Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird? It’s a plane? It’s Superman! Just like an unidentified flying object, some talents can look like one another. Keith specializes in fixing team conflict, Jenifer teaches English as a second language, while Justin runs a clinic to help athletes excel to higher standards of performance. They all help people to improve but use very different approaches and motivations. Take Restorative, Developer, and Maximizer. These three talents can look similar from a distance but have very distinct differences up close and over time.
People with Restorative, an Energize talent, are motivated by fixing what is broken. A Restorative with several connect talents often focuses their efforts on fixing people. Whether dealing with people problems on an interpersonal plane or righting wrongs of social injustice, they may push for relational repair or renewal that moves institutions from broken to functional. They move people from a scale of negativity to positive functionality like Keith does in his work with teams.
Developer is a talent that mobilizes others towards growth and greater competency. Through training, teaching, mentoring, or merely modeling skills and aptitudes, they can nurture others to new growth and outcomes. Developer is a softer Mobilize talent that will often be reflected by intentional encouragement and patience to pull people to that next step of skillfulness or maturity. Developers are encouraged to see the smallest improvement and consider that a win, not unlike Jenifer with her students.
Maximizers typically wants the best that can be delivered. They will push others to get out of their comfort zone and pursue a higher standard of excellence. This is a harder Mobilize talent that can sometimes come across as very directive and driven. As one friend of mine charged his team, “Good is not good enough when we can have great, so let’s all up our A game to an A+ game.” It’s not about fixing or developing for the Maximizer as much as it is about being your best. Not unlike those who Justin pushes to higher performance in his camps.
From a distance these three talents all help other people move forward. But if you step back and set all the movement on an axis diagram with negative to the left and positive to the right, Restoratives are taking someone or a group from negative 5 to ground zero or the wholeness of a one. Developers might take someone who is at a 3 in some area of competency and bring them along to 4. Though it might take several months the right steps of progress can fuel further engagement. Both of these scenarios could frustrate some Maximizers. They might even feel they are wasting their time with anyone under a 5. They want to take a person at a 6 to a 10 and they want to do it as quickly as possible. As we learn to identify and understand the distinctions between these talents, it will make all the difference in choosing the right talent for the right outcome and the right success.
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