We’re great at pointing out what we do poorly. We spend much energy trying to fix what is wrong with us.
And we often are glad that we are good enough to get by with our strengths so we have more time to spend on the weak areas.
What if, rather than looking at our weaknesses, we looked at the weakest part of our strengths?
Here’s what I mean. What are you best at? What is the weakest part of what you are best at? You may still be better than 90% of the population at that thing, but you aren’t happy with it.
Now, rather than pouring the next week into fixing the thing you don’t know how to do at all, pour it into fixing the weakest part of what you are best at.
Have a great phone style but can’t remember to smile? Fix that part. Know how to do every part of a sales call well but somehow always spill your coffee? Fix that thing. Write incredible posts but can’t quite figure out how to end them? Fix that thing.
I don’t know what you do worst about what you do best. But you do. Fix that, and your best will be even better than now.
Great idea – will be a challenge to stick with it, since I have a perfectionistic streak in me. I suppose it’s all about improving yourself but not beating yourself up over your faults in the process? Taking a positive angle…
It does indeed make sense… will thing about that over the w/e, thanks
good question, Belinda.
Tis post is part of the thinking and reading I’m doing about deliberate
practice. This idea is actually a building block of that concept. It’s more
than just a mindset. It’s saying, “I can choose what I’m going to work on.”
And it’s part of the Strengthsfinder research, which also focuses on working
on what you are good at.
I understand the perfectionist thing, all too well, but that can even help
you here: What are you choosing to be a perfectionist about.
To put this in context, look back at my post on deliberate
than you for helping me keep thinking.
you are welcome, Joanna. Have a great weekend.
Good stuff, Jon. In connection with thinking about deliberate practice — and because I’m a sports fan — I’m always interested to see this process at work as top athletes refine the weak(er) parts of their performance.
Example: *every* decent starting pitcher in the big leagues has a couple of different strong pitches he can throw, and even guys with a “bad” third or fourth kind of pitch throw those pitches better than 99% of all baseball pitchers ever. But it’s interesting to see a promising young pitcher grow and flourish because he sharpens his accuracy with his best pitch, or makes his #2 pitch as good as his #1 pitch, or develops his pretty-good #3 pitch into a real weapon, or tunes up his mental approach, . . . etc.
Conversely, the sad case is when you see a journeyman who never gets better: after years of being in the league, he’s still just a one-pitch pitcher, or still wild, or still walks too many guys, or whatever.
(Hope you’re a baseball fan — sorry if this is too sport-specific — spring training is coming!)
I needed to read this just now…thanks, Jon.
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