Communication: Talentspotting

Talent Theme envy is a thing.  In the world of StrengthsFinder, there are Signature Themes (your top 5), Dominant Themes (top 10-15) - and then all the rest.  Those Talent Themes at the bottom of your list of 34 are quite accurately described as "Non-Talents".

Between your Dominant Themes and your "Non-Talents" is a valley called Responsive Talent Themes. You might call these talents up from the minors from time to time, but they rarely ever develop into true strengths.

While I have enthusiastically embraced my Signature and Dominant themes, there is one Talent Theme that lives in "Responsive Valley" that I wish was closer to "downtown".  I am communicating about the Talent Theme Communication (my #19).  

People blessed with the Talent Theme Communication generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words.  They like to explain, describe, host and write.  They turn thoughts and actions into stories, images, examples and metaphors.  They thrive on finding the perfect phrase, which draws them towards using impactful words and to making powerful statements.  Their words pique interest, provide clarity and inspire others to act. 

People with strong Communication talents bring attention and focus to important messages. They can find words for not only their own thoughts and feelings, but for those of others. This gives them the ability to reach out and connect with others in meaningful ways.

I was recently participating in a round-table discussion at work with a cross-divisional group of team members. I was very engaged in the discussion (Strategic #1) and helped to guide the group towards the goal which the facilitator requested (Achiever #5).  I observed two participants who were equally passionate and who were providing clear and meaningful insights.  One worked as an Attorney in our Legal Department and the other was in Management in our Entertainment Division. 

I surmised that the Attorney had some practice presenting "cases" and the Entertainment guy might have had some acting in his background.  When it came time to "volunteer" spokespeople for our table, some at the table pointed at me, likely due to my contribution to many of the concepts we had listed.  I immediately pointed my finger at the Attorney and Entertainment Manager to take the stage.

They did a great job summarizing our combined group effort and captivated the room with verbal imagery.  As they were speaking, I had to smile.  I have gotten to the point of being pretty good at spotting talents when I see them - especially one so powerful as communication. 

I'm sending both of my peers a StrengthsFinder book to validate just how good at Talentspotting I have become.   Betting Communication with be in the Top 5 for both of them.

If you work with someone with Communication as a Signature Talent Theme, here are some ways to let them be heard;  

* People with Communication excel at capturing people’s attention through story-telling. Encourage them to keep their best stories in mind and practice telling them so they’ll get better each time.  When they are presenting, they should watch how the audience reacts to each part of the presentation to see which segments prove especially engaging. 

* People with Communication like to host and write.  If you need a facilitator or spokesperson for a meeting or would like to start a newsletter or blog for your work unit, allow your Communicators the opportunity to shine.  

* Ask people with Communication to either write or proof-read important guest or client facing correspondence.  They will likely be able to make the document clear and concise through their literary prowness.  

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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