I love feedback, so long as it is positive! And I get a lot of it - much of which I don’t like. Bummer!
Consistently throughout my career I have been told of the areas I need to work on - my weaknesses. I have tried. Promise. Really, I have. Worked hard at them - at addressing these ‘weaknesses’. Made progress. One inch at a time. I still get the same feedback on the ‘development areas’, but not as robustly as before.
Here’s my point. And a suggestion for you. I made a decision years ago to be less focused on working on my ‘weaknesses’, and to put much more energy on building on my strengths.
I figured that 100 units of effort on working on a weakness might take me from being poor at something, to being just below average. But 100 units of effort working on building a clear strength would take me from being really good at something, to becoming ‘fricken awesome’ at it.
Here’s the rub. Employers and clients want ‘fricken awesome.’ Always. They will pay extra for it. And so long as your ‘weaknesses’ are not socially unacceptable or undermine the power of the good stuff - well, they’ll forgive you for them.
Not all will agree with me. Some will say: “NO! STOP! A failing is we practice our strengths and ignore our weaknesses. Your strengths will only take you as far as your weaknesses will allow. So — work damned hard on your weaknesses."
I get that. It’s fair. For me, though, getting hung up on weaknesses is a black hole to nowhere. Know your weaknesses, accept their reality, work consistently, and with the right effort to make sensible progress to soften their dark shadow.
But put the passion, big energy, enthusiasm, and extra hard yards in making your strengths unbelievably great. Play to your strengths. Strengthen your strengths. Know what your company most values you for, and then get better and better at it. Focus on what you do really well, and become absolutely brilliant at it - famous for it.
It’s worked for me, in my little world. It really has. Give it a go!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Savage is an acknowledged leader of the Asia/Pacific public relations, communications and professional services industries.
Chris was formerly Chief Operating Officer of STW Group, the largest listed marketing content and communications services group in the southern hemisphere with $500 million in annual revenue. he has also held senior positions with leaders of the PR industry over a 25 year PR career. He is a much sought after speaker and trainer.
Visit his blog “Wrestling Possums” www.chrisjohnsavage.com