Actually that’s not true. No-one calls ME the Human Calculator. That is what some of the kids at school call my son. It is because he is so flippin’ good at mental arithmetic. Which is great. And that’s only one of his many talents. (I would say that because I am his Mum – but it is true). And actually – we all have talents which to us seem easy but to other people might be a struggle.
For example my Mum – she is an expert at grammar and she is a fantastic proof reader whereas I…..am not! I have a friend who is brilliant at just throwing together a delicious meal out of a carrot, a babybel and some herbs – well not exactly – but you know what I mean? She can take any sparse “day before the Tesco delivery” fridge, and make a delicious meal from it.
I have another friend who is a techie Wizz kid, she can solve any IT problem you might have – problem-solving is her joy in life. I will have been scratching my head for an hour and will eventually solve the problem (usually) but I know if I ring her it will be sorted in 48 seconds!
You – as a manager or an entrepreneur probably have a good old raft of things you are pretty good at, but there will be some you are absolutely genius at. These are the things which come so easily to you that perhaps you undervalue them, or think everyone can do that. Or perhaps it is the opposite, perhaps you think no-one else can do the stuff you can do and so you fail to utilise the skills on your team.
If you look really closely you will find that there are hidden skills in the people you have on your team. One of my clients the other day was talking to their team about an issue around social media and during the course of the conversation she found out that person was an absolute genius at Instagram. The team member had her own little business that she ran in the evenings and the weekends which used Instagram as one of her main sources of leads. And so – a potentially thorny problem was solved, just by talking.
So – how do you find out what genius lies within your team? Sometimes you need to uncover it, sometimes you already know it but aren’t really leveraging that to the fullest extent.
A good way is to just talk to your people – maybe go back to their CV’s if they are recent hires, and have a look over what they said there. There could be things you had forgotten about that they could bring to the table in their current role. Or perhaps you could put out a message at a team meeting or by email or in a one2one, outlining a project and asking who would be interested in getting involved, or who might already have skills that would be useful to the project.
You never know what might come up. And remember – hidden talent is of no use to anyone, and as a Leader, it is your job to uncover those hidden talents in your team and allow them to develop them.
And if you are having trouble either with identifying the skills in your team or devising ways to use them fully and free up a bit of your time – then drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have a coffee and talk about it!