Updated: Sep 19, 2020
I remember depositing coins into my Piggy Bank when I was younger. Whenever there were coins available to drop into my Piggy Bank to build up my savings, I would responsibly deposit the coins.
After school, into my varsity years and into my first job the piggy bank remained full. When I moved out of my parent’s home after I finished my studies at University, my Piggy Bank finally travelled with me to Johannesburg, where I entered the job market.
It was on a cold Monday morning, just after I started working, when I had no money to get to work, when the piggy bank finally came to my rescue.
One of the things the global lockdown taught us is the importance of resilience. Similarly to a Piggy Bank, our 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗸𝘀 are filled during times when we have some reserves available to deposit. We deposit patience, skills, strengths, self-awareness, coping mechanisms and knowledge. When we are faced with a setback, and during times of adversity, we visit our Resilience Banks to withdraw the necessary resources to help us survive and bounce forward.
One of the resources we possess is our 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀. Every human being has a unique way of thinking, feeling and doing things. Once your natural talents have been identified, your understanding of why you think, feel and respond in certain ways will be come much clearer.
Understanding your natural talents can help you to become more self-aware, develop and grow. It will also help you to understand other people, their thoughts, feelings and responses much better.
𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀, 𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗱, 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗴𝘁𝗵𝘀. Strengths make us strong. It creates energy and it result in performance while we are in a state of FLOW. If we are able to recognise our strengths, our lives become a far greater experience.
Our strengths are like reading glasses – no two people can look through the same reading glasses and see the exactly the same image or have the same focus. When I look at you, I see your behaviour, I listen how you articulate your thoughts and the way you express your feelings – at times it could come across a little blurry, I may even judge your behaviour, thoughts and feelings because it is not the same as mine… However, should I be aware of your strengths filters and how you experience the world because of those filters, I can adjust my focus through my understanding of your strengths – this will help me to see you for who you are.
Our strength filters have an immense impact on how we approach life. This is the beauty of our uniqueness.
𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮 𝗟𝗘𝗔𝗗𝗘𝗥 𝗼𝗿 𝗠𝗔𝗡𝗔𝗚𝗘𝗥, 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴:
Many companies use the 9 Box Talent Matrix as part of their Talent Management and Development Strategies. The question has to be asked whether leaders really know what your employee’s talents are and do they really understand their talents? Having used the 9 Box Talent Matrix during my career, I now know we may have done employees a disservice by not having helped them to identify their real talents as part of this process.
Have you ever been disappointed after having promoted an employee and they just did not perform as you expected? Do you know why their performance didn’t stack up?
Do you know what to do to help your team develop their talents into strengths?
Do you how you can lean into individual strengths and to lead your team to become more collaborative?
Do you know how to leverage the fusion of talents/ strengths in your team for optimal performance and collaboration?
Do you focus on developing individuals’ weakness or do you focus on developing their strengths? I remember my days in the Corporate world – every single perceived weakness made it to the Individual Development Plan – it made me feel like a failure. I had much to offer – and thankfully, I was able to do that for most of my career and was given many amazing opportunities to do just that. The constant focus on my weaknesses, i.e. 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗺𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗮𝗸 (the accurate definition of a weakness), is soul destroying. Even though I managed to obtain more skills through development interventions and training courses, it eroded my spontaneity, my sate of FLOW and my desire to contribute to the performance of my team and our organization through my strengths. Focusing on weaknesses as part of your development processes, may cause more damage than you realise.
A global pandemic has taught us much. It has forced us to focus on things we may have never thought about before, we may have never felt and done before. I hope you and your teams’ Resilience Banks have sufficient resources to guide you through this time and any other adversities.
Should you wish to find out more about how a Strengths-based approach can benefit your organization, feel free to send me a message and I will gladly engage with you.