Strengths and Weaknesses are not mutually exclusive. While there is deep power and usefulness from focusing on your Strengths and approaching all challenges with an awareness of the tools you possess, it would be naive to not discuss the importance of your awareness of balcony behaviors that accompany our talents.
Strength themes’ “basements” are the place where we prohibit our strengths from being most effective and where weak spots emerge. We must be aware of our weaknesses to mitigate their impact to create negative outcomes. These basement behaviors sometimes show up if we’re in an unhealthy state, say overworked or exhausted. Sometimes these weaknesses are even entwined in our Strengths if we allow them to operate in raw or undirected versions.
For example, my personal number two talent of top five, Strategic can be a bit of a runaway train when it’s operating in a raw unkempt manner. Night may be spent with the brain on hyper drive when trying to find a solution with little success in turning it off. In the raw it may also trigger impatience when someone else does not see the pattern and path as quickly. These raw versions of Strategic have gotten the best of me from time to time.
It has taken some practice to elevate these Strengths, and focus on using other Strengths to help mitigate the situation. Instead of letting my strategic brain run away from me, or get the better of my patience, engage Empathy to think from the other person’s perspective, and Developer to remind myself to give the other person the space and time to work out the pattern or solution. They may inevitably reach a better path than I have through their own Strengths.
As so many things in our lives, your own Strengths can be a wonderful ally, but a terrible master. Be aware of your basement behaviors, those places that feel dark, dank, and low, so that you are able to continually elevate your Strengths to their balconies, the places the feel uplifting, supported, and successfully applied. Our basements can hold wonderful opportunity for growth by recognizing them, and creating a plan to climb out of them!