Episode 16

#016 - PERMA-V: Engagement Through Character Strengths And Weaknesses

Published on: 23rd November, 2020

In today's episode, Robert, Igor, and Charles continue our discussion on Engagement through the lens of Signature Strengths and weaknesses.

We cover how to interpret behavioral and strengths-based assessments and what to do about the results. Our personal perspective is that these assessments are best viewed through an optimistic lens - focusing on the benefits articulated versus getting hung up on the downside.

Thanks for joining us today and don't forget to subscribe and drop us a line at [email protected].


Robert Greiner 0:02

Welcome to the Wanna Grab Coffee Podcast. In today's episode, we continue our discussion on engagement, focusing on our top and bottom character strengths and how they improve or dampen our ability to achieve the flow state. We also discussed the importance of a shared vocabulary around strengths or weaknesses and how our personal professional lives can be improved through gaining a high level of understanding around how we are wired, what we are good at and what gives us energy. Thanks for joining. And don't forget to hit the subscribe button.

Charles Knight 0:33

How are y'all doing this morning?

Robert Greiner 0:34

Doing well. It's Halloween Friday.

Charles Knight 0:36

Yes, early, early morning. Probably the earliest morning we've been together.

Robert Greiner 0:41

I think that might be right.

Igor Geyfman 0:42

Except for when we used to have those Wednesday morning MT meetings every week.

Charles Knight 0:47

Was it earlier than this?

Igor Geyfman 0:49

I think they started at 730.

Charles Knight 0:51

Oh, gosh, yeah

Igor Geyfman 0:52

Maybe even seven. Now that I think about it. It was definitely before eight.

Robert Greiner 0:56

Yeah, that was a long time ago. Yeah.

Igor Geyfman 0:58

It was a lifetime ago.

Charles Knight 1:00

Well, hey, guys, I wanted to chat a little bit more about strengths. I feel like there was a rich discussion about strengths. And at the tail end of our last talk, we started to talk a little bit about our bottom strengths, which I think it's easy for us to call them weaknesses, you know, and I'm talking about the Character Strengths survey that we all took, and we shared a little bit about, and I wanted to spend some time talking about those bottom strengths, and maybe dive into a little bit our reactions about those. And then some strategies to improve those bottom strengths or weaknesses. If we want to, I think I shared this before, you know, one of my bottom strengths is leadership. And that was a surprising one for me. Do you all remember any of the bottom strengths that you all have that were surprising or that you disagree with? Or that you think is wrong? You know, based off of how you feel about yourself now?

Robert Greiner 1:58

Why don't we level set and go through the bottom five? And then yeah, I do want to get into these weaknesses? Are these just do you think of them more positively as your lowest strengths? Do they require some intentionality? We got into that a little bit last time, which I thought was interesting. Charles, do you want to just start off with a recap of your bottom five?

Charles Knight 2:17

Yeah, let's do that. My bottom five, leadership, kindness and generosity, self control and self regulation, humor, and caution or prudence. So those are my bottom five.

Robert Greiner 2:32

And that's interesting. So your second to last is my first, humor.

Charles Knight 2:36

Well, I mean, I think that fits if I think about my history, I think a lot of people would say I'm a pretty serious guy. Yeah, I think I intentionally try to bring humor into situations because I know how powerful that is to defuse stressful situations. It's also just really funny. Since having to work at home with kids at times, both kids, both of my daughters, they have said, Daddy, when you're talking to your work, friends, why do you sound so serious? And I think that's just such a wonderful, innocent, beautiful observation that kids have, that work is a serious thing. And I think I would tend to agree, and yet I know that it doesn't have to be and it shouldn't be serious all the time. And yet, oftentimes, it's a struggle for me to not take it so seriously, and to bring humor and playfulness into the mix. And so in that regard, I agree with that one, that that is a bottom strength for me. Because it does take intention and energy and effort for me to try to bring into a situation.

Robert Greiner 3:47

So maybe two questions there. One is I mean, it's pretty clear from our what nine, almost 10 year relationship that you like to laugh, you like humor, you enjoy funny things. Is that true?

