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Monday, February 4, 2013

5 ways to find your team's hidden talents

CBS News:
By 
LAURA VANDERKAM / 
MONEYWATCH/ January 31, 2013, 10:18 AM

(MoneyWatch) ... A recent survey by Lee Hecht Harrison found that 62 percent of people say they often feel underutilized in their jobs. 24 percent said they sometimes do. In some cases this may be because they're overqualified:USA Today reported this week on a study led by Ohio University economist Richard Vedder that found that nearly half of working Americans with college degrees are in jobs that don't really need them. Among retail sales clerks, USA Today reported, 25 percent had a bachelor's
English: A number of Amateur young soldiers (w...
English: A number of Amateur young soldiers (with a bachelor's degree) in training term(Bimestrial) in the Malik al-Ashtar barracks belong to Law enforcement in Iran. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
degree in 2010, vs. less than 5 percent in 1970.
Even if you're leading an overqualfied crew, you're best served by trying to match people with work that requires as much of their brainpower as possible. Unchallenged workers are often unhappy workers, and unhappy workers leave when they get a better offer. Here are some ideas for finding and using your team's hidden talents.
You don't approve of my choice in extracurricu...
You don't approve of my choice in extracurricular activity? (Photo credit: The Rocketeer)
1. Get to know your people. In school, no one has to do their extra-curricular activities, so these side projects often give insights into the activities people enjoy for their own sake. ...
2. Keep a good someday/maybe list. ... Think of interesting projects or leads it would be fun for your department to pursue and ask your team members to add to it too. Then develop the discipline of pulling these projects off the list occasionally, and assigning them to team members with talents you've identified in that area.
3. Say yes a lot. If a team member proposes a project, chances are he or she is itching for a challenge. Figure out if there's any way you can give the green light, even on a trial basis.
4. Push. Give people a little more authority with every project. Real responsibility -- and the chance to fail or succeed -- tends to bring out the hard worker in people.
5. Practice. Spend a lot of time working with your team to improve their skills. ... Most people do want to get better at their jobs, and will relish the chance to bring their A games to work.
Photo courtesy flickr user max.pfandl
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