Stop Worrying about Your Weaknesses
Your daughter Elizabeth comes home one day, looks down at her feet, and hands you her report card. You smile at her as you open it up and look inside. Then your smile disappears when you see the F in math. You also see an A and two Bs. But you ask “What happened in math, Elizabeth? Why did you get this F?”
We so often want our children to be successful at everything they do. We ask why they failed. We tell them to work harder; understanding what went wrong, focus, and fix it. But this is a mistake. This could very well be the wrong focus!
If you dwell on Elizabeth’s failure, on her weakness, you’ll be setting her up for a life of struggle and low self-esteem while reducing her chances of reaching her full potential. You also won’t fix her weakness. You’ll just reinforce it.
Fast forward 20 years. Elizabeth is now all grown up. She sits down for a performance review with her manager, who comments …. “You’ve worked hard this year. Your client orientation is superb. You’ve met your sales goals and you’re a solid team player. But you have an area that needs development, specifically, your detail orientation. The spreadsheets we get from you are a mess. Let’s talk about how you can get better in that.”
AGAIN the focus is on improving the weakness. Which is reflected in many companies: costing us a tremendous amount of time, money, potential, and happiness. It’s costing us talent.
How will Elizabeth add the most value to her organisation? She’s amazing with people, not spreadsheets. She’ll work hardest, derive the most pleasure, and contribute her maximum potential with the greatest result if she is able to focus as much time as possible in her area of strength.
An organisation should want to be a platform for unique talent. A performance review system should be flexible enough to reflect and reward the successful contributions of diverse employees. If it’s impossible to take away the part of their job in which they’re weak, then help them improve just enough so that it doesn’t get in the way of their strength.
Extract from Havard Business Review Blog network
Can you share an example of how you develop the talent in your employees
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