Better! Results Idea #3: Build on Strengths
Mary was obsessing about what she described as a weakness in her work. When co-workers asked her how things were going, she would launch into how frustrated she was about it. She would say, “Every day, I spend an hour trying to get better at this skill I’ll need in my next job if I get to take over for my boss some day, but I’m stalled.”
Mary works very hard. She is exactly the kind of caring, dedicated supervisor you want on your staff. And she is really good at the job she is doing right now.
So we took a few minutes to get her re-focused on what she already does so well. I interrupted her story of frustration and asked her to tell me three things she knows she does well right now today. Here’s her list.
Technical Competence. Mary’s position in the audit department requires her to know and utilize the technical skills required of all outstanding auditors. I know from past experience with her that she is a true master of this work, including mastery of internal consulting concepts. I said, “You are already a great auditor. But what could you do to get even better?”
Business Competence. Mary knows her business and the competitors to her company. She studies what’s going on in the industry, what trends are already in place, and what might be coming down the road that could change how her organization will need to operate to compete in three to five years. I asked, “What could you do to get even better at preparing yourself for what you company will need in three years? What skills will be in demand then?”
Interpersonal Competence. Mary is outstanding at developing new staff on her team. She is a great communicator in one-on-one and small meeting settings. And she has a flair for influencing action when others in her department find only resistance. Before I could ask, she said, “I know – what else could I do to get even better at my interpersonal, behavior and communications skills?” Clearly Mary got the point.
In my coaching, consulting and training work, we focus on just one word: Better! How can we be Better! tomorrow than today — Better! next week than this week? And so on into the future.
Obviously we should all identify and correct any weaknesses in our performance. But never forget to build on strengths as well.
What are you “good” at right now today? And what could you do to get even “Better”? Correct weaknesses, but build on strengths for Better Results.
John J. Hall, CPA
John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”