• 17th May 2010 - By proteman

    Karate masters teach students to use their opponents’ strength against them in combat. They know that often, a strength can also be a weakness.

    Think about yourself.

    What is your greatest strength? Then consider the following two questions:

    How has your strength helped you achieve success?


    • Jane Manager climbed the corporate ladder because of her in-depth industry and company knowledge. Over time, she became an irreplacable company resource and to retain her, she was promoted.


    • Ted Manager achieved high levels of success through strong relationship building and interpersonal skills. He’s a great listener, networker and question-asker. He also loves helping others and cares about people.

    How has your strength hurt you or held you back?


    • Jane Manager’s strength becomes a problem when she assumes she knows all of the answers and has the best ideas. No one can teach her anything, she thinks (been there, done that). She preaches and gives everyone advice, but rarely asks questions or engages people in dialogue. As a result, people avoid her and only use her knowledge when absolutely necessary. Her employees respect her expertise, but aren’t motivated because they’re lacking leadership.


    • Ted Manager’s strength becomes an obstacle when, because he’s so nice and empathetic, he has difficulty having tough conversations with employees. Employees like Ted personally, but they don’t respect him as a manager. Bad behavior and mediocre performance goes unchecked in the department. As a result, morale suffers and performance lags.

    Today’s tip: Be aware of your greatest strength and how it may be holding you back in a current situation. Ease up a bit on using your strength in this situation — and try using a more productive behavior that you’re less comfortable with.

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