Charles Knight 3:59

Oh, absolutely.

Robert Greiner 4:00

So second question is, are you just as serious in your personal life? Or is there a switch that flips when you're in a professional setting?

Charles Knight 4:10

Yes, I'm, I'm less serious outside of work. Yeah. And so I do feel like in a work setting, there's a seriousness, maybe that I feel is required, or is expected of me. But yeah, I can be real silly. Yeah, just ask my kids.

Robert Greiner 4:27

Well, that's interesting, because we have these assessments, which, again, I think are ultra helpful. They are imperfect metaphors, though, right? Like, they just they're a window into how you're wired, how other people are wired. It's just one of those things. You have a little bit of a different persona, at work, in your personal life and under stress. And so these things might not always be true in all situations. So that I think that's a really interesting observation around humor and how you view it at work and in your personal life, especially with your kids.

Charles Knight 5:01

Yeah, absolutely. Igor, do you want to share your bottom five?

Sure, yeah, I'll share them. So I'm kind of in order towards most bottom number 20 is spirituality, which is defined as having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe, knowing where one fits in within the larger scheme. Forgiveness, forgiving those who have done you wrong, accepting other shortcomings, giving people a second chance, not being vengeful. 22: self regulation, regulating what one feels and does being discipline controlling one's appetites and emotions. Perseverance, finishing, what one starts persevering in a course of action, despite obstacles, getting it out the door, taking pleasure in completing tasks. And then the last one is humility. Letting one's accomplishments speaks for themselves, not regarding oneself is more special than one is. So out of the bottom five, the lesser strengths, three of them have to do with temperance. And actually, if I look at number 19, which is prudence, which is not just it's our bottom six, it's also temperance. So basically, my bottom six, four of them are about temperance, which sounds about right. And the only one that I was surprised by was spirituality. I've always felt like I, you know, I'm a fairly spiritual person. That's the one that I'm probably surprised by. I'm not surprised by you know, the test telling me that, let's say humility is my less, lessest strength?

Robert Greiner 6:37

I think some people might use the term least.

Igor Geyfman 6:40

Oh. I mean, look, Robert, okay. English is my second language. So, I feel like I can make up words, here and there. But yeah, probably least, is maybe the right word. But less, there's nothing lessest.

Robert Greiner 7:01

It's so early guys. Let's not do this again.

Charles Knight 7:07

I love this. You know, it's it's Roberts, humor, strength in action, and I am thoroughly enjoying it, even though humor is one of my lessest or least strengths. Oh, gosh. Yeah, I don't think we mentioned this last time. But Igor, you brought up that these strings, there's 24 of them? Hmm. But they are grouped into categories. And I don't think we talked about those. And so I pulled up the VI, a character strengths website. And I'm just going to list off the groups. Igor, you mentioned temperance, there is transcendence, justice, humanity, courage, and wisdom. So those are the categories. And that's an interesting exercise, too, you know, you you notice that, hey, there's a cluster of temperance strengths at the bottom. For me, I think there was an absence of or maybe it was similar, you know, I can't find the view where it shows mine. But that that's an interesting exercise to you just to kind of see where your strengths are clustered, potentially, you know, I think that says something. There was something interesting that I read to while I was prepping for this that I wanted to share with you all. Do you all know about the DSM? You know, the diagnostic manual that psychiatrists and psychologists used to diagnose mental illness? Have y'all heard of that before?

Robert Greiner 8:41

No, I've never heard of it.

