Finding weaknesses or the root cause of a problem in itself can solve half the problems. SWOT analysis can help to reflect and identify potential challenges and benefits to shape both professional and personal success in life. For example, weaknesses of individuals in a team are limitations in one or more areas that can impact the organization, its resources, and competencies that prevent it from achieving good results. Some of the common weak spots in an organization can be bad managers, lack of vision and mission, dealing with current issues, negative attitude towards change, lack of necessary knowledge, quality of people skills, outdated technology, poor executive management, and several other factors. In short, the non-existence of all of the above is a potential advantage. Whereas personal weaknesses can sometimes significantly affect productivity and performance affecting overall success and fulfilment. To convert the weaknesses of an organization and people into opportunities, we need to answer several questions. Let’s figure out how to convert weaknesses into strengths to grow in your personal and professional lives.
Start Asking The Right Questions
In addition to helping diagnose the problems in a team, the below set of questions can also form the fundamentals and higlight the problems to identify one’s personal weaknesses.
- What do you need to improve?
- What needs to stop or change? Why?
- Where are the “pitfalls” in the team?
- How can we mitigate them?
- What needs to be done to improve performance?
- What do competitors do better?
For example, if the weaknesses of the your team is the lack of key skills and competencies, leading to low efficiency, then you can mitigate them by hiring newly skilled resources or upgrading your existing team.
What Does Being Weak Mean?
Being a weak individual in personal life can also signify being vulnerable in the business realm. People who are easily manipulated, out of control, and do not have enough courage to take over themselves fall among the first. If we go a little better in the analysis, it is effortless to recognize them. Every man has his own type of personality that describes him in all areas, and through this test, we can easily assess who will be better in which situation.
For example, extroverts have a penchant for marketing and all relationships with people, and we know that communication is the key to almost any successful job performance and task completion.
Extroverts are sociable, tend to have as much relationship with people as possible during the day, and it is not a problem for them to stand in front of a crowd and present, which is an important tool in paving the way to success.
On the other hand, introverts tend to be more independent and do their time and work without the presence of other individuals, and thus perform the task best, are weak in negotiation skills. If they have to meet more people daily to do their job, it is a great challenge.
What Is SWOT Analysis?
Also known as the SWOT matrix is one of the well-known techniques of strategic analysis. It is one of the key tools to discover four different aspects such as:
SWOT is imperative and recommended when making all strategic decisions both in personal and work life, such as accepting a new job offer, starting a new company, launching a new product, restructuring the organization, moving to a new country, or starting a new phase of life, and the like. SWOT technique can be applied to any area and is therefore very common in use.
By observing our own strengths and weaknesses combined with opportunities and threats, we come to strategic insights to take the right measures and activities to achieve both business and personal goals.
In the Encyclopedia of Management Theory, Eric Kessler wrote that “companies that regularly analyze their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats have a 60% better chance of survival than companies that do not.”
Strenghts relate to factors that can positively impact the achievement of business and personal goals. This is where we have the leverage, are better than the competition, and represent an important strategic advantage. In this way, we define all the key advantages of the organization that enable the company’s long-term success. We often define the greatest advantage as the organization’s know-how, in-demand expertise, experience, and knowledge.
For example, in a business world, if a company can send a service or product to market faster or better, it clearly indicates strength and competitive advantage. The advantages are, for example, certain skills, technical knowledge, technology, distribution channels, quality, etc.
This is relevant in personal life too, for example, if a person is more skilled than his peers, this strength acts as a competitive advantage and can lead to other benefits, both in the short and long-term.
Salary hike, getting promoted to a better position, and not getting fired during a crisis, are some real-time examples.
For instance, being a well-rounded person can easily act as a strength, as well-rounded people are knowledgeable in more then one subject and can easily convince the audience about their abilities.
Keynotes: We need to invest in our key strengths in order to prosper in the long run. It is also essential, if not equally important, to invest in developing new strengths that can lower the impacts of weaknesses.
Here are some basic examples of how to identify benefits:
- What values drive your business, organization, or product?
- Are the staff professional and motivated?
- What do your competitors see as your strength?
- How are you better than others?
- What do customers like about your product or service?
