We may say we’re not but act like we are. Perfect, that is. The truth still stands; no one is perfect. Everyone generally accepts this for everybody else except when they feel violated by others. Worse, still, when it is a leader that has failed. Whether you’re a leader in particular context or a part of a team being led, you’re aware of the shortcomings of those you serve with and those whose supervision you serve under. In the context of relationships, outside of organizations, say friends and family, you’re aware of shortcomings those you share your life with.
The closer we get to people, the more aware of their shortcomings we are. On the same note, the closer people get to us the more aware they become of our flaws.The closer leaders are to us the more aware we are of their shortcomings. It is never an easy thing to have your shortcomings held up to you. Some people push back as they feel condemned and humiliated. Others simply view feedback on their shortcomings as opportunities of growth.
The cornerstone of acknowledging any shortcomings is simply being honest about them. Credibility is often lost when we try to deny or cover up shortcomings. Denying our shortcomings is like Pinocchio denying that he just told a lie, while his nose grows in full view of himself and those around him.
The evidence of denying shortcomings is often an overcompensation in areas of shortcomings that make the shortcomings more obvious.
Those who get ruthlessly crucified are ones who deny them. Saying you don’t have some shortcomings does not mean you don’t them. Denying your shortcomings does not make them disappear. Not being honest about your shortcomings robs you opportunities of growth.
Honesty is only one of the best ways to acknowledge your shortcomings. Responsibility means not only being honest about your shortcomings, but addressing them. Acknowledge your shortcomings by addressing them. This may include taking extra care in the particular areas. You could people who are stronger than you in the areas of your shortcomings to assist you.
Where restitution is necessary, make right.
Teams, leadership and other relationships fail not because of shortcomings in people but when they do not take any responsibility for them. Accountability and feedback systems are necessary to keep you in check as far as taking responsibility for shortcomings.
Be open and up front about your shortcomings. This can help manage expectations on you. Not doing so can sow seeds of failure for you in the future. It also takes away the ‘sting’ and embarrassment of having those around you pointing them out. The truth is great, but sometimes painful.
Stating up front areas you are likely to fail tells those around you where they will need to step in and help.
Don’t be that guy. You know, the one who knows he has shortcomings and, when he fails expects everyone to have somehow miraculously have known that he had shortcomings in certain areas. If you’re a leader, or in a team, try to preempt areas you might be needed to deliver that are not areas of strength.
What advice would you give in helping me (and others) acknowledge their shortcomings?