I often hear people challenge me by asking:
“…but what if my team member thinks they are talented or strong in a particular area, and I actually don’t think they are?”
This is a good question, and it is where we need to be really clear about what me mean by talents, strengths and performance.
Talent merely describes a person’s innate dispositions and preferences toward certain types of thinking, behaviours, activities and relationships. These are the areas that they gain satisfaction enjoyment and engagement from. The individual is the best judge of what their talents are. Not
Strengths on the other hand are about real-world consistent performance. And you, the manager, are the best judge of that. So be sure to gain clarity around the sorts of activities where the individual has passion, drive and flow and what outcomes are being measured for
real world performance.
If there are disagreements between you and the team member about whether or not they are performing well (delivering strong performances), then perhaps there is some miscommunication around what the performance expectations are.
Question number 1 on The Gallup® Q12® Engagement survey is: “I know what is expected of me at work’. Great managers make those performance outcomes crystal clear.
Make the distinction clear between talent and strength (performance) with the employee… And work hard with them to see where their talents can create strength/performance.