Overcoming a weakness
It’s clear that we don’t always succeed in life and doing something for the first time may not always come easily, but most of us enjoy trying new things and know that if we practice at something we may get better at it over time. We also know that with hard work and practice we can learn new skills, grow and develop our natural talents to overcome any weaknesses we may have, but what is a weakness?
At its most basic level, a weakness is considered to be when somebody has a disadvantage that prevents them from succeeding, so if we naturally excel in one area, we will normally see a weakness in other areas or at least be seen to lack the same level of skills or natural talents.
So it can be really helpful to work with your clients to find a balance between the things they find easy and the things they may want to work on so they can overcome a weakness or lack of natural talent. Especially as this is what makes us unique and can help us explore who we really are, but remember that the things they may class as being their natural ability or talent may be perceived by others as a character flaw or a weakness that needs to be worked on.
For example, if one of your clients is naturally funny then they may be perceived by some as being childish or lacking in boundaries. And if a client has a natural presence and finds it easy to take control of any situation, they may sometimes appear to be overconfident or pushy. Therefore, you may want to work with these clients to help them understand how they are being perceived by others so they can quickly spot this behavior in themselves and learn to suppress it or adapt to what they are doing. This can be achieved by learning to take a step back so they can look for any negative body language signals in the people around them or develop complementary soft skills to try and balance things out like empathy and understanding.
But if as an adult we don’t want to feel like we are receiving bad marks at school or coming across in a negative way, what options do we have to try and manage any real or perceived weaknesses?
Rely on your natural talents
We can either do very little and just hope our skills or natural talents carry us through life and if lucky, mask any real issues or weaknesses we may have. Or choose to work really hard to develop our natural skills or talents so we make sure we excel in those areas. That way we will fully understand or acknowledge our weaknesses and present ourselves as a subject matter expert and the go-to person for help, support or insight in the areas where we shine.
Make small improvements
Many of us may find it difficult to look for or acknowledge our weaknesses, so it may be helpful to take a similar approach to the one we use when thinking about our strengths and natural talent. And if we are normally happy to take up a challenge, ask ourselves where we are on a weakness scale of 1 to 10. Then depending on the score, look to make small improvements or adjustments each day as that may be all it takes to start to make the change we need to overcome any weakness.
Get professional help
If we are not naturally good at something like sports, but want to improve, it can be really helpful to train with somebody that is good at sports. That way, you get to practice together in a safe and supportive environment where you start to learn the all-important tips and tricks. And the same can be seen within our professional lives, where a professional coach, business partner or mentor can help identify or train natural skills and talents or find ways to work on areas that may be perceived as weaknesses or character flaws.
Delegate to an expert
Another option would be to simply delegate any work we are not good at or do not feel comfortable delivering, however we need to ensure the people we work with do not perceive us as being lazy or picking all the fun things to do. We also need to ensure we find people who are good at what they do and share common values and quality standards because they are working on our behalf. So make sure you are clear on what is expected and what help or support is available, so they succeed and feel like this is going to be an opportunity for them to grow in experience and learn new skills.
Just give up and walk away
And sometimes we just have to agree there are some things we will never master, and accept there are some fights we will always lose. But knowing when to let go and simply walk away is a real-life lesson some people will never grasp without help. By using a simple coaching tool like the circle of influence, you can help your clients identify all of the things within their control and anything they may only have some influence over.
It also helps to identify anything outside of their control and this empowers them to question why they are wasting time on the things they can genuinely do nothing to change. This can help shift their focus and energy into things they are good at, especially when we know that it can be really is pointless to worry about things we have no control over or know we will never succeed at.
As a professional coach, you have access to a wide range of different tools and techniques that help you review and plan what you would personally do to adapt to different situations, identify your skills and natural talent or work out what you have some or no control over. This gives you the insight needed to explore how different situations make you feel and how to present yourself to others so you learn to manage their expectations, however learning to pick the right tool for your clients as they find balance within their lives is key to being a successful coach.
So if you are working with anybody who feels as if nothing is going their way or they are lacking in control over their lives, consider reviewing the things they find easy in life and the things they (or people around them) may consider to be a weakness. It can be really helpful to identify the things within our lives that we have control over or the things we could influence. But more importantly, knowing exactly what is completely outside of our control can be the first step towards accepting, letting go or simply walking away.
Check out this essential coaching tool in the online shop:
- Circle of influence – Learn how to support any individual or small group take back control with this easy-to-implement coaching tool. This essential coaching toolkit includes full step-by-step instructions and an easy-to-print handout for you to use during the coaching session.
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