Your Strength Is Acting Like a Weakness :: This Volume Dial Will Tell You Why

strengths finder weakness volume dial

I held my breath as we started out on our night-time road trip. The kids were in their pajamas, and they were ready to crash. I knew David and I would have hours to fill.

And those hours are what I was both looking forward to and dreading.

It is rare that we set aside hours just to talk. He especially needs it {as a Relator #1, he shrivels without it}, and I do too in the end. But every time we had even minutes to look at each other in the eyes and connect, he was talking about our unknown future.

Every. Single. Time.

Every time, there was a different scenario playing out in his head that he’d want to run by me or try out on me.

Because of his Futuristic Strength, I have learned that this dreaming fuels him and inspires him. This time, it was wearing me out.

As we drove out onto the freeway during the road trip, and our kids settled in the back seats, it all began. He threw as many futures up on the wall as there are possible color swatches of paint for a new house. I let him talk, but inside I was fading.

His dreaming was so all over the place that it was lost on me.

His Strength was acting like a weakness.

Volume Control

When Your Strength Acts Like a Weakness

Gallup uses a definition of weakness that I love.

A weakness is a shortage or misapplication of a talent, skill, or knowledge that causes problems for you and others.

A weakness is a talent in the way.

Sometimes it is getting in the way because you do not actually have much of that talent. And other times {which is more often the case} it is because you have a talent that is being misapplied.

You are using too much of it, or you are using too little of it.

Volume Control Can Mitigate the Weakness

The number one most helpful word picture that helps put your Strengths into action and make a significant impact on your work or in your marriage is this idea of Volume Control.

I talk extensively about Volume Control over in Step 5 of the 9 Steps to Life Change, and we personally unpack and apply the concept in our Signature Course—9 Steps to Life Change Through Your Strengths.

Today, volume control can help you mitigate the things that are showing up in your life as a weakness.

This is especially true if you see your Top 5 Strengths and have a visceral reaction to one or more of them. If you have said, “Yeah that’s true about me…but…it is not a strength,” then this Volume Dial word picture and exercise is for you.

Volume Dial Word Picture

strengths finder busy restaurant

Imagine that you are at dinner with a dear friend. You have been looking forward to catching up together and you chose a restaurant where you knew you could choose a corner table and chat the night away.

When you get there, it is all going well. You grab your table and wait for your friend to arrive. You notice the vintage decor and the folksy jazz playing in the background. The evening is off to a great start.

Just as your friend arrives, however, the volume of the background music suddenly elevates. You stand to hug your friend and have to lean in closely just to say hello.

As you sit down, you almost laugh at how outrageous the music is. You try to chat with your friend, but you may as well be trying to have a conversation at a U2 concert. Even leaning way across the table toward each other, you would have to read lips in order to truly understand each other.

What was once a key element in setting the perfect ambiance, is now the one thing that is keeping you from your only desire for the evening—to talk and catch up.

The Volume Dial that Turns Weakness to Strength

Your Strengths act just like that folksy jazz. When they are dialed in the appropriate level, they add so much depth and richness to your circles of influence. They help you achieve at work. They help you connect in your marriage. They help you parent your kids.

But when they are not fine-tuned, when they are too loud or too soft, the same Strength can cause aggravation and be a stumbling block to achieving your goals or building relationships.

The best part about understanding this is that you can truly do something about it. You are the fingers that control the Volume Dials of your Strengths, that turn those Talents from weakness—something that gets in the way—to Strength, a talent productively applied.

The free Volume Control guide we created walks you through the thought process it takes to begin to be the master dialer of the volume of your Strengths.

Maven Insights Inbox

When you clearly hear where your strengths are showing up in Optimal Volume, in Volume Overdrive, or Volume Underdrive, you can begin to use your Strengths to make an impact on your work and your marriage.

  • If you’re feeling burnout, excessive conflict, over-bearance, check your Strengths for volume Overdrive.
  • If you’re feeling unheard, shame, distaste for your Strengths, check your Strengths for volume Underdrive.
  • When you are feeling energized and collaborative, see your Strengths operating at Optimized volume.

Check out this Free Volume Control guide to explore.

To David’s self-reflective credit, not long into the road trip, he stopped himself. He looked over at me and said, “you know, I think I’m using my Futuristic strength like an unrestrained fire hose. I think I need to reign it in.”

That minor revelation created a major adjustment in the Volume of his strength. And huge bit of fresh air for me!

As he took control of the Volume Dial, he turned an aggravating weakness into a value-adding, enriching Strength. So, as the kids snored away, we connected in a fulfilling and meaningful way, all because he was willing to hear the volume of his Strength, and do something about it.



Links & Resources from today

FREE Volume Control Printable Tool
Becky’s Maven Insights
StrengthsFinder is Life Changing | Dial in Your Volume {Step 5 of 9}
StrengthsFinder is Life Changing | Get Clear on your Needs {Step 7 of 9}
{9 Steps} to Life Change through your StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths
Get your own 9 Steps to Life-change {free} Checklist
Discover your Top 5 Strengths with StrengthsFinder + Strengths Startup


The Strengths-perspective can impact your marriage, your parenting, and your work!

If you’re into it or you’re just not so sure about it all, reach out, and let’s connect about it. You can catch me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, all at @isogostrong, by this handy contact form, or in our Energy Up Frustration Down facebook group.

Enjoy your day, and {be strong}!

Feature Image Photo Credit :: Gavin Whitner

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