manishsawankar Started The Discussion:
All the time we say that Strengths and Weaknesses must be identified in our employees to take various HR decisions.
But how we can differentiate between strength and weakness? Sometime a perceived strength is a weakness and a weakness is a strength overlooked. E.g. a person who is calm and cool in the tense situation may be perceived as resilient, but when that person is storing, supressing all the negative emotions arising out of the tense situation then it can later burst out and then we have to say that oh! I misunderstood this person!
Now the point is, can we really identify a person's strengths and weaknesses or they are contextual, change according to the situation?
Strength or weakness are not contextual. These are seen over a period of time. Anything that changes with the situation is not a strength at all. Exceptions are always there. Consistency in responding to a situation determines whether person has a strength or weakness.
Suppose you have a requirement to draft a long agreement? Why would you like to approach some person? Because you perceive drafting skills of that person as strength. Why you do not approach any other person? Because you perceive it as his/her weakness.
To assess, strength and weakness there is a perfect questionnaire. You circulate that questionnaire to other team members. This 360 degree feedback will give more accurate opinion. However, perceptions play here prominent role. Please make a note of this.
By the way, you need to have end result of this SWOT analysis. Knowledge of one's weakness is the biggest strength but then you need to have action plan to take care of your employee's weaknesses. This action plan is nothing but HR intervention.
Few HR interventions are instituting mentoring programme in your company, doing career planning for each and every employee etc. However, both the interventions requires lot of organisational maturity in general and maturity of HR professionals in particular. Lest these may do more harm than good.
Dinesh V Divekar
Management Training Consultant
Bangalore - 560094
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
Thanks a lot for your response! :)
Do you have such questionnaire? 360 degree feedback mechanism?
Also you said that strength and weakness can be seen over the period of time. But what if we see something as strength and take decision on that basis about that person and later we realized that actually it is weakness?
I just want to say that soemtimes it is too early to judge the strengths/weakness of a person.One has to have good skills to judge people from their actions and behaviour and for this they need to watch them very closely. Such people do not need much time to know about others. When you interact with more and more people you will notice that you are in a better position to judge ones strengths/weakness.
Practiclly, you could use some assessement which easily identify strengths vs, weakness of your people.
But don't belive this could be your all answer cause these are cognitive concept thought sometime it's too difficult to
distinguish. But current HR only can use a certain type of assessment tool.
SWOT analysis is most important and essential requirements of HR now days , its important start from recruitment and selection, Role assignment, Performance appraisal, training and development , even for grievance handling and team working.
New and very successful concept in this field for SWOT Analysis is Graphology (Handwriting analysis). Through handwriting analysis you can not even identified the strength & weakness but also, his personality type, Hobbies, Like Dislike, attitude Behavior. Also when find some GAP or Any negative are, they can be very well counseled with the Help of Graphology.
If you need any support in this field you can call me anytime.I'm a Graphologist.
All the Best
I agree strengths and weaknesses are contextual. They are dependent on role, industry and culture of the company. Being forthright and open with your ideas can get you fired in one company and get you noticed in another company.
We have to differentiate between the Skills and Attitude in strength and weaknesses. Skills can be unlearned and learned. However attitude is much more difficult (and take time, which is not a priority for most organizations)
So as the old adage goes, hire for attitude and train for skills! (Unfortunately too often the reverse happens, leading to attrition :P )
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