The Myth of “Strengths & Weaknesses”
I can’t remember a time when my parents, coaches, teachers or significant others haven’t referred to the activities I’ve engaged in by grading them as either a strength or weakness. From a conventional standpoint it appears this is a universal condition. Is it true? If universal acceptance of the practice counts as true, then I’d agree. However, today I approach life from a different perspective. One can find written evidence across the ages that there are people who look at it differently. The word talent appears to be a better descriptor of one’s ability to engage in and accomplish a particular activity or skill. We can observe a group of children, for instance, dribbling a basketball on the gym floor and quickly determine those who have a talent for dribbling. Likewise, it is very easy to determine who does not have a talent for that skill. Therefore, I suggest that the grading of one’s abilities to accomplish various feats is either a talent or non-talent.
What difference does it make, you may ask? Although it may appear to be a subtle difference it is in my opinion significant. If one is aware of their talents, life can appear to be easy, if in fact they engage those talents often. It stands to reason the inverse is as obvious … i.e., if one engages in activities that they know they do not possess a talent for then the outcome isn’t as easy and not only do others recognize it but they at a minimum know the activity requires more attention and focus to accomplish and at worst are chastised or ridiculed by others.
To engage in a non-talent is in fact a decision, a choice to do so … doing so in spite of evidence that they’ve observed over time results in less than the desired outcome. To illustrate, it can be said that anyone can make this statement, “I have no weaknesses … none what so ever!” The listener of such a pronouncement most likely will view the speaker as the most conceited individual they’ve ever met. Now such a statement (I have no weaknesses) does need clarification. One would explain that they’ve spent a lot of time and energy identifying their talents. Along that path they’ve also discovered their non-talents. To soften the statement, perhaps it would serve them better to announce or declare, that “I choose to engage in those areas and activities of life that I know I have a talent for and refrain from engaging in any of my non-talents.”
By living life under those terms, one then does in fact “appear” to have no weaknesses … they have chosen to avoid aspects of their life that they know will not result in success. It’s a choice. We all have that ability to choose similarly. Some may need to spend time discovering what their talents and non-talents are, but once they know, they can choose to live by their talents and as I say, “swim downstream all day long.”
The application of this information applies across the board – personally and professionally. If people are employed and engaged in areas that they demonstrate a natural talent for, the business result is more productivity. The business becomes more successful, the individual gains more confidence, it’s the best of both Worlds, it a “win-win.”
At Rezults Group, we can identify over 180 individual attributes and rank order them from talent to non-talent. If you’d like to change your opinion of what you’ve been told you have “strengths & weaknesses” in and discover your true natural talents and non-talents …
Call today to order your ADVanced Insights Assessment – this $250 dollar value includes a 45 minutes personalized “de-brief” and 30 minutes of Coaching.