Every once in a while we will have a conversation with a client that goes like this:
Us: “Nicely done, you have a unique talent for ______.”
Our client: “Nothing special, everyone can do this.”
Us: “Actually, no they can’t—you have a pretty unique combination of skills!”
Our client: “Oh, seriously? It never occurred to me that other people didn’t do this all the time!”
We believe deeply in having people play to their strengths. Yet, often we find that people insist that their natural strengths “don’t count for much” because they come too easy—a “real” skill is hard to learn.
Most of us have skills or talents that, for some reason, we are good at and that seem to come naturally. We may have never been granted a degree in the area, but we are quite successful. We believe that if you enjoy them, those kinds of skills are the ones that you should seek to use whenever you get the chance.
The key to personal growth is to take your natural skills and enhance them. Don’t just go after things you can’t do, instead seek to do better at those things that come (even somewhat) naturally, and then build from there.
This is especially true with leadership. Most people who are interested in leadership have some natural tendency toward it (or they wouldn’t be interested in it). Understanding how to be a more effective leader, whether or not you are a leader in your job, is a powerful way to build your skills and prepare you for your future. Becoming better at something because YOU want it is far more effective than becoming better at something because someone else thinks you need it.
Interestingly, there is a lot of research out there that shows that annual performance reviews don’t do much to encourage growth—because often those reviews focus on what you don’t do well.
There is growing support in the business management arena that if you must give annual reviews, you should focus almost exclusively on what the person does well and seek to enhance those skills. And, if you want to really help people grow, you should give that feedback regularly, not just once a year.
You see, as you get better at what you do naturally, you will build confidence and with that confidence comes the ability to takes risks and try out new areas for stretching and growing. In other words, with confidence and self drive you will learn a lot more than you ever will because someone thinks that you don’t measure up.
This week, take some time to think about all that you do well and write down the 3 ways that you can enhance even just one of those things. You might be surprised where it will lead you.
Don’t forget to check out our free 4-series video training on claiming the Leader in You. Linda does a great job sharing the best of our Leader in You framework in a way that is accessible, easy to understand, and it takes only a few minutes for each video. And please share it with friends and family—let’s change the world by helping each and every person step more fully into their leadership. This training is valued at over $499 so be sure to catch it while it’s free. It just might be the thing you need to move to the next level in your life!
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