The Strengths and Weaknesses MYTH


It is epidemic with a worldwide obsession:

‘Let’s fix what is wrong and let the strengths take care of themselves’

In the business world, managers spend most of their time working with the weakest performers and zeroing in on their mistakes.

Parents and teachers focus on students’ lowest grades rather than on their highest.

Almost all of a country’s social work is focused on problems instead of helping people become self-sufficient.

Why do we continue to focus all our energies on fixing weaknesses while ignoring strengths? Why do we continue to work at some activities without getting better at them?

Because it’s a faulty reasoning, which is responsible for many myths in our society: Fixing weaknesses will make everything all right.

The popular notion is that if you fix a weakness in an individual, the individual will become stronger.

Sadly, this assumption is false. Fixing weaknesses only puts a person or an organisation at normal or average.

What’s the solution? Maximise Strengths and Manage the Weaknesses.

If you develop your strengths to the maximum, the strength becomes so great it overwhelms the weaknesses.

Instead of thinking in terms of weaknesses, the focus needs to be on identifying and developing strengths while managing the weakness.

When I talk about weaknesses, I do not mean everything you don’t do well, only what intrudes on your area of productivity or lessons your self-esteem and personal worth in your own eyes.

There are some apparent weaknesses that can be corrected with an extraordinary amount of time, energy, and money. Weaknesses can be removed but they cannot be transformed into strengths.

Let me give you an example. Assuming you are right handed. Biological and neurological sciences tell us that the brain locus of control for your right hand is on the opposite side of the brain, in this case the left hand side. If you tried to write with your left hand it would look like an awkward scribble (at least it does with me).
Now there are people who had no choice to develop their left hand due to an accident or losing of a limb. Over time they actually become really good at it, but it will never be a real strength. You can be skilled and good at something but it not necessarily a strengths.

There are people who are so trained and so skilful, excelling what they do, but deep down inside of themselves would be only too glad to stop it altogether and do something totally different, corresponding to their strengths.

So how do you manage your weaknesses, versus fixing them? Align yourself with people who celebrate as their strengths what you consider a weakness!

Or to use another example:

The Chinese have long held the Olympic gold medal in Ping-Pong. At the 1984 Olympics, when they again captured the gold, the coach of the Chinese team was asked by a reporter, “Tell us about your team’s daily training regimen.”

“We practice eight hours a day perfecting our strengths.”

“Could you be a little more specific?”

“Here is our philosophy: if you develop your strengths to the maximum, the strength becomes so great it overwhelms the weaknesses. Our winning player, you see, plays only his forehand. Even though he cannot play backhand and his competition knows he cannot play backhand, his forehand is so invincible that it cannot be beaten.”




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Copyright Angelika (Geli) Heimann © 2017 — All rights reserved.

The content contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition

“Their leaves never wither and in all they do they prosper.”

~ Psalm 1:3

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