I’m not a fan of trying to improve weaknesses.

Not because I think they’re unimportant.  It’s just an ROI calculation.  A month spent getting from the bottom 5% to the bottom 7% proficiency at something I suck at is lower yield than a month spent getting from the top 92% to the top 92.5%.

When you’re really good at something, a tiny improvement gives a huge edge.  When you’re bad at something, even a sizable improvement doesn’t do much.

I apply this principle to others too.  I try to work with people’s existing strengths and push them to get even better there, and assume their weaknesses will never change.  If they do, bonus, but I’d rather create an incentive structure where nobody has to be different than they are to get results.

It generates faster progress and helps reduce frustration.  I’d never ask a really shy behind the scenes organized person to give a speech, so why ask an extroverted elocutionist to handle logistics?  Play to strengths, plan around weaknesses.

Still, weaknesses suck and sometimes I need to work on them to level up.  When I do, I focus on one at a time.  I build my daily routines so that most activities are building strengths, but I have one weakness in there too.  This helps keep me focused and pick the weakness that’s most glaring and costly.

The past several months, it’s talking.  I’m trying to talk less.  I talk too much in almost every setting.  Verbal communication is a strength, but overtalking dilutes it.  I’m not stopping any of my normal activities to work on this weakness.  I’m still putting 90% of my focus into building my strengths.  But it’s helped me become more aware of the cost of loquaciousness just by picking it as my one weakness to focus on right now.

I don’t think I’ve made progress yet.  It could be several years on this one.  Silence is my siren song.