Do what you do best! – A Guest Blog by Helle Bundgaard

Posted by MarchFifteen & filed under Positive Psychology at Work.

As we enter the new year, we wanted to share with you a guest blog by one of our dear partners, Helle Bundgaard, Founder of Motivation Factor, on the motivating power of our personal talents (we all have them!).

This past year has forced us to take pause and reflect on what is important to us. Part of that is prioritizing what inspires us, what we’re good at, and how we can put that information into action. In this blog, Helle shares how understanding and leveraging your talents helps you make meaningful contributions.

We hope you enjoy this blog as much as we did, and that it gives you positive encouragement to make 2021 as meaningful as it can be! As always, please share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Do what you do best!

“Your personal talents are the reason why you find one task interesting, while another seems boring and uninteresting. The interesting task matches your talents…”

You have probably heard it many times before. “Do what you do best” and “Work to become even better at what you are good at, instead of being mediocre at what you’re bad at”. Though this might sound like an echo in your life – it’s true. You should use your talents as often – and as much – as possible.

Leverage your talents

Your talents are, along with your needs, your main motivation factors. Your personal talents are the reason why you find one task interesting, while another seems boring and uninteresting. The interesting task matches your talents.

Conversely, the less interesting tasks cannot completely be avoided, but if you are aware of your talents, you can focus on them and use them actively, even in situations you might find routine and boring. For this to be possible, curiosity is key. You have to challenge yourself, be creative, and find ways to bring your talents into play.

Example 1: Let’s say that one of your main talents is connecting – this means you love to make new contacts and build new relationships. It is through your relationships with others that you create results. If this is the case, you can involve others’ knowledge to complete the task. You can draw on others’ experiences and results, and consult with colleagues to find smarter and more efficient ways to perform the task. In this way, the task will seem much more exciting. Why? Because you are now using one of your talents to solve the task.

Example 2: Let’s say that one of your talents is contributing – this means that you love to help and support others. You may feel that others’ well-being is your responsibility. If you are good at contributing, analyze the task and find your way to the objective. It may sound cliché, but imagine this scenario: task is to prepare a report that compares sales from the past three months with sales the same three months last year. For many, the task may not be exciting, but if you think of how the report will:

  • Help sales management to establish goals for the rest of the year
  • Enable the company to take the budget to a higher level
  • Provide the sales guys with access to their own efforts, and maybe even result in acknowledgement and bonuses from management
  • Contribute to the company’s success and achievement of its overall objectives

Suddenly the task has a purpose – and you have identified your own contribution to a meaningful process.

If you are not able to identify the purpose of the task, ask! Ask the person giving you the task: “Can you briefly tell me what the report will be used for and who will benefit from it?” If the client asks you, “Why do you want to know?” you can answer: “I want to know the purpose of the task so that I can make the results as targeted and useful as possible.”

You probably know what to do. You probably also know roughly how you are expected to perform a given task, but if you have the talent to contribute, it is even more important to know why you are doing it. Knowing the purpose is everything!

5 things you must know about talents

  1. Everyone has talents. Your talents are defined by where you have the strongest concentration of connections in your brain. When you do the same thing over and over again, the brain connections required to do that particular task get stronger.
  2. You feel good when you use your talents. When you use your talents, your brain increases the production of happiness hormones.
  3. You can use your talents to learn more effectively. The brain is always looking for the fastest way to new knowledge and new skills. You can build new skills more efficiently and with greater confidence when you pull from your existing talents.
  4. You should focus on your talents. Latest research supports the idea that focusing on your talents is much more effective than focusing on your weaknesses.
  5. You can over-use your talents. You can easily over-use your talents, so they instead become weaknesses. For example “mastering” comes easy for those who are detail oriented, but if you combine the power of mastering with the talent of “initiating” you might be inclined to set sail too many ships at one time.

Link to the original source here.

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