Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade? - Benjamin Franklin





Alleged 'impossibilities' are opportunities for our capacities to be stretched.
- Chuck Swindoll













Coaching Talent in the Workplace

In this time of economic challenges, one would assume that
the future would not be too bright for a 47-year-old unemployed church worker, living alone with her cat in a small village of 5000 in Scotland.


By now, many around the world know the name 'Susan Boyle'.
When Susan strolled onto the stage of "Britain's Got Talent" ready to sing, people in the live audience didn't expect much. Her physical appearance was described as "frumpy" and "outdated". As she started to sing, however, the camera showed the shock and surprise of the judges and audience members.
In the end, she received a standing ovation.

Click here to view the video of Susan's performance 

Likewise, in our workplaces, we all have colleagues who we see as "ordinary" people. It is the skilled coach-leader, however, who can not only get to know the members of his/ her team in a way that uncovers their hidden yet "extraordinary" talents, but learns what motivates them to deploy those talents.
See yourself as a 'Talent Conductor'.
Action Items:
If you are in management, make a list of direct reports and others with whom you work most. What job talents does each possess, that you are aware of and would like to encourage/ coach?

Next, with strategic coaching questions, try to uncover their motivators and 'hidden talents'. For example, you might ask, "What part of your work week do you enjoy the most, and why?" or "What areas of your current job are you the most passionate about?"

If possible, strategize on how they can spend more time in their "talent zones" that can increase productivity and ROI (i.e. some sales reps are talented in face-to-face persuasion, but not with paperwork).

Note: If you are in management, there may be times when a person's greatest talents and passions are not aligned with the talent required for the job, and you may have to summon the courage to help them be successful somewhere else.
Jack Welch (former CEO of GE) has long been a proponent of letting people go to succeed elsewhere if their talents are not aligned with the needs of the organization.
In Susan Boyle's case, the motivation that empowered her with the courage to step on to the stage and sing in front of that huge audience was not fame. Instead, Susan was motivated by a desire to pay tribute to her late mother, whom she had cared for during her final years of illness.

In the spirit of growth,

P.S. If you'd like to learn more about how to identify and align human capital for better job/talent fit, see our job benchmarking.


Chuck  Reynolds is a Principal and Chief Performance Officer with Excel Group Development, a Performance Solutions firm that assists organizations in enhancing management and team  effectiveness. He can be reached indirectly  by emailing our admin group. Insert 'ATTN Chuck' in the subject area. Visit them at www.ExcelGroupWorks.com 

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