23 May Why managers need to cultivate strengths, not focus on weakness
You are likely all too familiar with the job interview question asking a prospective new-hire “what do you think your and weaknesses are?”
Many candidates go into interviews with a ready-made answer for this question, knowing that it is typically one of the first questions asked.
But, why are we so concerned about weaknesses? Shouldn’t we just be focusing on discovering what strengths they will bring to the company?
When it comes to your hiring practices, here’s why you need to stop asking about weakness and start focusing on strengths.
Every potential employee has something to offer to your business, and as recruiters, we work really hard to make sure that what the candidate has is what you need.
Start by focusing on finding out what the candidate’s strengths are, and gauging how those compare to the characteristics you need for your company’s success.
You should also do this when you employ a new member on your team: you need to focus on what strengths they can bring to your company:
- to make it better
- make your job easier
- streamline your systems and processes
Not only will you get the most from your employee, but also makes them feel like they are a valuable asset to your team.
This pushes and motivates the individual, getting the best work out of them that they can offer, and in turn, benefits the business, bringing in stronger results.
The idea of not focusing on weakness isn’t to say you don’t want to work on weaknesses.
Or that you shouldn’t be interested in helping employees improve, become better, and foster their own healthy degree of personal development.
Working on weakness, encouraging self-development, and providing the opportunity for improvement, is different than highlighting the things that an employee isn’t good at.
Employees need the chance to gain confidence in their area of weakness.
They can do this by practicing and learning by example, specifically by learning from someone who is good at it!
There is a reason companies outsource and find new employees to do new tasks or take on new projects: they want to find the best person to be able to have the best job done.
In this is a great learning opportunity, where those employees who aren’t skilled in this area can have someone who is an expert that they can learn from.
As you seek to address areas of weakness within your company and within your employees, don’t simply find the area of weakness and tell your employee that is what they need to work on.
Find someone who is good at that area and match the two together! From there, everyone wins!
There may have been a time when it was common to try to highlight areas of weaknesses in the workplace and encourage individuals to be proactive in trying to improve upon those areas.
Today, there is much more to gain by helping employees excel based on their strengths, focusing on what they can contribute, and making use of their greatest assets.