When our talents live us as opposed to us living our talents, then it is time to call a halt.” Before all hell breaks loose!
However, more often than not, we don’t make that call. It’s made by others. If we are lucky! If not, havoc becomes part and parcel of the daily routine. In our private lives. And in our business lives.
In other words, 24/7.
Our natural talents can become so natural that we live them unconsciously. And this can be the beginning of the end. This is when our talents become our weaknesses. Unnoticed by us. But certainly not missed by others. Our talents take on a life of their own. On the private front. And on the business front.
I worked with a key account manager whose immediate superior was struggling with what he termed “a disrespectful tone“ in her communication. And when the client and I reviewed her last 360° feedback, her superior was not alone.
Very quickly my client identified the issue. Her talent “self-assurance“ was living her. Loudly and clearly. In her body posture. In her tone of voice. When in stress – and this was not infrequent in her position – both her posture and tone rose to the challenge to underline her naturally inherent self-assurance. Her confidence in her capabilities. Her confidence in her judgement.
Over a period of time, we revisited two or three of her key critical incidents. She noticed that she generally tended to finish phrases in a lower pitch when she became impatient. This usually happened when the pace of the discussions were – from her perspective – moving too slowly.
Today, she has extended her repertoire. She consciously invites patience to join her for important and challenging meetings. This gives her a degree of relaxation which positively impacts both her posture and her vocal tone. And indeed the overall tone of exchanges.
Moreover, my client now feels more self-assured than ever. Why? Because she is living self-assurance as opposed to self-assurance living her.
So, when talents take on a life of their own, leadership is destined to go off course. Radically. And this is particularly noticable in turbulent waters. When the clock is ticking. And deliverables are calling out to be met.
Now, how well are you living your talents? Or are they having a ball? At your expense. And indeed the expense of those around you.
photograph: © iQoncept / Fotolia.