Tap into Trust Series – Episode 6 on Talent

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My intention with each of these posts is that you’re challenged to interrupt the noise and routine in your life, just for a moment, to think more deeply about what really matters in life… your relationship with yourself and with others in your professional and personal life.

Welcome to this month’s Tap Into Trust topic

Each month through 2021, I’ve made a commitment to Barbara Brooks Kimmel, CEO of Trust Across America-Trust Around The World (TAA-TAW) to research and explore a specific topic that focuses on how trust impacts almost every measure of success in our professional and personal life.

I will be using the acronym TAP INTO TRUST which is an initiative from TAA-TAW.

Each letter in the acronym TAP INTO TRUST represents a one-word topic. Here’s the video for Episode 6 on Talent (If you’d rather read than watch, the transcript is below).

This month’s topic is on Talent

Here’s an aspirational action-based statement for you to use this month as you think about and apply this information and strategies on the topic of Talent:

I understand the importance of both competence and moral character. Purpose and values come first.

Your talents and your skills can be the same, but the two concepts are quite different.

Some help from Will Smith

To explain this, Hollywood actor Will Smith says this:

“The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft.”

From a more scientific and evidence-based approach to talent and skill, researcher Carol Dweck’s work on mindset shows that people with a fixed mindset are more likely to rely on their natural talents rather than combining those natural talents with hard work to achieve success.

Whereas people who have a more growth mindset are likely to draw on their natural talents, and in addition, put in the hard work to ensure their natural talents are developing into higher levels of skill mastery to achieve success.

Returning to Will Smith, he puts it this way:

“I never viewed myself as particularly talented. Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. You know, while the other guy’s sleeping, I’m working.”

When we consider talent in context of trust, we can again apply the three lenses of trust.

Through the first lens of Self-trust, we know from evidence-based research that the recognition of our natural talents and strengths can boost our sense of self-trust, confidence, self-worth and self-esteem … however, if we only rely on our natural talents without, as Will Smith advises, applying a work ethic to develop our talents into skills on a regular basis, our chances of success are reduced – especially under stressful or difficult times, and therefore, our sense of Self-trust is at risk.

Considering the topic of talent through the lens of Trust Others, I’m sure you’ve known people who have amazing talent, but just don’t put it into practice, or when the going gets tough, they give up.

Most of us find it hard to trust someone when they don’t achieve the results we expect of them, or don’t apply themselves to the extent that successful and expected results are achieved … even though they appear to have the talent (and/or competence) to achieve.

Finally, through our third lens of Earn Others’ Trust, as people are assessing our trustworthiness, they are observing our words and actions.

If our words and actions are supported by our natural talents and our learned competencies, and they are consistently implemented in ways that demonstrate good character, people will find us more trustworthy.

The Importance of Awareness

When it comes to your natural talents and strengths, the evidence-based research also validates the importance of being fully aware of what your top or signature strengths are.

The key here is that once you’re aware of your strengths and talents, you’re then able to apply your curiosity to explore when in your professional and personal life you are currently applying them, and when else you might be able to that you’re not at the moment.

This is important to do because what we know from the research is, when you’re not applying your top natural talents and signature character strengths, you’ll have a reduced sense of life satisfaction and well-being … something just won’t seem ‘fulfilled’ in your life.

So, for this next month and beyond, focus wherever and whenever you can on becoming even more aware of your natural talents and character strengths. You might want to visit the website characterstrengths.org where there are a range of free resources to help you do just that.

Next month’s topic is on Openness. For now though, that’s it for this month’s topic on Notice and until next time, my very best to you.

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