Weakness Turned Strength

Weakness turned strength

As mom to two teens, I am acutely aware of the impact social media has on our perceptions of others and the “keeping up” mentality it so often elicits.  While we have frequent discussions at home about the fantasy world individuals tend to offer up, I needed to step back and realize that I, too, can unintentionally fall into this trap.

I post regularly, here, on Instagram and Facebook, and nearly always post the successes and good days.  Not because I’m attempting to cultivate a “perfect SLP” persona, but because it feels like the “this worked” posts would be more beneficial than a stream of “another child who has never completed our homework continues to make little progress” or “that session was cut short by a messy accident/spilled meal/sniffling-sneezing-cough that required a clean-up crew and nearly sent me home to shower.”

SLP Runner is currently challenging SLPs to talk about their weaknesses turned strengths.  So, here I am to discuss a weakness that covers a secret strength and offering a reminder to all of us that perfection is not just unattainable, but undesirable.

I’m introverted and I don’t feel a pressing need to converse; odd for an SLP, right?  Growing up, I would have been more than content to parallel play—in silence—for hours.  I sat back in the classroom and seldom offered my opinion.  Even, today, if you need someone to wait quietly with you in a waiting room or to walk with, I’m your gal.

But all of that not talking has made me an extremely low risk playmate for my speech students.  You know those quiet, anxious kiddos?  Because I’m not overwhelming and I can wait very patiently, for an extremely long time, they tend to open up—often a whole lot.  You know those slow as molasses processors whom you wonder if they even have the skill at all?  I can comfortably wait for those correct responses so we identify exactly where the real deficit is.

I can put on a show and chit-chat for hours with good friends, but at my core I’m an observer.  I know ability to keep quiet provides the perfect opportunity for my students to get talking.

I’ll be at the ASHA convention this week, so there won’t be a Thursday post.  Please check in on Instagram to keep up with the fun in Denver (and if you’re headed there yourself, please find me!).

For more “Weaknesses Turned Strengths” click here.  And, by all means, tell us one of your weaknesses (and why it’s actually a strength) below.


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. SLP Runner

    Our world needs more observers and active listeners! I’m so glad that you can see the many strengths of an intra- personal communicator. Thanks so much for linking up Kim, honored! Enjoy your time in Denver.

  2. Annie Doyle

    You remind me of my daughter! I love that quality in her and find it admirable. I work HARD at being silent and most definitely view it as a strength. You are remarkable and I so value your insights!

    1. admin

      You’re one of my favorites, Annie!

  3. Brynn


    Thanks for your honesty and sharing a little piece of who you are. I love how real your blog is. We have the same conversations at our house about the online personas out there. Your posts provide practical help, thoughts to ponder and things to make me smile. Enjoy the convention. Someday I’ll get there…

    A weakness of mine turned strength… I am way too talkative and often indecisive. I think. Sometimes. Kinda. This means I’m incredibly slow when I write my documentation at work. The upside is that I think (and have been told by a few colleagues) that my notes are very thorough and really paint a vivid picture of the child, exactly what we are doing in therapy and the things that are working. When I worked in the schools, colleagues often asked for my help in finding the “just right” wording for their eval reports and IEPs.

    It feels good seeing the positive side to a personality trait that you just can’t fight. Thanks for the assignment, Kim!

    1. admin

      Brynn, that is a WONDERFUL way to look at your trait and I couldn’t agree more with the strength it adds to your practice! I’m going to try and do a bit more unfiltered sharing here, so brace yourself! Kim

  4. Linda

    I share that weakness, Kim, which is why starting a blog was very hard for me! Staying quiet can actually be a true strength. It allows students time to process and actually encourages some students to share! Thanks for all of the interesting ideas you provide us with here!

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.