Charles Knight 8:43

Yeah, there's, it's something that gets published. But in it, it has a list of mental illnesses, with all of the symptoms that are required for that diagnosis. And so it's a manual, right? So if somebody comes to a psychiatrist, or psychologist and they present with symptoms, and you have four out of six symptoms, then they will diagnose you with general anxiety disorder, or any of the other mental illnesses. And when I was reading about the founding, or the creation of these character strengths, it was meant to be the positive psychology equivalent of the DSM. Because remember, positive psychology is like, hey, psychology is good. But it's, it's more about, like removing these negatives in our lives, you know, these illnesses in our lives, to help us, you know, achieve a higher state of well being. The character strengths and positive psychology are meant to amplify the good. So we've been playing around with this, hey, it's a lesser strength, not a weakness. That is intentional, right? We're trying to avoid the word weakness, because these strengths are all within us. Even if it's at the bottom, like I can crack a joke. It just doesn't come as easy to me as it does for Robert. And so there's something really powerful in that, right? It's like, just because it's at the bottom doesn't mean, we have to fix it, right? It's not a problem. If it's at the bottom, we don't need to spend 100% of our time and energy, trying to improve our bottom strengths. And that is very counterintuitive to me. And it has been for quite some time. I think we are wired to pay attention to our weaknesses and to try to shore them up. I know the three of us, we've talked about that before. But that was, I just wanted to call that out for our listeners that there is a reason why we are trying to avoid the word weakness, but it's difficult, right? Every time I want to say out using my, these are my weaknesses, I think that's a, a more holistic, wholesome way of thinking about it, like these are all within me, I can tap into these at any time, it just may require a little more energy.

Robert Greiner:

That's a really interesting point, if you think of positive psychology as sort of the inverse, where you manifest positive symptoms in your strengths. And then on the lesser strength side, those are just areas that require some a different level of activity or intentionality, to manifest the same kind of outcome. And so I think that's a really good way to look at it where, yeah, there's, there's no deficiency here, there's no defectiveness here, this is a tool, one to help you understand yourself better. And then two, if you're in a situation that requires strengths that are not as high on your list, then that requires a little bit more effort on your side and energy, but you can still do it.

Igor Geyfman:

Before we get into Roberts, lessest strengths. I want to bring this back to how we got on this topic in the first place. And that was the idea of engagement. Right? We were talking about engagement as part of the perma v model. And I'm, you know, I'm just looking at my bottom five or six. And when I look at them in context of engagement, I would say that it's accurate, for me anyway, in the sense that if I had to do something all the time, that required really high levels of humility, or perseverance or self regulation or forgiveness, I don't know about, maybe even spirituality or definitely prudence, I would probably not be engaged in that activity. And it's not that I can't do it, I there's definitely been a lot of situations where all five of those things I've practiced because I've had to and it's gone well. But if I had to do it all the time, it would not bring me energy, in the same way that appreciating beauty and excellence or practicing honesty and humor and creativity bring meenergy. So at least I don't know. How do y'all feel about that perspective, as far as engagement and being something that brings your energy or maybe doesn't bring you energy?

Robert Greiner:

I totally agree, especially if you're trying to reach that flow state, where we said it's the combination of basically aptitude and challenge. There's like an aptitude drag, right? It's not that you probably couldn't, but again, it requires that much more energy, there's that much more friction, both static and kinetic friction, right friction to get started. And then once you're in that zone, keeping it up. And so I think that as from an engagement perspective, you are a little bit behind the curve. If you're focusing on those lesser strengths, I think it's just like our prior discussion, it can be done. But it's one of those things that it's it's just going to take a little bit more effort for the bottom, for your bottom versus someone else's bottom strength.

Charles Knight:

Yeah. Robert, do you want to share your bottom five, you know, given that, given that backdrop.

Robert Greiner:

I would love to, in fact, there's nothing I would love more than to share what I'm worst at.

Igor Geyfman:

Lessest Robert.

