Some people are sources of pure talent and just give it away for free.
That happens because it’s abundant (which is good) and takes no significant effort (which is also good) but is perceived as having little value (which is bad and may be wrong).
The result is highly visible but often unseen.
Our organizations are filled with workers that perform acceptably or good and sometimes with a significant amount of effort. Few are excellent or innately skilled.
It’s not unusual to be surprised by unexpected talents from our fellow colleagues. Talents that have little opportunity to be revealed in their daily activities.
We could easily blame the recruiters for some blindness to natural talents that don’t match the required profile for a specific function. We are not so aware of our self-handicapping mechanisms that keep us from using, extending and exploring our natural talents.
I can identify three possible reasons for this to happen. If you want to share your opinion I’ll be very thankful.
1. Somewhere in the educational process we learn that only things obtained with sacrifice and hard work are valuable. So, if something is easy and pleasant for you, then you’ll probably tag it as play, not work.
2. Some organizations (I am aware that this may sound absurd to some readers) value workers more for their effort than for the results they produce. I must explain that in my country many employers care more about the extra time their employees give after schedule than about the work they really did during schedule.
So, If the boss values effort let’s show him/her effort.
3. Sometimes the natural talents define us and are lived as part of our identity. If you underperform in something not crucial for your identity is bad but the risk of failing on something that defines you is really frightening. As a result, many people avoid exposing themselves to that risk and prefer to dedicate their efforts to areas where failure is easier for them to accept.
A single fact can be perceived and described in as many ways as the number of observers you have. As a result, more than one reality, you have an infinity of perceptions and subjective realities.
When we consider the weight of our emotions on our judgements we conclude that, even believing that there is an objective reality, that reality disappears behind our individual perceptions (no matter how distorted and biased they are).
This awareness is extremely important for those who manage teams or organizations. What is true for us may not be true to the others. I see many managers taking decisions without this concern. And when I question them I often get answer like “that’s the way IT IS and they have to understand it” or “explain what? isn’t that obvious?”.
Well… It is not. And even if it is obvious, it’s more prudent to assume that it isn’t.
Some humbleness can be in fact arrogance.
It’s not unusual to show humbleness somehow ostensively. Well, ostensiveness is everything but humble.
It’s also frequent to be demanding on the conditions we put to be humble. Well, being humble and demanding just don’t go together.
True and genuine humbleness is a silent gratitude for the fact that life is constantly providing us with signs of what we may improve in our Human condition.
It doesn’t really matter if the information we need for our growth comes from a napkin laid on the floor or from the disloyalty of a colleague.
The most important is to be aware to the signs (that are many) and make the best out of them.
Sometimes all the help we want is to keep disfunction at bearable levels.
To put an absolute end to disfunction involves changes in the relationship dynamics that are so big that can’t possibly be unilateral.
So, because true change is so frightening, managers/employers look for solutions that only change those that are giving them a hard time and those, in reality, are less then a half solution for the problems.
The company owners say that they got shocked with the lack of sensibility of this worker – “He should be aware of our difficulties now! Is that possible that in times like these he only thinks of himself?!”.
The worker doesn’t accept the lack of sensibility of his employers – “I’ve been doing everything under my possibilities to help this company survive! Can’t they see that we are still operating thanks to my many extra miles?!”.
Communication has these things. :-(