How to help talent develop its full potential? I want to take this article to reflect on the need to change the way we propose the development and growth of people within the organisational context. Because companies that focus on developing the best skills of each of its members are more successful than those who try to strengthen their areas for improvement. So says a study from last year on this subject.
This reflection could be summarised in a simple formula that I will explain below:
A + (Aptitudes) + P (Works that we are passionate about because they respond to our Values and Knowledge) = E (Efficiency) + S (Sensation of security when facing new challenges)
The meaning of development based on strengths is born from the idea that some people are better than others in certain tasks, either as the result of an innate talent or as a product of effort and dedication. But also, if we bring together what we are good at with what we are passionate about, serotonin and our abilities make us more efficient.
How can we take advantage of these two variables, when helping the people we manage? First of all, it becomes clear that we need to dedicate time to understand the motivations, values and knowledge of the members of our teams. Next, we can start by aligning the projects we have open, considering the previous analysis. From this starting point, in the working areas where they are motivated and that they do well, we have to increase the level of the challenges so that their development emphasises on their strengths. To avoid the risk of getting stuck that this scenario may bring, we need to make them leave their comfort zones, creating a feeling of challenge, that will serve as an incentive for each of the members of the team to perform to the maximum. And this has also to do with fostering creativity and taking controlled risks. Only by trying to reach our limits can we discover strengths that we are not aware of, yet.
Of course, I do not want to leave diversity out; it is vital within the team. Because teams, where all members are clones in their way of thinking, feeling and acting are less inclined to explore creative and innovative solutions, so necessary in the context that we are now living. Therefore, if the people from our teams come from different backgrounds, each one will be able to contribute a unique perspective to the team and the project, and the relationship between them will multiply the potential of their individual and group strengths.
In short, a culture that favours the development of strengths, in which managers set realistic expectations, makes everyone aware that they have what it takes to succeed. A sufficiently diverse team, in which each member brings different and complementary capacities and strengths, can meet the needs of any environment and be prepared for the challenges that will arise.