If someone asked you to list your strengths, would you need some time to think about it? If that same person asked you to name your weaknesses, how long would your list be? Women have a natural tendency to obsess over their weaknesses however the simple fact of life is that you can’t be good at everything.
Of course it is necessary at certain points in your career to work on areas that you may find difficult, but worrying about them constantly can be detrimental to your own success. You have a team to work with – to lead and encourage – so surely your weaknesses are less important than the strengths you have to offer them as their leader?
One of the best things about working in a team environment is that if you aren’t good in a particular area, or you don’t like to do something in particular, you can just delegate and leverage the strengths of those around you. Use the overall strengths of your team (including yours) to maximise the success of the team and the organisation.
Imagine being able to focus solely on the positives, concentrating on what you do well rather than what you don’t. Using your best assets to your advantage, knowing and understanding your personal strengths, is fundamental to your leadership success.
It is also important to have an awareness of the areas you fail to thrive in as it gives you a better perspective of the leader you are and the leader you want to be. However knowing them, and dwelling on them, is something different altogether. Focussing on your weakness limits your thinking.
Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities and organisations to thrive. In the past, we have traditionally identified our weakness and seen them as opportunities for improvement. Positive Psychology has shown that we achieve much greater results when we focus on leveraging our strengths in order to achieve optimal functioning. In other words, we perform better, easier, more efficiently when we focus on leveraging our strengths.
If we look at peak performing athletes, they don’t identify a sport they aren’t very good at and work hard to become #1. They build on a pre-existing strength or talent for a particular sport. Once you know your strengths, you can do the same. Shift your focus from fixing your weaknesses to excellence and mastery in areas you enjoy.
Working with a coach can enable you to clear any unnecessary negative mind blocks that build up over time. It will also empower you to understand when another team member has a tendency to focus on their weaknesses and enable you to assist them in dealing with their issues. There is a fantastic profiling tool at www.AthenaCoaching.com.au/Resources called ‘Identifying Your Strengths’. Why not invest 10 minutes to identify what your personal strengths are?
It really is a matter of learning to change your focus, acknowledging and improving your strengths and letting the weaknesses fade into the background. A good professional coach will always tell you that self-awareness is a great asset for a leader to possess so know your strengths and use them to your advantage.