Finding Your Natural Talent

Finding Your Natural Talent

find your natural talents

With half of us reportedly in the wrong career we examine competency benchmarking, a process that highlights your strengths and talents to find you the perfect job.

Some 50% of all people are in the wrong job. A further 25% of on-the-job performance difficulties exist because of the inability to identify the gaps between a person’s competencies and the requirements of the job.

Century Management is a Dublin based company primarily involved in strategy consulting with a particular focus on human performance, cultural change and management development.

Performance difficulties can be addressed using a process called ‘competency benchmarking for critical jobs’. The concept largely centres on talent management – trying to identify what the person’s natural talents are and seeing if these fit the job they’re in.

Having a great talent that the job doesn’t require is one of the worst situations a person can be in. People will never really reach their top performance level if they’re not working with their natural talent. You may hit a high point but you won’t maintain it.

A person who is working with their natural strengths are in ‘cruise mode’. The test is consistent excellence performance by people who are at their ease.

Sink or Swim

So what should you do if you discover you are one of the 50pc of people in the wrong job? Does it automatically mean you should quit? Not necessarily. It could well be the case that you need to undergo training to develop the skills you need for the job you’re in. Competency benchmarking aims to identify the areas for development – the length of time this takes depends on the individual situation.

However, not every situation can be remedied with the right skills development. Approximately 10pc of managers in an organisation are in the wrong job and should leave that position. In some cases there’s a fundamental misfit.

In some cases the organisation might be loathe to lose the individual if they are a hard worker so will try to find a more suitable position for them within the business if possible.

The Process

One of the fundamental differences that sets competency benchmarking apart from other processes is that the starting point is the requirements of the job rather than the individual. If the job could speak what would it say are the necessary competencies for superior performance.

In the case of an incumbent employee the next step is to identify the natural talents he or she has. Century Management examines 120 talents which include behaviours, attitudes, attributes and skills. Most jobs only require 10 to 15 of these. The evaluation paints an accurate picture of the person’s natural abilities so it becomes clear whether or not they have the skills the position requires and how big this gap is. The final step is to identify the development path the person needs to bridge the gap.

Self-management comes out as one of the top competencies needed for the job in 90pc of cases. A lot of people are surprised by this. More often than not they expect to see competencies relating to people management and achieving results topping the list and these are often skills they have mastered. The greater majority of managers lack the self-management competency. Skills such as time management, strategic thinking and possibly those relating to self confidence and assertiveness are often needed to help the person who lacks the attributes.

Many performance related difficulties stem from the fact that many Irish people don’t know what their natural talents are – hence the need for processes such as competency benchmarking. There’s no precision around talents. People take a pathological delight in listing their weaknesses but find it hard to answer what they are good at.


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