterly basis or at the end of each project is a also a great way to identify what are your talent and skills, subsequently your strength and weakness.
How to use your strengths (and weaknesses) to transform your career?
Once you find yourself well on the way with a list of your identified strengths and weaknesses, start playing with them. Boost your strengths by practising it more effectively, becoming more skilled at it while also figuring out a way to manage your weaknesses by – (a) becoming sufficiently good at it to get it covered without letting it drain or eat-up all your time and energy or (b) delegating it to others who are best at it. Either ways, you can’t miss upon it entirely.
Bottom line, in order to transform your career to make it more productive and fulfilling for you, it’s crucial to know your strengths and weaknesses, and strike a balance between the two.
About us Agile Consultants: We are a talent solutions company that focuses on tapping into the complete potential of individuals and organisations, our expert team works closely with clients and candidates to ensure best results. With over 20 years in the region, we have built a strong network of partners and affiliates, allowing us to assist job seekers and employers with the same passion.