Working from your strengths, means focussing on what you are already good at and becoming ever better at it. That doesn’t mean it is easy to do; because every strength comes with a challenge. For instance when you overuse a certain strength, it can become a pitfall. Luckily, by practicing with your challenges, you can stay away from your pitfalls and make your core strengths even stronger. So: working on your challenges is the way to grow.

Daniël Ofman’s famous core quadrant can help you discover what your pitfalls are and the challenges that come with it; what behaviour it is you should practice with. The quadrant shows your core strength, your pitfall, your challenge and your allergy.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor daniel ofman core quadrant

The following steps will help you to fill in your own quadrant for one of your core strengths:

1 Start with choosing one of your core strengths. If you’re not sure what your core strengths are, think about what type of things your colleagues always ask your help for. Also consider the things that give you the most energy or that other people give you the most compliments for. Insight in your DISC-style can make it easier to find your core qualities.

2 Next, think of something you tend to do when you are under stress; this is when you are most likely to show your behavioural pitfall. It happens when you overuse your core strength. Example; if your core quality is helpfulness, when overusing that strenght you can become meddlesome. There can be many different pitfalls for the same strength; write down the one that you recognize in yourself.

3 Your challenge is the positive opposite of your pitfall and it is a good supplement for your strength. Like in the previous example; a challenge that belongs to meddlesomeness can be independency. Your challenge is often something you admire in others.

4 Last; you fill in your allergy. This is behaviour that you don’t like seeing in yourself or others. It’s an exaggeration of your challenge and the direct opposite of your core strength.

Other examples of core quadrants:

  • Core quality: Modest
  • Pitfall: Invisible
  • Challenge: Present oneself
  • Allergy: Arrogant
  • Core quality: Determination
  • Pitfall: Pushiness
  • Challenge: Patience
  • Allergy: Passiveness

What are you going to do today to practice with your challenges?

Good luck!