Weakness or improvement area?

One way to assess someone’s skills is to highlight strengths (what the person is good at) and weaknesses (what the person is not good at). It’s a snapshot about the current situation, but it feels a bit like a definitive statement on the person.

Another way is to distinguish strengths from improvement areas (what the person could improve on). It’s also a snapshot of the current situation, but with an open and positive perspective regarding the future.


I grew up in an environment where strengths/weaknesses was the dominant frame. Then I evolved in an environment where the strengths/improvements areas frame was the default one. I immediately loved this new frame, because it was fitting better with my deep belief that people can always change.

However, recently, I discovered that this strengths/improvements areas frame has one downside. Implicitly, it sets you on the path to try and get better at the improvement areas. It doesn’t prompt you to consider accepting that you are not good at something. Maybe the best path for you is not to work on your improvement area, but to acknowledge your weakness and look for people who are naturally good at it.


I don’t know how to phrase it succinctly. However, I feel like the right frame would help you look at the things you’re not good at today, and prompt the following question: Should you improve it, or should you accept it?

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