Individualization: The Magic of Legilimency

This group of leaders makes amazing things happen by leveraging their unique talents and casting "spells" to add value to our team 

In the world of Harry Potter, Legilimins is a magic spell that let's the caster see into the mind of another person.  If wizardry is not your thing, there is one StrengthsFinder talent theme that you can conjure up to identify the hidden talents and unique qualities of other people. 

This spell - I mean talent theme - is Individualization.

Instead of casting spells, people with Individualization talents know instinctively how to cast great teams.  They know that the secret to highly productive and engaged teams is to appreciate the unique qualities of every individual and find ways to position different people to do what they naturally do best.

The Individualization talent theme lends itself to building and maintaining solid professional relationships both internally and externally.  A person with this talent wants to treat and approach people in ways that are relevant and meaningful.  They seek to understand before being understood.  Uncovering client needs, both those of your contacts and those of their organization, can lead to improved alignment, advocacy and mutual achievement.

If you are looking for a way to spot Individualization in people, look no further than gift giving. People with Individualization talents would never take the easy road by giving you a gift card.  They put thought into each gift so that it is just perfect for each individual.

As a leader, we are typically expected to provide some token of appreciation for our work "family" around the holidays.  I'll admit, a younger version of myself did opt for the ease and convenience of gift cards - even candles (yikes).  One year, my wife baked cookies and I created a special "recipe" card that listed the "ingredients" (unique talents) of each individual.  Soon, the recipe cards were hanging in everyone's work area. From that moment on, I combined my Ideation talent (#2) with my Relator talent (#9) and my Individualization talent (#11) to deliver some highly individualized gifting.

Bringing it home to Legilimency, one year I surprised my team with different wands to channel their individual talents.  In addition to the wands, each person received their own branded spell and hand movement to cast their charms.  Two years later, the wands are still proudly displayed - and not a Dementor in sight!   

If you or someone you work with has Individualization as a signature talent theme, here are some ideas to strengthen it;

* People with Individualization instinctively know how different people can work together.  This talent can be useful when forming committees, task forces and business teams that will complement each other.

* Become an expert in describing your own talents and then do the same with others.  Leverage StrengthsFinder assessments to encourage your colleagues and friends to follow their dreams. 

* Study successful people to discover the uniqueness that made them successful.  Start by setting up meetings with Sr. Leaders within your own organization. 

Dan is currently serving 20 years to life as the Sr. Director of Destination Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.  He prefers white-water rapids over data lakes and lists Ideation, Futuristic and Positivity amongst his signature talents.    Find him on Twitter @dpddonovan 


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