- What is the reputation and market share?
- What is the quality of the products/services you offer?
Weaknesses are all areas where we should improve and those where we could have problems in the future. A weakness is any situation in which a competitor can overwhelm us or prevent us, in whole or in part, from growing or doing business successfully.
When defining organizational weaknesses, it is important to define those weaknesses that are truly key to long-term success and must be removed immediately.
Examples of weaknesses are lack of certain skills, bad reputation, poor product quality, too low margin, lack of staff, organizational culture, lack of funds to finance fixed assets, and the like.
Examples of weakness in personal life can be:
- Too much of self-doubt
- Low self-confidence
- Having a fixed mindset instead of growth mindset
- Staying in the comfort zone
- Not having passion
- Being a perfectist
- Self-sabotage behaviors
- Not breaking bad habits
Opportunities are part of the SWOT analysis that relate to elements beyond our influence. However, they positively impact our performance or will occur in the external environment soon.
These are, for example, new market trends, paradigms, big changes, and the like. They mainly relate to political, economic, social, environmental, demographic, technological, governmental, legal, and competitive trends. Of course, all this can be a danger. However, opportunities allow us to reap our benefits even faster and act as a lever. If we seize the right opportunities at the right time, we can do much more in less time.
In a business world, examples of opportunities are:
- Changes in customer purchasing power
- Market liberalization
- Modernized infrastructure
- Tax changes
- Geographical changes, etc.
In personal life, opportunities include:
- Job openings
- Ability to work in executive leadership
- Career path guidance
- Financial gains, e.g stocks
Examples of opportunities in personal life can range from a variety of things like the people who can put you on the map, to the highly demanding skills in the market.
It’s important to be able to spot potential opportunities in time and take advantage of them.
Threats are critical in the analysis because they represent potential negative impacts over which we have no control. In addition, they relate to everything that affects or may affect a company’s business and are not related to internal factors.
With good analysis, we can define existing threats and introduce strategies that can reduce threats or, most importantly, turn them into opportunities. Often, adaptation can also mean a significant change in the internal factors of work (new knowledge, changes in the production process, etc.). Still, if we are able to assimilate the measures quickly enough, we can gain new strategic advantages for the organization.
Examples of threats from the environment can be in different areas:
- Also, from the industrial environment (customers, suppliers, competition).
Threats in personal life can include:
- Overstressful job life
- Incompetent boss or manager
- Toxic co-workers
- Fast-changing tech and trends in the market
Preparation of Strategy Based On SWOT Analysis
As we said, SWOT analysis is a tool of strategic analysis and planning, which is actually an iterative process. That is why SWOT analysis must have its own dynamics, which means that it needs to perform periodically.
External factors change quickly, so it’s hard to predict all the features, but just as quickly, internal factors can change as well. So with the analysis, it is easier to predict correlations between external and internal factors.
Then with strategically oriented activities, we remove negative factors or turn them into positive ones. Finally, we turn positive ones into key strategic advantages that give us an advantage in the market.
Using SWOT To Decrease The Impacts of Weaknesses
Examples of individual strategies based on SWOT analysis can be used individually and in combination with each other to decrese the impacts of weakness in personal life.
1. Strengths/Opportunities: A strategy with which we use our inner strengths to take advantage of environmental opportunities. This is the most powerful strategy among the group.
2. Weaknesses/Opportunities: Iteratively taking advantage of opportunities from the current circumstances and environment, to eliminate weaknesses in the long run.
3. Goals Setting/Threats: It is a strategy to set small goals and achieve them with a focus to overcome known threats.
4. Weaknesses/Threats: This is the most vulnerable yet the sustainable one among the four strategies, where we directly work to remove weaknesses due to threats from the environment.
SWOT Analysis For Personal Needs
A SWOT analysis for personal needs does the same as the business needs. But, instead, it focuses on our personal internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats.
In addition to the examples mentioned above, here are a few examples of weaknesses where SWOT analysis can come handy:
Lifelong Learning & Personal Development To Succeed
If you are hardworking and ambitious and want to advance in your career, you are certainly aware of the importance of continuous improvement. But, unfortunately, only those committed to lifelong learning reach the top in today’s highly competitive business environment.
