How do you change a personality trait that helps you?

So we're talking at work about potential new projects for me and the subject of feedback comes up. Oh how I hate this conversation.

Because on the one hand, you want to know what you're doing wrong, and on the other, you don't want to hear that you're doing anything wrong.

Because that would make you flawed. Which feels bad. :-(

Anyway, I am reflecting on the fact that my strengths are also my weaknesses. Which is so cliched that it's what you say in a job interview. Except for the fact that this is actually true. And it's like one of those computer loops where you want to fix a problem, but if you fix it you will ruin something else that is equally important.

In a nutshell here's what I got: On the good side, I am a "wonder" because I blaze through problems like a Mack Truck. On the bad side, I tend to be a bit inflexible about believing that my solution is the right one.

I couldn't really argue with any of it, although it hurts! Yes it does! to be told that you are not perfect.

I think it would be good to broaden my mind and be more flexible. But I am afraid that if I alter my personality I will lose my ability to size up a problem, decompose it into parts, adjust the parts, and come up with a plan to reassemble everything quickly and in better shape than it was before.

You can tell me that the client will feel good if I figuratively hold their hand but in my heart I believe that I owe them a solution that will work. Not nice words.

So here is the question. I throw it out to the wisdom of the crowd:

1) Can you change your personality without destroying the benefits it brings to you and your organization?

2) If the answer is yes, what is a general roadmap for doing that? Is there a step-by-step way of changing?

3) More specifically for the realm of communication, how do you balance the delivery of actual results, with the maintenance of the customers' self-esteem?

Have a great weekend everyone.


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