Can you identify what YOUR biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses are? Think about it. Take a moment to be vulnerable and put some thought into it. Now, if you were to ask your colleagues, significant other and/or friends, would they have the same answers for you? Can you guys guess what mine are?
As a lead in the company, I was tasked to read ‘5 Dysfunctions of a Team‘. Just a quick background about the book; The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a business book by consultant and speaker Patrick Lencioni. It describes the many pitfalls that teams face as they seek to “row together”. This book explores the fundamental causes of organizational politics and team failure. Like most of Lencioni’s books, the bulk of it is written as a business fable. While it’s directed toward business, you could really apply this book to your personal life as well.
Here’s a snapshot of what the 5 Dysfunctions are:
- Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust The fear of being vulnerable with team members prevents the building of trust within the team.
- Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict The desire to preserve artificial harmony stifles the occurrence of productive ideological conflict.
- Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment The lack of clarity or buy-in prevents team members from making decisions they will stick to.
- Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability The need to avoid interpersonal discomfort prevents team members from holding one another accountable.
- Dysfunction #5: Inattention to Results The pursuit of individual goals and personal status erodes the focus on collective success.
Now, for the good stuff. In our leads meeting last week we were to come up with one word that we believe to describe our own strength and one word to describe our weakness. Then, in today’s lead meeting each of us would either confirm and/or develop off those strengths and weaknesses with further conversation. I’d almost like to call it a ‘roast’ of your peers, but not nearly has harsh.
When it came to my ‘roast’ this is what was communicated to me…
my strengths were that I’m Passionate, for the company and for causes and care alot about the people I work with, including charities and the community, while my weaknesses were a Passive attitude (not to be confused with passive aggressive), shuts down and not assertive. I’d say they nailed it.
Now when I asked a handful of friends to ‘think fast’ and give me their input on what they believed my strengths and weaknesses were, this is what I got:
- Caring about friends and wanting to protect them
- Ability to talk to anyone and make them feel like they’re the only one in the room
- Love people regardless
- Able to empathize
- Certainty – going for what you want, regardless of the outcome “life is short mentality”
- Too Forgiving
- Being too invested in situations, even when it hurts you deeply
- Trusting everyone
- Too Giving
- Spread yourself too thin – you put yourself out there so much that you may forget to care for your needs first over others.
I’ve often wondered if my weaknesses were a result of me being an only child for 16 years and never being picked on by siblings, etc. or if there was some other factor that played a role? With two military parent’s you’d think I’d have thicker skin, and stand my ground a bit more but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In reviewing both my strengths and weaknesses from my coworkers and friends they seem to very much coincides with my personality results from the Myers-Briggs test (ENFJ-T aka The Protaganist) and my The Archetypes test (pictured below).
So in a moment of vulnerability I welcome you to share any strengths and weaknesses you believe you possess and any additional ones you think I possess. I’d truly love to hear them. I’m not perfect but a work in progress, and what better way to work on oneself than to gain insight from a wide spectrum of peers.
– With Ambition