Lilianna Żuchowicz

Talent Manager, Gallup® Certified Strengths Coach

Why is it worth investing in talents?

It began with the book "First, break all the rules": We intuitively agreed with her thesis that the greatest development potential of every human being lies in the area of ​​his natural predispositions.

Since then, we have been systematically developing a talent program based on the StrengthsFinder in e-point, so I would like to talk a bit about what it is all about and what benefits it has.

To understand this, we must start with the difference between the conventional approach and focus on strengths.

A conventional model of personal development

How do we strive for success and fulfilment? The traditional pattern is that the key lies in fixing your weaknesses. This model is based on the belief that the majority of behaviours can be learned if only we have long enough and persevere to train.

As a result, we focus on our shortcomings, striving for some universal ideal, believing that all successful people have the same set of skills and behaviours, so our goal should be to develop the same qualities and skills.

You probably know this model from experience: on it are based the traditional school and the traditional image of the career path. The individual is to strive for a universal ideal of success by fixing himself, by working on weaknesses. However, does it really work?

No. Someone who has no innate predisposition to music, sensitivity to her, talent, can spend long hours learning to play the piano and will never achieve mastery. With a lot of effort, he will become an average (and probably not too happy) pianist. What would happen if such a person used this time for something to which he has a natural talent?

Gallup Strengths Approach

This question was asked by Donald O. Cliffton and together with a team of scientists from the Gallup Institute he devoted 50 years to study this issue. Cliffton assumed that not all behaviours can be learned: each of us, due to natural predispositions and acquired experiences, is equipped with a set of patterns, patterns of behaviour, thinking, feeling, solving problems. Successful people, the researcher noted, skillfully use their effective behaviour patterns to create something unique, find a solution or do the job. This means that there is not one ideal set of traits that guarantees success - it is rather the ability to use existing innate mechanisms.

In this approach, man's goal is not to constantly strive to improve himself, but to work on developing his potential, his talents and learning to manage weaknesses.

Talent, strength: what are they?

Talent is a natural, repetitive pattern of thinking, feeling or behaviour that can be used productively. These are our inborn skills: although they are often so obvious to us that we neglect them and do not notice that they are rare and productive. We think that "everyone has it", "everyone can do it", which causes unrecognized talents to be neglected. Talents can be identified using the StrengthsFinder test - its results form the basis for further work.

Mocna strona is a constant ability to perform a task to perfection. Talent is transformed into a strength when it is used consciously with extensive knowledge, skills and practice.

 

Benefits

Talents are powerful tools that allow us to discover our potential and consistently work on it. Research by the Gallup Institute indicates that people succeed when they focus on what they are best at. It is then that they are more productive, efficient and more involved - because what they do is associated with their natural predispositions which stem from their passion and internal motivation. Therefore, StrengthsFinder is invaluable to discover your own motivators and career development planning.

Thanks to conscious work, you can consciously learn how to find new applications for your talents, how to apply them to achieve your goals, and how to fulfil them, both at work and outside.

Talent: not WHAT I CAN, but HOW

Each of us has talents. Each talent and configuration of talents can be used productively, thanks to which we will serve others better and feel better with ourselves. The StrengthsFinder test results do not define what you can do, but rather how you approach problems and how you naturally and instinctively solve them.. In other words, the combination of your individual talents do not show clearly the optimal areas of development or suggested positions. It allows you to better understand your behaviours and start to consciously cultivate what is the most effective in them. However, the decision about whether investing in your talents and developing them into strengths, depends only on you. At e-point, we try to facilitate this by providing tools within a friendly environment.

Talent program in e-point: what it includes and why it's worth it

Each employee is encouraged not only to do a Gallup talents test (which identifies the 5 strongest talents) but also to individual sessions with a strengths trainer. The meeting includes a discussion of the test result and a conversation about the potential (and threats) associated with talents. In addition, in 2017, we began to organize synergy workshops for teams that allow their members to share tasks better and to understand each other's talents.

In addition to tests, sessions and workshops, we make sure that the employee can find a place in e-point where their talents will flourish. We have found that vertical promotion is not always the optimal path for development, therefore we encourage employees to check out new roles and expand their competences into new areas.

Training Strenghts Program in e-point

Talents in the company is a complex, multidimensional issue. We had to incorporate this approach permanently into the DNA of e-point, create a space to develop the strengths of people and teams, and most importantly, to daily use them practically to achieve our goals. We believe that this approach works, so we encourage them to work on strengths: both at sessions and by working independently. To inspire employees, we regularly share information and useful links in subsequent articles on the company blog.