Maximizing Talent & Potential

Effective leaders know that it's just as important to play to your strengths as it is to know your blind spots. This is why conversations about developing strengths are so important. It can be as simple as a chat with a colleague, your boss or even an employee, and realizing afterwards you learned how to do something you didn't know how to do before.

Your team members will make more progress if you focus on developing the one skill more than any other that is holding them back. Ironically, a conversation focused on developing strengths may be a conversation about a person's weakest skill. Why? Because our weakest key skill determines the height of our success and income level. The point here is the identification, having the person you are coaching (and the same goes for you yourself) figure out blind spots and weaknesses. Chances are the person you are working with will be inspired to look honestly at their weakness and strengthen it, so they can move forward in their career.

In Chapter Six of my book Conversations for Creating Star Performers, I provide a framework for coaching conversations related to developing specific competencies. (I also include an index of 24 skill areas that can be used as a reference guide to developing skills.)      

Once you have created a competency development model that works for you and your organization, your job as a manager is to listen-if your employee is saying they want to do a better job at something, you will be ready to get down to specifics and help them develop that skill.

Keep in mind that highly effective leadership isn't about convincing people to change their style, or which strengths or abilities they identify as their strongest. Leadership -both your example and what you teach others -is about identifying the natural talents that already exist in someone and playing to those, developing the potential that is already there. Once you see that, you can move your employees into roles that maximize their talents and potential.

You're an effective leader if you can put the right people into the right roles. When you've made a good match, the work being done will naturally reward the person doing it. If you want to know how to do this reach out to me and I can coach you to develop these abilities yourself, or read Conversations for Creating Star Performers and apply what you learn.