Saturday, January 24, 2009


This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of best universities. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com

All of us have our strengths and weaknesses. Most of us give a lot of importance to our weaknesses and try to overcome them so that we may become more competitive at our work place. But have you ever tried focusing on your strengths and those of your colleagues at your work place? Did you know that this strength-based management had its benefits too? Here are some reasons to focus on strengths at work.

  1. You feel more connected with your team and colleagues when you place more focus on their strengths than on their weaknesses. Once you know the strengths of a person, you know how to interact well with that person and how to build on those strengths. Usually, the only topic that keeps you connected to your colleagues would be ‘the boss’ as most of you may find it difficult to relate to stuff outside work. But knowing each others strengths and focusing on them allows you to see your colleagues in a positive light and build a better bond with them.
  2. You feel motivated by your strengths. We achieve so much more when we focus on our strengths. They give us a sense of self-worth that we feel happy. When you focus on employee strengths, they feel motivated too. Their self-esteem goes up and they feel happy to be a part of a team in which their strengths are recognized and emphasized.
  3. You can use colleagues’ strengths to complement and supplement your own thus building a very good team. For example, you maybe good at developing long-term strategy. You can complement this strength with the researching skills of a colleague to come up with the best strategies. A colleague may be good at public relations. You may support her in building relationships within your team. This will go a long way in motivating her. So focusing on strengths will build a strong team that can handle almost any challenge that arises.
  4. You will save the time and energy that has to be put into improving your weak areas, by focusing on your strengths. Trying to improve in an area where you are weak may promote you from poor to mediocre. But is it worth it? Why not focus on a skill at which you are excellent and try moving to masterful. This can be more enjoyable and save you the boredom at work. You can better your strong points and leave it to the others to help out in areas where you are weak. This saves everybody a lot of time.
  5. Your work will become more fulfilling and it will reflect in all aspects of your life. A high level of confidence within you and a friendly atmosphere at your work place make life that much more pleasant and stress-free. Focusing on weaknesses gives rise to fears and insecurities. These fears are non-existent when we focus on our strengths. Try focusing not only on your strengths but also on your colleagues’ and watch the positive change come into play at your work place.

It is not possible to be an all-rounder but it is possible to be the best at certain things the way that only you can be. The same holds for your staff and colleagues. Give strengths a new focus and see if it doesn’t work.


Matthias said...

Dear Holly

thanks very much for your guest post! I invite other people to send me their posts as well. This blog is not supposed to be about me and my ideas, but it should be a place where everybody interested in strengths-based management can communicate his ideas and experiences.

Holly, I have one question, which is related to your web site, bestuniversities: I have been thinking about doing some post-grad work (Master, PhD) related to strengths at a US online university. Is there anyone that you could recommend in particular when it comes to research about strengths-based management/leadership?