Robert Greiner:

Thank you. So number 20 perseverance. So that's under the courage dimension finishing what one starts persevering in a course of action in spite of obstacles, getting it out the door, taking pleasure in completing tasks. 21 is judgment, thinking things through and examining them from all sides, not jumping to conclusions, being able to change one's mind in light of evidence, weighing all evidence fairly. Forgiveness. Igor talked about that forgiving those who have done wrong, accepting other shortcomings. Humility, letting one's accomplished speak for themselves, and prudence, being careful about one's choices, not taking undue risks, not saying or doing things that might later be regretted. So these and I think it's really difficult to self assess behaviors and strengths and weaknesses. I talked to my wife about a few of these, like, I don't, I don't think some of them make sense, but maybe I haven't fully just accepted my own reality like, like you and Charles have Igor. But like, I definitely agree with perseverance. Like I get bored, pretty easy. I want to move on to something else. Like I can see that. Judgment, definitely, I would say that I I take action faster than I think things through. So on the judgment side, and on the prudent side, those probably makes sense. Forgiveness and humility, though, I would say, make less sense for me, like, I do feel like I'm pretty forgiving of giving people a second chance not being vengeful, like I wouldn't think of myself as eventual person. But then when I apply the professional lens back to this, it really, like I do have high standards, I do give my team a hard time when they're not meeting expectations. And so maybe there's an element of forgiveness as a lesser strength there. So that's something I'm thinking through right now. And then humility, I don't know, like, I think I really don't feel like I think I'm more special than I am. But I do like getting full credit for the accomplishments that I achieve. And so that's kind of an interesting one. And then on perseverance. It's kind of a double edged sword. Right? So persevering in of course of action, in spite of obstacles, I would say, I've actually demonstrated in my career that I can do that quite well. But this the first part, finishing what one starts. I do see myself getting bored and switching from time to time more often than then seeing things through. So I can see how that would be lesser strength, even though I think the way it's worded I don't fully agree with but I think the idea is definitely there. So a bit of a mixed bag on my bottom five. Again, that's just something that's maybe a little bit harder to self assess.

Igor Geyfman:

I wonder if this thought came to mind as you were talking, Robert, this idea of like forgiveness, because forgiveness is in my bottom five. Accepting other's shortcomings, that's a part of the forgiveness, description. And at work, anyway, I, as I work with different folks, one of the things that I I'm very intentional about is meeting people where they're at from a skill level. I definitely have a standard, but I also understand that everybody's on their own journey towards that standard, and that I have to accept people where they are in their journey, and help them make progress. And I have a really good friend, a fellow manager leader who's not like that, you know, that person has a really high standard. And anybody falling short of that standard is like a slacker, and they're bad. And they need to just get out of the way, you know, and I'm not saying one is right or wrong, but just different approaches. And I was thinking, okay, so I practice, you know, forgiveness, but I am annoyed by people's shortcomings. But I think I use my love of learning strength, like as applied to others, because that's in my top five. And I use that to counterbalance, maybe my lesser strength in forgiveness. And so I'm actually thinking that part of the way that this might work is you're able to balance out your your lesser strengths with your signature strengths is what VIA calls it. Any thoughts on that? Do you think I'm just maybe connecting things that don't connect?

Charles Knight:

You're exactly right. When when you think about interventions, you know, from a positive psychology standpoint, because all of these things that we're talking about, they're scientifically backed research and interventions to improve people's well being. And from an engagement standpoint, the intervention is exactly what you said. It's like, the intervention is how can I use my signature strengths in new and interesting ways, like in ways that are not obvious and doing that you can find how to incorporate your signature strengths into daily life on a more regular and consistent basis. an extreme example would be, hey, if your signature strength is humor, but you think that you can only express that strength by being up on stage, telling jokes, then you're missing out on opportunities to leverage that strength, you know, when you're at home when you're talking to friends or when you're at work. And yes, the other thing I wanted to bring up is that there's a quote by Aristotle, who says, virtue is a mean, it's like an average between deficiency and excess and that kind of rings true here as well. You know, humor in excess can be detrimental. It can be a weakness, it can be inappropriate. So this idea of using strengths to cover off on perceived weaknesses or lesser strengths. To find that balance, I think is is the right way to think about it, you know, if you do want to improve these things, like for me, leadership is one of my bottom five. But one of my top five, bravery and valor. You know, I say a lot that vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill. And so, when I think about the times that I have led most effectively, it is times when I have been courageous and bold and vulnerable. And so it's like, Ah, okay, maybe maybe that's a signature strength applied to a bottom five strength that allows me to be more engaged. I think that's the challenge is like, how can you weave these signature strengths into these things that are less engaging? So that way we can be more engaged? I think that's exactly right, Igor. So thank you for bringing that up.

