Career Woman

7 easy tips to turn your weaknesses into strengths

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In business, knowing your strengths and weaknesses is vital. It can mean the difference between success, failure and everything in between. And weaknesses can be turned into strengths, with a bit of self-examination and strategic thinking.

Remember that you are only as strong as your weakest link. So first you need to identify your weaknesses then take the steps you need to take in order to turn them into strengths.

1. What Are You Avoiding?

What are the things on which you’re spending your time? And what are the things you’re avoiding?

If you’re actively putting off the same important tasks on a regular basis and there’s no compelling reason why, it could be a good indication that you have not mastered those activities. Or that you feel you are not as strong as you would like to be in that skill set.

What to do: Focus on getting the skills you need to master your ‘hurdle’ tasks. This could mean anything from doing an on-campus degree to learning online. Once you’re able to handle them, you can move onto the next challenges. And being able to identify gaps and deal with them will start to become a strength you can use in many areas.

Of course, if it is a task you need done NOW and it will take you time to master it, outsource it.

2. Get Blunt Feedback and Look for Patterns

It’s critical to find people in your professional and personal lives who will tell you the truth, even when it’s difficult.  They don’t necessarily have to be your best friends—but they do need to be honest, trustworthy, and unafraid to tell you when your efforts just aren’t cutting it.

Think back on your performance review history and other feedback from managers and colleagues. Does that information reveal patterns? Of couse you need to be able to know the difference between jealousy and genuine feedback. Often we know exactly what we are doing wrong, especially when someone else points it out.

What to do: Act on the feedback. Ask these people what they think needs to happen to fix it. There is NO SHAME in asking for advice. Just don’t tell everyone about your journey for perfection in that area. Treat it as a gift that will help you lift your game for serious success.

3. Get to the Punch Line

If you’re often the butt of jokes about your disorganized approach or inability to be on time, it could be a clue that these are issues the people around you are trying to correct through humor — or that you are hanging around a bunch of trolls and need to review your contact circle.

What to do: See what is genuine and what isn’t. Make the changes (it takes 21 days for behavioural changes so be patient). Whatever the issue is, work to correct it. The last thing you want is for jokes about your current flaws to become part of your future reputation.

4. Find Past Failures

You can’t get better until you look honestly at your past failures and figure out why they happened. It’s not pleasant. It’s not fun. But if you can look at the situation, warts and all, you can figure out the role you played.

What to do: Have a frank and honest examination of the failures to give important insight into areas that might need work. Then, you can reframe them from “weaknesses” or “shortcomings” to the next areas you want to build in your skill set.

5. Analyze Your Weaknesses

Understanding where your (or your company) are strong, and where you’re weak, is vitally important – not just for this exercise, but for the long-term health of your business.

This is a great exercise for your team to undergo at a brainstorming day. You may need to be deliberately absent from that session depending on your relationship with the team.

What to do: Compare yourself to your competitors. Where are they stronger than you? Where do you have a competitive advantage?

6. Can your weakness be exploited?

Ask yourself: “Is this a weakness that can be changed?” If not, then can you exploit it, in order to stand out among the crowd?

If it can’t be exploited, how can it be changed? Some problems simply can’t be avoided. Outline steps for change.

7. Embrace It

Some things you simply can’t change nor should you. We can’t be everything to everyone. So embrace it. If you’re a small company, you might not be able to offer the same prices as your competitors. But you can offer better service or more creative solutions, which justifies the higher price.

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Turning your weaknesses into strengths is powerful.

Holding onto your strengths can be just as hard as finding them in the first place.

And in business, it can be just as tough.

By discovering your weaknesses and turning them into strengths, you are not only helping yourself by becoming a better person and a better worker, you are also helping the people around you.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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