LID Publishing get insight from Christine Gouchault, author of Business Mum, to find out how to realise your strengths and understand how they can also be weaknesses.
Finding your strengths
If you’ve had a personal profile analysis (or a personality test), you may already know your strengths. By carrying out this exercise, you’ll get an overview of your dominant behaviours and strengths in a work context. These nine areas are inspired by Master Danmark’s MPA personality profile analysis that I’ve used for a number of years in my work. Read through the list, and select the sentence under each question that you relate to. You’ll get the best result if you answer quickly and follow your intuition and don’t give it too much thought. If you feel torn between two sentences; choose the statement where you really recognize your own behaviour.
How do you work with goals and results?
A. I’m mostly process-orientated, and I prefer long time deadlines and to focus on quality.
B. I’m mostly results-orientated and competitive and prefer focusing on goals, sub-goals and quantity.
How do you seek influence?
A. I mostly listen, and I rarely express my opinions. I’m good at adapting in a group.
B. I often take the lead, successfully get my view-points across and seek great influence.
How do you prioritize tasks and time?
A. I prefer time to immerse myself in things and having only a few tasks.
B. I prefer many tasks ad great variety.
How do you show your feelings at work?
A. I rarely show my feelings. I’m rational, focused on the task at hand and seem unconcerned.
B. I often show my feelings, I worry and am easily influenced by moods and situations.
How do you handle conflict?
A. I often speak my mind. I say no, I am direct and face conflicts head-on.
B. I’m mostly forthcoming and trusting. I say yes to most things to avoid conflicts.
What’s your approach to your work tasks?
A. I’m mostly focused on the details. I am thorough and enjoy routine work.
B. I can maintain an overview. I focus on the whole picture, I prefer variation and have no problem delegating.
How do you make decisions?
A. I ponder intensely over things and have long decision-making processes.
B. I mostly make quick decisions. I’m spontaneous, I take chances, and I act quickly upon my thoughts.
How creative and innovative are you?
A. I’m mostly practical and specific, and I like having guidelines.
B. I prefer being theoretical and abstract, and I focus on alternative options and new ideas.
After you’ve chosen the nine behavioural traits that best describe you, think of specific situations where you’ve used each of these qualities. A specific situation could be being presented with a new opportunity and immediately saying “yes”. If in doubt, you can ask someone who knows you well. our nearest and dearest ca always recognize our typical behaviours.
Your Greatest Strength Is Often Your Greatest Weakness
By Christine Gouchault
“It can be a bit tricky working with strengths and weaknesses, as your greatest strength can often be your greatest weakness. The situation you’re in determines the character trait relevant to you. For example, I’m very optimistic, I’m good at finding solutions and I’m not afraid of jumping head first into something new; these are generally considered as strengths. On the downside, my optimism means I’m often unaware of what can go wrong, and I don’t always prepare well enough. Among other things, that meant the first time I was going to market a course I started my sales campaign far too late, and I didn’t communicate enough because I expected the participants were sure to buy a ticket for my course. The outcome was that no one showed up, and I had to start from scratch again.
It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing them means that you can take them into consideration and get help where necessary. For example, showing empathy is a strength when listening to clients and understanding their needs; it helps you offer products or services they need. On the other hand, empathy might make you forget to listen to yourself and take your own needs seriously.
Take your five greatest strengths into consideration and find examples of situations where they can be weaknesses. The advantage of knowing when your strengths can be weaknesses is that you can use this knowledge to steer clear of trouble. Now that I’m away of how my optimism can misguide me, I often talk to someone more realistic or pessimistic to get a perspective of what can go wrong and take this into account when I make new plans for the future.”
Business Mum by Christie Gouchault
How mums can juggle business and family to create a happy and well-balanced life.
- Mums are taking the small business world by storm (generating £7 billion for the UK economy alone).
- This book provides “Mumpreneurs” with savvy and practical advice on tackling work and home obstacles.
- Written by a mum who has been through the difficulties of setting up her own business and raising a young family.
About the book
This book provides a practical, three-step plan for women who want to create a life where running your own business and having a family does not exclude one another. The author – a “business mum” herself – prepares mothers for the potential obstacles they will face when starting and running a business, and provides tools and advice to help overcome them.
Moreover, through the stories of 10 successful self-employed mums, the book demonstrates it is possible to create a happy and well-balanced life. By using your strengths and resources correctly, and daring to follow your heart, there is every possibility of becoming a good mum and successful businesswoman.
About the author
Christine Gouchalt is a mother of four and a business owner. With her company, Mors Business, she has created a community for self-employed women in Denmark with more than 400 members. Through counselling, workshops and lectures, she helps newly started businesses find their place in the market.
Christine previously had her own recruitment agency in Paris and has 13 years of experience within human resources, sales and marketing. She holds a master’s degree in communication and advertisement from INSEEC Paris. In addition to this, she is a certified master, business and life coach, and volunteers as a mentor to the entrepreneur students at Copenhagen Business School
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