Effective leaders know how to mine for talent. They not only mine for talent, they pan for pure gold. It’s an ongoing process that’s required to build, develop and sustain effective teams and organizations. There are critical instances when this need arises, including:
- Forming Project Teams
- Developing Team Members
- Succession Planning
- Creating Successful Partnerships
Barriers to Effectively Mine for Talent & Strengths
This job isn’t always easy. There are some definite challenges to being effective at discovering authentic talent and sift out learned skills and experience. Yes, skills and experience are important, but those are learned, picked up through practice and time. Talents, on the other hand, are those naturally recurring patterns of action and behavior that can be polished into strengths that produce amazing outcomes. Some of the barriers include:
People not being “in tune” with their true talents – if you just ask someone, “Tell me 5 things you’re naturally great at?” How many people do you think could answer you easily and with confidence? Not very many. We’re predisposed to think about what we have learned in school, through work experience, etc.
A natural disposition to “impress” – we want to look good in the eyes of others, it’s a given. If we know we’re being observed or are being asked specifically in an interview format, we’ll make our worst qualities sound like the greatest things since sliced bread.
Overcoming our own talent filters – Naturally, each of us is driven by the filters of our own talents. I’m automatically going to look for who can get “the job done” as I’m leading with my Executing domains. I know I tend to lean towards those I can see myself building a deep bond with, driven by my Relationship Building strengths.
An experienced miner of talent can overcome all of this. To get started, here’s what you can do.
Be a Top Notch Miner of Talent – here’s how:
The Four Talent Domains help us narrow down what type of talents to mine for. To be effective in building an “A” team, you must:
- Identify what’s needed for the role: Rank the importance of each of the four talent domains.
- Identify how your culture is unique – How does this impact the talents needed for the job? For example, you can have two jobs that are exactly the same in title, Customer Service, but operate very differently in two organizations based on the level of empowerment that each organization gives them to resolve issues. I’m sure you’ve experienced being transferred 5 times to get something fixed and a stellar experience where the first person you speak to resolves your issue.
- Identify 1 critical talent from each of the domains – Craft questions that seek out this talent. One way to determine the critical talents is to look at proof of success in other top performers, what do they have in common?
- Ask open-ended questions that seek out whether their talents line up with the talents you identified. “Tell me what you love most about selling?”
- Listen for specifics CLUES to Talent – Pay extra attention to where the individual has experienced Rapid Learning, ask them, “What type of activities/roles have you learned quickly? Or What activities come easily to you now?” 2) Satisfaction “What activities do you find most fulfilling?” This will tell you the longevity of the stamina they will have in the long run towards certain types of activities.
I look forward to hearing how you’re putting all of this into action. Imagine what a difference it could make to the quality of your team to constantly be looking for talent in this way, strategically positioning each team member, the team and the entire organization in a position to win BIG! Need support in customizing this approach for your organization? Let’s connect.