We all have weaknesses. As women, we can tell you our weaknesses faster than we can tell you our strengths. But I recently watched a leader on multiple calls with clients continue to downplay herself over and over and over again. It was painful. Don’t downplay your ability or authority.
While it’s true, we all have weaknesses, no one wants to hear about them all of the time. Focusing solely on your weaknesses and constantly asking for help erodes the confidence people started off having in you.
When you first start dating someone, do you only talk about how horrible you are, how you can’t get anything right, how you need help with everything? Of course not. So why would you do that in a business relationship?
Remember that when you are introduced to a client, a vendor, a peer, a colleague, etc. everyone naturally assumes you are capable of doing the job since you do in fact have the job. You don’t have to prove that, but it is yours to disprove the fact that you deserve it. And I have seen many leaders, men and women alike, so focused on asking for help from everyone, that people quickly start to see them as incompetent.
Crap, right?! 😳
So how does this happen? Most of us how does this happen? Most of us want to be humble. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t be humble. You definitely should be humble, kind, and unassuming. But highlighting your weaknesses is very different than being humble. Focusing on nothing but your weaknesses overshadow any capabilities you do have.
When people hear you call out a weakness for the first time, their first reaction is to tell you “that’s so not true!” They may do this for a few occurrences when you say “I’m not good at staying on task/staying on track so you are going to have to keep me on point.” They offer to help even. The next few times you say it they think to themselves, “I can’t continue to build her up. I’m fighting my own inner villain here, I can’t fight hers too.” So they simply ignore your comments. If you continue to say it again on additional calls or in conversations, or emails, they will move from being supportive to silent, to then fully not trusting in you or your abilities. Why? Because all you have told them time and time again is how you CAN’T do something. At that moment, you have given away all of your authority within the position you hold as well as your ability to carry that relationship forward.
Seriously. Do not do that to yourself. We all have weaknesses. We are all human. But being humble vs. focusing on nothing but weaknesses is two totally different scenarios. Don’t downplay how amazing you are.
Your challenge today is to acknowledge what happens when you consistently share your weaknesses in a business setting. Create a list of positive attributes about yourself. Every morning, read that list. Get your mindset right. Focusing on your strengths will allow you to move confidently through the day, focusing on what you can do, instead of calling out what you can’t. Don’t downplay your ability or authority. You’re too good for that.