Please help me define my strengths and weaknesses
May 18, 2007 6:04 PM   Subscribe

Please help me define my strengths and weaknesses. I am trying to do a SWOT type analysis of my personal strengths and weaknesses, but I am finding it difficult to know what kind of things I should put on the lists. Can anyone point me to resources which would help with this?

I think perhaps examples of what others have defined as strengths and weaknesses would be useful, so I could use some or use them to start me thinking about this. I am doing this to help in personal development, for self esteem issues. Most of the resources I have seen so far are to do with job interviews, and are not too relevant.
posted by zingzangzung to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Ask your friends, and tell them to please be honest.

Think about some of your accomplishments. Are there common threads that suggest a certain set of strengths?

Think of your failures, or tasks that you tend to avoid. It is because of a set of weaknesses?
posted by The Deej at 6:32 PM on May 18, 2007

This is a model used often in business, but it can help you in more personal situations, too. Start by reflecting: define who you think you are, being specific about behaviors and qualities. Then, define who you'd like to be. Next, get feedback from your friends. How do they see you? What are their expectations of you? Once you have all this information, try to assess the gaps. What are the differences between how you see yourself and how you'd like to see yourself? How do your goals differ from your friends' expectations of you? How do your self-perceptions differ from their views of you? How can you better fulfill their expectations of you? This model helps you to think about which of your qualities both you and others enjoy, which you could modify, and where your perceptions differ from theirs.
If you're unsure of how to define your own strengths and weaknesses, it might help to start with one of the friend interviews. Pick someone you know can be fully (but tactfully) honest with you. With that input as a starting point, you can perform your self-evaluation before moving on to other friends.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 7:06 PM on May 18, 2007

Best answer: I have a good suggestion, but it's going to need some help from the peanut gallery. There exists a site that lists a grid of attributes (one page positive, one page negative). You send a link to send to all of your friends, and they anonymously rank your top negative and positive qualities.

6 months ago, dozens of my friends had the link to this site in their AIM profiles and websites, but now I can't find the link anywhere. I think it was something like "" (but that's not right)
posted by chrisamiller at 7:44 PM on May 18, 2007

Your friends can help with what is on the outside but I think you need to take a look at yourself on the inside. How long transpires between a positive thought and a negative one? Are there some thoughts that ring truly positive, if so write them down. If there are thoughts and constantly ring negative, write them down. Then expand on how these thoughts effect your judgement of the things you do every day. It is a long shot but you might discover something about yourself. It took me about ten years to figure it out.

I think it boils down to how decisive you are. Do you make a decision and stick to it or do you find yourself constantly second guessing? Once you have established the things you are not sure of you may have discovered that which makes you go forward and that which weakens your inner strengths.
posted by bkeene12 at 7:56 PM on May 18, 2007

Best answer: chrisamiller is talking about, which is the positive trait one. There is a link to the negative ("nohari") at the bottom. Good if you have honest friends willing to help out.
posted by wimpdork at 7:59 PM on May 18, 2007

Thanks wimpdork. I was going nuts trying to figure that out.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:22 PM on May 18, 2007

Buy a book, it will walk you through this. However, really, this is just the latest flavor of the day in business fads. If you seriously want to persue it, it pays to head to the book store, buy one of the books (I can not help you on which one, I tossed mine in the circular file) and follow the instructions therein. If you have to do it for your job, then you definitely want to get the book so that you can parrot back all the appropriate jargon.
posted by caddis at 8:31 PM on May 18, 2007

You might find this document useful. (Word Document unfortunately).
It's from a UK university's module on 'Personal Development Planning." (If you do a Google search on that term you could probably find some other good resources).

Here are a slew of word documents on the same theme.
Personal Development Planner.

It's got some good exercises, although all of this type of analysis requires separating the vague "life coaching" stuff from the real material.

Good luck!
posted by jeremias at 6:25 AM on May 19, 2007 for tests based upon the enneagram type of personality analysis. Most informative I have found so far, and surprisingly accurate.

posted by fox_terrier_guy at 7:44 AM on May 19, 2007

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