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Work on strengths, not weaknesses

Michael Kong

Co-Founder at GiveCampus

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Problem

I was finding myself frustrated with employees who didn't understand things in one area, even though they were highly competent elsewhere.

Actions taken

The first step was to identify and note where each engineer is strong and weak, and discuss it with the engineer during our 1:1s. This encourages discussion about not just what the company needs, but what the engineer needs in terms of growth and fulfillment. I've learned to focus on leveraging and developing each engineer's individual strengths instead of their weaknesses. The goal should be to to continually encourage growth where they're already excellent, and not focus on spending time where they're not effective, and don't necessarily want to be.

Lessons learned

It's easier and more impactful to get people to get better in areas they've already shown great competence. These areas are also often highly correlated with what the engineer already enjoys doing. Trying to force engineers to do this they don't enjoy and aren't good at just isn't a great use of time, and can be equally frustrating for both the employee and manager.


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Michael Kong

Co-Founder at GiveCampus


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