Skills Talents Disconnect Disorder?
I’m sure you are wondering, what that the heck is Skills Talents Disconnect Disorder (STDD)?
This is a serious problem that afflicts most of us in the 2nd half of life. Skills Talents Disconnect Disorder occurs when we develop skills that are not connected to our natural talents.
If you are not sure of the difference between talents and skills, please go read my post, Talents versus Skills – Do you know the difference?
Some of you may need help determining your natural talents. If so, please go read my post, What are your natural talents?
Skills Talents Disconnect
We develop a lot of skills throughout our career. We develop most of these skills at the behest of our employer. We get paid for our skills.
When the market shifts, we often develop new skills that follow that change.
When we see job postings that require the most current and trendy skills, we often pursue training that helps us acquire those.
The most common of the Skills Talents Disconnect Disorder is learning to behave like an extrovert.
I am guilty of this. I am a closet introvert!
To learn more about being a closet introvert, read my post, 3 Signs You Are a Closet Introvert and What to Do!
I grew up a pretty shy kid. To get attention as a teenager, I learned to act goofy. I was a goofy looking guy. When I graduated from high school, I was 6’4″ tall and about 145 pounds with a huge head of red hair. I looked like a giant carrot.
To get the attention of girls, I had to learn to act like an extrovert. It did not work, but I tried!
After college, I went to work at IBM. Eventually, I developed the skill to give technical presentations, and I became pretty good at it. After working there for about 15 years, presenting became my full-time job. In the last 10 years of working for IBM, I probably gave 1000 to 1500 presentations to audiences of up to 1000 people.
In my 30s and 40s, I could present every single day. I had to monitor my diet throughout the day to make sure I had the energy for the next presentation.
I recently turned 60, so I do not have the energy I had in my 20s, 30s or even 40s.
The issue? I am not a talented presenter. It does not come naturally. I have learned to become a great presenter. This is a classic example of Skills Talents Disconnect.
I know A LOT of salespeople who are closet introverts and have Skills Talents Disconnect.
Burn out occurs when you overuse a skill that is disconnected from your talents. I learned how to be a strong public speaker.
You might think giving presentations come naturally for me, but it does not. My knees now buckle when I walk off stage. I am exhausted. It consumes a lot of energy!
Last year, I made the decision to back away from pursuing paid speaking gigs. I thought I wanted to belong to the National Speakers Association, but in order to qualify for membership, I would need to speak several times a month. This probably meant traveling several times a month. I know myself—I would have burned out quickly.
I have experienced burn out several times in my career due to Skills Talents Disconnect Disorder. Similarly, I have watched this happen to friends, colleagues, and clients when they have over-used a skill that is not directly related to innate talent.
Spend some time determining your talents. This will not come quickly or easily if you are in the 2nd half of life. Just because you are good at something or even like doing something does not mean it is a talent. If you have not already read my post, “What are your natural talents?” then I suggest you read it now.
Make a list of your skills. This is usually a much easier task for people. Skills are what you get paid to do.
Can you connect your skills to your talents? Which skills do not connect?
Do you suffer from Skills Talents Disconnect Disorder?Marc Miller
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