Talents become strengths when you can consistently apply them to achieve positive outcomes via near-perfect performance. Consistency develops through practice and the ability to focus the power of your innate talents. Unfortunately, when asked to list their talents, many individuals struggle to respond. If you don’t know what skills make you successful how can you repeat or enhance them?
Turn your talents into strengths by identifying, appreciating, and focusing them.
Categorizing your natural talents creates a robust platform upon which to build your personal development objectives. Talents are the skills and abilities that represent your “go-to” approach to getting things done. Using your unique talents to accomplish tasks builds energy and promotes engagement. In other words, using your talents fosters happiness and success.
If you’re like me and love to learn (or have ever used the phrase “life-long-learner”), then one of your top talent themes might be Learner. For example, I love learning about leadership topics and keeping abreast of technological changes. What are the talents that come naturally for you? Taking the Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment identifies your top five talent themes and is the first step toward enhancing your strengths.
Appreciating your innate talents is the next step to unlocking your strengths. By exploring how you execute tasks, influence others, build relationships, and strategize you boost your awareness of your naturally reoccurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior. Increased awareness helps you make decisions and tailor strategies to align with your strengths.
Incorporating learning opportunities is a signature component of my execution and leadership style. My learning-based talents help increase domain knowledge (i.e. leadership or software development topics) and enable me to share information and ideas with others. How do you get things done? Familiarizing yourself with your top five talent themes offers tremendous insight into what makes you successful.
Understanding the characteristics and dynamics of your talents allows you to focus your abilities on desired outcomes. For example, now that I know that Learner is my primary talent theme I can seek out ways to leverage and grow that skill set. What do I need to learn to achieve my goals? How might the lessons illustrated in <insert book title here> help me support my team? By practicing (using) your natural talents you build the stamina (capability) necessary to perform with strength.
Need a Navigator? – Find a Strengths Coach!
Collaborating with a strengths coach helps you chart your development journey. Where do you want to go? How can your talents get you there? Your coach helps you explore your talents in action and plan next steps.
From a leadership perspective, strengths coaching aids managers in honing the strengths of self and team. What objectives must the team achieve? How do team talents interact? A coach helps managers understand the talent composition of their team. Greater understanding informs talent development strategies and helps managers cultivate higher levels of productivity and engagement.