Episode 5: Gaining objective insights on your natural gifts

by | May 29, 2019 | Podcast

Everyone wants to spend time doing work they’re good at and enjoy yet most of us don’t. Discover how to become clear on what your natural gifts and passions are to set yourself up for success and satisfaction. In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s so difficult to know what our innate gifts and talents are
  • How you can gain objective insight into your unique gifts to boost your success and fulfillment

How to do work that aligns with your gifts

How clear are you on what your natural gifts are so you can apply them in your work?

We all want to spend our time doing work that we’re good at and enjoy. However, most people spend their days doing work they don’t enjoy while their gifts are squandered? This is so common that most people accept this as “the way things are.” Most accept that if they want to do something they love, they need to find it outside of work.

I believe that one of the biggest reasons for this disappointment is that most people lack true clarity on their natural gifts/innate characteristics. Most of us have received so much inaccurate information from others and ourselves that we’re not sure what and whom to believe. We’re also conditioned to do what is expected of us regardless of our ability or desire. No wonder we aren’t clear!

With over 20 years working in recruiting and retention, I’ve learned that all of us have innate gifts and talents. No exceptions to the rule! When we align the work with do with these innate characteristics, we operate in our genius zones. It’s as if we’ve morphed into a new person.

Most people have had some experience with assessments. Unfortunately, these assessments were usually lacking in both accuracy and ease of application. This is initially surprising since they often felt that the information was “spot on.”

Perception doesn’t always match reality.

But, what if our answers to assessment questions are distorted and inaccurate due to misperceptions about ourselves? What if our frames of reference are skewed? For example, If I’m 5’8″ and my peer group averages 5’4″ I think I’m tall. If I’m 6’4″ and on an NBA basketball team, I may think I’m short. As we’ll discover, these types of distortions (and others) limit the effectiveness of personality assessments. We simply tend to confirm what we believe about ourselves even when it’s not true.

Knotten Wrightseats Corporation used one of the “better personality assessments” to aid in the hiring process for three years. Frequently people were very different than the assessments predicted. For example, people who scored high in detail orientation but avoiding doing detail-oriented work. They switched to an assessment that delved below personality to innate drivers of behavior. Now they hire people who become high performers who love their jobs.

This experience is mirrored by a substantial percentage of organizations use personality assessments in their hiring process. So, what’s going wrong?

There are 4 pitfalls with traditional personality assessments:
1. What we think of as personality is mostly surface level, observable
behaviors rather than what is underneath, driving these behaviors. For
example, let’s say you tend to speak up in meetings to give your opinion. As a
result, when answering assessment questions related to speaking up, you
indicate that you regularly do so which raises your assertiveness score.
However, suppose the reason you speak up is driven by the desire to look smart. When you believe you are ignorant on a topic, you choose silence. That’s why drivers of behavior are more important than the behaviors themselves. Personality assessments don’t provide these drivers.

2. When taking personality assessments, people self-report based on a
combination of how they see themselves, how they believe others see
them, and how they want to see themselves. For example, on questions
related to “extroversion,” you may want to see yourself as outgoing and friendly. You may also recall when others have commented on how friendly you can be. However, you know that when given a choice, you’d prefer to spend time quietly alone vs. with others. So, how should you answer questions related to extroversion?

3. People use a specific context or situation to answer the questions. Using
the “extroversion” example, you may provide different answers depending on
whether you’re interacting with small vs. large groups, familiar vs. unfamiliar
people, your level of interest in the topic of conversation, etc. So, what’s “the
truth” about your level of extroversion?

4. If the assessment is used for a job application, you have an incentive to
“look the part” For example, if you’re applying for a sales job, you probably
believe that being low in extroversion would kill your chances. If it’s an
accounting job, you may believe the employer prefers someone who would rather concentrate on performing accounting duties than socializing. Thus, high extroversion may kill your chances. It’s also common for people not to be
consciously aware that they are influenced by how they think they should appear. We are usually unconscious about what is driving us in most cases.

Given these four concerns on personality assessments, what is a better option? The best assessments go beneath the surface personality to focus on people’s core natures/ innate characteristics. These assessments ask people to select among words where all the potential responses are considered equally positive. This eliminates biases that personality assessments have. Thus, the information is more valid and reliable.

By selected an appropriate assessment tool and receiving helpful guidance to
understand what the results mean and how to apply them, you can obtain objective information about your innate gifts. When you combine these with what you really enjoy doing, you have a recipe for tremendous success and personal fulfillment.

The assessment I use is backed by science and provides an objective view of people’s core natures. If you’d like to take it free of charge, click here to get yours today.

  You can also learn more about the importance of your gifts.