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If you’re like most people, you’ve been raised to believe that in order to succeed, you have to improve your weaknesses until they become strengths, or at least until you become better at them. You may have even purchased a book or two to help you transform your weaknesses into your strengths. However, what we’ve found is that when you work against your true nature, it’s more difficult to reach your full potential.

Why? While you’re focused on improving your weaknesses, you’re not fully leveraging your gifts. But if you flip it around and focus on sharpening your strengths, they become your differentiator, or what sets you apart in the marketplace. According to brand expert Sally Hogshead, as she shared from the stage at one of Brian Buffini’s Success Tour events, when you water down your most distinctive traits, you’re at risk for becoming a commodity; instead of standing out based on what you do best, you start to blend in with everyone else.

Think of the high-level sprinter who’s breaking short-distance records. Let’s say he wants to improve his endurance so he can run longer distances. While he may build his endurance, his short-distance running times are likely to suffer because he’s no longer training to improve them. When you don’t use a skill, it dulls.

You don’t need to change who you are by strengthening your weaknesses, just as a championship sprinter doesn’t need to become a marathoner to be a great athlete; you just need to become more fully who you are. As my good friend Brian says: “Just being you is good enough to be great.”

What Are Your Strengths?
Often, our strengths and the value they provide come so naturally to us that they can be difficult to identify offhand. What are the traits and habits that come naturally to you?

Once you know and begin to really focus on your strengths, lean into them daily. For example, if you love socializing with your clients, one of the most effective ways to generate leads may be to host more client parties. Playing to your strengths allows you to add more value for your clients. When your clients find value in you and the services you provide, they’re more likely to refer you.

What if you love hosting client parties, but hate planning them? If planning is your weakness, delegate it to your assistant or even a party planner. Once you’ve identified your weaknesses, you can outsource those activities to the people for whom it’s a strength. However, don’t fall into the trap of abdicating responsibility for the tasks you delegate. While you may not be completing them yourself, maintaining responsibility allows you to stay in control of your business.

Improve Your Communication Skills
Whatever your strengths are, it’s important to constantly improve your communication skills. Great communication skills are crucial in the real estate business; not only can they make or break a transaction, they provide the foundation for a lasting relationship with your clients.

To build your skills, get out to one of Brian Buffini’s Success Tour events to hear communication expert Kevin Buffini. Kevin’s spent his career helping people understand their natural abilities and how to master their own unique communication styles so they can close more business.

In the meantime, we’ve created Words to Win With—a valuable tool you can find in the Resources Area of These words and phrases will help put your clients at ease and help you manage your clients’ emotions throughout the buying and selling process.

Joe Niego is a Buffini & Company presenter and trainer.

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