Once she was able to put words to her natural talents, she found a new set of tools to help her become stronger.

I have always told my kids to “play to their strengths”.

I remember reflecting on my kids when they were 3 years old, and noticing that special thing that stood out in each of them. Kid One was starting to read and loved words. Kid Two was using perspective in her basic drawings (birds in distance were smaller) and also big on creating 3-D art. Kid Three was multiplying numbers naturally. Kid Four was dressing our kitten in outfits and bonding with him on an energetic level.

As they got older, I reminded them about these talents and began to steer them toward furthering developing them. Kid One ended up becoming a Marketing and Communications Professional. Kid Two is an Industrial Designer. Kid Three is studying Mechanical Engineering. Kid Four is getting ready to study Animal Science.

Are these skills, or just natural talents?

According to Gallup StrengthsFinder, there is a difference:

– TALENT: A naturally recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied.

– STRENGTH: The ability to consistently produce a positive outcome through near-perfect performance in a specific task. To finish with strength, start with talent.

I found that what I had discovered about them were their skills. In order to discover their talents, I needed to look deeper.

Enter, Gallup StrengthsFinder.

According to Gallup, “Our ability to achieve excellence and get the most out of life is connected to the extent to which we intentionally build strengths from our talents.”

Using a 170-question assessment (takes about 35 minutes), the user receives a report ranking 34 of the most common talents in order of greatness to weakness, identifying their greatest natural talents.

When combined with investment (time spent practicing, developing skills and building a knowledge base), strengths (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance) can be enhanced.

I had my kids take the assessment. Their results were enlightening because I thought they would have ones similar to me!

They didn’t. I was shocked. How would I have known?

When they discovered theirs and read their Strengths Insight Report, they said it was “right on” with who they were. “How did they know me?” they wondered. (This is part of the “learning” process.)

I also got the gift of knowing them better. It was wonderful. Discussions entailed, ideas flowed, and plans were made. An awareness that their combination of talents was very unique made them feel special. The exercises that we went through to “love” their talents made them feel like they had superpowers.

Coming up with actions to “live” their talents and further turn them into strengths made sense and felt right. In some cases, it literally altered the course of their actions.

Would you like to know what your talents are and how to turn them into Strengths (aka Superpowers)? As a trained Gallup Strengths Coach, I can help you. Check out my coaching services HERE.