How to Navigate Weakness on Your Team
It’s not the work; it’s the people that drive you crazy.
Love and hate at work:
You love working with the people on your team. BUT there are a few things that drive you nuts.
People with extraordinary strengths have exceptional weaknesses. Don’t limit your success by eliminating remarkable people.
- A detail-person is too literal.
- A person who is good with people talks too much.
- A good listener can’t make up her mind.
Don’t let the negative 20% pollute the positive 80%.
Navigating weakness in others:
#1. Release silly fantasies about ideal team members.
Stop expecting to love everything about the people on your team. You don’t even love yourself that much.
#2. Expect remarkable people to rub you the wrong way.
#3. Love the 80%. Accept the 20%.
The lousy comes with the good in the real world.
#4. Honor and respect the irritating others on your team. Don’t work to fix people. Learn to adapt.
Rigid people find relationships difficult.
#5. Teach your team to adapt to each other.
#6. Don’t minimize or defend the weaknesses of others. When you hear legitimate complaints, say, “You’re right. Everyone has weaknesses, even you and me.”
- What strengths does maddening Mary have?
- What contribution does grating Gary bring to the team?
- Where would our team be without irksome Ira?
- How might you adapt to the idiosyncrasies of irritating Herman?
- Clarify expectations and commitments.
- Confront behaviors that hinder teams. Bob habitually arrives late. It’s the little things that drive you crazy.
- Choose coaching as a tool of development.
- Reject the belligerent.
Tip: Know and respect the top three strengths of everyone on your team.
If you find a perfect team, don’t join it. You’ll spoil it.
How might leaders navigate the strengths and weaknesses of people on their team?
How to Deal with Employees’ Greatest Weaknesses (Business Insider)
I really appreciate this discussion. Sometimes the issue is that the Team Leader sees and appreciates the strengths and weaknesses of their Team Members and can identify how they contribute to the Team’s overall success, while others in the Company who don’t work as closely with them are apt to run with the characterization that “Irritating Herman” is simply irritating. It’s important that the Team Leader routinely speak up to the larger Team about the positive successes and qualities of Herman so they can have a different perspective.
Thanks Mary Ellen. You bring up an important idea. Distance creates doubt and skepticism. We tend to trust the people we work closely with and distrust the folks in the office in another State.
The article you shared from Business Insider compliments your post well. Focusing on strengths and designing around weaknesses are key to developing an effective team. Accepting the 20%, I think, is a good way to look at the bigger picture. This does not only apply in team dynamics but in life as well. This can include how one deals with coworkers, bosses, and subordinates but can also include how one deals with a spouse, friends, parents, and even the waiter that may be too talkative (or too impersonal) but still gets your order right. There are balances in life (a yin and yang) that, as I delve deeper into leadership studies, I find to be a recurring theme. Perfection is in the essence of accepting fallibility and accounting for it.
I’m liking Garry’s reference to life…one’s spouse among others. The insight for me is to remember that irritating mannerisms are what seem to make the most noise, getting the most attention and seeming to represent the individual as a whole. When, in fairness to the individual, we might start in our encounters with realizing there is much more to this person, the 80% (good qualities to celebrate), that should have our focus – before settling on an obnoxious behavior. Often there is a hidden strength in the behavior itself – that needs a little help unlocking. “Noticing” the quality can quickly become complimentary, serving to celebrate the person. I need to be mindful daily of that in my marriage!
Today’s post is a great reminder about utilizing strengths and reducing the impact of weaknesses. The “fixing” list is important (because what we tolerate impacts effectiveness) as is the reminder that if you find a great functioning team, don’t join it! I would add – learn from what that team does well that others might adapt.
This talks to me; “Honor and respect the irritating others on your team. Don’t work to fix people. Learn to adapt.” Adaptation is what I am good at and have been for many years. Unfortunately many others just haven’t gotten how to adapt. Some are just so stubborn they never adapt expecting all others to adapt to or around them. Sometimes that works other times it does not.
I’m on board with everyone, the adaption part clicks, if we don’t adapt we don’t survive! The choices we make will change the journey, be open to change, learn to multi-task, and “make you the best you” that you can be.
Surly you are surrounded by many who have already journeyed that write books, Blogs that can help you!
A small shift in vocabulary can have a significant impact. Replace “and” with “but.”
“You love working with the people on your team. ‘AND’ there are a few things that drive you nuts.”
Words have power. “And” enables us to have more realistic expectations, honor and respect the whole person (warts “and” all), and co-create acceptable boundaries for shared success.
But sometimes I like to make a contrast. And thank you, Kim.