What do you bring to the table?
"What do you bring to the table?"
This is supposed to be an innocent question yet it has become a very common 'insult' asked a lot these days. It's often asked with an arrogant air of superiority. Usually, the inquisitor aims to belittle the person the question is directed to. It suggests that the person being asked the question is both worthless and dependent on the inquisitor. If the person being asked isn't clear about what they bring to the table, the aim of that question will be achieved: to humiliate and erode the self-confidence of the one being asked.
Before I go any further I must point out that everyone brings something different to the proverbial table. What A brings to the table isn't more important than what B brings, we need both things to move forward. So, if a person doesn't bring a particular thing to the table it doesn't mean they don't bring anything at all. When a person doesn't know what they bring to the table they'll allow themselves to endure unnecessary ridicule from people. What you bring to any table is your strengths and what you don't bring because you can't bring is your weakness.
I can't tell you what you bring to the table, neither can I tell you what you don't bring to the table. You must know what you bring to any table so when asked this question you can answer it boldly. Knowing what you bring and what you don't bring to any table is the first step to understanding your value.
At this point, I'm sure some people might still be wondering what they bring to the table. It's ok not to know the answer to this question now, what won't be ok will be your reluctance to seek the answer after reading this piece.
To help you answer this question, I'd tell you what I bring to any table I'm a part of. I'll also tell you what I don't bring to any table. I'd highlight my strengths and weaknesses and hopefully, after this read, you'll have an idea of what yours are.
What do I bring to the table?
Here are some things( my strengths) I bring to any table:
- My confidence: If you haven't already noticed I'm a confident woman. A woman who is confident in both herself and her abilities. This means that when I step into a room I can command respect because my head is held high. I don't doubt that I can bring value.
- My intellect: I consider myself to be an intelligent woman who can give meaningful contributions to any discussion or situation.
- My beauty: Yes, you read that right! I'm an extremely beautiful woman, a pleasing sight to behold. Interestingly, my beauty opens a lot of doors for me but my intelligence keeps me in. So I use my beauty to my advantage a lot.
- Eloquence and outspoken nature: I'm a seasoned public speaker who expresses herself seamlessly. Due to how eloquent I am, I can hold the attention of my audience as I speak to them. I'm also not scared to speak up when the need arises.
- Leadership skills: I consider myself a decent leader. I make sure that things go on as they should when I'm in the vicinity. I don't sit back and watch things fall apart, I take charge and responsibility for situations.
- Competence: I’m a competent person who sees things through. My word is my bond so if I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it.
What I don't bring to any table:
Here are some things I don't bring to any table ( my weak points):
- I'm not the lady you send to separate a fight or quarrel. I'm a no-nonsense and short-tempered lady, so if any of the parties cross me in the process of mitigating the situation they might end up getting a brain reset from my slap. This isn't a good trait but it's one I manage by not putting myself in such a situation. When these issues arise, I step aside and let the person more skilled in de-escalating situations take charge.
- I'm a spontaneous person who so most times I make decisions on the spot. Most of the problems I've had in life are a result of this trait. To resolve this, before I make any decision I consult a more grounded person. A person who thinks things through. As much as possible I try not to make decisions alone.
- I'm not a very good negotiator so when the need for one arises, I step back.
- I shout a lot when I'm pissed. It is so bad that if anyone tells me to calm down during these times I'd channel my anger towards them. I try to manage this situation by staying around people I respect and love so that no matter how angry I get my voice will never go up. I also stay around people who can handle situations more maturely than myself, people who listen to my complaints even when I whisper. I've noticed that around such people I seldom shout when offended because I'm assured that they'll handle things.
From the outline I've given, you can see that the things I don't bring to the table are just as important as the things I bring to the table. However, I am smart enough to leverage my strengths and humble enough to ask people for help with my weak points.
There is a reason why we have strengths and weaknesses. It is an intentional act by mother nature to ensure we work together and depend on each other. Alone we are incomplete, we need each other to be whole. If people had no weaknesses the world will be a terrible place to live in because many will be gods. However, our weaknesses don’t make us inefficient nor do our strengths make us perfect.
So the next time a person asks you:
"What do you bring to the table?"
Look them dead in the eye and list out all your strengths and if they try to belittle you with your weaknesses tell them:
" I have that as one of my weaknesses because you exist for me to depend on so don't be useless"
I think that's a decent clap back to an intended insult. You add value wherever you are, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Knowing your strengths is a way to boost your self-confidence.
I do hope that after reading this you have an idea of the unique things you bring to any table.
Till I write again. Bye