This article explores the relative values of developing your strengths or working on your weaknesses and examines which you might choose to emphasize.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):


Key Questions to Explore:

  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • Which should I concentrate on?

New Terminology:


Materials Needed:

Copies of the article for the students

Study and Discussion Activity


Everyone experiences both success and failure. What we learn from each of these is critical to our personal growth. From these experiences we come to understand our strengths and weaknesses which enable each of us to grow as competent individuals. Which of the two we choose to work on at any given time depends upon our circumstances and our responsibilities. This lesson will have the students examine each of these on a personal level and develop an insight into the importance of either improving our weaknesses or enhancing our strengths.


  • Begin the lesson by pairing up the students and asking the pairs to discuss whether they learn more from their successes or their failures.
  • Allow a brief time for the discussion and then have the pairs report their position to the class.
  • With this as background, have the pairs discuss what it is they learn from both their successes and failures.
  • Again, once the discussions have been completed, have the pairs report to the class.
  • These reports should raise the issue of strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ask the students to take a few minutes and individually write down what they believe to be their personal strengths and weaknesses.
  • Once this has been done, have each member of the pairs share their answers with their partner and discuss the partner’s response.
  • Allow time for this sharing and then have the students report, avoiding specific personal references, the types of strengths and weaknesses that have been identified.


  • Recognizing that it is important for our personal growth that we improve our weaknesses and enhance our strengths, have the pairs discuss which they believe should best be addressed first and then report to the class.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

The students will be able to:

  • outline their strengths and weaknesses;
  • explain the importance to personal growth of working on each;
  • describe some ways of working on each.

Confirming Activity:

  • Hand out the article to the pairs and allow time for them to read it.
  • Hold a concluding plenary session during which the students discuss how they would allocate their efforts in either addressing their weaknesses or enhancing their strengths.