Just recently, I was reading an article on LinkedIn regarding the importance of knowing oneself and better understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses. I have been practicing psychometrics for more than 25 years and I completely support the idea of having a strong sense of self, just as the wise Socrates encouraged us to do!
Where I take issue is with the traditional labels of strengths and weaknesses, which are inevitably subjective, both in terms of what we choose to call strengths and weaknesses. At CREACOR, our philosophy of self-awareness is based more on the universal dialectic of the unity of opposites.
For example, great assertiveness can be labelled as a strength, however it can also cause devastating effects at the organizational level as this powerful winning quality can literally terrify certain employees. On the other hand, what can be interpreted as a weakness (an aversion to confrontation, a strong tendency to be helpful and to feed on harmony) can provide solace to organizational wounds.
During our discourse concerning character traits, we prefer to speak of motivational needs, while keeping in mind that these traits are part of the very nature of an individual. Such qualities encourage us to be attentive to various points that are inextricably linked to our fundamental needs.
Therefore, during our feedback sessions, individuals will not be praised for their strengths, nor will they be lectured on their weaknesses. Our coaching will highlight individuals’ natural talents while being mindful of the side effects of these natural talents or aptitudes.
For example, the person who excels at communication with excellent interpersonal skills will need to understand that they likely will be less proficient in terms of technical tasks.
Does the person with a solid ability to handle details and ensure high-quality compliance have a strength, a high level of focus? And does the person who does not have these strengths have a weakness, a lack of rigor?
Detail-oriented individuals may be very destabilized by mandates or environments that offer little or no assurance (clear policies, organizational safeguards, possibility of validation). These people might lose their bearings and experience a good deal of anxiety.
On the other hand, our generalists, who are somewhat less rigorous, can have astonishing business success! They must work with great flexibility and very few guidelines.
The list is long, and the people who subscribe to our certifications with the MPO management workshop could talk about the subject at length!
In short, what can be subjectively called a strength can turn out to be the exact opposite in certain circumstances and vice versa!