Archive for the ‘Strengths and Weaknesses’ Category

Play to Your Strengths

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

When I was a child growing up in the middle suburbs of Sydney, every household seemed to religiously read The Australian Women’s Weekly. It was a cultural and social mainstay: both a barometer and a bible.

One of the main things I learned from the Women’s Weekly is to play to your strengths. Over and over again, and in various ways, The Weekly published articles about how to emphasize your good points and disguise or compensate for your bad ones. (What shape is your face? How do you disguise a pear-shaped body? How do you make narrow shoulders look wider? What is your best colour?) From these articles I grew up learning how to look for my good features and compensate for the ones I didn’t like so much.

Though the lesson was generally intended to apply to your appearance, the regularity of these articles over many years became deeply entrenched in me, and I expect all the other young readers, and it soon became such second nature that it wasn’t hard to apply the principle to my whole life, not just to the way I looked.

I came to understand that the same principles are taught in sportbusiness, advertising, graphic art, leadership and coaching, and that they apply to every area of successful life management. In graphic art for instance, we are taught to quickly grab the attention of the viewer and convey the message instantly and effectively, and you need to understand the best points of something to be able to do that. In sport, we play our best players and team combination, put them in the right positions for their talents, teach them to compensate for each others flaws, and we understand to “never change a winning team”.

Yesterday, our Genesys Australia team examined our creativity & problem-solving profile. We have assessed many other teams and groups recently, and we decided it was time we “put our money where our mouth is” and looked at our selves.

Looking at our collective strengths and weaknesses, and examining how these fit with our aims, practice and style as an organization, I was reminded of the Women’s Weekly and it’s lesson to know yourself, and I was extremely gratified to have the opportunity to see how we all looked as a team and to see where our strengths and weaknesses lie.

We combined our individual results from the me2 Diagnostic, and examined our team in terms of the dimensions, which include idea generation, personality, motivation and confidence. We charted these on graphs, so that we could clearly see how we all fit together.

Our over-all score is well above average, which is reassuring in a post GFC world, where organizations need to be ready to constantly change and adapt.  As a group, we are high on fluency, idea generation and confidence in sharing ideas. We performed well on achievement and incubating ideas, and can see how we can increase these areas further. Though still in the average range, our lower score was in competiveness, which, after some discussion, we believe is consistent with our strong service-based ethic to help our clients solve their problems. It also reflects that we are both a psychology practice and a very cohesive collaborative team whose members work closely and well together. But we will keep our eye on this – perhaps we need to develop ourselves a bit more in this area and we will introduce some exercises and measures to help us.

The graphs showed a very creative team that has many healthy elements of diversity, and yes, strengths and weaknesses.

By understanding your strengths you can obviously use them to your best advantage, and you do this by minimising or reducing weaknesses and by using, fine-tuning and developing strengths. Many people waste a lot of time concentrating on weaknesses but they are only part of the picture. The key is to play to your strengths which means know your weaknesses and minimise them, but focus on and hone your strengths.

The Australian Women’s Weekly taught me that you can’t play to your strengths unless you know what they are. Yesterday, using the me2 Diagnostic, our team gained a clearer and more focused idea of how to do that. And it gave us a reassuring sense of understanding and self-confidence.

Lynette Jensen

Lynette Jensen is a director and co-founder of Genesys Australia and is committed to helping people achieve work-life balance through good job fit. In addition to contributing to this blog, she also writes regularly for HR Daily Community and Dynamic Business Magazine. Her articles have been re-published in India & the United Kingdom.

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NB: We are an independent workplace psychology practice. All views expressed here are our own and are the opinions of Stephen Kohl & his associates, which do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher and developer of GeneSys assessments, Psytech International.