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Avoid These 3 Hidden Pitfalls in Your Strengths

A strength is a strength, right? Well, taken to extremes, the strengths you’re proud of and have honed for years can actually become detrimental to you and the people around you. Certain aspects, when taken too far, can be a more harmful weakness to you than you might realize. These three strengths are most often the ones that are taken to harmful lengths.

  1. Detail-oriented

This is a good trait. Being able to see to the details is important, and it’s not something that everyone can do. If you’re detail-oriented, you probably have a plethora of lists, on your phone, on your desk, on your fridge. Lists help you to get everything done, in the most efficient way possible. You’re good at following directions, and would not deviate from those. Here are the drawbacks you need to be aware of:

  • Unable to bring others on board: Delegating can be a big challenge when details are your specialty. You have to be able to give up some control and bring others on board with what you’re doing.
  • Unable to see the big picture: this can reveal itself in a variety of ways. Focusing only on your own job can make you miss the big-picture of the whole company. It’s easy to develop a narrow focus when you’re too detail-oriented because it keeps you from seeing the grander scheme of things.
  1. Big-picture focused

This is the opposite end of the spectrum from the detail-oriented person. If you’re a visionary and are able to come up with ideas, then lists probably aren’t your thing. You’re able to think through solutions to your company’s problems, campaigns that will hit it big, and the next big go-to product. Thinking in a big-picture way and generating ideas is not something every person can do. But it’s not all roses.

  • Unable to take the steps necessary: You can clearly see what the end results will be, but you can’t figure out how to get through the middle. You can get so wrapped up in what it should be, that you miss small things that will help you succeed.
  • Unable to communicate the idea: As someone who can come up with ideas, you need to be able to communicate those effectively. However, big-picture thinkers often don’t allow for time for the other individuals on their team to get on board. Instead, they assume that, since the idea is so great, the rest of the people will fall into place. You must give your people time to get with you and provide them with the necessary information to understand your vision.
  1. Good Work Ethic

Excelling at what you do, that’s something to be proud of. If you’ve got a good work ethic, you get the job done, and done well. No one follows up after you to make sure everything is taken care of. When you have this strength, you are dedicated to quality, so others can count on your work. However, that dedication can be taken too far. When perfectionism becomes the goal, everyone around you suffers.

  • Unable to finish: A perfectionist becomes paralyzed by the urge to perfect and so they aren’t able to finish their tasks. Their excuses will sound like, “It’s just not ready,” or “I need time to make sure it’s perfect”. This paralysis quickly negates the perfectionist’s work, because it never reaches the delivery stage.
  • Unable to accept lesser results: Perfectionism is a quick team-killer. If you’re a perfectionist, then you have the tendency to push yourself and those around you to unreasonable levels of production. Your teammates can’t—and won’t—take this, and you’ll quickly find yourself with a bunch of stressed colleagues and a body that can’t handle the push.

Know your strengths and hone them to be the best they can be. But be aware that your strengths can quickly turn to weaknesses if not checked. Avoid the pitfalls of these three, and let those qualities be just what they are: strengths.


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