Do you also know that great business success is closely connected with personal development – a topic that is not yet given enough attention?
When you think about success, you mainly focus on developing the specific skills needed to do the job, but there is another segment that you should never neglect – personal development.
By focusing on personal development, one can effectively achieve extraordinary results. Aligning personal needs, the business needs to excel at work, and the personal-organization’s goals in which you work, magic is created.
Personal development is related to making a plan for your career and life. Moreover, this type of personal growth has multiple benefits. First, personal development helps you gain a realistic picture of your skills and knowledge.
If you have not dealt with personal development so far, there is a possibility that you do not understand your competencies objectively. Personal growth begins with looking at where you are at the moment and continues with following your own skills, behavior patterns, and the purpose in life.
If you control your skills, you will also understand your areas of growth, professional and personal. This applies to all types of work, both in the office and outside.
Personal Development In The Workplace
Personal development in the workplace is closely linked to developing the skills needed for your professional role. Once you understand your areas of improvement or weaknesses, you can know what skills to focus on to meet your long-term career goals.
Furthermore, developing these skills will make you more dynamic and proactive towards colleagues and management (and you may get the desired improvement faster).
Sounds appealing? The feeling of developing your personality and not just performing the duties assigned to you will make you feel more comfortable at work and have a desire to grow and learn even more.
Most people make mistakes when setting long-term goals. It doesn’t matter if it is a professional or a personal plan.
When you start working on personality development, you will learn how to plan and set your goals wisely. They should be based on an assessment of your current professional level, your plans within the organization, and your personal desires and preferences.
It’s hard to commit to the goals imposed on you; however, when you set goals for yourself, you understand how to meet them and break down major big goals into small, achievable steps.
Most people cannot say for sure what their purpose in life is. That is why finding your true calling is one of the key topics in personal development.
In other words, people often start identifying their life goals and work on personal development in order to move towards their fulfillment.
If you feel that you have not yet reached your full potential at work, that you can do better and more. Still, you are unsure how to do it, continue learning and improving, and dedicate yourself to the personal development program. If you focus on your current situation, both in business and in private life, and take steps for personal growth, this process will guide you towards progress.
By following your passion and improving your skills, you will find your true calling faster. And as soon as you set your main goal, you will see how your professional (but also private) life gets better.
Key Takeaways On How To Find And Convert Your Weaknesses Into Strengths?
- Recognize the negative patterns and weaknesses you may have.
- Do not neglect these weaknesses and do not turn a blind eye to them.
- Ask for help whenever and wherever required.
- With patience and practice, you can turn your weaknesses into strengths.
- What does being weak means: Weaknesses restrict your company’s capacity to reach its whole potential.
- The objective of performing a SWOT analysis on your business is to highlight the decisive forces already at work and recognize areas for improvement.
- SWOT Analysis: It is a study adopted by an institution to classify its internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats.
- Strengths: It refers to the things that your company does well. Strengths also include the traits that separate you from your opponent.
- Weakness: Weaknesses are the things and qualities your company lack. It also included the things your opponent’s companies do well.
- Opportunities: Developing need for your products and services.
- Threats: Threats include the possible competitors that may emerge in recent times in your field.
- Preparation of strategy based on SWOT analysis: SWOT analysis must have its own dynamics, which means that it needs to perform periodically.
- SWOT for personal needs: SWOT for personal needs is similar to SWOT for business needs. The difference is that the subject in this is YOU.
- Personal development: Personal development is linked to making a plan for your career. It also has added benefits.
- Personal development in the workplace: This refers to the development of skills required at your workplace.
Can I convert my weakness to strengths?
Yes, with patience and practice, you can convert your weakness to strength.
Is procrastination a sign of weakness?
Procrastination is considered a weakness. However, there are various ways to overcome procrastination. In addition, numerous research-based studies prove one can overcome procrastination.
Are fear and weakness related?
Yes, fear and weakness are related. Overcoming your fears can reduce the negative impacts of weaknesses.
Can we call mental health illness a weakness?
Mental illnesses are not something that people choose themselves. On the contrary, weaknesses are man-made. Mental illnesses are just like physical illnesses, and no one ever wants them.