Natural talents – your brand of excellence!
How many times have you struggled with doing something? You don’t know where to start or how to approach it, then you have a conversation with someone and they amaze you with how they understand exactly what you need to do and how to do it.
We are all built with natural abilities to do things, we typically recognise what those things are in others but it’s hard to recognise and truly understand those things in ourselves. We tend to know what we like to do and don’t like to do, and that is a good indication of what our natural talents are, because we tend to gravitate towards doing things we enjoy and that come easily to us.
We have been conditioned through our lives that we should strive to be good at everything we do – the term ‘well rounded’ is used a lot in business to describe someone who is perceived as having strengths in many key areas and I am sure everyone reading this will have been told where they have areas for development to help them become more ‘well rounded’. Although it is impossible for 1 individual to possess a natural ability in every area, it is not impossible to be successful. We can learn to do things that we are not naturally good at, and as a result we can be very competent in what we have learned. We also can surround ourselves with people that are good at things we don’t enjoy doing. Continually developing new skills and knowledge, and connecting with people who know how to do different things is how we meet our challenges.
I can identify the natural talents of people around me pretty quickly, my sister in law is extremely organised, she can sift through a bunch of papers or receipts and have the accounts and the office sorted out in no time. My brother is very detail oriented, whatever he does is completed thoroughly and perfectly. I work with someone who is excellent at thinking and developing new concepts and ideas that are transformational. There is another who is excellent at detailed planning and executing perfectly to the plan.
Determining your own natural abilities, your personal areas of excellence is an interesting journey. Over the years, the areas that people think I am good have been very consistent, communicating and collaborating well with people, developing strong relationships and building strong teams. I never really thought about what it is that I actually DO, for these things to stand out for others. I had the opportunity to go through a detailed program that gave me an ‘aha!’ moment in understanding what it is that I actually DO.
What was interesting to me was the conversations I had with people after the program. I delved further into my identified strengths as I didn’t fully understand or relate to them. I talked to people about what they saw me do that made them see a strength. It amazed me what people described, because I did all those things unconsciously and actually believed them as being of no consequence because I was putting no effort into doing them. I also believed that everyone else could do those things just as easily as I could. In this journey, I now have a better understanding of the specific things I do and it provides focus for me.
Having a real understanding of our strengths and natural abilities is a way to unleash our own brand of excellence. You can achieve things that others cannot because you are hardwired to easily do certain things others find difficult to do.
By learning about the natural abilities of others, you can surround yourself with people that can easily do all the things you find difficult, and your team and organisation can excel. I term this as ‘strengths bartering’ – we all have different objectives but call on each other to help in areas we know the other is good at – you build great relationships, people respect the differentiated value you bring, you spend more time doing things you enjoy, you spend less unproductive time expending huge effort and energy with no satisfaction, objectives are achieved and there is a sense of team well-being and trust.
It is definitely worth investing time for individuals and organisations to discover their natural abilities, how to make the most of those abilities, and how to make the most of the abilities of those around you – Discover your brand of excellence!