Realizing How Apparent Weaknesses Can Be Strengths

Not one quality that you possess is truly a weakness. In many cases a trait or behavioral response simply needs to be managed more effectively. Recently I participated in a program geared to recognizing individual personality traits and using that information to improve on communication. Each of us were provided a block consisting of 4 colors. The colors were placed in the order of characteristics we commonly lead with when responding in a work environment. We were also provided with a profile that detailed unconscious responses. In addition to understanding ways to approach coworkers, I also learned how to adjust my own responses to improve on my approach with everyone I meet. My color/characteristics include green, as my dominant color, which represents the supporter, followed by blue, the organizer, yellow, inclusive, and red the leader.

I) The first step is to recognize and acknowledge your responses to other personalities. 

As a supporter I find myself needing to be extremely helpful. In some cases when dealing with a leader my desire to assist may appear intrusive and overbearing. Now I am not going to stop helping others because it is in my nature. But I can learn to wait to be asked or select one area to assist with instead of jumping into handling the whole project.

With the organizer being second in line, I am the type who loves receiving and providing a load of information. This can also invoke frustration in a person who just wants to know the moral without the details. When I am teamed with a leader on a project I will typically summarize my point in no more than 3 sentences and only provide backup when asked. Another supposed weakness in this situations is how others perceive me after I have been given information.  I require time to practice and analyze.  The time taken is sometimes misconstrued as not grasping the information, or not caring enough about it. This is where communication comes in, as it is important to relay my need for time to let the details sink in.

My inclusive nature being third on the list has its benefits, as it means that I can work independently and in groups.  I have noticed that in groups I must consciously scale back my need to complete tasks on my own, but for the most part that is not too much of an issue.

The side of me that represents the leader is last and this one did not surprise me at all.  I have never had the desire to be in charge, or have had the demeanor to assert myself other than when I have felt defensive. This can appear as a weakness, but every captain needs a good first mate, or crew member that can effectively promote the goals of the organization.  When placed in a leadership role, I can excel as I allow each member to provide their input while ensuring I will make the final decision.

II) Next recognize and acknowledge the responses others have to you.

My supportive approach has been met with both positive and negative responses that have taught me the importance of considering two things. One is to keep in mind the traits the person I am dealing with lead with, and the second is to uncover the type of day that individual is experiencing.

The organizer in me will either be praised or be dismissed. Know your audience and their needs! Your encounters will frequently lean toward the praise side of the coin if you are providing what they want as opposed to what you think they want.

Suffering from FOMO can be a problem for me, but I can say with certainty that in the past not being a part of a project or group was not a testament of how others see me. The best way to turn this feeling from bad to good, is to not take things personally.  You know the benefits of what you bring to the group, just understand that it may not be what is needed at the time.

The leader or lack thereof in my case has to know when and with who to be assertive. Being needlessly firm with another leader may result in conflict.  However in some cases if someone refuses to follow an established guideline, a strong yet respectful reminder is in order.

III) The final step is to practice.

The more you work in groups and engage with others the better you become at navigating different situations and people.

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Resolifers, can you think of a trait you believe to be a weakness? Comment below and together we can determine how it can be altered into a strength.

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