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Talent Dynamics RSS Feed Blog Archive: November 2010

Only 17 percent of the workforce believe they use all their strengths on the job

“Research data shows that most people do not come close to making full use of their assets at work – in fact, only 17 percent of the workforce believe they use all of their strengths on the job.”  from the book “Go put your strengths to work” by Marcus Buckingham

This is a sad statistic for us here at TDHQ and its our personal quest to change it for the better. We fundamentally believe that everyone has a right to experience flow and be in flow. Time and time again, where we see trust and flow occurring at a greater rate in the workplace, we find people enjoying their jobs, having fun and creating results that far outdo the competition.

Marcus Buckingham knows that where people focus on using their strengths, they create more success and feel more fulfilled. Actually, its not just your strengths, because you can learn to become strong at something thats not your natural talent. Its also important to focus your time, where you have the most enjoyment. When you couple the thing you are the best at, with the thing you enjoy doing the most and you are placed in a role where you can spend the majority of your time doing just that, its just so much more fun! Wouldn’t that make you want to come to work more often? Would it allow you to feel more valued? Would it feel less like work and much more enjoyable? Of course, we’ve heard clients, after they have changed their accountabilities, say exactly that!

It can be difficult for some people to believe that you can focus on your natural Talents and make that into a full time role and a valuable career. We were taught as children at school, that when we got a bad grade in a subject, we had to give it more time and attention to improve, we weren’t encouraged naturally to focus on the subjects we excelled at. Then, when we got a job, we were put into roles that maybe suited us but we were given accountabilities that didnt suit our Talents and were then sent on workshops to learn more about them and improve those areas! Good feedback was placed on the Appraisal around natural Talents but just as in the school report, the other areas often said “must do better in…”

If you want to improve the level of Trust and Flow in your team, why not conduct your own poll in the office and find out how many of your team feel that they use all of their strenghths in the role they are in. You may be suprised by the responses. Do drop us a line and let us know…

Radio Interview with co-Founder of Talent Dynamics

Michelle Clarke, co-founder of Talent Dynamics, is interviewed by Tetka Rhu, for her regular show, where she discusses why she started Talent Dynamics, what drives her and how everyone can experience more flow in their lives.

Click here to access the recording.

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November news

It might be getting colder outside but its hotting up at TD central! This month we ran our first international event thanks to Adventure Coaching They run super leadership programmes with teams both in, and outdoors, in New Zealand. Sarah, the MD, who is a real-life adventurer, asked me to share one of our Taster Sessions with a group they were working with.  They used the Talent Dynamics Profile tool, as part of their week long programme of learning, which was very cool! Check out their ‘How Adventurous are you’ quiz here to find out your adventure profile!

We will be doing some more taster sessions and full programmes with Adventure Coaching in New Zealand next year. If you know any companies in New Zealand that you think we should be talking to, please do drop me a line.

With current technology, we can run our two hour Taster Session anywhere in the world so, if you know of people who would be interested in researching if Talent Dynamics would work in their organisation, this is a great way to check it out!

I’m really looking forward to Decembers Profile Debrief License Training. As part of the accreditation process for the participants, we need some ‘real people’ to recieve their Profile and Debreif on the day. Its a great opportunity to have a free Talent Dynamics Profile and get to spend some quality time with some top coaches and trainers from around the UK as well. Click here for more information on how to take advantage of this offer.

Have an amazing month ahead.


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Being a square profile in a round hole

Its been a hot topic this week at TDHQ, as we have been discussing when, as team members, we are in and out of flow ourselves and what we need to do, to co-create flow for one another.

So what does  it feel like to be a square profile in a round hole? When we ask this question, so many of our clients and friends have experiences that they can share with us, from a time long ago, or, even quite recently as we discovered with one of our clients…

A Supporter profile we know, who is a Business Development Manager shared this inexplicable strory with us. Extremely outgoing, warm, great at building new connections (as Supporters generally are) and even better at generating sales, he returned from a holiday, fresh and ready to get out and about, meeting clients and hitting his sales targets. On his return however, on the Monday, he was asked to ‘bring his paperwork up to date’ before meeting any new clients. Taking him twice as long to do this, as a more organised and effecient Accumulator would, not only did he lose his post holiday sparkle but he didn’t make any sales that week, as he couldn’t leave the office until it was done! It actually resulted in him leaving that position, as it was’t allowing him to create the flow he knew he could for the company, or have any fun in the role for himself.

An extreme example, maybe but at least this client recognised he was out of flow because he understands the value that he brings to a team. He was able to make a more positive move for himself. How many other employees, stay in roles that take them out of flow, ultimately creating a lack of harmony in the team, which can destroy productivity and profitability?