Robert Greiner:

I completely agree with you there. And I think that you hit on two points that I just want to expand on real quick one is, any strength applied in the wrong situation immediately becomes a weakness, there's two edges to that sword. And if you're not careful, and you just use your strengths as a hammer, you will find yourself in a situation in situations over time where it just completely didn't work and backfired. And then you cause harm. So that's, that's definitely thing number one that you hit on that that I think is completely true. Second, on the weaknesses side, and I was reminded of this story I heard where, okay, let's say that you have this world class musician, famous performer for decades. And she's in the later years of her life, and just physically can't play music as quickly, she'll start off playing the piano at a slower pace, so that when the fast parts of the song come up, she can still speed up. And it all makes sense. And it all kind of fits together, versus trying to play as fast as she played 2, 3, 4 decades before. And so I think there's there's kind of an interesting analogy there, where you have these lesser strengths, you definitely have weaknesses, everybody does to whether they're in the frame of this or not, how can you either overshadow those with your signature strengths, like you said, or play, surround yourself with people who excel in the areas you don't, or really try to mitigate the downside of lesser strengths of weaknesses as you go about your day, so that they make less of an impact. And the relative space between your weakness and your strength is not as not as wide. So I think that's kind of an interesting thread to pull on where just because like you said, there's, you have something that that's low on the list that your that takes energy, that's not natural to you, you can still offset or mitigate or achieve the same outcome using a different set of behaviors.

Robert, you know, you mentioned that one of your lesser strengths is perseverance. And we share that and I do think both of us can use other things, we have used other things to to balance that right. Like we've both done a good job of taking things across the line when we have to. And so I just, you know, I do see us covering things off. And from Charles's point, there is like a dark side to each of these strengths, like any of these taken too far can become could become dark, including things like perseverance, right? Like there's, if you become obsessed about completionism, then you're not able to let things go, right. And you will invest a lot of energy into things that don't need to have energy invested in. And I think you can just go through each strength and take that to its dark side, as well.

You hit on a really interesting point. So what this survey this assessment does not tell you is whether or not you are a jerk, or if you manifest those strengths in positive or negative ways. As you were talking, I was thinking, Oh, that makes total sense. So if I could go back to that perseverance idea, I think actually, the drive that causes me to want to get things done is my competitive nature. I get some satisfaction out of winning, luckily, thank goodness, I don't really feel like I get as much or really any satisfaction of other people losing. I just like to finish things to set new standards, to have a nice pace on my work and getting things done. And so I wonder if like my competitive nature counterbalances this idea of perseverance because as I look back on my career, I do remember the hard difficult long term things that I've accomplished seem to have that competitive drive in them. I was just thinking about, well, how could that be true because I've been at the same company almost 10 years now and that same client for almost four, and so there's some definitely some long threads. But there is a sense of while I'm in this space, I can still accomplish more, it's still accretive to my career goals. It's like a nice vehicle for growth and advancement and it sort of satiate my competitive drive. And so I'm wondering if once that sort of, I don't know, if you'd call it growth path or ability to to achieve is unplugged, I almost immediately drop what I'm working on. That's kind of an interesting idea that you brought up there were like, I think that you have these other behavioral quirks and tendencies that also magnify or offset your strengths or weaknesses.

