Talent, what is it? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines talents to be a special ability that allows someone to do something well. This is a natural ability, one that comes to you without effort or thought. We all have talents and many times it is difficult for us to know, appreciate, and acknowledge our own talents. The reason is that our talents are natural and normal to us. We do not have to work at them because they are part of who we are. Since our talents come to us without thought we can’t really appreciate them as the special abilities they truly are. We believe everyone can do this because it comes so easily for us. Our friends and associates recognize them as talents and appreciate them in us.
The question I’d like you to consider is how can you narrow down what your talents are? Do you ask your friends, co-workers, superiors, clergy and family? That’s a very good option.
Another option is to take the Clifton StrengthsFinder talent assessment test; which may be a bit more scientific. The talent assessment test was developed by a psychologist, Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., his associate, Tom Rath, and scientists working at the time at Gallup. This was in 1998 and in 2004 the test was named in honor of the chief designer, Donald O. Clifton to “Clifton StrengthsFinder”.
The idea behind this test is the thinking that we should make use of our natural strengths and continue to develop them, instead of working on our weaknesses. I agree wholeheartedly with this thinking. What you do well is not easy for others, so why not take advantage of your natural talents. When you take the StrengthsFinder test you will not only learn your top 5 talents, but also get ideas with action plans and guides on what situations and employment or mission that you are best suited for. Imagine spending your day making using your special abilities, things that come easy to you. I assure you it is much more fun when you spend your day doing what you love to do and what comes easy to you.
Next week I will review the 4 leadership categories our strengths or talents fall into and how to make the most of your talents and your employees talents. I will share how I used the Clifton StrengthsFinder at businesses and how it impacted their company. In the meantime, you can hear me talk at 5:00pm on Friday, May 5th. I will be on Bloomberg News 880 AM radio – please tune in.