When Your Strength is Your Weakness

What is your strength?

Is is creating ideas?

Is it researching the latest and greatest data for a project?

Perhaps your strength is figuring out how the system is going to work in the real world.

Maybe your strength is bringing ‘good to great’ thinking to the latest product.

Whatever your strength may be, if it is a deep and strong attribute, it has potential to become your shadow or weakness. Think about a tree. The larger and stronger it becomes, the darker and deeper its shadow.  The same with people.  So, we need awareness when this is happening and strategies to minimize the negative.

Let’s talk about what that may look like in the real world.  If I am a strong, analytical thinker who reflects deeply on all decisions, what are the symptoms of my assets crossing the line into a weakness?  I may find myself commenting on every little detail of situations, projects or even the BBQ sauce on my friend’s sandwich!  Becoming paralyzed by analysis—never believing you have enough data and facts to make decisions—and to make the decisions correctly.

Or you may struggle getting things accomplished, producing results and implementation.  If the strength is fostering corporate culture and team relationships,  then processes, systems and planning may not be on my radar.  I may even be challenged with staying focused and choosing a plan to implement.  When the team asks for direction, you may reply with a dream or a vision for the future instead of a concrete game-plan that can be executed.

So, what to do about it? Awareness is the first step.  Listen to your team and your friends when they point out your habits and share their frustrations with your pattern of thought and conversation.  Ask for what they need from you and make a conscious effort to deliver what they ask for.  Seek out the viewpoint of teammates with the opposite strength.  Look for how their comments contrast and balance your own thought patterns.  Strive to blend the two to create a vibrant, relevant solution and pathway to success.

For more strategies to maximize team strengths, come learn with us at 4MAT for Scrum Teams.