Working toward my limitations

“I know my limitations and work toward them.”  That’s supposed to be funny–not a professional development philosophy.  With all of the choices of skills and behaviors to work on in our workplace, it doesn’t really help us to become average at all of them. That’s what will happen if we focus on fixing the skills and behaviors at which we are weaker rather than building on our strengths.  The key is to be aware of our weaknesses; know when they might rear their ugly heads, perhaps find a work-around, and then go back to using our strengths to move our agenda forward.  This is about being a generalist or a specialist.  It feels risky to choose the path of strength, but focusing on our strengths will differentiate us from others.  It will narrow what we are really good at doing or what we are known for, and that’s a good thing.  When those strengths are really honed, they become our brand, and they become the reason for a promotion, or a hire. 

(The fine print–If a weakness is stopping our career progression or negatively impacting our life, we need to work on that weakness-or get a new life.  No really, maybe this job isn’t cut out for us, or vice versa.  Secondly, with the rapid changing environment in which we exist, what’s a strength today may be a weakness tomorrow so we need to regularly review those strengths and weaknesses.  If any of these conditions exist, call your coach.)

Jonathan Shaver