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Authors: M Raffoni
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Management Update", 2002

Abstract

Is it more productive for managers to exploit their direct reports'' strengths to the fullest and work around the weaknesses? No, according to the experts HMU consulted; that theory is too reductionistic. Although it seems natural to design work responsibilities to play to employees'' particular strengths, you can''t ignore their weaknesses. People can improve and change if they have help balancing their focus on particular strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, as a manager, you need to partner with your employees in order to shore up weaknesses. Read how to pick certain employee weaknesses to improve upon, and how to customize your approach with individual employees.

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Abstract

Is it more productive for managers to exploit their direct reports'' strengths to the fullest and work around the weaknesses? No, according to the experts HMU consulted; that theory is too reductionistic. Although it seems natural to design work responsibilities to play to employees'' particular strengths, you can''t ignore their weaknesses. People can improve and change if they have help balancing their focus on particular strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, as a manager, you need to partner with your employees in order to shore up weaknesses. Read how to pick certain employee weaknesses to improve upon, and how to customize your approach with individual employees.

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