describe the imageWhen assessing other people it is important to objectively identify both the strengths and the weaknesses. Using the criteria of balancing hard results and soft intentions, this assessment should be easier. You also need to learn how to use people’s strengths in the best way possible.

Naturally these strengths and weaknesses will be defined in light of the job at hand.  A strength for a given job might be a weakness in different circumstances, and vice versa. This is especially true when you consider moving individuals laterally within the organization (i.e. from sales to marketing), or vertically (i.e. a promotion). Moving someone who is competent at one job does not necessarily mean that the person will be able to carry out the responsibilities of the next job, especially if their major skill in their current job is only a minor part of the new job.

When you assess an individual with the intention of capitalizing on their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses, look for behaviors which:

1. Are suitable (or unsuitable) for the circumstances you have in mind

2. Can either contribute to the overall objective and build the team, or would be destructive, hurtful and wasteful to the tea

3. Within the organization or environment where that person will be placed, can help (or hinder) depending on what the mission is

4. Demonstrate whether or not they are creative, entrepreneurial, people oriented, or technically oriented

The assessment is critical. Once you have made the assessment, then instead of looking at the failures, the weaknesses or the problems, look at the strengths and determine what situation would allow those strengths to contribute most. Ask: where can that individual go, or in what circumstances should the individual be placed, or what people should that person be around, or what systems of procedures should be in place in order to capitalize on their strengths?

In this way your assessment of the individual has been married to the placement of the individual in an environment where their strengths will have an opportunity to flourish. You thereby enhance the impact which that person can have, and the overall effectiveness of the organization.