“You have Development Areas”
With part of my time spent in the corporate world, I’m constantly amazed at the fixation of many on what they call ‘Development Areas’. As I understand them in how they are described by others, it seems that these development areas are areas of weakness, where you are behaving or operating below the required standard.
Although I agree that we all have these ‘Development Areas’ depending on the context we are in, I don’t agree with our constant focus on them. Often I’ve wondered whether our fixation on ‘Development Areas’ is actually an unconscious way of holding people back and not pushing them forward to fulfil their potential. How many times have you heard? – “You are performing well, but we believe that you have these development areas!”
Fulfil your Potential – Play to your Strengths
In the journey we each progress through in our lives, to live in a state of unconditional happiness it’s critical that we are always consciously focused on fulfilling our potential and living with purpose. It’s true that to do this requires us to constantly explore what we are doing which is holding us back – e.g. our beliefs, behaviours, abilities and attitude – which could be described as ‘Development Areas’. That is, we should constantly explore how we further build or refine our skills, knowledge and/or capability in the context of fulfilling our purpose. But, this is not the complete picture. To live in a state of unconditional happiness through living with purpose, we need to go beyond the focus on development areas – we each need to play to our strengths!
Playing to our strengths means that we must first know what our strengths are! Often, we get tricked into focusing on development areas, because we don’t always know what we’re good at and what impact these strengths have.
Secondly, when we know what our strengths are, we should explore how we use our strengths to make a positive contribution to society and thus live our purpose!
Finally, in knowing our strengths and how we use them, we should focus on using them more intelligently and more consciously to increase the positive impact we have.
A final word…
When you’re told to focus on your ‘Development Areas’ be sure to listen and understand where extra effort is required to improve in the areas that may be holding you back from living with purpose.
However, beyond this, be sure to play to your strengths. Your strengths represent the things you are good at and through which you will make the most positive contribution to society – your strengths are what will help you fulfil your potential, live with purpose and ultimately live in a state of unconditional happiness! And…the first step in doing this is to figure out what you strengths are!!