A good interchange from Liz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace:
AMY, MARKETING MANAGER: So, Jason, what would you say is your greatest weakness?
JASON (Really? Oh, well. The company might require Amy to ask that lame question. That’s not a great sign vis-a-vis the culture here, but I won’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let’s see if Amy can deal with my alternative to the usual gutless answer to the question, before I form an opinion about this place): Greatest weakness? That’s a great question.
When I was younger, I used to obsess about weaknesses and deficiencies. I bought For Dummies books and took classes in all kinds of things. As I got older, I realized that people don’t have weaknesses, in the sense of things they’re not good at and therefore need to work on. It’s just the opposite, I think – I should focus on what I’m good at, and steer myself toward the things I’m meant to be doing. I should be doing web design and web strategy. I’ve learned that I’ll never be good at graphic design, so I steer clear of it. These days, I don’t think in terms of weaknesses that need correcting. I ask myself instead, “What does the universe want me to do?”
AMY: Wow. I never thought about it that way. Doesn’t everyone have weaknesses?
JASON: I think everyone has strengths. You figure out what your strengths are. You don’t waste time getting better at things you’ll never be much good at and more importantly, have no desire to do. What’s your take?
AMY: As you say it….it makes sense. I guess I’ve always believed that we have to work hard to improve ourselves.
JASON: I agree completely! The only question is, what does self-improvement mean? Does it mean correcting deficiencies, begging the question ‘Who decides what skills a person is supposed to have as an adult?’ or does it mean getting better at the things you do best, and listening to an inner voice that keeps you on your path?
AMY: Now I’m all confused. Thanks for getting me thinking about that, Jason!
Answering the Question “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?” | LinkedIn