If you have discussed performance reviews with your boss, then you have probably spent time talking about your weaknesses and ways to improve. That’s a valid topic for such occasions. There is always room for improvement. I’m curious, though, as to how much time in those conversations typically is given to discussing what you are good at and how you can even better utilize those strengths.
Many teams at my work have together studied the book and taken the StrengthsFinder assessment. It identifies your top five strengths from over 30 possibilities based on your answers to many questions. I’ve taken the original assessment as well as the StrengthsFinder 2 assessment and find them to be very accurate. Normally, when teams take the assessment the intent is to let employees do what they do best, perhaps adjusting assignments, projects and roles based on the strengths identified. That’s a good plan, but teams don’t always follow through with that plan very well.
It seems that in our desire to have people more well-rounded or cross-trained (or to do more with less), we gradually lose sight of the fact that people can do more and can do it more efficiently and with a better attitude if they do things they are passionate about and know how to do well.
I don’t know about you, but I am most miserable when I am forced to do something that I am uncertain about how to do well. So what should my response be to those situations? Should I devote all my time and energy to improving where I am weak (and live in a constant state of frustration)? I don’t think so. It seems far more logical and beneficial for all if I do things that I’m good at and that I love doing, and that I not spend much time worrying about those other matters.
So if you beat yourself up from time to time about what you can’t do, try to concentrate instead on what you can do, and do it. Do things that complete you – not things that deplete you.
Leap year lesson #22 is Concentrate on your strengths.