Knowing Your Limits

As I have grown older, I have learned a lot about myself.  I know what I like, and what I don’t like.  I know what I am good at doing, and what I am not good at doing.  I know the areas where I need improvement.   I also know things I just can’t do at all.  It is just not in my chemical makeup.  Do you know these things about yourself?

Knowing Your Limits


It takes time.  It is not something you know about yourself immediately.  I have had successes, and failures.  I have overcome obstacles and turned failures into successes.  I am certain you have had similar stories.

The thing about being “you” is that you are unique from everyone else.  We all have a different DNA and we are wired completely differently.  In HR it is very important to understand that we are different.  If we were all the same and had the exact same strengths, organizations wouldn’t be as successful.  When we hire individuals we need people to add value where the company is weak.

When I was hired into an organization a number of years ago, I did a series of assessment tests.  I took the Birkman and Flippen tests.  At that time, I was not a fan of assessment tests.  I became aware of what strengths and weaknesses of my managers and learned where I needed improvement.  Most importantly, it taught me and my manager how we could best work together.    It was the best exercise I had ever gone though.  Over the coming years, we avoided conflict time after time because we understood one another.

Years prior to joining the organization I mentioned, I had taken assessment tests and simply given answers I thought the hiring company wanted to hear.  I should not have answered the questions that way.  I was hired into several roles with companies that I  simply was not a good fit.

Assessment tests have been successful with some organizations and unsuccessful with other organizations.  The purpose of writing this blog is not simply to talk about assessment tests though.  The purpose of this blog is to make you think about what your strengths and weaknesses are and areas you need improvement.   If you are in HR, you need to help individuals by aligning their skills with leaders that compliment one another.

If you think you know me by reading my blogs, you probably don’t.  Until 3 years ago, I had never been on a radio show, I had never been on TV, I had never written one word for the whole world to see, and I had never done a public speaking event.  I am proud to say I have done all of those things now and look to continue to do them in the future.  It took a lot for me to climb out of my shell.  I was completely terrified of everything I just mentioned.

There are still things I won’t do.  I don’t want to share all of them here, but I know my limits. I know there are things that I won’t be successful doing.  I have been told I am not great at some things.  Other things I haven’t been successful at and know I shouldn’t do that again.

When in HR, identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the people you have in your company and address them.  Just because you are weak in one area, does not mean you won’t succeed in another.  If you identify your strenghts you can really help an organization.  On the flip side of the coin if you don’t know your weaknesses, you may be set up for failure.  Know your limits.  Know yourself.

It takes time to know what you are good at and what you aren’t, but the minute you figure it out your career has limitless opportunities.

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Will Thomson

Will Thomson lives in Austin, Texas, and works for Rosetta Stone as the global sales and marketing recruiter. He has been in recruitment and sales for 20 years. He has recruited some of the most sought-after talent around the globe, and is a regular blogger for the recruitment industry. Connect with Will.

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