It’s a never ending discussion: should you focus on strengths or weaknesses when developing yourself and others?
What is your opinion? How do you develop yourself? And in consequence: how do you develop your team?
Research shows that 20% of your team will disengage from their work, when you as their manager focus solely on their weaknesses. While only 1% disengage when you focus on their strength (see Strengthsfinder 2.0 from Gallup, 2007, p. IV). There is just one thing that is even worse than focussing on weaknesses or strengths: ignoring your people completely. Research shows that 40% of your staff disengages in their work when not being developed at all.
But what are strengths, you can find in yourself? What are the focus areas you could search for in your team?
Here are some examples – pulled together from classical ressources like Johari adjectives, strengthsfinder or MBTI:
- Straight communication
- Analytical correctness
- Love for detail
- Ambition to win
- Stick to rules
- Focus on deadlines
- Good time management
- Feeling for team atmosphere
- Vision for project setup
- Courage to speak up
- Persistence in argument
All of these strengths bring in positive and negative situations within a team. Your job as a manager is to find the right spot where each person can shine.
Same is true, if you feel unhappy in your current position. Maybe you cannot work according to your strengths and you need a change. Analyse who you are and what you need – and then find the place where you fit in.
It’s just a small nugget to give you food for thought. Dig deeper through the named sources if you want to develop yourself in this area.