Once upon a time there was a little princess that worked in the Human Resources Department (it was me)! I believed like Mary Poppins that I was ‘Practically perfect in every way’. Because I was so perfect I knew that everyone else was the issue! My boss was always focusing on the past. My counter-part questioned everything. And my coordinator was way too emotional all the time. You get the idea…I was perfect and everyone else had many issues they needed to work on.
Then once upon a time (In 2010) I took the Gallup Clifton Strengths Assessment. A tool designed to uncover ‘your natural talents’. To my horror I discovered that I had NO talents suitable to continue my career in Human Resources. My ‘Practically perfect’ bubble burst. In a panic I decided that I needed to get out of Human Resources before I was ‘found out’.
Luckily, a knight in shining armor was available to catch me before I fell. He was otherwise known as the Regional Director of Human Resources.
He asked me what my talents were. I said with a big sad face “Achiever, Futuristic, Learner, Activator and Discipline”. The sad face was because I had discovered that there were no people talents. We call these “Relationship” talents.
He asked me why I was so sure I wanted to leave Human Resources. I told him that with no people talents and no empathy there is no future in Human Resources for me. On hearing this he pointed to his top 5 talents displayed in a frame on the top of his cabinet. He had a similar set of talents. He assured me that discovering my talents was only the beginning of a very exciting journey.
Whilst my knight in shining armor encounter was brief, I had some big light bulb moments. Little did I know that these would change the course of my life.
My light bulb moments:
- I discovered that ‘I am who I am’. No amount of training will change what I am good at and what I enjoy doing.
- I learnt that other people such as my boss, my peers and my coordinator ‘are who they are’. Because they are different doesn’t make them ‘worse’ than me.
- I remembered that it’s a fact of life that people all have unique talents. It turns out there is a 1 in 33 million chance of someone having the same top five talents as me in the same order. Before I was assuming everyone had to develop themselves to be like me – “Perfect”!
- I now understand that you can do anything but not everything. In my case I can do the job of HR but in a very different way to someone with relationship talents. I excel at starting new HR projects, coming up with ideas and executing tasks. I am not so great at feeling how people feel and having the right words to comfort people and that is ok.
- What’s important is how you know, understand and apply your talents to any given career.
So, what about the boss who focuses on the past, the questioning counterpart and the emotional coordinator? Well…
I realized that my boss wasn’t focusing on the past to be difficult. She had what I now know to be the ‘Context’ talent. People with this talent are great at learning from the past to shape the future. She was the opposite of me. I have the ‘Futuristic’ talent meaning I love to spend time dreaming about the future. Turns out we were the perfect pair.
I realized that my counterpart doesn’t question my ideas on purpose to stop them happening. She is actually checking if all details have checked using her “Analytical” talent. I prefer to jump straight in to projects which is because of my “Activator” talent. Turns out we were the perfect pair.
I realized that my coordinator had a great deal of empathy for the people and situations that we face in HR. She feels what they feel which in some cases was hard for her to handle especially because she was also new to the role. I imagine she could learn to use her empathy talent in a more positive way. But there is no doubt that I now see she can help me be aware of people’s emotions. This is something which is not natural to me given that Empathy is a non-talent for me. Turns out we were the perfect pair.
The brief encounter with my Knight in Shining Armor was a turning point. It made me realize the ‘Perfect Princess’ was not as ‘Perfect’ as I thought. I made a promise to myself never to be such a “Perfect Princess” again.
These days I love to spot and explore the differences in people.
No one is completely perfect. We are all perfectly imperfect.
I have gone through the journey from Perfect Princess to the more real version of who I am today. It’s the best journey I’ve ever taken. I would love to take you on this journey.
You will discover the real you, unlock your potential and the potential of those around you. And it will change your life forever. My genuine curiosity into my strengths and the strengths of others has allowed me to see and understand the greatness in everyone. This why I started “Coaching by Gemma McFall”. I help people find, develop and grow their natural talents and change their lives forever.
I am alive, I am an individual and I understand and appreciate the people around me.
I can help you do the same.