All of us are known for something, whether it be for accomplishments, passions or behaviors. One commonality we all share is that most of us want to be known for our strengths rather than our weaknesses.
The tricky part is that any strength overextended becomes a weakness. For example, a dominant director could come across as bossy and egotistical. A fun-loving communicator might also be known for being a poor listener or for disorganization. A detail-oriented analyzer could be seen as too picky or suffer from "paralysis by analysis". The easy-going stabilizer may spend so much time building consensus that nothing gets done.
For our strengths to help rather than hinder us, it is important to become intimately familiar with them. There are three keys to making the most of our strengths and maximizing our potential. We need to:
- Know our strengths.
- Recognize how others might respond to our strengths.
- Critique our strengths by analyzing how and when they get overextended and manifest as weaknesses.
How familiar are you with your strengths and their impact on others? How do you get "overextended"? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment so others can learn from you. Self-knowledge is foundational for becoming a person of influence. Get to know yourself better today for a more successful tomorrow.
Coach's Challenge: Make a list of your strengths this week and after each label, identify how the attribute might be perceived in a negative light. What do you need to change?
If you would like help in identifying your strengths/weakness and modifying your behavior to enhance your communication/leadership influence, coaching with some assessment tools may be for you. Contact Janna Rust firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.