As Christians, we are called to serve and glorify God in all aspects of our lives – especially at work. The Bible teaches us that when we accept our weaknesses as part of what makes us valuable to God, His power can be made perfect in our weakness. That is why it is essential for Christians to master the tools they can use to better manage their character flaws at work.
Knowledge of your own weaknesses can help you reach your full potential at the workplace. By utilizing different tools to understand yourself better, you can learn more about how you interact with coworkers, handle conflicts and manage stress in a healthy manner. Not only will this make it easier for you to grow professionally but also emotionally. With this knowledge, your day-to-day tasks will be easier as you are no longer blinded by fear or insecurity and start working confidently without second-guessing yourself every step of the way.
One of my major weaknesses is lack of confidence/ presentation skills. I may have researched an issue for hours and hours but as soon as anyone asks me a question about just the very topic I’ve been researching, I stare at them dumbfounded. When I begin to answer, I stumble over my words and it sounds terrible. However, if you wanted a power point or an email briefing you on that topic, I could very well deliver. Oral speech is not something that comes natural to me. I am very much one of those people that will read from my powerpoint.
If I were to make a “battle card “ for this work issue, the verse on the back would come from 2 Timothy 1:7. God doesn’t want me to be in fear at work, especially on subjects on which I could be an expert! What is going on there?! God absolutely wants me to act in power, love and self-control … even at work.
One popular personality assessment that’s been sweeping not only christian circles but work communities is called the Enneagram. The Enneagram is a type of personality test that was first developed in the late 1920s and has since been used by many different types of people. But the way I really love is how people have been using them in the workplace to assess their strengths and weaknesses not only within themselves but on their teams, to figure out how to best work together. The Enneagram is broken down into 9 personality types, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses.
There’s the type I, for instance, which is the personality type that does not like to take risks. Let’s say your team needs to make a decision on which product to be selling at a company-wide meeting. Type I is going to want everyone in the room to agree with whatever decision they make because they don’t like taking any risks or making decisions by themselves. They are also going work hard at being liked and appreciated by their peers for their good decisions.Type II will want to make their own decisions and they are going to be more challenging for others to agree with them because they don’t care about being liked or appreciated. They want the freedom to decide for themselves but still be in control of their team so that others don’t usurp their authority.Type III is going to want everyone in the room, including them, to come on board with whatever decision is made by a majority vote of the group. They take a more democratic approach, wanting people’s input but not really caring about who has what opinion or whether or not it’s valid.This difference in approach can lead to some clashes of opinion and a lot of bad feelings, especially if people aren’t aware that their ideas are already encouraged. But this is the price for being social. We can just try to remember that anything we think is important may be worth fighting for and the world would be a better place with our support!
The Enneagram also talks about the dark side of each type. What behaviors are typical of a type when they are in distress?Sevens are typically introverted and can have trouble reacting to the outside world. They tend to withdraw from relationships, especially romantic ones. Fives can also be introverted and might have trouble forming bonds with others, depending on their other coping strategies. The wings of a type are more likely to show up in times of distress for that type.
The Enneagram is just one tool that you can use to help you navigate your work weaknesses. I would be remiss if I didn’t end this blog entry by telling you my type. I am a 3 wing 4. I will confess that these days I’m absolutely engulfed by my wing. Whats your type? What dark attributes of that type do you identify with?