Talent Discovery & Capacity Building

At some point in life it is highly likely that you will be asked by someone (you might even be the one asking yourself), what you are good at. This is a relatively common question, but for some, it can cause distress. If you do not have an immediate answer to such a question – and it is understandable that you might not, you may well come to the conclusion that you are not good at anything. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is harmful and unproductive.

Many coaching experts and psychologists believe that it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. That is right. 10,000 hours! The theoretical “gift” of being naturally good at something is merely a myth, because what really develops talent is practice. Now, when was the last time you put ten thousand hours of practice into mastering a new skill? The answer may be a clue to the answer you are looking for.

Reflecting on your skills, talents, competencies, and personal characteristics is a great place to start in helping you to discover yourself and improve them. Begin with self-belief, promoting your strengths and neutralising your weaknesses. Do this at work, in your social life and with your short-term goals. With time, depending on your goals, look at the weaknesses holding you back and the subsequent skills you need to develop.

Essentially, there are four factors that make up our capabilities. Bear with us. They are closely interlinked but we will explain the differences:

Ability is the technical skill required to perform certain tasks, developed from theory and practice. For example, driving a car or using a computer. Most professions can be carried out thanks to ability – skills, which add knowledge and experience. In isolation these cannot be considered a ‘gift’, as computers and robots can also be programmed with skills to replace human work.

Talent is the abilities that we are born with, which lead to a satisfactory performance both in learning and in the execution of skills. For example, the talent to negotiate, invent or communicate. There is a difference between possessing a skill and having the talent to perform that skill. A person with talent for a profession can learn to execute that profession far more easily. Talent can also be associated with vocation.

Competence is the total sum of talent with a skill. This association leads to superior results than those obtained by people who have only the talent or skill separately. For example, a Formula One racer is a person who adds the ability to drive cars with the natural talent to compete. It implies that the more skill and talent together, the greater the chances of success.

Personal Characteristics
This depends on the set of values, beliefs, paradigms, physical and psychogenic characteristics, and the influence of the external environment. This can be transformed by adding new experiences and is dependant on each person’s way of life. An example here would be diet and fitness level in sport.

So, you may ask, how can I discover my talents? this is where we come in. Future Light Africa will point you in the right direction.