Over time, being out of flow for a long period of time can really create high levels of stress, one of the highest causes of work related absence in the UK.  This client shared her experience.  “My previous role was like working with a strait jacket on. Being a creator I felt stifled at having to conform to the ‘this is the way we do things’ mentality. I was expected to maintain the status quo, keep my mouth shut and not rock the boat. The result being I went off sick with stress, the company lost a talent they sorely needed…”

Recognising that you or a member of your team are out of flow is a first and really important step to deciding what can be done next. There are many tell tale signs to look out for and here are just a few…

  • Levels of stress are being seen – this is very different to pressure which most people can cope with, Stress is something that is much harder to deal with
  • Becoming tired and lacking in energy generally.
  • Turning up late and leaving early.
  • Higher levels of disagreement than normal in the team, tempers flaring and unusual behaviours
  • Increased levels of staff turnover. People often leave when they don’t feel valued, they go where they can be more valued and can perform better
  • Decreases in Productivity, sales and overall results

When you see that individuals in your team are out of flow, remember the only way someone can be in flow, is if you put them into flow… so think about the role and the accountabilities you have given them.  What could they be doing that would allow them to have more fun, speed up their results, feel they are able to contribute more and will allow them to create a better result for the rest of the team?

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Jan's Corner: one simple way to get the best out of others, apparently

I have a friend who always seems to the get the best out of the people around him. You’ve probably seen this before. People love to do things for him, even if the tasks are difficult, tedious or risky and they seem to do the most excellent job for him! I wondered why this was…

So I asked him: “David, how come people around you are always so excited and nothing ever seems to be a problem?” And I was surprised by how simple his answer was. He said: “Everyone is great in some way or another. My only job is to find it, then notice when they are doing it and praise them for that. Then I give them more opportunities to do it again. Every day I focus on nurturing their strengths, not on fixing their weaknesses.”

It can’t be that simple, can it? But it also is not so unreasonable, right? We know that what we feed grows, whilst what we starve withers. It’s obvious. I see it in my garden and in my relationships. So I wonder why don’t we pay more attention to others’ strengths, praise them for work well done, and create opportunities for them to thrive? It doesn’t take much time.

Maybe we are afraid that nothing will ever get done if we just do what we are good at. Maybe it is out of habit or because our predecessors didn’t do that. Or maybe we are still conditioned by our years at school where subjects with bad grades required focus and improvement and praise was given sparingly. I don’t know. All I see is an opportunity to do something else – something that is more respectful, rewarding and something that actually works!

It’s worth asking yourself: “Whom could I praise today for something they have done really well?” (whether it is their job or not!)


Training Journal – half of senior managers to quit within two years

Worrying stats about top talent taken from a report in today’s Training Journal

The Agile Leader report, which examines the views of 200 senior executives selected at random from the 500 largest UK companies by turnover uncovers a worrying level of career dissatisfaction and a growing appetite for new employment.

Sarah Hunter, account director at Berkshire Consultancy, said: “Leadership succession planning and development took a back seat during the recession, leaving many senior executives feeling unsupported and unsatisfied. Those companies that are already struggling, risk losing critical talent just when they need it the most.”

Nearly half of those quizzed said they are actively looking for a new role outside their current firm and almost a third plan to leave their jobs within the next year, rising to more than half within two years.

via Half of senior managers to quit within two years – Training Journal.

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Opportunity to recieve a free Talent Dynamics Profile Report and Personal Debrief

It wasnt quite the debrief John had expected

Would you like to have the opportunity to take your Talent Dynamics Profile Test for free? Plus, receive a personalised graph and ten page report, and a one-to-one Debrief session on what it means to you in your current role?

If so, please read on! We are looking for a small group of local people, to volunteer to help us in our training programme by being ‘live clients’ for our trainees to ‘practice on’.

We are running an exclusive training session on the 15th and 16th December, here in Preston. A small group of handpicked Trainers, Coaches and Leaders will be learning how to debrief their clients, using the Talent Dynamics Profile. As part of this training they will be working with real people who have just taken their profile test (this could be you!) who will then be given a one-to-one Debrief.

You will receive the value of this session (normally £197+vat) and gain some really cool insights for your current role, whilst the coaches will benefit from some real experience to use their new skills.

To take part in this opportunity, you need to be available at the Preston Tickled Trout on 16th December for 1.5 hours, the exact time to be confirmed.

If you want to be considered to take this opportunity up, please contact Michelle directly with your contact details, confirming your availability for the 16th.

Here are some testimonials from clients we have run Profile Debriefs with recently.

