I’ve heard people say it’s vital to improve one’s weaknesses. I’ve also heard people argue we must instead build up our strengths.
I disagree with the notion that it must be one or the other. We can do both. Here’s how.
1) The Feedback exercise
This is a sobering and healthy activity to do with the people who know us best—friends, family, and trusted colleagues.
We ask them:
“Hey! I’m doing a research project and was wondering if you could help me out.
What do you think my biggest strengths are? My biggest weaknesses or blind spots?
What can I improve? What can I do more or less of?
What should I prioritize?
Let’s set up a call to go over all this if you’re down!”
This accomplishes several things. It…
• helps one see the lens with which others see them
• points out things a person isn’t aware of—the good and the bad
• provides a solid picture of one’s strengths to exploit and weaknesses to work on
2) Build on strengths
With a list of strengths, we can simply ask:
How can I use these on a more consistent basis?
How can I do what I’m really good at all the time?
3) Fill in the gaps
Here’s a lovely practice from the book Ultralearning:
Keep a running list of each weak spot for what we do. Examples for me include: chess, fitness, coaching, business management.
With my list of weak points (e.g. finding checkmates in chess, extra belly fat, inviting people to sessions) I now know what to practice so I can become more comfortable with them.
We can use our strengths more and work on our weaknesses.