In every interview, whether it be for a new job or a sport team you’ll be asked to identify your greatest weakness. The reason that it’s such an important message is obvious, it reveals the degree of your self awareness. A person who focusses on their strengths and doesn’t know their weaknesses is dangerous.
However, if we focus on our weaknesses it can lead us to delusions. First, that we can fix them. Second that they don’t have a value and third, there’s something about you that’s not absolutely lovable.
The best, and most accurate way to find your weakness is to list your strengths. Then, write the opposite. For example: strong leader is a strength then, maybe write kindness or compassion as a weakness. You see they are one in the same thing, your greatest strength always leads to your greatest weakness.
Secondly, don’t ask others. 360 degree feedback is like asking an axe murderer what they think of screw drivers. People project 99.9999% of their own issues onto you so, for the sake of your good heart, skip that rubbish.
Finally, in determining your weakness don’t even dream of being honest. Find the highest soft issue your prospective employer or team has, and define your weakness right in that value. For example: they might say wellbeing is important as a soft issue, then your weakness is a really strong focus on wellbeing. Use your knowledge of the firm to demonstrate that even your greatest weakness is really, for them, a strength.
The Buddha wrote: “I tell them what they want to hear until they are ready to hear what I want to tell them.”
So don’t feel inauthentic in defining your weakness’ in a different language. This actually shows mental health. Mental illness comes when we polarise ourselves into the corporate maxim of strengths versus weakness. Bipolar. We are better to demonstrate a far more astute awareness of mental health as demonstrated here.
There’s nothing I’ve done or not done that’s not worthy of love…Chris
Although that’s a tripple negative, it’s powerful.
Here’s a few more ideas:
- Strength = Creative. Weakness = Challenge old routines
- Strength = Logical. Weakness = Not easily emotionally distracted
- Strength = Compassionate. Weakness = A bit too kind at times
- Strength = Love family values. Weakness = Not aggressive
- Strength = Innovative. Weakness = Disruptive.
Remember, self awareness is now the single most important differentiator between applicants for new jobs. Qualifications are easy to get. Experience is not always a testimonial to performance. People make the difference and self-awareness makes people valuable or the lack of it, useless.