I walked around the corner and into the office. The moment I saw her, I knew I was going to employ her. A high performing employee had referred her. She was professionally attired, already chatting with others on the team, and I knew that she had an impressive resume.
In spite of everything that looked so positive, I kept the interview consistent with all others. And not surprisingly, she soared through the first few questions.
And then I asked my favorite one. “What are your weaknesses?”
Her response, “I don’t have any.”
Wait, what? She didn’t really say that did she?
I rephrased the question.
She responded, “I used to be bad at public speaking, but I worked at that. I don’t have any other weaknesses.”
I redirected again. Looking for a signal that she knew that she was an imperfect human. That she was coachable. That she could play well on a team.
Negative. She said again that she had no weaknesses.
You guessed it. I didn’t hire her.
…And for years, I’ve leveraged that experience to coach job seekers.
But you don’t have to be a job seeker to learn from that story.
Think for a minute about the issues in our world that you are focused on.
How many of the people involved have impressive resumes and look professional?
But in spite of their qualifications they:
- Can’t see or admit that they have weaknesses?
- Are unwilling hear or consider another perspective?
Imperfect humans that think they can do no wrong – fuel division and prevent problem solving.
Their egos don’t foster collaboration or solutions.
We need people that listen deeply, knowing that others have witnessed, researched or considered something they haven’t. Those are the ones that will be willing to work together to solve big issues.
What questions are you asking when you seek out, listen to, employ, promote, elect, and reelect people?