Leveraging your talents to make up for the ones you don’t have

The other day I talked about how anyone takes up any skill and hone to an extent that it becomes second-nature to them. It’s quite possible and I would be an active case study should you ever need one. Though I’m pretty sure there are many around you right now!

Communication is #33 among the 34 CliftonStrengths, which doesn’t mean I cannot ever communicate or don’t know how to, quite the opposite. It simply means that I’m not naturally inclined to communicate as talented folks would be. That should explain why I’m so hesitant to call up strangers (including Uber drivers for the rides I’ve booked) even though I know it wouldn’t hurt or it’s probably good for me. Heck, I even have to think when I have to call up my parents or relatives!

Talented communicators don’t have to think as far as picking up the phone and having a conversation is concerned. They wouldn’t go back and forth to schedule the “appropriate” time to connect but would just ping the other person on messenger and ask, “got a minute?”

Of course, when the rubber meets the road even the ones who cannot naturally communicate put their points across pretty well. But it’s probably their dominant strengths that is driving the conversation than their lesser dominant talent (communication in my case). For example, when I have to present an impromptu business case, I would normally freeze up because I wasn’t prepared to have that conversation. But my dominant Restorative (adept at solving problems) and Context (adept at getting historical evidence for a blueprint or pattern that’s useful for the moment or future) talents kick in and put the point across without a blip. The audience witnessing the whole exchange would be blown away with the clarity of argument and quite possibly label me as an excellent communicator but that’s primarily do to my skills practice than natural talent.

If someone were to say that I have a knack for investigating a case thoroughly and solve problems, they’re bang on! Because that’s precisely what I’m naturally talented to do — I fix things but not before digging up details like a detective.

But that’s me. You are definitely different. And the big question that you have to think is how can you leverage your talents to make up for the ones that you don’t have. One of the best strategies that I know of is to focus on the top 7 strengths and the bottom 3 strengths (you will have to take the CliftonStrengths assessment first). I believe the 7:3 split to be the perfect combination allowing one to work towards what they’re naturally good and analyze the key skills that can be picked up from the lesser talents.

Like I said, skills can be built over time. Even if you’re not talented. But focusing on your dominant talents allows you to leverage them and turn it into your greatest strengths. That’s what champions do. Be it a sporting athlete or a corporate one.

Hit me up if you’re keen to know more about your talents, understand and leverage them into your greatest strengths.

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