How to Win in the Workplace: Turn Your Weaknesses into Strengths

How to Win in the Workplace: Turn Your Weaknesses into StrengthsHave you ever had a catastrophic experience in the workplace? Maybe you completely bombed a presentation and as you took the walk of shame out of the meeting, you started hatching a plan to find a new job. Or maybe, you feel mediocre in your current position and lack confidence in your abilities as an employee. 

Sure, in an ideal world you'd perform flawlessly in the workplace and be incredibly successful in your career. Then again, if this were a perfect world, then you'd also hold the winning lottery ticket in your hands. The truth is, everyone has weaknesses. And, guess what? There's nothing wrong with that. After all, you can't transform a weakness into a strength if you're adamantly denying the existence of said weakness.

Here's how to face your weaknesses head-on, so you can continue moving forward and growing both individually and professionally.

Recognize Your Shortcomings

Part of the reason why we experience failure is our inability to recognize our faults. Let's say you're wildly unhappy in your current position. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what is really holding you back from leaving your current employer and pursuing a better opportunity? You're most likely falling back on a boatload of excuses, such as becoming comfortable in your role or having already established strong relationships with your coworkers.

In reality, however, the truth you're unwilling to face is your fear. You may be afraid of the interview process or terrified of rejection and therefore have attributed landing your current job to some otherworldly miracle. By reflecting upon what's holding you back, you'll be able to address your shortcomings and begin moving forward. Whether you need to nab a certain certification or simply hone your interview skills, invest the time in strengthening your value as a professional, so you can start taking positive steps towards your career goals.

Take Steps Towards Self-Improvement

The way to combat a weakness is to overcompensate with lots of preparation. Are you about to negotiate a new contract and feel like some of the terms of the agreement are written in a foreign language? Do your research, take notes, and feel confident before stepping into your meeting. Or, do you need to come up with a stellar sales pitch for a prospective investor or customer for the first time? Set aside time to do a bit of investigative work and learn everything you can about the individual you're speaking with, their business, competitors, brand, and products or services. Once you've accumulated an encyclopedia worth of knowledge, practice your pitch out loud by enlisting the help of a trusted friend or colleague. 

Similarly, you don't have to tackle weaknesses alone. Rather than feeling trapped by a conflict-avoiding mindset, try seeking out a mentor or asking someone for guidance. Having a third party provide intelligent insight and constructive criticism is incredibly valuable. Tap into their reservoir of knowledge and open your mind up to making improvements. Sure, it's easy to have someone pad your ego, but the only real way to stimulate your personal and professional development is to learn from mistakes and allow yourself to grow.  

Be Realistic

While we'd all love to snap our fingers and suddenly overcome our weaknesses, progress can only be made with focused effort. Your goals are well within your reach, but it'll take physical and psychological persistence to get there. Just remember, everyone has their faults. It doesn't mean you're weak or incompetent, it simply shows that there's room for growth and improvement. And once you're able to own your weaknesses and develop the necessary skills to conquer them, share what you've learned with others. By serving others who are journeying down the same road you once traveled, you'll expand your professional network, make valuable connections, and discover new areas of interest along the way.