Guest Blogger: Helle Bundgaard
The Talent Drug
Many years ago – though I didn’t know it at the time – I discovered the power of Talents. I was a sales executive tasked with cold-calling which, as those of you familiar with this activity may know, can be an awful experience.
When you cold-call a potential customer, you call someone you have never spoken with before to set up a meeting in order to tell them more about the product you want to sell. A lot of people get annoyed when they are contacted in this way, often because you are the fifth sales person to call that day. They often turn you down and, as a rule of thumb, only one out of ten agrees to see you.
Looking back at it, I realized that the times when I actually enjoyed cold-calling was when I used my talents of discovery, creativity and mastery during the process. This is what I did:
First, I made up a list of all of the advantages I believed the customer would get by purchasing our solutions. Then I developed a questionnaire based on these advantages, but rephrased in terms of needs (i.e. “Is it important to your company that all customer data is located in one place?”). Finally, I called the customer and said we were doing a survey about the maintenance of customer data and asked if they would answer a few questions. Usually they would and, as I moved through the questionnaire, I got their attention and was invited to meet with them.
I was extremely motivated because I was internally driven through the entire process. From preparation through the meeting itself I used all my talents, as you can see:
- Developing the list of benefits, which required me to learn how the products were distinct in the market (discovery, mastery, creativity)
- Developing the questionnaire (empathy, creativity)
- Obtaining information about the customer’s situation (empathy, connectedness, mastery)
A New Tool
Drawing from recent developments in brain research and neuroscience, I created the Hierarchy of Motivation and a companion methodology to help individuals not only break through what’s holding them back but also tap into their own unique talents to bring greater satisfaction to their lives.
Indeed, not only are we able to manage our threat response to regain emotional and behavioral equilibrium, research has also shown that we can take ourselves higher in terms of happiness and well being by tapping our talents.
New brain scan technology reveals that when a creatively talented person is actively being creative, dense clusters of neurons associated with that talent “light up” with neural activity. Further, that activity triggers the production of our happiness hormones contributing to a sense of well-being and “flow”.
Motivation on Demand
The beauty of Talents is that they are ours and we can tap into them at any time once we know what they are.
You’ll learn much more about this when we meet at the ICF-NE event on April 19th but here is a quick exercise you can do yourself or with a client to start to uncover your unique abilities and put them more into play in your work and your life.
If I were to ask you what you are best at; what you do better than most; what your colleagues turn to you for help with…what would those skills or qualities be?
- List three “bests”:
- Consider a time when you used those skills or, better yet, were sought out for them.
- List three adjectives to describe how you felt:
- Now consider how you might feel if you put those skills or qualities into play more often.
- List three ways you could (and will) do just that!
I look forward to seeing you on the 19th when we will take a more in-depth look at your personal motivation factors!
Click here to learn more about Helle Bundgaard’s upcoming event with ICFNE and to register.