Talking About Talent
“What is your talent?”, asked one of my colleague, an HR consultant, to one of a bank employee in a seminar of assessment on the Human Resources of Information Technology. The employee does not give any response, he just smile and looking to his left and right. And then, the same question also asked to the other participants but there are no answers from the participants except few persons who sporadically say, “Singing.. Jogging..!”
“Is there any one else that can help us in answering what is your talent?”, my friend continued while he is trying to support the participants to think what is the talent that they have. But there are no answers that came from the participants except the sound of whispering from the participants who were laughing to each other because they all can not answer what is their own talent.
When the definition of talent was asked, there are many answers. And so, the word talent also defined differently by many experts. But in general, talent can be described as potential skill inside someone to do certain activity either its already developed or not yet.
In the context of this talent development, there is an interesting classic debate between “Nature” versus “Nurture”. This debate connects with a question, “which is more important between talent (nature) and training (nurture)?” in the context of someone self development. Of course, both of them are important to create working performance ability on certain type of activity. Nevertheless, the next problem is which should be the training focus, the power of our talent or the weaknesses.
Most of the people will answer that the weaknesses should be the training focus; therefore it will not be a weakness anymore. But is that kind of answer correct?
Gallup, a famous survey institution in the world, is having survey to find the answer of that question. Gallup is having survey on talent of “speed reading” on certain people. The result of the first survey stated that the slowest speed is around 90 words per minute and the fastest is 350 words per minute. What is the best step that should be done to increase the speed reading ability of the survey participants? Most of the people will answer that by training the participants with speed reading 90 words per minute then it will give more significant result of ability improvement rather than the participants with speed reading 350 words per minute. This because there are still a big improvement gap within 90 words per minute; meanwhile, 350 words per minute is almost reach its highest point.
After being trained with good speed reading method, the participants who have speed reading 90 words per minute could increase their speed reading ability into 140 words per minute; and those whose speed reading is 350 words per minute after being trained their ability are increased into 6.000 words per minute. It is very amazing.
The result reality of this type of survey has led to the development of a new human resources development approach which is strength-based approach. This strength indentified as natural talent. This approach substitutes the previous approach which is deficit-based approach.
Nature paradigm (the opposite of nurture) believes that talent was created 60 days before birth and it changes until 14 -16 years later, but afterward it can not be changed. Every human being has different talent or character. Therefore, instead of wasting our time in giving training and practice which focused on fixing weaknesses, it will be better if we focused on the power development to reach the best result and maneuvered the weaknesses.
The Creator will not create human being in same condition as well as will not give same potentials. To turn the wheel of life, Our Creator creates several people with special talent; thus every person could live their life based on their talent and do activities which come from their talent.
A wise aphorism said: “Every Secret has Beauty, So Lucky those who found their talent”
Those who gather their goos potentials are very lucky. Qad aflaha man zakkaaha
So, what is our talent? What is the talent of our children? Oh God, guide me please.
Umar Al Habsyi