Overusing a Strength Can Be Detrimental

Does the concept of overusing a strength make sense?

Last week we recommended using a checklist to help track what you want to accomplish.

This week we want to recommend that you create a checklist of your strongest skills and behaviors and assess where you may be over-using that strength.

We’ll use “communication” as an example.  Let’s say you’re a strong communicator.


  • Are there times when you provide too much information?
  • Have you been known to dominate conversations or highjack meetings?
  • Do all email recipients have a “need to know” or are you over communicating?
  • Does the receiver of your message “get it” yet you ramble on?
  • Do you talk more than you listen?
  • Is your message too lengthy and as a result not read in its entirety?
  • Are you disregarded for talking too much?

Other considerations:

  • Are you mainly fact based and lacking empathy in your delivery?
  • Could you do more to minimize discomfort when communicating a difficult message?
  • Do you take into account how others may feel from your message?
  • Do you ask others for their perspective, views, and interpretation of your message?

Over-communication can have negative consequences and consequences for under-communicating can be even worse. Be aware of your audience and don’t over-use your communication skills.

This applies to all strengths; be aware that when over-used they can be detrimental.

An incoherent email is like a puzzle that people have to solve before they can take any significant action.—John Rampton

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