Igor Geyfman:

I see this as a pretty powerful tool for self management, you know, to think about how do I structure and engage with things and counterbalance things to be my best self and to bring forward you know, positive outcomes. Also think this could be really great. Working with your team members, and providing them with coaching. And so having your team take this assessment as well. And having discussions as you discuss work, you can definitely, I think, weave in these character strengths as, as a dimension, and help your team also feel engaged in the work that they're doing. Or help your team, if they're having to go through a moment where perseverance is really important, and it may be one of their lesser strengths, talk to them, and discuss strategies on on how to create the right intervention, I think, as Charles said.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, I really liked that idea, Igor, I think you're right. You know, I was, as you both were talking, I was thinking back to the very early parts of my career, you know, maybe one or two years out of college. You know, humor is one of my lowest strengths. And I remember not wanting to go to happy hours, because I didn't feel like people would like me, because I wasn't a funny guy. Like, with the people that I started with, right out of college. They were hilarious. You know, they had witty banter, you know, they they would crack jokes and make people laugh. And it's like, ah, I can't do that, like, I want to, but I don't know how. And I remember feeling. ashamed, maybe it's like ah, there's something wrong with me. It's like, it comes so easy and naturally to them. Why does it not come easily to me. So yeah, there's something wrong with me, I want to call that out. It's like the three of us, we are well established in our careers. You know, we've had lots of moments of self-awareness and support from others to help us to grow and to develop coping skills and get perspectives on who we are. And yet, I remember early on, if I were to have taken this, and seen humor in my bottom five, right out of college, it would have just reinforced the fact that like, yeah, I suck, like, I'm not as good as these other people. And that makes me bad. And I guess I want to call that out that that's not, that's just not true. Like, I don't know how to explain, and I think that's why they make such a big deal about framing this as these are all strengths that we have, like these are all inherent within us. And that we, you know, whether humor is in the bottom or the top, we are perfectly good enough. And, and I think it, it hits on this, you know, this kind of perfectionist tendency that probably most people have, it's like, oh, I have to get better, like I need to cover off on my weaknesses. There's a healthy way to go about doing that, you know, to, to, to do that when it's appropriate, because you know that there are appropriate and inappropriate times to be playful and, and to bring humor into a situation. But there's also a dark side to all of this, like this. Any self awareness tool like this could reinforce a person's negative self view of themselves. I think, for us, as leaders and managers, we have to try to extend the self awareness that we've developed to the people around us and make sure that we're using tools like this wisely, right. If we have a sense that this may do harm, then we owe it to the people around us to use a different tool, do you see what I'm saying? Like, does that does this making sense?

Robert Greiner:

I completely agree. If you said, hey, I'm not funny, I felt self conscious about being around in social settings, my peer group, who are hilarious. And you felt that that was tension, you felt that in your stomach and your chest when you thought about going to a happy hour with this group of people. That's why I think stuff like this is really important, though. And this may be my optimism talking, I've said this to you guys before. But I spent the first nine years of my career thinking I was introverted and detail oriented, because I came from a software development background. And those two things are absolutely not true. I'm not detail oriented at all. And I'm pretty extroverted. And what manifests in your career in your life, when you don't know that about yourself is tension, you find yourself in these situations, and it's not quite right, and you can't figure out what's wrong. And I'm not saying you have to solve What's wrong, you can't even name what's wrong. And so stuff like this is so helpful. But just like everything, there's a balance, there's a double edged sword, and you could absolutely take it as oh my gosh, I'll never be funny. In actuality, you've seen this plays out with other people that we work with, if you're pretty vocal about like, hey, I'm not that funny. I'm pretty serious. I'm like, Spock, whatever. And then you go and you crack a joke. Everybody's thinks, oh, my gosh, Charles, like, look at you being funny, man, we didn't even know that was possible, and you get a lot, you get a curve applied to you if you're open and vulnerable about what you're not great at. And so and people are very quick to point out like, oh, hey, that was that was good, a good attempt. I think that there's definitely a lot of good that can come from knowing yourself and knowing yourself as well as possible. Igor applying that to the people around you. One, so they know that you get annoyed when when they don't meet a standard, right. And that can help sort of interpret your feedback and discussion with them. And two, so you can you can understand your team better and and help lead them more effectively. And then Charles, to your point coming back to the lesser strengths, even weaknesses are not deterministic, they're not going to determine your future outcome, you can creatively mitigate them, you can build up skills to offset them, or you can just ignore them and say, hey, I'm going to focus on doubling down on my strengths and really hitting home runs over here. And if I strike out on these other areas, that's okay. Right? Because we need that diversity of skill set of strengths of collaboration and interaction to do anything meaningful. And so yeah, I think definitely, there's a very pessimistic way to look at this and a very optimistic way to look at this. And I think especially through the lens of positive psychology, the intention is for you to take the optimistic look, and say, Here are my strengths. And what can I do to help enhance those for my own well being for my own engagement, so I'm fully on board with with what you're saying there,

