‘Each man delights in the work that suits him best.’ – Homer, Iliad, Book XIV
Developing one’s skills is central to workplace success. Although it is of course necessary to try to turn one’s weaknesses into strengths, it is hugely important to recognise that, to a certain extent, there are some things that we are good at and some things that unfortunately, we are not.
We achieve the best results and feel best about our work when we are working to what suits us best.
The first step to take is to ascertain your strengths and weaknesses.
- To determine your strengths first consider your recent successes. We achieve at the things we are good at so if you examine the causes of a successful project you may very well see that the driving force of your accomplishment was because the task was playing to your strengths. This should not downplay the sense of achievement that you feel after creating great work but it is important to understand that when you achieve it is typically because you have made best use of the potential that you have. Look at the driving factors of your success and this should show you clearly what you are good at.
- To determine one’s weaknesses, examining the inverse is often useful. Look at recent mistakes you have made at work and try to analyse where you failed, these will be your mistakes. For example if you made a mistake by simply not paying attention to specific details it may show that one of your weaknesses is having a lack of attention to detail.
Once you have ascertained your strengths and weaknesses, you will be well prepared to plan projects and tasks by playing to your strengths rather than continuing to work in a way that does not maximise efficiency and therefore output. Everyone has different strengths and being able to reach out to your colleagues for support in areas that you are weak in is a ‘game-changer’.
This change in attitude and behaviour will also make you happier at work. As Homer said in the Iliad nearly 3000 years ago ‘Each man delights in the work that suits him best’.