What Should I Focus on? Strengths or Weaknesses?
“Share with us your strengths and weaknesses.” A typical and common question that always leaves us stumped during job interviews. At this point, you may be trying to weigh the weight of each strength and weakness that you have. So, how do you portray yourself without downplaying your self-worth and sounding superficial?
I remember reflecting on my interview process to evaluate a preliminary result. I was concerned whether my responses would make or break the selection process. I had even prepared in advance a couple of weaknesses and its counter-solutions to position myself as someone reaching a state of Nirvana.
Focus on Your Strengths
But you see, we are only humans with flaws. Perhaps, we can make progress by working on weaknesses, however, we may not gain mastery over them. After all, we are not energized or motivated by them even if we make improvements.
Time will tell whether what matters the most is not about fixing our flaws to perfection, but perfecting the strengths and skills we own.
Why should we allocate more time to transforming weaknesses to be one of our strengths? Use the same time and effort to build up our positive traits.
Based on studies on strengths-based development, employees are more confident and productive when focused on strengths. This leads to higher employee engagement, performance, and a lower attrition rate.
Finding Your Strengths
Clueless about your strengths? Get a piece of blank paper and divide it in half. Write down “5 positive traits friends and colleagues associate you with” on one half of the paper, and “Tasks you enjoy doing in your current work” on the half of the paper.
It can be as simple as friends associating you with the trait cheerfulness and you enjoy communicating with people. These two points alone suggest a powerful characteristic that others may not have but you. It can mean that regardless of the situation, your upbeat personality is a source of motivation and assurance to others, bringing positive vibes to your workplace. By enjoying communicating with others demonstrates your confidence and the ability to bridge ideas to people.
If you want to gain some inspiration, try this survey to discover your true self.
I believe that after doing this simple exercise, it will definitely give your confidence and happiness a booster.
Focus on Your Success
Seek out areas you excel in and receive great satisfaction from them. The rationale behind this reflection is to demonstrate your work process from meeting with a failure at one point of the task, eventually overcoming it and contributing to a positive result. This is in fact an effective way to share about your weakness without giving too much air time to it. And, you are also creating a positive image for yourself for being a problem solver. No matter which industry and position you are in, this is one valuable attribute employees appreciate.
By journaling your triumphant moments, it will give you an edge during interviews without sounding obnoxious or superficial. They can be your secret weapon to be shortlisted as a potential candidate for hire. Even if you do not have intentions to move on, noting down such successes can get you through self-doubting moments in your career.
Be Aware of Your Weaknesses
While the main angle of this article is focusing on strengths, it does not mean that we totally ignore our weaknesses. Recognizing them helps us to understand our working styles and allows us to work on our personal development needs. For example, one of your weaknesses is not able to read the room, causing a couple of embarrassing moments. But with your cheerfulness and impressive communication skills, you are able to get out of any awkward situations. Instead of ‘working’ on reading the room, you can learn to listen more and speak out only when it is necessary.
Whenever in doubt, one of the ways is to observe the environment and your colleagues’ social cues. Are they unusually quiet? Do they notice and greet anyone entering the room? Are their eyes seemingly glued to their computer screens, being oblivious to their surroundings? These can be some cues you can pick up. If you are curious about the odd atmosphere, you can send a private text message to your closer colleague to find out more.
In a nutshell
Relating back to the topic in question. What should we focus on? Strengths or Weaknesses? Acknowledging our weaknesses is important, but there is also a danger when we dwell too much into it – they can dull our strengths. On the other hand, when we concentrate on building up our strengths, we become happier, more motivated, and even more productive at work. Let people remember you for your strength, even if it is just one thing, rather than not being known at all.