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find your strengths and learn to ne­go­ti­ate your weak­nesses

ASWOT anal­y­sis – an acro­nym for strengths, weak­nesses, op­por­tu­ni­ties and threats – has long been her­alded as the ul­ti­mate tool to an­a­lyse a busi­ness. But what would hap­pen if you per­formed a SWOT anal­y­sis on your­self?


What do other peo­ple see as your strengths? What do you do bet­ter than any­one else? It’s im­por­tant when an­swer­ing not to feel hemmed in by your cur­rent po­si­tion. Even if you’re a re­tail man­ager at a snow­board­ing com­pany, but make the best lemon meringue pie your friends have ever tasted, write it down. It might not seem rel­e­vant now, but it all could click into place fur­ther down the track.


We of­ten go out of our way to avoid per­form­ing in ar­eas we feel less con­fi­dent in, so ac­knowl­edg­ing when these in­stances oc­cur is a good place to start when try­ing to iden­tify our weak­nesses. Per­haps you re­peat­edly try to wrig­gle out of pub­lic speak­ing, or you find your­self del­e­gat­ing the same tasks be­cause you don’t feel com­pe­tent do­ing them your­self? This isn’t about jump­ing down a rab­bit hole of neg­a­tiv­ity; it’s an op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress any is­sues that might be hold­ing you back.


Now that you’ve ad­dressed the in­ter­nal fac­tors at play, it’s time to fo­cus on the ex­ter­nal. Is there a rise in de­mand for a skill that you pos­sess? Or a shift within the in­dus­try you could cap­i­talise on? If identifying op­por­tu­nity is prov­ing to be a strug­gle, look back at your list of strengths. Do these open up any op­por­tu­ni­ties? What if you elim­i­nated your weak­nesses, would that open up any doors?


What ex­ter­nal cir­cum­stances have the po­ten­tial to pre­vent you from achiev­ing your goals? This could be a de­clin­ing in­dus­try, evolv­ing tech­nolo­gies that you’re un­pre­pared for, a di­rect com­peti­tor, your per­sonal sit­u­a­tion – or even your­self. Write them all down.


As well as har­ness­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and strengths you’ve out­lined to achieve your goals, your ob­jec­tive should now be to nav­i­gate threats and weak­nesses – maybe you could turn them on their head or, at the very least, re­search, del­e­gate and stay aware!

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