John K. Coyle

All of us — individuals, teams, and organizations — have weaknesses. These are not skill gaps; those can be corrected with learning. Weaknesses are inherent deficiencies of talent or capability that do not change even after aggressive efforts to improve them. Pride and our ingrained work ethic may cause us to deny our weaknesses, but acceptance is the first step toward designing for strength.

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Weaknesses tend to be universal and broad. […] But strengths are often extraordinarily specific. […] As an individual, or as an enterprise, knowing the specific nature of your strengths is incredibly important. Perhaps, as an individual, you are a good communicator. But can you be more specific? For example, are you best at articulating simple concepts underlying complex topics? As a narrator of emotionally powerful stories? Or at analyzing facts and data? Are you better with big audiences? Medium-sized audiences? Small groups? Videos? Visuals? Or words? Are you better as a facilitator or one on one? Are you a coach? A challenger? A comedian? Or perhaps a listener? All of these are implicit in the catch-all term “good communicator,” but if you don’t know your specific superpower, you can’t leverage it to full advantage.

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