Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

What Problems Do Your Strengths Cause You?

The old adage is, “In our greatest strengths are the seeds of our greatest weaknesses.” I am regularly reminded about that truth, and chagrined to see it fully and regularly demonstrated in my behavior.  In fact, I think it’s safe to say that there are no seeds of weaknesses in my life, there are full grown trees with strong roots!

 I’m developing a class about interviewing employee candidates, as well as conducting supervisory interviews for other reasons. I want to mention the old hackneyed interview question: “What is your greatest strength and what is your greatest weakness?” It’s very difficult for most people to answer truthfully, with something like: “My strength is that I am smarter than almost anyone–and incredibly good looking. My weakness is a little problem I have with pornography.” So, they give answers that are as trite as the question, and designed to make themselves sound good: “My strength is that I am humble, and my weakness is that, darn it, sometimes I care too much about people and work.”

 If you get disgusted with yourself when you fall short of what you know you can be and do, try this reverse approach: “In my weaknesses are the seeds of some tremendous strengths that I want to cultivate.”

I don’t think there is much point in us trying to completely eliminate our weaknesses. For one thing, have you noticed that some people have found those to be charming?  Nevertheless, we can cultivate, nurture and display our strengths so they overshadow–if not choke-out–the behaviors that create problems for us and others.

January 13th, 2008 Posted by | Life and Work | no comments