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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How to Deal with a Weakness


No one ever became successful because of their weaknesses.

Think of any successful person and you’ll realize they became well-known for a single area of strength in spite of the many more weaknesses they had to manage and work around on the way.

When we maximize our talents we find success, and in order to do that we need a very clear understanding of what those talents are. Only then can we match talent to task and put people in the position to do the things they are naturally good at in their job.

Our partnership with Talent Plus—and their extensive research of top performing B2B salespeople and sales managers—has allowed us to clearly define the specific behaviors that separate the best from the rest. This allows us to guide our clients to make smart selection decisions, and then to coach those they hire to maximize their talents and continually increase performance.

But those darn weaknesses… they won’t just go away.

But don't worry! There are three ways to effectively deal with a weakness:

1. If it’s not a problem, ignore it! Lucky for my manager, the fact that I can’t carry a tune doesn’t matter one bit. It would make no sense to spend any time coaching me on that and if he did, we’d probably both end up frustrated! Ask yourself if a person’s weakness is actually getting in the way of their success before you undertake a project to find a solution.

2. If you determine that the weakness is in fact getting in the way, then whatever you do, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can fix it! While investing a great deal of time and training will certainly result in marginal improvements, a 10% bump is what you should expect.

3. Instead, create a workaround. In other words, figure out how they can use one of their strengths to work around that weakness, creating a different route to success. Many of us put workarounds in place for ourselves naturally, without even realizing it. For example, I have a bad memory, so I write things down. Some people are terrible at math, so they bring a calculator. A friend of mine is shy when presenting to clients, so she practices until she knows it by heart and her confidence rises. Sometimes it takes a good coach or manager to help create those workarounds, though.

No one ever became famous because of their weaknesses, but plenty of people could have become much more successful if they had a manager that helped them identify their strengths, use their strengths at maximum capacity, and make those weaknesses irrelevant.

Maybe you could be that coach for someone today.

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