Discover Your Sweet Spot: How to Align Your Talents With Pressing Business Needs

Did You Know that 8 Out of 10 Individuals are Miscast in Their Roles at Work?

Just knowing your talents isn’t enough. Many individuals have great talents but they’re not using them. Only 20% of employees say they are fully engaged at work. 50% say they are doing just enough to get by, and 49% of middle managers are looking for a new job. This is disheartening.

You want to use your talents and add value! The goal is to find the sweet spot – where your best talents align with the needs of the business. When you find the right match, both you and your projects succeed.

Find the Sweet Spot

The best way to use your talent is to look around. Great opportunities are all around you. You must find them and let others know where you can add value.

Take time to explore and discover business needs and opportunities. Talk to co-workers, business partners and customers. Identify their frustrations and challenges. Is your department struggling with delays and inefficiencies? If so, how can your talents improve this situation? Do customers suffer from lack of communication and responsiveness? How can you help? What do you enjoy doing that could change the situation for the better?

Be selective. Sign up for projects that will benefit from your talent strengths. IF you’re a great communicator, volunteer to call on customer accounts or write the company newsletter. Your goal is to use your strengths – not your weaknesses. This idea goes against conventional thinking. We expect our selves to be jack-of-all trades. The truth is we’re good in some areas and not others. If you are a great coach but not a good detail person – find others to manage the details.

I want you to recognize a weakness – but don’t waste time trying to remedy it. Ninety percent of individuals who take our talent assessment are weak at least one area. The good news is that for every talent you’re deficient in – there’s some one else who loves it.

Ideally you pay just enough attention to a weakness so it doesn’t get in your way. I could spend years trying to balance my checkbook. And some day I might even get it right down to the penny. But the energy I’d have to spend achieving this goal is a poor investment. I’m much better off knowing this area is a weakness and getting help. Instead of balancing the ledger, I spend my time communicating, creating and building relationships. It’s a better investment of my time.

YOUR TALENTS ARE A GIFT!

To find the sweet spot – start seeing your talents as a gift. When you want to give someone else a gift, you don’t just pick something off the shelf, shove it into a paper bag and hand it to this person. No!

Instead, you take time to think about the individual and what they might need. Then you carefully select your gift and wrap it beautifully. Finally you wait for the right moment and give it to the person. Their response is delight and appreciation.

In the same way, when you see your talents as a gift, you take the time to notice who needs them before jumping in. You pay attention to the wrapping – whether it’s wearing the right clothes or creating a beautiful brand.

Then when it’s time to deliver the goods, you tune into the situation and are sensitive to timing. You don’t just spatter your talents around indiscriminately. You’re deliberate. You know your worth. You set yourself up for success. You know your talents are a gift and use them wisely.

At the end of the day you want to make a difference. This is the sweet spot. To find it – be bold, value your talents and take your place at the table.

© 2008 – 2015, Faith Ralston. All rights reserved.