Confront your workplace weaknesses

3 min | David Brown | Article | Career development | Workplace

Man thinking

Do you know what your weaknesses are in the workplace? Even people at the top of their profession have weaknesses. It’s how you deal with them that matters most. 

Discover four tools to confronting those weaknesses: 

Seek feedback from others 
It pays to get feedback on your performance from those you work with, both internally and externally. You are not always the fairest judge of your own character, and will find that other people have some valuable suggestions. 
Be conscious of others’ intentions throughout this process. When asked for feedback, few people will be openly toxic, but remember that not everyone will be motivated to help you succeed either. First approach bosses, mentors and colleagues that you consider to be the most insightful and honest. 
Be honest with yourself 
Be brave and honest enough to make a realistic self-assessment. All of us have areas in which we are less strong in than others. It’s our willingness to accept this fact and work towards accommodating our weaknesses that makes some of us more successful than others. 
For instance, one of my weaknesses is my tendency to take on more work than is realistic. I like to think at the beginning of the week that I can plough through a whole multitude of tasks, however there are always new projects popping up which complicate my schedule. I am aware of this weakness and have made steps to confront it by developing a much more straightforward system to manage my workload. 
Engage others to help you change. Arrange an open and honest meeting with your boss to discuss your weaknesses. You will more than likely find your boss is eager to help facilitate your professional development ambitions. Being honest about your weaknesses also makes you more approachable and easier to work with. 
So, try constructing a list of your weaknesses and put together a realistic and tangible action plan to help you confront them. 

More career advice to help you along your career journey  
It’s not going to be easy 
Change can of course be an uncomfortable and sometimes unsettling, and sometimes you might experience a setback, but don’t lose sight of the final goal – personal development and progression. 
Many successful people have admitted that their road to success was paved with failure. Prepare yourself to encounter adversity on your path to self-improvement. 
One small victory at a time 
Don’t make the mistake of identifying several weaknesses and then trying to deal with them all at once. This is a sure way to overwhelm yourself and to become confused about what it is you’re trying to achieve. Focus instead on one small improvement at a time. 
Be specific about the exact improvements you are seeking. This allows you to both plan for and then assess your progress accurately. When assessing your progress, find ways to reward small steps of improvement. Let your improvements so far be your motivation to improve further still. 
A final thought 
We all have weaknesses, but only some of us choose to try and improve on them. Recognizing these shortcomings and, where possible, doing something about them is what separates the truly successful from the rest. 

About this author

David Brown
Americas President, Chief Executive Officer USA

David, a 21-year veteran of the staffing business, has been in charge of overseeing all US operations for Hays since 2018. Prior to leading Hays US, David held a number of positions in sales, sales management, and senior management. With his wife and three children, David resides in Atlanta and actively supports a number of regional non-profit organizations.

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