Identifying Weakness – A New Perspective

I’ve been working really hard this last year on self-improvement–personal, project, professional. I noticed earlier this year how hard is was for me to identify my strengths and even harder than identifying my strengths seemed to be discussing my weaknesses.  However, I gained a better understanding and new perspective on identifying and targeting weaknesses.

A conversation with my trainer gave me a new perspective about targeting weaknesses.

Trainer: You don’t look happy. Aren’t you happy with your progress?
Me: I am. It’s just I’ve reached that point where we are starting to isolate muscle groups and while I know I am strong; it’s amazing to me how weak certain muscle groups are.
Trainer: Yes and now is where the real work begins. Can’t you see the difference in the last 6 months.
Me: Yes, but it just dawned on me, I have to eat every couple of hours, drink even more water and really focus and push myself. Before when I would I come in here [the gym] and work out at all, I mean if I did anything at all, I could feel progress, now I have to do even more. (ok so I was whining slightly when I said this)
My trainer smiled.

As I drove home from my workout and thought about the conversation I had with my trainer, I thought about how my life was similar to these muscle groups. Overall, I am organized and I just get stuff done. However, as I become more efficient and master skills in one area the weaker skills become more obvious and I have to focus and work on those areas. This doesn’t mean I am weaker professionally or personally it just means it’s time to target those areas without causing loss of progress in the areas where I am strongest. When you become stronger in one area the contrast to the weaker areas become more clear.

I also thought about how it’s like that in organizations as well. As some teams, managers, departments etc get stronger and more efficient, this too highlights weaker areas of an organization. I thought about how great leaders can see this in advance and work to strengthen these areas before they fail. Just like good trainers work on various smaller muscle groups so that by strengthening the weaker muscles the whole of body becomes even stronger. I also don’t think it’s necessary or even possible to turn every single weakness into a strength. I do think it is possible and even necessary to decrease the contrast effect.

Now, no one likes to have their weaknesses pointed out, I certainly don’t. I now have a different perspective on what it really means to identify these weaknesses and work with “trainers”.  Trainers can be mentors, leaders, coaches, spiritual guides and more.

In a self-reflective moment I thought, “What areas in my personal and professional life are weak? Who are the “trainers” I should be reaching out to?”  I realized my workouts are never just about hitting the gym, it’s far more reaching than that.

For me, I think by identifying what I’m good at helps me see where I  need to improve.

I looked up some resources for identifying strengths and weaknesses and how to improve on these areas. Here are a few links I found insightful:

Many thanks to all the “trainers” in my life! 🙂

Do you have insights to this topic or references that you found helpful?  Feel free to share and join the discussion.


2 Responses to “Identifying Weakness – A New Perspective

  • For contrast and to keep things in perspective, I think you should watch the movie “Fight Club” or read the novel. 🙂

  • akgraner
    11 years ago

    I haven’t read the book, but I’ve seen the movie…Total fan of Brad Pitt 😉

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