Wednesday, May 20, 2009

HBR :: Why You Should Encourage Weakness

Why You Should Encourage Weakness - Peter Bregman -
Little Johnny comes home one day, looks down at his feet, and gives you his report card. You smile at him as you open it up and look inside. Then your smile disappears when you see the F in math. You also see an A (English) and two Bs (history and science). You look down at little Johnny and ask, "What happened in math, Johnny? Why did you get this F?"

A useful article on performance reviews, for both parents and managers. We are all familiar with the example above and more often than not have gotten the same reaction from our parents as well. What we learn as children naturally have an effect on how we handle similar situations as adults. Something I often find myself saying is that "Each individual comes with a unique set of talents". Obviously a recruiter can't gauge them at an interview. But a few months down the line, clear patterns start emerging and the more you observe the more you will understand someone's strengths and weaknesses. I agree with the author of the article that, instead of trying to make the individual excel in his weak areas, a good manager should put emphasis on the strengths and ensure they manage to get away with a "C" in the weak areas.

Read the article, it's more interesting than my preview :)