Good morning to all my superhero colleagues!
You no doubt have been asked “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
This is a very typical, standard and boring interview question. A hangover from the self-promotion days. Doing a Google search 10 minutes before the interview will put an answer fresh in your mind. You’ll pump out your chest and claim you are structured and organized, that you have high standards and the weakness is that you expect this in others… right?... or something like that.
But the truth is that our strengths and weaknesses are dependent on context and environment. We are human, our days vary and there is push and pull factors that constantly slide the scale. Further to that a strength can go so far that it becomes a weakness. Imagine being structured and organized… so much so that you plan and document your day hour by hour. It has now become time consuming, and you have lost flexibility and efficiency.
But what about attempting the opposite, taking a perceived weakness and so far that it becomes a strength? Can we do that?...
Hopefully now I have you thinking 😉
Because we can do this!
As an example: Let’s look at experience… Who’s best for a job, an expert or a beginner?
The expert has great knowledge but is also rather inhibited by experience, finding it difficult to steer off the well-known path that they have walked on for years. Whereas if you have a lack of experience but huge curiosity and you approach your new challenge with naivety. I think it becomes easier to come up with something different and to follow a new path. In some cases, particularly if detailed knowledge isn’t an essential factor, a lack of experience is a great help if there are complimentary characteristics.
So when asked about your strengths and weaknesses, or when doing some kind of self-assessment for something you have a desire for. Don’t feel limited or intimidated by a lack of skill or knowledge, or any other “weakness”… remember whatever you have is an asset. But this is only true if the mindset you apply is positive, AND you couple it to multiple complementary characteristics AND you can align that all with your values (which is the tricky part… more on that another day).
Remember: small, smart changes. Start to think and push different characteristics around with your own strengths and weaknesses.
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Small, smart changes aligned with vision and direction.