strengths and weaknesses

Kara’s Korner: 4 Ways to Spot Your Strengths and Weaknesses

“4 Ways to Spot Your Strengths and Weaknesses” was originally posted by hint Founder & CEO, Kara Goldin, on LinkedIn here:

Your once-a-year formal review isn’t the only time you should get feedback at the office.

As the CEO of Hint water (drinkhint.com), I know it’s important to spot your strengths and weaknesses so that you know the best way to maximize your time and know where you may need some help.

I know personally that I am a strong people-person and an excellent connector. I love meeting people from a variety of industries and functions and figuring out how we can work together to grow both of our businesses. I also love using LinkedIn to connect with people. Consequently I spend a lot of time connecting with other people who are strong in their field or doing something interesting, and it has led to partnerships with Google, Stella & Dot, DryBar, among others.

Humans are notoriously bad at judging their own performance. Some people think everything they do is golden, while others are overly harsh on themselves. To make matters more complicated, sometimes colleagues or managers aren’t comfortable giving you the unvarnished truth.

Asking yourself the following four questions below will help you get at the heart of the matter. Then build on your strengths and identify whether you want to outsource or try to improve on your weaknesses. Even awareness of your strengths and weaknesses will help improve your impact.

1. How do I spend my time?

There’s a reason why you put off some items on your to-do list and jump on others. One day this week, keep a log of what you did, how much time it took for you to do it and how you felt while you were completing the task. Research shows that people tend feel happy and productive doing things they are good at. So if time flies when you’re writing a proposal or meeting with a client, you’ve likely found some of your strengths. On the flip side, research also suggests that tasks that take a long time or are unpleasant might be weaker areas for you.

2. What do people compliment me on?

And no, I’m not talking about your hair or outfit choices. Pay attention to what people say when they praise you. Do you get high marks on your easy presentation style? Kudos on the way you’re able to stay cool under pressure? Or compliments on how you’re able to engage every member of your team? Throw out the one-off compliments and keep in mind the ones that seem to crop up regularly. Bingo—you’ve just found the aspects of your job in which you shine.

3. What do I mess up?

Similar to picking up on what people tend to compliment you on, notice where you seem to make the same mistakes over and over again. For example, do you always botch something on your expense report? Or maybe you never seem to have the right research at hand during meetings? Perhaps this is a sign that you could stand to be a bit more detail-oriented or organized.

4. What do I talk about?

When it comes to recapping your progress with your boss—or just telling your loved ones about your day—observe what you bring up and how long you spend on each topic. Anything front of mind and what you relay to others are likely to be your strengths.

– Kara Goldin
Hint Water CEO