How To Start Improving Your Weaknesses (With Steps and Tips)

Updated June 24, 2022

Committing to your personal and professional development can help you improve relationships, build your confidence and grow your opportunities. If you're interested in improving your skills and strengthening your capabilities, learning where to begin can be helpful to your journey. Regardless of the skills you want to improve, it's important to incorporate self-reflection and goals into your process. In this article, we explain why improving weaknesses is important and offer a list of steps you can follow to grow your abilities and overcome personal shortcomings.

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Why is it important to improve weaker skills?

Improving your weakness is important for many reasons, including:

Professional development

Improving your skills is an important aspect of professional development. As you grow in your role, it's important to evaluate your skills regularly. Doing so can show managers and future employers your commitment to developing your skills and improving your value as a professional. These are admirable qualities because they communicate the care you have for your job and your performance.

Related: 5 Common Areas of Improvement for Career Advancement

Job satisfaction

Another benefit to improving your skills is increasing the personal satisfaction you feel at work. Growing your confidence in your abilities can make it more rewarding to perform your job tasks. By improving your skills, you're more likely to receive positive attention from supervisors and coworkers, which can boost your mood, improve the satisfaction you receive from completing a task successfully and provide intrinsic motivation to continue performing well.

Personal development

Beyond professional development, improving weaknesses can be good for your personal development too. With the possible exception of certain technical skills, many job skills can translate into your personal life. For example, improving your communication skills can have profound effects on your personal relationships. By focusing on development, you can improve yourself as an individual, not just as an employee.

Career growth

Developing certain skills can qualify you for new opportunities and allow you to advance in your career. Consider asking your employer what you can improve to be considered for a promotion or advancement opportunity. They might have valuable feedback for you and appreciate your dedication to adding value to the team. Learning new technical skills can also boost your resume and make you a more desirable candidate for future positions.

Team support

By building your strengths, you can become a better resource for your team. Having strengths in specific areas may make others more likely to seek your advice on certain projects or tasks. Developing a sense of community and feeling like an integral part of your team can make work more fulfilling and satisfactory.

How to start improving your weaknesses

If you're ready to improve your skills, here are some steps you can take:

1. Identify where you want to improve

The first step to improving your weaknesses is to determine what those weaknesses are. If there's something that's interfering with your relationships or your ability to perform your tasks, you've likely already received some feedback about it. Maybe there are certain tasks you don't enjoy starting because you don't feel confident in your ability to execute them. Consider asking for feedback from a supervisor or a trusted friend to learn about the skills you can improve, or engage in your own reflection to determine where you'd like to see yourself grow. Focus on achievable improvements.

Related: 4 Ways Feedback Improves Performance In the Workplace

2. Document your goals

One of the best ways to keep yourself on track and to get serious about improvement is to set goals for yourself. Think about what improvement looks like to you and envision where you want to be in a month, in six months and in two years. Consider writing your goals down somewhere you can see them. Improvement isn't always linear, and your progress might be slow at first .

For example, if you want to improve your time-management skills, start with smaller goals like leaving 15 minutes earlier than you normally would for an appointment or using a planner to organize your tasks. Smaller steps can be easier to achieve and you can continue to build on them.

Related: 8 Leadership Weaknesses and Ways To Improve Them

3. Ask for help

Experience can be a great way to improve skills and eliminate weaknesses. If there's a task at work you don't feel confident completing, seek opportunities to engage in that task. While it might make you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable at first, gradually you may notice improvements. Consider asking for help from a colleague who has different strengths than you do. They may offer you valuable advice about how to improve or grow your confidence. Try to find times that aren't busy before asking for their help.

4. Research education opportunities

Sometimes, developing skills exceeds the capacity of your personal network. Try to learn as much as you can about the skill. You can read relevant books, look up online resources or explore development programs. For some professional skills, there are free resources online that can aid your efforts. Completing a professional course or certification can also help you improve your resume and qualify you for new opportunities. Some employers even help cover the financial costs of these courses, so it's worth having a conversation with your employer about your goals.

5. Implement new strategies

Improving your weaknesses can take dedication and consistency, especially if you're overcoming challenges that make it harder for you than others. Use your research to help you develop strategies that work for you. Some strategies may not prove to be valuable to you, so focus on ones that work well with your existing skills and learning style. Understand that it takes time and effort to improve a weakness, but that staying committed to your short- and long-term goals can help.

6. Measure progress

Consider tracking your progress. This can make it easier to visualize how much you've grown. Small incremental changes can be difficult to see over time, but by tracking your progress, you can often see how far you've come on your development journey. Reflect often and use your progress to encourage your continued efforts.

Related: 9 Ways To Improve Your Personal Development Skills

7. Get feedback

As you continue to grow and improve your weaknesses, ask others who work closely with you if they've seen a difference in your performance. If you received feedback from a manager about weaknesses during a performance review, ask them how they feel about your progress. They might have suggestions for ways you can continue improving or they might congratulate you on the results of your hard work.

8. Continue improving

Improvement is an ongoing process and there are many ways you can keep developing your skills and growing as an individual. Celebrate your successes and constantly look for new strategies that can elevate you as a professional and as an individual. Pursue professional development courses, read books and ask others for feedback often. When you make personal improvement a habit, you can continually refine your methods and develop new strengths.

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Tips for improving weaknesses

Here are some additional tips that can help you improve your weaker skills:

Be open to feedback

Part of improving weaknesses is admitting where they exist. Being receptive to negative feedback and performing honest self-reflection can take time to perfect. Recognize that any criticism you receive is an opportunity for growth. Everyone has weaknesses, but not everyone has the commitment required to accept and improve them. Be patient with yourself as you grow and learn, and be grateful to others who help you develop into the best version of yourself.

Develop your own strategies

Some weaknesses may stem from circumstances beyond your control or limited access to resources. As you improve weaker skills, you might find that others' solutions don't accommodate your development journey. Find the strategies that work for you and don't feel pressure to use someone else's methods. While others can be great resources, some of their advice might not apply to your unique situation or learning needs.

Be patient

As you improve your weaknesses, celebrate minor victories and be patient if success doesn't come right away. Even if success feels far away, the effort you put toward self-improvement is beneficial. Everything you do to improve your weaker skills can help you grow and learn, so be kind to yourself and enjoy each stage of gaining new skills and growing as a person.

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