Many interviewers still ask some form of the questions “what do you consider one of your weaknesses” or “what one area where you seek improvement is”. In my opinion, these are two very different questions. There are some things I’m fantastic at, some things I’m good at, and some things that I just don’t do well at all. I’m sure the same holds true for you. No one is perfect. We all have areas in our lives in which we can improve. The key is to know which things are important enough to work on and which things don’t warrant a third thought.
I do not have the talent or knowledge to diagnose or address any major problems with my car. I have no interest in learning to replace brake pads or change the timing belt. The reality is that it really makes no sense for me to become good at these things. The time, attention, and finances it would take me to become a decent auto mechanic would not allow me to pursue my true passion and do the things that I do well. I have decided that my role as a car owner is to make sure there is gas in the tank, air in the tires, and follow the routine maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer. (Of course I also have to be a safe driver). I don’t consider not being good at fixing cars as a weakness of mine.
On the other hand, there are times when I get really nervous before a presentation but being a good public speaker is essential to my success as an entrepreneur. In order to obtain the level of success that I desire, not only do I have to embrace my natural communication skills and abilities, I also have to spend time studying professional presentations and public speaking skills. After researching and practicing, I implement what works for me and discard what doesn’t. I would consider being a lousy presenter as a weakness.
Sometimes we don’t want to admit when we need help or don’t know something. Just as we embrace our strengths, we also have to embrace our weaknesses. The key is not to get stuck dwelling on the things that you don’t do well. After the brief embrace, decide the areas where you want or need to improve. List the areas you want to change and then prioritize working on them. (You can call me the list lady.) Remember you only have 24 hours in each day. Don’t waste your valuable time and energy working on things that won’t lead to the achievement of your goals. Tackle the areas that are hindering your success. This isn’t always going to be easy but focusing on the intended outcome can help you stay motivated.
What are you fantastic at?
Nicki Sanders, Chief Visionary Officer of Packaged For Success, helps both youth and adults discover their personal power, dream bigger, and achieve success on their own terms. Ms. Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager who holds a Master’s degree in Social Work. Ms. Sanders has over fifteen years of experience with diverse populations in residential, school-based, and community based agencies.
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