How Does 1+1 = 4?

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We all Have Strengths and Weaknesses

It is a management fad of sorts these days to test employees to determine strengths and weaknesses and then spend, what in reality turns out to be, an insurmountable amount of time trying to improve on those weaknesses. I would bet that if we were to ask our parents what our weaknesses were when we were ten years old, they would be pretty close to what they are today—they might even put some consultants out of business!

If Weaknesses are Hard-coded, What then?

Most people’s weaknesses are a hard-coded part of their personality and in some way directly attached to their strengths. Instead of seeking to coach your team in their areas of weakness, I urge you to consider several alternatives. First, we can help employees to increase awareness and recognition of both their strengths and weaknesses. Given that most of our weaknesses are hard-coded, we probably won’t ever entirely overcome them. Heck, we probably aren’t going to make much ground at all.

What we can do as executives, though, is to help employees become more aware of their weaknesses and find an alternate way to handle situations where their weaknesses become an issue. Secondly, we can create teams by pairing employees according to their strengths and weaknesses. One employee’s weaknesses might be another employee’s strengths. The value of a teaming has significant business results because, like the familiar saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts! You can make 1+1=4!

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Mike McDermott

Mike McDermott serves as President of InquisIT. In this role, he is responsible for advancing the business by defining corporate strategy, and being the driving force behind business development and contract operations.

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