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Stop focusing on your weaknesses


Nobody knows my weaknesses better than I do, and I've spent countless hours trying to get better at the things that don't come naturally to me.  Unfortunately I have only made a little progress.   From the book Strengths Based Selling by Tony Rutigliano and Brian Brim, I am learning that it's nearly impossible to get substantially better at my weaknesses, but I can, however, improve my productivity and effectiveness exponentially if I leverage my natural strengths and talents.

A weakness per the authors is an "inadequacy or flawed quality" that “cannot be perfected with knowledge or experience”.   Talent, on the other hand, is "a natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving" that "cannot be readily acquired like skills and knowledge can."  For example, I am not outgoing in social settings regardless of how hard I try.   I can fake it for a little while, but it's exhausting and I'm not good at it. And I am horrible at small talk. However, if something needs to get done or someone has a problem to solve, I'm your man.  I am naturally action-oriented and my mind automatically maps out the steps and shortest path to accomplish a goal. It feels natural to me.

So what is the best way to quickly improve performance?

  • Identify your natural strengths and talents through a tool like CliftonStrengths 34 Assessment
  • Focus on your strengths and scale them through purposeful learning and practice
  • Manage your weaknesses instead of focusing on them
  • Apply your strengths to your job (i.e., selling, prospecting, managing, team building, etc.)

I'll leave you with this great quote from the book:  "When you work in your area of strength, you're at the top of your game.  Your talent is always there, guiding your reactions to the world around you.  By adding knowledge, skills and practice, you refine your talents and make them more productive.  But when you don't work in an area of strength, you won't get as far as you'd like."

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Barkley Peschel

Barkley Peschel, CCIM
Senior Vice President | Houston
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