Sunday, April 19, 2009

the problem with weakness

At Friday's Smithsonian Conference on Organizational Storytelling, a brilliant knowledge management specialist shared the following quote: "If you work on weaknesses your whole life, what you end up with are a bunch of strong weaknesses."

This gets to the heart of why SWOT analyses are flawed tools: weaknesses should not be given the same weight as strengths. This also gets to the heart of my approach to communication skills training: focus on expanding and highlighting a person's strengths, and their weaknesses will most likely fade into the background.

1 comment:

  1. This speaks to a situation I just observed last week when my partners and I were working with an organization in Jamaica. There was a group of polite teenagers that helped move furniture for the training sessions and brought up lunch for the attendees. We all commented on how helpful these young men were. The executive director told us that these boys had been expelled from school for such things as bringing weapons to campus and fighting. The Center had turned them around by focusing on what they did right, not what they had done wrong. For many of them, it was the first time anyone told them they did something worthy of praise and they were working on the behaviors that brought more of that praise.