Help Others Discover Their Own Gifts
Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
Every day, people settle for less than they deserve. They are only partially living or at best living a partial life. Every human being has the potential for greatness, but very few people realize this potential. Their natural gifts and hidden talents remain hidden and unused. A good leader is one who can tell another how to reach his or her potential; a great leader is one who can help another discover this potential for him or herself.
I believe every human being has gifts. Some call these gifts talent, ability, aptitude, or “good genes.” No matter what they are called, or how we got them, it is universally recognized that we have them. Untapped potential is the difference between where a person is now and where he or she can be. Just about everybody lives with some sort of “gap” between where they are and where they can be. To be a great leader and get the maximum performance out of your people, you need to lessen this gap by helping them discover their own gifts.
There are many “side effects” to helping others discover their own gifts besides being a great leader. Parents and teachers are well aware of the warm feeling that comes with knowing that they, in some way, were responsible for improving the life of another. Some people report a sense of fulfillment of an obligation that exists as a result of someone helping them in the same way at some time. When you help another discover his or her own gifts, this process reinforces your own success and builds your self-confidence.
There is a difference between telling someone how to reach his or her potential (the classic parent/teenager discussion) and helping that person to discover it for him or herself. Here are some suggestions on how you can help others discover their own gifts.
- Be an inspiration to others. Be inspired yourself, and you will be inspiring to others.
- Be a role model to others. Practice what you preach. Learning by example is one of the most effective ways to learn.
- Share good books. Do you know any good books that you can share or recommend to others that will help them be their best? I am sure if you really think about it, you can think of at least one.
- Teach something you know well. When you teach, you also help others to learn. When we learn, we grow. It is in this growth process where we discover our hidden abilities.
- Ask thought-provoking questions. To help someone realize that their voice is good enough to make a career of singing, it is more powerful and effective to ask “What is your greatest strength?... And how can you profit from that?” than simply to say, “You should sing professionally.”
Whether an employee, a best friend, or a complete stranger, if the opportunity is there to improve a life by helping another person discover their talents or abilities, then act on it—even if there is no apparent direct benefit to you. Practice this to become a better leader by making the world a better place one person at a time.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)