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Which of Your Strengths Are You Overusing

January 11, 2018

You have strengths that make you distinctive. And, you’ve seen yourself in situations when those same characteristics wouldn’t be called a strength.

For example, a well-honed sense of self-control can turn into rigidity. Courage, taken to the extreme, might become recklessness. Honesty, if not tempered, can turn into cruelty. Usually, the darker side of our talent strengths are seen when we are under pressure, tension, stress or fatigue. Consider the following list of “strengths” and how others might see those same strengths when under stress or fatigue:

Talent Trait/Strength Others’ Perception
Considerate Unconcerned
Thoughtful Hesitant
Team player Detached

Also, it’s worth reflecting on which of your skills you might be relying on too much. For example, consider one of your strengths that has served you well at work and has been admired by others. Then try to recall a situation in which you relied on that quality more than you should have. A people-orientation and trusting perspective may interfere with performance management. Are there occasions when a strength became a Self Leadershipliability, causing more harm than good — and perhaps even leading to an unintended outcome?

Keep in mind that we tend to overuse our strengths under stress. When we’re not getting what we want, our instinct is to double down on whatever has worked best in the past. Instead, step back and reflect objectively on the situation. Look for alternative ways to respond that will ensure a better outcome.

Want to learn more about Carl Nielson and The Nielson Group’s services? Complete the inquiry form below.


Leadership, talent management, personal development, executive coaching

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