4 reasons why managers are drawn to weakness fixing, rather than leading with positive intent and focussing on strengths
- Judging others is a human universal psychological trait (Pinker 2002). Some are less judgmental than others… but often it requires purposeful mental intervention not to be (at least a little bit) negatively judgmental of others.
- Our list of weaknesses is always going to be longer than our list of strengths. The list of what we are incapable of is infinite – and the list of what we are capable of is
(unfortunately) finite. We often see weaknesses more visibly, as they are often more detectible due to their occurrence. It takes little energy or skill to point out weakness in others.
- We are all unique, with different talents and non-talents. Weakness-focussed teams see differences as disadvantages and sometimes as threats. It is an easy trap to fall into. Strengths-Based teams (and partnerships) see differences as advantages. It takes a humble approach to increasing self-awareness to accept that you may have strengths where I may have weaknesses.
- Some narratives contend that talent does not exist and puts all human achievement down to effort alone. This means that any failings in performance is purely the fault of the individual not trying hard enough and that any aspect of their aptitudes can be transformed with some effort. Ignoring innate dispositions (talents) directs our focus to negative weakness fixing. In many cases, it might just be that an employee’s talents are a poor fit for their role.
Lead with positive intent, work hard to uncover talent, develop strength, raise engagement and maximize performance.
But what if the team member thinks they have strengths where I think they have weaknesses? Click Here
To learn more about strengths-psychology and maximizing engagement click here.