Where Developing Weak Areas Can Benefit
When it comes to training and developing others, we can often avoid someone’s weak areas.
Much of this can be unintentional as leaders seek to leverage a person’s strengths or may not necessarily have the time to spend on extra training hours.
But the most challenging area might be believing that the person you’re developing may actually grow in an area where they are weakest.
Take for instance Rob, a young manager who had poor organization skills but otherwise had some key talents that complimented his team. His manager decided to place Rob in charge of coordinating all marketing materials for the bi-monthly promotions. When others on the management team questioned the decision, the manager reassured everyone that Rob would do a solid job. And while Rob did shine in his new responsibilities, he also started to show better planning and prioritizing skills.
Another example is Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb. The former Cal women’s basketball head coach was hired to the NBA and her first major presentation was to scout the Boston Celtics team for the upcoming game.
She was asked last minute by the owner and head coach to present how to match up against their opponent. Gottlieb, who was skilled at conducting film sessions at Cal, made her scouting report of the Celtics into a film session on how to break down their game. After her presentation, all present said she killed it.
While scouting at the pro level was something she had really done, her mentor knew that she could grow in this area and placed Gottlieb into an area that she could learn and grow. And it worked like a charm
These two examples show a variety of reasons why it can be beneficial to place your people into situations they may be weak or inexperienced at as key development strategies.
Instead of shying away from challenging training opportunities in favor of putting their “aces in their places,” leaders should always scout events where they can create strengths out of their people’s weaker areas. Or at the least, help someone get better in a lesser skill so that they can be more well-rounded and more confident in their abilities.
Every interaction and situation is a chance to grow and build your team. Don’t ignore an episode because you don’t believe someone won’t get better.
You have the keys to making your people shine, so open those doors that otherwise might be shut for them.