While that could be said in the past and for some older processes, we have come along way with science to better solve the real business needs. Before we get to the solutions that work, let us examine what we should be looking for.
Let’s start with defining and differentiating skills, traits and strengths:
Skills – Skills are what we can learn. Anyone can develop them. For example, using a keyboard, programing a computer, or making furniture. The more we work at developing skills, the better we become.
Traits – Traits (talents) are how we are hard-wired. They are seen in how we interact with the world and interact in it. Do we assert ourselves or are we more timid? Do we learn quickly and experientially, or slower and more methodical? Traits do NOT change, while skills do.
Traits themselves are not good or bad, they are just traits……until they are needed for a specific role.
Strengths – Strengths are traits that have been combined with skills and practiced over and over again, until the person excels. An example of this is Tiger Woods. There are many people that have invested thousands of hours and thousands of dollars on skills training and coaching, yet can’t even get close to Par. Only when that effort is combined with natural traits/talents does the same effort result in world class results.
We all know this and can site many other examples, so why do we fight applying the same logic to business?
Let’s face it people are created differently, and everyone is uniquely gifted to excel at something, so the real question is “at what”?
So taking the above logic, skills can be learned by anyone with varying results, and strengths are those skills combined with raw talent or traits. So the key to unlocking the best out of people is understanding their traits. It is the beginning building block of success.