Human Talent

It is important to point out that Gallup researchers identified themes of human talent, not strengths. Talents are similar to personality traits—they are relatively stable, fixed characteristics that are not easily changed. From talents, strengths emerge. The equation for developing a strength is talent times investment. Strengths are derived from having certain talents and then further developing those talents by gaining additional knowledge, skills, and practice. For example, you may have the talent for being able to communicate easily with others. If you were to invest time in learning more about the intricacies of effective communication and practicing it with the help of Toastmasters International, a club that helps individuals develop public speaking skills, you could enhance your communication strength. Similarly, if you were born with talent as an initiator, you could develop it further into one of your strengths by studying how to “think outside of the box” and then practicing this thought process in your organization. To summarize, talents are not strengths, but they provide the basis for developing strengths when they are coupled with knowledge, skills, and practice.

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