Are you overusing your talents?

Posted February 18, 2010 in Latest News & Insights

Have you ever thought about the fact that you could be overusing your talents? We’re always talking about how important it is to work with our strengths, but what’s the impact when you overuse them?

As discussed in prior blogs, whatever strength you have, there’s a guaranteed Achilles heel that’s going to be dogging you.

Personally, I’m the queen of persuasion.  Everyone can be convinced of anything if I just figure out their hot buttons (or so I’d like to believe!).  In fact, I really enjoy the challenge of trying to win people over to my point of view.  And that’s the real rub.  When you’re good at something, you usually really like doing it.  And when what you’re good at is a leadership behavior that you tend to rely on a lot, there is a definite danger of overusing it.

An overused skill like persuasion can lead to people feeling manipulated or talked into something they didn’t really want to do.  My own team members used to roll their eyes when I’d start conversations with “I’ve got a great development opportunity for you.”  It was a cue to them that I was about to issue a sales pitch on some task that they probably didn’t see much merit in taking on.

The bottomline is that any strength will become a liability if you overuse it.  So, what tool do you have in your kit bag that you’re relying on a little too frequently?  Is it your deep expertise? Your thoroughness in setting up processes?  Your ability to build consensus? Your fantastic ability to debate?

If you’re not sure what you’re strengths are or how they may be being perceived by others, consider undertaking a 360 survey.   Not sure where to start?  Shoot me an email and we’ll send you our resource list of where you can begin your journey.

Remember… knowledge is power.  The more knowledge you have about your strengths and how they are impacting your leadership, the stronger a position you will be in to make the changes you need to up your impact.  Most leaders don’t derail because of what they know… it’s what you don’t know that’ll trip you.

Happy leading!


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