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Talent is one of the most valuable assets that you can possess - makes sense, right? In the competitive, global workplace, almost anyone can develop skills, but talent defines your true potential – the internal, natural ability to do something well as you integrate your education, training, innate gifts, experiences, emotional intelligence, and purpose. Related: How To Build A Consistent Personal Brand To realize and maximize potential, the holistic approach of assessment is a key factor to define your talent and chart opportunities for it to develop. Tapping or defining your talent isn’t an instantaneous practice; it’s a life-long journey with many peaks and valleys along the way. So, how do you make the most of your talent and move forward in life? Here are a few talent boosters to consider as you move to maximize your potential:

1. Recognize Your Talent

Don’t under- or over-estimate your talent. The book, Untapped Talent: Unleashing the Power of the Hidden Workforce, shares an important exercise (on page 9) to assess your talent and potential. Take the time to examine what has made you successful in the past and what your career aspirations are for the future. With this process, you will be able to identify the points when your talent hasn’t been tapped. This familiarity with your talent allows you to make critical career decisions, such as selecting the right next position or graciously turning down a seemingly good job offer while outlining steps to encourage growth and movement in your career. Another key factor is to identify your strengths so that you can be confident about what specific talents will support your career trajectory.

2. Identify What Talent Makes You Unique

A talent that makes you stand out from the crowd because your skill and expertise can be considered a great asset. Do you speak a second or third language? Have you lived in several countries, or studied multiple disciplines? Companies are searching for people with new and interesting perspectives and life experiences to solve complex business challenges. Showcase your unique style and talent. Dare to be great!

3. Nurture And Develop Your Talent

All of us start off with raw talent that needs to be shaped and developed. It’s our responsibility to nurture and grow our talent, while positioning ourselves for success. To develop your talent, it is great to look for work assignments or volunteer opportunities that add depth to your skill base, value to your professional life, and exposure for your career. The key to success is applying your talents in different situations and changing your work environment to broaden your perspective. Again, developing your talent means staying in touch with your passion and building on your interests to add value in your profession and career.

4. Express Your Talent

Self-expression is the key to growing your talent. Talent is like learning a fine instrument that you want to play well. You must practice, practice, and practice to be proficient at playing your instrument and learning how to play it for many audiences in different settings as a way to understand the full potential of the instrument. The more you exercise your talent, the more talents that you will discover you can use as well as the new places, situations, and people that can use your skills. In many instances, we limit our talent from reaching its full potential because we assume people are not interested in what we have to say or offer. You can plan to get involved with organizations and people who are interested in the talents that you bring to the table.

5. Organize A Personal Board Of Directors That Focus On Your Talent

This group of people is invested in you personally and professionally. They provide support and guidance that unleash the hidden areas of your talent. Select board members who can see in you what you can’t see in yourself. Their role is to carefully nudge, recommend, confront, and embrace your growth. They can assist with you “Tapping Your Talent!” This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.

All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.