As repeated polls have revealed, when asked what they spend most time talking about with their child, her As, Cs, or Fs, more than 70 percent of parents say the Fs.
Was that your experience because it was mine? Everytime I brought home a report card or a progress report hardly two words were spoken to me about my good grades. The conversations always revolved around how bad one grade was and what I must do to turn it around.
Usually that wayward grade would be in some math class. My English grades were always high and I did very well in Science and in History because it is in those subjects that my strengths lie. I knew deep within my heart that I would never excel at math. I could only get a little better.
However, that isn’t what the world believes. Maybe it isn’t what you believe.
According to Marcus Buckingham, formerly of the Gallup Organization, 61% of people believe that you will grow the most in your areas of weakness. Really? I will grow the most in my areas where I’m weakest?
It has been my experience that simply cannot be true. My weaknesses shouldn’t be ignored (I would have failed if I had completely ignored those math grades) but they cannot be my focus. According to Buckingham, a far better use of my time would have been spent working on my strengths. That what I kept
yelling whispering to my parents all those years ago.
Maybe that is why Buckingham’s work has really connected with me. Last October, I heard him ask the grades question. Twelve years of arguments and frustrations all came flooding back to me in that instant. It all made sense to me. Instead of being encouraged to focus on my strengths I have been told my entire life that I need to focus on the areas where I’m lacking. While the motivation behind this belief is all well and good it is merely a wild goose chase.
According to Buckingham, to learn about success you must study success not failure. Studying failure will teach you more about, well, failure.
I’m more interested in success anyway.
Check out Marcus Buckingham’s Go Put Your Strengths to Work. Click on the link to watch a preview video.
Also check out Trombone Player Wanted. A great video resource to supplement this great material.
I will be attending another seminar with Buckingham on Wednesday. I am absolutely stoked about this event. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Until then- focus on your strengths not your weaknesses!