In a one-on-one with my manager some weeks back, it was time to set some goals. An idea came to mind, based on some religious literature I'd been reading. I decided to choose two goals to work on: one goal would focus on a weakness, and one goal on a strength (on increasing a talent I already had).
I thought I was a fairly good communicator. I felt that was a strength--I had been complimented on my communication skills by a previous manager, and I felt fairly confident about my abilities--especially my written abilities. Once I started working on this with my manager, I realized I had a lot to learn. As I included him in more of my communication and got some constructive feedback, he helped me see additional ways to improve. I attended a couple training classes offered by my workplace on emotional awareness and other topics. I talked to another manager about a couple communication techniques. I read a couple blog posts I could find via Google. In the end, it turned out I had a lot to learn, and I was left feeling like I hadn't learned all I could.
This was an important lesson for me. There are plenty of weaknesses any of us can work on. But in all my efforts to overcome weaknesses, it can be easy to forget to take time to build on my talents, my strengths. Incidentally, by looking to improve on my strengths, I realized I could learn a lot from those around me, and it was appropriately humbling--humbling in a good way.