We’ve all faced the classic interview question: “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” While we usually have a standard answer prepared such as “I’m a team player, but I’m sometimes not assertive enough.” or “While I struggle with time management, I work best under pressure.”, how often do we reassess our strengths and weaknesses in deducing what skills we need to continually develop? 

With the world of work constantly evolving with fluctuating skills gaps and employers prioritizing new skills over others, it is vital that employees and managers are constantly following these trends, and understanding which areas they can upskill so they are in the best position possible.

Why is This Important?

A girl interviewing another girl
Next time you are in an interview and your potential employer asks you, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, not only is your potential employer trying to assess your soft skills, but they also want to know how self-aware you are. While giving no answer, or stating “I’m not sure…” indicates that you don’t have either self-awareness or strong soft skills, an insightful response to this question can give you a strong competitive advantage over the other candidates that will be interviewed.
For instance, a great response to that question would include responding with a trait where you have a situation or experience where you demonstrated these skills. Stating how you reached your answer of your strengths and weaknesses allows your interviewer to understand your thought process into how you derived your answer and demonstrates a high level of self-awareness.

How Can I Take an Inventory of Myself?

By partaking in various assessments, you can determine your strengths and areas of development and use that as a starting point to see which skills you can improve in. Take an inventory of yourself using one of the following tools today! 
DISC Assessment

The DISC Assessment is a personal assessment tool used by more than one million people every year to help improve teamwork, communication, and productivity in the workplace. Determining how dominant, influential, conscientious, and steady you are, the DISC model places you on a graph where you can determine what type of work environment you work best in, and what kind of people you would work best with as well. It allows you to accommodate your style of working to your teammates and provide insight on how you can best be supported in doing your best work.

MBTI-Test

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) is an assessment that measures an individual’s preference in four key areas to understand personality styles and can provide great insight into your learning, team, and career development at your organization. Assigning each individual to one of sixteen personality types, the MBTI measures an individual’s point on the spectrum between ​​Extraversion and Introversion, Judgment and Perception, Thinking and Feeling, and Sensing and Intuition. From the MBTI, individuals can understand how those around them perceive the world, and their values, which can provide a lot of insight into incidents of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

 EQ Assessment

As for the EQ Assessment, it allows you to grasp how you would respond in stressful situations. By determining how self-aware, socially aware, how well you manage yourself, and the relationships around you, employers can note if you can control your emotions and how you would respond in various situations. 

From any of these three options, you can gather a report and begin analyzing the areas of development in your life. However, it is worth noting that taking these assessments will only provide you with your specific strengths and areas of development at that very moment in time. Humans rebound to change, and so will your results as more time passes and you experience more experiences.  Therefore, it is recommended that you continually take these assessments so you aren’t left with a past snapshot of who you were, but are constantly aware of who you are evolving to be.

Where do I go from here?

Heart Working Out
After determining your strengths and areas of development, you can cater your upskilling journey by taking development programs that are directly correlated with your specific areas of improvement. There are plenty of online retraining programs available on platforms such as Linkedin Learning and Skillshare where you are able to upskill both your technical and soft skills to grow professionally. Additionally, I also offer upskilling training courses on Carolyn Stern where you can get unstuck and utilize emotional intelligence to hone your leadership skills. Continually take assessments and understand where your strengths and areas of development lie using tools such as the MBTI or DISC assessment, and continually improve yourself. Upskilling and reskilling are here for the long run, and will continually be present, encouraging employees to improve their skill sets.
If you need further support on leading people through difficult situations, book a call with me here; I’d love to listen and provide support in any way I can. 

Or learn more about working through difficult times through our Emotional Intelligence Keynote or about developing your communication skills through our Communicating with an Impact keynote.

Finally, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with our blogs!

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