The Weak Side of a Strength
I often conduct 360 feedback interviews for my coaching clients, which entail interviewing an assortment of people including their bosses, employees, customers, and peers to find out what the client’s perceived strengths and areas of opportunity are. It almost never fails that the areas that get in the way of people’s effectiveness and continued success are in some way strengths overdone.
The best listeners often get so wrapped up in passively listening to others that they forget to talk or to bring their views to the forefront. Those who have the admirable quality of being direct and letting others know where they stand can fall prey to delivering messages with a little too much force and not enough tact. Optimism can become naiveté, and realism can become pessimism. Thinking big can lead to overlooking the details, and those who are known for their precision are often criticized for missing the bigger picture.
Think about your unique strengths.
What happens when you turn the volume level on them up too high? A big part of sidestepping our pitfalls is simply becoming aware of them. Without that, you will never know what you do not know and your strengths overdone will become your blind spots. But when you observe yourself with awareness, you can recognize the areas that can be fine tuned and take action to keep yourself from falling into patterns that are unproductive and ineffective.
Lead with our strengths.
They are an essential part of our leadership and the uniqueness we bring to it. It is important for us to find work that is aligned with these strengths (and to do the same for our people). But we cannot allow our strengths to become crutches. When we over rely on them, we are blocking other parts of ourselves that need expression.
We can begin to balance this out by recognizing others who have strengths that compliment our own and appreciating what we can learn from them. And we can stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone in an effort to explore parts of ourselves that do not regularly come to the table. The more we practice these new behaviors, the better we will be able to employ them.
Implications for Real Leaders
The Real Leader Revolution is bringing to a head the need for businesses to better tap the power and potential that exists within the people who are the lifeblood of their organizations. This energy, when properly catalyzed and harnessed, will create the kind of value that earns loyal customers, increased market share and strong, sustainable profitability.
To find out more about how you can unleash this talent, energy and potential in your own organization (starting with yourself), sign up below to receive your copy of The Real Leader Revolution Manifesto as soon as it is released.