Talent Neglect Series, Part 1: Ignorance

assessment cliftonstrengths assessment inpowering people resources input talents & change top 5 talents Jun 29, 2023
Talent Neglect Series, Part 1: Ignorance

Many years ago, I was leading a meeting to plan a major event. Most of us were in a robust conversation about the big close of what we knew would be a spectacular week-long conference. Mike, however, sat locked down in the sounds of silence.

It was time to turn to my least favorite part of the planning conversation. “Let’s talk budget to make sure we have all our bases covered.” Mike suddenly transformed from quiet observer to conductor of the conversation. He was asking questions, taking notes, running numbers and connecting with the planning team with an animated and interactive energy I did not know he possessed.

Later one of my colleagues laughingly said, “Bert- did you see Mike come to life? When you said ‘budget’ it was like he came out of a coma and jumped to the front of the parade!”

This was a few years before I began my own Strengths journey but looking back it’s clear that when Mike had the opportunity to work from his Strengths he was a different person. He just had to suffer through a day of conversation unrelated to his talents and role before resurrecting. When I think of the time and productivity that was wasted, I would have structured our meetings and interactions much differently now.

For our summer blog series, we’re going to look at some of the top ways we miss opportunities to work from our Talents and make them more of a Strength.

We’ll start with what I see as one of the top reasons - Ignorance. Until we recognize the recurring patterns of productivity as a combination of inner competencies called Talents we are blinded to our greater potential.

My wife, Karey’s Input talent made her a collector of trivial factoids, pearls of wisdom, movies and word games. Her quest for frequent and random knowledge came across to me as constant questioning, trivial research ventures or curiosity collections of books and magazines.

One spring I asked her to map out the route for a family road trip. Within a couple of weeks, her now focused Input had put together a fabulous family road trip through 7 states that not only hit many epic destinations but was under our usual budget.

After she took the CliftonStrengths assessment I began to understand and appreciate the beauty of her Input talent. Since we went to college together I knew she was smart and good at research in the classroom, but outside the academic arena I only saw the raw form of her information pursuits. As my business partner I recognize that much of the success of Inpowering People comes from her Input as a means to greater informed decision-making and productivity.

Think about your own Top 5 Talents. How has your self-awareness, efforts and accomplishment changed because you have a definition and language to some of your “signature” behaviors?  If your answer is “not much” it could be because you fall into the second entrapment of talent neglect after ignorance…which we will share next month.