If I ask you to make a guess, what do you think is the MOST common questions that will be asked during an interview?
I bet more than half of you will guess: "what are your strengths?"
and the other half of you will guess: "what are your weaknesses?"
Have you ever wonder, why is it so important for them to know your weakness and your strength? Or maybe I ask this question back to you, why do you think it is important for YOU to know your own strength and weakness?
Traditionally, in the business world, it was told that in order to excel in our work, we need to know what areas we are weak in so that we can plan a necessary training and development programme to overcome those weaknesses. That's why most people in general, after they listed down all their strengths and weaknesses, they will leave their strength alone and focus on improving their weaknesses.
For example, if you are very good with technical stuff but you always scared of doing public speaking or presentation, so you do your best to improve your weakness by attending some public speaking courses. Do you think you are doing the correct thing?
Should we focus on our strength and forget about our weakness? or should we do something to eliminate our weakness? the answer is: depends.
For me, no matter what is the situation, I will always focus most of my energy and attention on my strengths. And whether I should do something about my weakness or not, that depends on whether the weakness is an obstacle for getting me where I want to be or not.
For example: When I first started my first career in sales, one of my weakness is my language. I can't speak mandarin, on which in the country that I live in (Singapore), most people are very comfortable talking in mandarin. But instead of focusing on my weakness and trying to take courses to learn mandarin (which I think it will take at least 1 year before I can start communicate fluently), I choose to focus on my strength. For me at that time, not able to speak mandarin wasn't really an obstacle for me to achieve my success because I can still make sales by approaching all the English-speaking people. And the number of people who can speak English is definitely more than enough to bring me a lot of sales. Therefore instead of spending extra hours learning mandarin, I used that extra hours to approach more people.
Another example: If you are a great computer programmer and wanted to be the best in the industry, does it really make sense for you to take a public speaking class instead of using that time to keep up with ever-changing technology?
Of course big exception is when your weakness is getting in the way of your goals.
When I know that my weakness is getting in the way of my goals, I will have to eliminate it, either by learning about it myself, or hire some expertise who can do it for me :)
For example: When I first started my own organization, I don't have any experience in managing people, create a system, etc. But I can't just ignore that, because that is essential for me to be able to grow in my career. Therefore I then learn how to lead others, how to motivate my team, managing them, etc.
I hope by now you all should get the picture on what you should do with your strengths and weaknesses. And I hope what I just shared with you will help you in your life.
So in summary few things that you need to do:
1. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Determine the strengths and weaknesses that can affect your path to success.
3. Focus and leverage on your strengths
4. Eliminate the weaknesses that stop you from getting what you want.