Igor Geyfman:

That's why I love these chats, because it just generates so much energy for me, but also ideas. Charles, you mentioned that you felt ashamed. And that's a strong like emotion, right and shame. This probably another episode there, where we talk about shame, and overcoming shame. And there's definitely, if I look at the list of 24 strengths, if they're in my bottom, there's certain strengths that I'm, like, ashamed of perseverance is one of them. Like, I look at perseverance. And I'm like, that makes me feel ashamed. I look at humility, that doesn't make me feel ashamed at all. I don't, you know, it's, but there could be somebody who takes a look at those two things. And if they're in their bottom, it's reversed, right. And so we, we feel shame. And we feel shame about a lot of different things. And, you're right over time, we've come up with ways to overcome our shame. And lot of it is a matter of time, you go through life, and you may have shame about not having humor, and maybe not having as much perseverance as you'd like or whatever. And over time we figure out, like, it's okay, there's no need to be ashamed of that. And, and I think helping people close that shame gap earlier, is something that you can, that's really powerful that you can do for a human being. And, I think we can talk about it at a different time. And then Robert, you brought up something that I think is amazing, and that is diversity. And you want people to be different, and to bring different, you know, signature strengths and lesser strengths to the party. And, and I'm thinking back to Charles's example of the happy hour and him feeling shame because he's working with all these really kind of humorous, witty folks, and I can't think of anything more obnoxious than going to a happy hour where every person there is, you know, humorous and whatever else like I'd go and I'd hang out with Charles, just because I need a break. And and I would appreciate Charles being there as somebody who brings diversity to see that situation and to that to that group. So diversity is huge. And another reason to not feel ashamed.

Robert Greiner:

Well, what what good would an orchestra be with all percussion, you get the most beautiful sounds, and most moving pieces when all instruments and sections are playing in unison at the right level, feeding off of each other and harmonizing right, and I think that's a that's an analogy that applies to human interaction. And yeah, why would you go see something that's just all drum? Right? That wouldn't make any sense. So yeah, I definitely agree. And I think, Igor to add one more thing to your what you're saying is helping remove and mitigate and understand and make sense of that, that internal shame or self consciousness that you're talking about. And then yeah, being open and vulnerable about that with the people around you, and encouraging those that are on your team, that their lesser strengths are not what defines them, right. That's why they're called signature strengths on the top end, those are the things that really make you unique,

Charles Knight:

Guys, this, this has been great. I think this is a good place to stop. And I think for our listeners, that takeaway here is that no matter where your strengths lie in the top or the bottom, like you're perfectly good enough, just the way you are. That's, that's my hope for everybody listening is that you realize that you're you're perfectly good the way you are. And it's okay, if there's something in the bottom five that you disagree with, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to move mountains to try to achieve perfection in something that, you know, you think is needs to be perfect. This was a very rich discussion, an important one too. And I love that we got a chance to talk about it. So thank you all.

Igor Geyfman:

Thanks, Charles.

Robert Greiner:

Thank you. This was great.

Igor Geyfman:


Charles Knight:

All right. Take care.

Igor Geyfman:

See ya.

Robert Greiner:

Have a good one.

Bye. That's it for today. Thanks for joining and don't forget to follow us on Twitter at Wanna Grab Coffee or drop us a line at [email protected].

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About the Podcast

Wanna Grab Coffee?
Join us for weekly discussions about careers, leadership, and balancing work and life.
A podcast about all of the topics we discuss during our mid-day coffee breaks. We bring you stories, thoughts, and ideas around life as a professional, leadership concepts, and work/life balance. We view career and leadership development as a practice that spans decades and we are excited to go on this journey with you.