Making Sense of Strengths and Weaknesses

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Brian Kight

Strengths and styles come in all shapes and sizes.

You can get things done by being decisive and assertive or friendly and charming. You can create good outcomes by being patient and accommodating or precise and orderly.

Are any of these inherently better than the others? It depends on the context and people involved. There is no universally effective behavior style or attribute. Every situation is unique. Your preferred style or approach is less important than your discipline in managing it.

Every personality or preference has its strengths, but every strength correlates to a weakness.

Decisive and assertive gets things done but can cause damage when they are abrasive and overbearing.

Friendly and charming can move people to action but cause frustration when they are superficial and lack thoroughness.

Patience and accommodation are great for bringing people along but cause tension when they allow complacency and slow things down.

Precision and order are great for keeping people aligned but cause roadblocks when they are overly cautious and refuse to adjust.

Every strength has a weakness. It's good for you to remember that principle and necessary for you to understand how that practically shows up in your mindset and behavior patterns.

Another way you can think about it is to recognize your weaknesses as overused or underused strengths.

When people think you're too pushy, you might have overused assertiveness. When people think you talk too much, you might have overused influence. When people think you're a pushover, you might have overused empathy. When people think you're too negative, you might have overused caution.

The difference between effective and ineffective with style is rarely the style itself but rather how disciplined we are in using our style.

Sometimes it helps to reframe a weakness as a strength that got away from you. Reel it back in, reflect, and redeploy it with more discipline next time. This is an effective way to grow within the structure of your unique style.

Answer the call. Do the work.

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