Posts Tagged ‘strengths and weaknesses’

I had just finished doing my personal profile the other day when a friend busted me!  He wrote to say he really liked my blog and also that he liked that I changed “challenges” to “weaknesses” in my version of the profile.  Oops, I hadn’t even noticed!  And that got me thinking about semantics.

Is it a “problem” or an “issue”?  Is it a “challenge” or is it a “weakness”?  And does it matter?  My short answer and I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer.  But I do understand my friend’s reaction to this kind of positive speak.  It can go too far and I am certainly not one to beat around the bush.  Ultimately, they are only words and it’s what you feel inside that matters.  Does “weakness” feel bad and insurmountable?  Then change it to challenge.  But maybe ask yourself why the word weakness gets to you.

Anyway, as I did my own profile (posted here in all its glory…click on image to make it bigger), I noticed a few interesting things.  First, I don’t like cut and paste!  And clearly I’m not good at it.  In fourth grade I’m sure I would have done a better job, but now it’s really about what I’m learning and not how it looks (clearly).

Second, as I was cutting out the statements, I felt like, wow, these are all going to go in the middle…they have elements of strengths, but also elements of weakness.  I can do it sometimes, but not always.  Or it works for me and against me at the same time.  My mid-section was going to be crowded.

The third thing I noticed is that I didn’t have many things in my “weaknesses/challenges” circle and my “strengths” circle was pretty crowded…and that made me uncomfortable.  I thought, if I share this it sort of feels like I’m bragging (and I only really do that when I play Scrabble with certain friends).  Or maybe I just didn’t put down things that I’m not good at.  Or maybe I’m lying to myself.  But then I noticed one of the things I did put in the weakness circle,  “Celebrating my successes” and I thought, yeah, that’s hard for me.  And having a pretty empty “weakness” circle is a success for me.  Not too long ago, my profile would have looked quite different.  And even longer back it would have looked very different.  So I’m going to take a risk and celebrate the success that I’ve figured a lot of things out in my life.  And the crowded mid-section shows I still have lots to learn!

If anyone out there did one of these, I’d love to see it.   And if you haven’t, do it!

My fourth grader recently did a “Learning Profile” at school (click on picture to see a larger version).  The idea is to let him see where his strengths and weaknesses lie, and where they overlap.  They used a Venn Diagram to illustrate it…basically intersecting circles.  I think it’s a super cool tool and am so amazed at how spot on his profile is.

And that got me thinking.  Wouldn’t this be a great tool for coaching or just for anyone wanting to see themselves a little more clearly.   You can use it to acknowledge who you are and what your strengths and weaknesses are.  You could also use it to motivate yourself to make changes.  Maybe there are a couple weaknesses that really bug you and you’d like to change.  The other ones you can work around.

So I’ve created a list of qualities so you too can make make a profile for yourself.  You can print them and do cut and paste (very 4th grade!) or you could do it all on the computer.  I’m going to give it a try too and will post my “Way of Living Profile” soon!

Trying new things

Going new places

Meeting people

Taking risks

Following through on things

Staying positive

Taking care of myself

Taking care of others

Sleeping enough

Doing tasks that aren’t exciting to me

Working with a group

Dancing

Relaxing

Making friends

Tuning out distracting people and/or sounds

Working by myself

Coming up with new ideas

Following through on ideas

Organizing my life

Keeping friends

Learning new things

Paying attention

Communicating my ideas

Keeping secrets

Thinking before acting

Taking responsibility for my actions

Understanding other points of view/perspectives

Staying calm in difficult moments

Expressing myself clearly

Showing myself to others

Being in the moment

Taking care of my health

Keeping my priorities straight

Living my values

Exercising

Eating well

Celebrating my successes

Holding on to failures

Being afraid of failure

Being honest with myself

Telling stories

Being decisive