Whether it’s feedback during your performance review or after an interview, you seem to always hear about the development areas you need to work on. You begin to compare yourself to your teammates. You feel like you’re not good enough. You seek training for this and mentoring for that. You feel like you’re chasing an elusive dream… “If I can develop this area, maybe they’ll consider me for the promotion.”
That’s the misperception that one of my coaching clients had. She came to me concerned with everything she didn’t have. She felt she didn’t have much to offer, felt under-appreciated by her boss, and was concerned that she would be stuck at the same level in her career.
Yes, you need this constructive feedback. You should seriously consider its relevance and the actions you should take based on what you’ve heard.
But, don’t let the development feedback alone define who you are and what you are capable of. This depletes your self-confidence and self-worth. It can actually cause your work performance to be at levels less than you’re capable of.
While we all have development areas we can improve upon, we sometimes give too much attention to what we can do better. With so much focus on trying to improve, you’ll naturally have less mental capacity to put to use the things you’re good at.
Don’t let your development areas overwhelm or absorb you. Certainly, create a plan to improve them. But, reflect on what your special interpersonal and technical skills are. What expertise do you possess that adds value to your team? Lean into your strengths by using them to do your best work.
Also, remember there’s strength in numbers. Pull in the resources of your network around you to get things done.
Lead with your strengths and let others know you are an indispensable asset to the organization.
How can your strengths begin to change the game for your career starting today?
In my guide, Five Ways to breathe new life into your career, I share some ideas for how you can lead with your strengths.