Cees de Quaasteniet Every person has talents to show, talents that will not only impact their teams, but will also deliver on bigger goals. I connect with people in a way they appreciate and help them move forward.

Reveal Your Talents and the Path You Walk

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Reveal Your Talents and the Path You Walk

Personally, I like to start and explore new things or different ways to do something. That’s why I’m also quite fond of change as long as we are working towards an improvement. But the down-side of it is that I can get bored quite quickly. This is also why every year I find myself looking for my next challenge. What new things are ahead, how will my role look like this year? What did I learn and how can I put it to use in the opportunities around me?

That’s one of the reasons that I made a collection of different options to explore more about oneself. The other reason is that I have coached quite some people over the years, the collection in this article helped me helping them revealing their talents and purpose. When more clarity is created, I follow it up with an ‘Intentional GROW’ session which follows a simple seven-step process with the aim to get to clear next actions. But before doing something like that I highly recommend first doing one of the actions that I list here.

Obviously, the best course of action depends a lot on the context and what you already know about yourself. I will just go over the options and mention what I like about the different steps you can take.

Ask direct colleagues for feedback

One way to get a better understanding of the things you are good at is to just ask your direct colleagues or people you've worked together with for feedback.

For me this is the most valuable way to get some insight into yourself, no test can really beat actual feedback from people that you work closely with.

Good questions to ask are:

  • Which output/results by me are most valuable for you?
  • Where do you feel I have made a difference in the past period?
  • How do you feel I have developed myself over the course of the year?
  • Which personal quality/talent makes me stand out in my role?
  • Which behaviour, attitude, lack of skills or knowledge is holding me back?
  • How do you see me develop in the future?
  • How can <insert company, or department name> make better use of me?
  • Which expertise, knowledge or skill would you advise me to develop more?
  • Any other feedback you would like to share with me?

Discover your strengths test

This is a paid option, but it comes with a nice reference book and it gives a nice opportunity to this together with your team members. In my experience a discover your strengths test gives a lot of insight in the things you are good at and also on the things you like to do. People could go about this in different ways, but the way I personally learned about this test is when it was being done with a group of people. First do the test, then have a group chat and discuss the strengths that you learned about yourself. Do you recognize them?  Do others recognize them? What kind of work would typically fit those strengths? Another way to use the outcome of this test is to talk about them with your coach.

The 16 personalities test

This free test gives you an accurate description of who you are and why you do things the way you do. They also provide other paid options to follow up with. I didn't try those out yet, but the free test already provides a very good starting point.

Find your life’s purpose (Ikigai)

Ikigai is a concept to find out more about your life's purpose. It is really powerful by defining different areas to think about. I really like the introduction of Tim Tamashiro on the topic:

How to Ikigai | Tim Tamashiro

What I suggest is to do it together with someone else. Grab a white-board and draw the different areas on it. Then do 2-minute rounds where both of you write items per post it for yourself. Then stick the post-its in the relevant area and discuss. Especially talking about it makes you think about different things that you didn't consider before.

ikigai picture

Take a DISC test

DISC is a personal assessment tool and can be used to measure your personality and behavioral style. Which then can help you discover why you like certain tasks better than others. What works really well is to have your complete team do the test. After this, plan a moment to talk about it and maybe put everyone’s profile up on the wall in the team’s room. My experience is that it gives a nice overview of what type of personalities are part of the team, which tasks fits a person best.

I hope by now you have a clear idea on what steps you can take to learn more about yourself. A good way to follow this up is doing an Intentional GROW session.

My ambition is to grow this article over time, hopefully also with suggestions from your side. I’m very curious about the things you use to get a better understanding of yourself, so please let me know down in the comments!

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