Whether we want to admit it or not, when it comes to work, most of us have weaknesses. These are the things that get in the way of our performance or the performance of someone else. Weaknesses can come in various forms such as not being able to complete a task properly, an inability to learn a certain skill or a behavior that gets in the way of collaboration. Whatever the weakness, the key is in how we manage it. There are a few strategies to do this:
- Find a partner - one of the most effective ways to manage our weaknesses is to find a partner who can compensate. As an example, a weakness of mine is understanding the financials of a credit union. When we facilitate strategic planning sessions for members, I have a partner, our chief credit officer, Tim Sustak, who is brilliant at analyzing financial information. Tim makes my weakness irrelevant, and the member receives a comprehensive planning session.
- Devise a support system - another useful approach is to create a support system. This can be as simple as using your calendar to help you remember due dates. Another support system that I use is a set of questions which helps me understand what a credit union has tried in the past when it comes to their leadership development. I rarely think about the past, as I’m more inclined to look ahead. This set of questions reminds me that it’s helpful to understand what’s already been done so I can best help the credit union to build on past success and avoid repeating things that didn’t previously work.
- Trade responsibilities – one more approach is to switch a responsibility that is a weakness for you with a colleague for whom this task is not a weakness. Then you take one of that colleague’s responsibilities, ideally one of his weaknesses, for a mutually beneficial swap.
There’s no avoiding it – we all have weaknesses. When we are forced to act on those weaknesses, it causes us stress and worry, and hampers our performance. Those factors diminish our energy for work and pinch our commitment. Try these three alternatives to shed this burden and increase your commitment and productivity.
Joe Bertotto has more than three decades of experience helping leaders improve their workplace cultures. He is the chief culture officer at Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union and a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. In 2014, Joe was named a Credit Union Rock Star by Credit Union Magazine. He also recently published his book, Pick Up the Gum Wrapper: How To Create a Workplace That Increases Performance While Improving Lives, which credit union leaders have been using as a guide to increase the effectiveness of their leadership skills and overall culture.