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Mentor Leadership Part 4: T is for Talent


Mentor Leadership Part 4: T is for Talent

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When thinking of a better word for Teacher as the T in MENTOR, I thought that the word Talent may work better. Mentoring is also about helping to bring out the talent in people...isn't that what all of us have - Talent? Sure, teaching is always welcome and should be an everyday occurrence to whoever seeks it. But hearing comments like, "I'm in trouble now if they're looking for talent...I'm not very creative." The few times that I hear that I want to say, "You've gotten this far in life with many talents along the way...tell me about your greatest trait or skill and how it has helped you so far." When I can freely ask questions, I"ve found that many folks are shy to talk about their talents, while others are intrigued by the conversation.
Just think about all the trials and tribulations along the path to life and career. I bet each and every one of us can share some good or great talent that got us there! So, every time I have an opportunity to ask folks about their talents, I try to get folks to really think about what those talents may be. Once the dialogue starts, lots of useful and talented information is shared.

Of course, we do need tools that will help us to realize how much more potential or opportunities to work on in order to get the maximum learning process. My coach and mentor has one that has helped me to realize what attitudes I have that may be getting in the way of other talents that may be brought to the surface.

Until recently, I seldom thought of myself as overly talented and this process has proven me wrong. It"s not easy to step outside of yourself and see the best part of who you are. I've always thought that there's always the potential to be better, smarter, and more assertive in balancing what's important in life. Identifying our talents is the key to moving up in our career and feeling fulfilled as a family member.

This article will focus on work-life talent and here're some tips that may help us find talent in the workplace:

  1. Determine the current reality of where the person currently resides according to a list of questions you can come up with that resonates with the "culture" of the organization.
  2. Create a new awareness of the person's value in the organization, if the awareness isn't realized.
  3. Have open dialogue that can be used to build critical mass for change efforts that is sustained and recognized by others.
  4. Determine the person's bench strength for the future.
  5. Identify the needs that are required or need attention.
  6. Create a measurement system that you and the person can review to measure successes and failures.
  7. Make sure there's documentation so that this person gets recognized for the good talents he or she has or has accomplished during the process.
  8. Use a process that can be executed for years to come or tweaked when needed.
  9. Try to be consistent with the process and educate leaders and managers to think about talent and sustainability of the talent process.

We all have talent that helps us to succeed in life. Helping others to realize those talents is the hard part. Once people start thinking about their talents (what they bring to their team or organization), they will be more confident to learn more and develop other talents at the same time. Of course, there are a few folks out there who are not as invested in their growth and development and we hope that they realize that for themselves someday.

I've coached some incredible people who are curious about talent and understand how important it is to bring something unique to the workplace and in their lives. I thank them for inspiring me to write about how good they are and how much I've learned from them.

Please feel free to comment about this topic...we welcome any feedback! Hope you had a wonderful New Year!

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Lorraine Twombly
Priority Learning



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