Fix Your Weakness or Make Use of Your Strength?


November 11, 2018

Recently a friend who just started her career as a financial planner asked me a question. She is weak on responding to clients during a business presentation, and she is good at analysis and planning. Currently as a rookie in the industry, she has limited time to learn different things. Is it better for her to spend more time to fix her weakness, or just to focus on growing her strength?

This is a common question in career development. Theoretically, we can rephrase this question as: Since everyone has his / her own knowledge and skill structure, how can we make adjustments on our structure and optimise it? Either to only fix the weakness or to only focus on the strength may no be a balanced solution. Here let’s talk about some key points to take note when we are improving the weakness and when we are growing the strength.


Fixing the weakness is to improve the knowledge and skills that we lack of. At first, instead of taking immediate action, we should sit down and plan an improvement target for ourselves. Generally speaking, it takes us more effort to improve the weakness than to grow our strengths. Moreover, our purpose of improvement is to avoid negative effects caused by the weakness, instead of turning the weakness into our strength. So we need to set a realistic and achievable target to better manage our time and effort spending on fixing the weakness. Secondly, do not use criteria set by others to measure ourselves. Since it is our weakness, there must be many people doing better in this field than ourselves. Maybe we can’t grow as quickly as other people even when we put in ten times the effort that others put in. In this field, the common criteria used by most people may not be suitable for us. In this case we have to customise a set of criteria for ourselves to measure our own progress, so as to motivate our improvement and gain more confidence. Thirdly, find out our own way of learning. This is also the most difficult part. Why we are weak in certain areas and not easy to improve? Most probably the common learning processes in this field are not effective for us, so we can’t improve in this area through the common education. Take my friend who I mentioned at the beginning of this article as an example, if she only imitates the approach and skills of those people who are good at talking, her learning process will be a torture for her, and the result may be very awkward – she is acting not naturally from herself. However, if she can rely on her strength on analysis and planning, use her capability on analysis and reasoning to lead the conversation with the client, and resonate with the client with the facts and evidence, her improvement on responding to clients will definitely be more efficient.


Focusing on growing the strength is relatively easier. What we need to take note is to avoid excessive concentration. We are usually interested in the field where we are good at. Interest generates passion. Together with the incentive from achievements in this field, we may easily become over focused and neglect other parts of our lives. We should take a pause and reflect ourselves regularly and check if we have fallen into such situation. If we find that there are negative impacts due to the neglect for other areas, we’d better start to adjust our time allocation and balance our knowledge and skill structure.

In summary, when we are developing our career, we should see both our strength and weakness. And then we can use a rational strategy to adjust our knowledge and skill and structure, aiming at healthy development and progress.

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