Since receiving the profile I have focused far more on my networking, relationship building and spearheading of campaigns.  The effect upon my revenue and business activity has been exceptional not only do I feel happier in what I am doing at work but my boss is happier because I am making us both more money! Robyn Waddington, Security and Integrated Services Team Leader, Nybor Resourcing Ltd

I’ve been struggling to really focus my personal development this year and was coming up with all the usual things to work on. I’d heard about Talent Dynamics and decided to take the test and debrief. I’m so glad I did as it has been extremely insightful and has really helped me to focus some key, value adding development activity as a result. It was such a huge help in understanding my drivers and behaviours and has become a critical reference tool for me, not only in understanding myself but also in what sort of work and situations I deal best with, as well as how I interact with my team and my stakeholders. I’d totally recommend it to anyone! Andrea Morrison, HR Consultant, Royal Bank of Scotland

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Talent management is about people not jobs says CIPD keynote speaker – Training Journal

Horaah, Hooray and we absolutely agree – an organisation is simply a name with out its workforce!!

During his opening keynote this morning at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s annual conference in Manchester Charan told delegates it was not successful organisations that attracted talent but talented people who created successful organisations.

People development professionals, he said, needed to become the trustees of talent within organisations and work to identify and nurture high performing individuals.

To do this HR and L&D professionals must recognise and develop potential by concentrating on people’s “God-given talents” rather than trying to “improve their negatives”.

via Talent management is about people not jobs says CIPD keynote speaker – Training Journal.


Majority of employees are stressed but the young are more stressed than their older colleagues Human Resources – News | HR News | HR Magazine |

This is worrying… Here at Talent Dynamics, we see Stress as a prime indicator for someone being ‘out of flow’. If you love what you do and it comes naturally and easily for you to do, its almost impossible to be stressed – Pressurised yes –  but not stressed…

Research to mark Stress Awareness Day today finds 84% of employees are stressed at work, with one in seven (14%) admitting to being very or extremely stressed.

The study from Badenoch & Clark also revealed age has a huge impact on stress levels, with the younger generation of workers far more stressed than older colleagues. One in five (20%) of 16-24 years-olds were very or extremely stressed at work while one in 10 (10%) of over-55s confessed to high stress levels.

But stress has reduced from this time last year, when Badenoch & Clark’s Employment Study revealed a higher number (93%) of UK workers were suffering from stress.

David Fleming, sales director, at Badenoch & Clark, said: “Our Employment Study has shown that UK workers are suffering from chronic stress levels. While it is encouraging to see that, as the UK has come out of recession, stress levels in the workplace have slightly decreased, the vast majority of workers are still under far too much pressure. The spending review and forthcoming cuts will do nothing to alleviate this situation.

“Stress costs British business billions of pounds a year. Excessive stress reduces productivity and leads to an increase in sick days. Helping your staff create a balanced schedule, alongside firm management of workloads will assist in reducing stress. Further to this, it is important for managers to take time to talk to staff on a one-to-one basis and identify the main sources of stress.”

via Majority of employees are stressed but the young are more stressed than their older colleagues Human Resources – News | HR News | HR Magazine |

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Accumulating some time and saving some money

Missing the train wasn't an option!

I love the precise and detailed nature of an Accumulator.  I always feel that the detail is taken care of when they are around and that all bases are covered…

A good friend of mine, an Accumulator, called me up. He knew I was heading to the train station and offered to save me some money – rather than get a taxi, he would give me a lift (while Stars are quick to spend, Accumulators are quick to save!) .

He asked me what time my train was and I replied ‘lunchtime’. He asked again, ‘what time is your train’ and this time I said ‘lunchtimeish’. He then asked ‘What time is your train? Lunchtime can be anywhere between 12 and 2 and I need to know what time to leave to come and get you and make sure you arrive on time’.

For Accumulators, timing is crucial and being able to plan in detail, whilst avoiding risk, is one of their greatest strengths.

I checked my times and my train was 11.58, so I said 12.00. He checked again, ‘Exactly 12.00?’ knowing my normal style of planning… I confessed it was 11.58. It helps to  be precise with an Accumulator.

They appreciate having the detail. Oftentimes, when they ask a question, they have a good understanding of the answer themselves already.  Research and information are crucial for Accumulators to make the best, risk-free decision, so ensure you provide all the information to help them do this.

It usually takes 20 minutes from my office to the station and he suggested we leave 30 minutes ‘just in case of roadworks’ – always well prepared: with an Accumulator, you can feel safe that the detail has been taken care of and the risks minimised.

He arrived to collect me, a few minutes early and got me to the station 15 minutes early – more than enough time for me to get a glossy mag (a rare treat) and to write this blog!

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