How to Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses

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Taking inventory of your strengths and weaknesses helps you decide the best career path to choose or identify the field most aligned with your interests. Sometimes, such self-reflection assists you with becoming a better partner in a relationship and a coworker in the office. Chuck Williams, author of “Management,” explains identifying weaknesses may require brutal honesty, but the tradeoff is having a foundation upon which to improve your character. You can conduct this type of personal analysis using several techniques.

Choose a reference point by which to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Include categories such as professional/career, health and relationships. Draw a basic T-chart for each of these categories, delegating the left side to “Strengths” and the right side to “Weaknesses.”

Delegate a section to analyzing other people’s impressions of you. Hubert Rampersad, author of “Authentic Personal Branding,” suggests asking yourself how others view your reliability and ability to complete projects on time, and how customers view your competency.

Assess feedback you have received from other areas as a method of input. Consult your performance reviews from work, college coursework grades and feedback from other instructors. Dissect the feedback into positive attributes and negative aspects; then place each trait under its corresponding T-chart.

Consult sources regarding what constitutes a strength and weakness in a given field. For instance, read information on what makes a good spouse, strong worker or capable student. Analyze this criterion and determine which skills you match and what skills need improvement.

Read the background of anyone who excels in the field in question. For instance, read about Warren Buffett if you are analyzing your financial strengths and weaknesses. Or, interview your grandmother who has been married for 50 years for your relationship category. Learn every detail of their success to see if you can hone strengths to replicate this greatness.

Get feedback from friends and family members. Find close family members and friends whose opinion you respect and trust. Show them the list. Ask for honest feedback and tips for improvement with respect to weaknesses. Also ask for any connections or resources that can build upon strengths, such as coursework, lectures and workshops.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your list flexible. Move weaknesses to strengths as you overcome obstacles.
  • View your weaknesses as a chance for growth and a way to exercise your potential. Embrace your weaknesses without shame or judgment. Having an open mindset regarding the areas for improvement increases the likelihood of being honest with yourself. By acknowledging such shortcomings with compassion, you are in a better position to improve upon these traits.

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