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Discovering Our Working Genius

October 13, 2023 | 
4 minute read

Have you ever sat at your desk and wondered if you are bringing value to your team? 

Have you ever felt criticized for not being “good” at something that was asked of you? 

Earlier this year, I felt weighed down by a belief that I didn’t bring as much value to my team as I perceived others did. 

Simultaneously, I was witnessing moments where my colleagues were irritated with one another for not being “good” at certain tasks or skills.

I felt compelled to dive into the depths of the things I was feeling & witnessing within our culture at THRIVE IMPACT. (That’s my Strengthsfinders “Harmony” strength in action right there)

A few months ago, a friend told me about something called Working Genius. Coincidentally Tucker, our CEO, was going through it with a couple of CEO friends and came to me jazzed about everything he was learning. 

Naturally, this piqued my interest in diving into Working Genius & how it might elevate us in our work here at THRIVE IMPACT! 

I bought online tests for each of our team members and began to learn the nuts and bolts of what this was and how to apply it internally. 

What is Working Genius?

For lack of a more articulate explanation, I liken Working Genius to a “professional personality test”. Truthfully though, that is an oversimplified (and somewhat inaccurate) way to describe it. 

Working Genius is a model that helps people discover their natural gifts and how to thrive in their work (and life!).

Working Genius is broken down into 6 core categories

WONDER | INVENTION | DISCERNMENT | GALVANIZING | ENEGABLEMNT | TENACITY

If you’ve ever heard of the analogy of the “air traffic controller” or the “10,000-foot view” approach, the WIDGET framework above can be applied very similarly to that analogy. 

A person whose Working Genius is Wonder very easily thinks into the 30,000-foot view to see the possibility & potential in a situation. 

A person whose Working Genius is Invention can help bring it down in altitude and create original and novel ideas or solutions. 

A person whose Working Genius is Discernment has a natural gift of seeing ideas and intuitively & instinctually evaluating those ideas, yet again bringing things down in altitude.

You often need these three “geniuses” at play to help make clear & guided decisions for an organization. Once a decision has been made, the gift of Galvanizing really shines. Folks whose Working Genius is Galvanizing have an innate ability to rally & inspire others to an idea or goal. 

But, you can’t just rally someone to a task, you need the strengths of Enablement to help create a positive culture amongst your team. Someone who has a natural gift of providing encouragement and assistance on a project & for their team. 

And where would we be, if once the excitement of a new idea or goal has waned we didn’t have those who thrive in Tenacity to help drive the project forward to completion?

As you can see, all of the Genius’s cohesively work together to create a beautiful team of needed strengths for overall productivity & thriving. 

When you take the Working Genius assessment, you receive a report that shows your top 2 Working Genius traits. These are the areas that will come the most naturally to you, and that you’ll enjoy doing the most. 

You’ll see 2 Working Competency traits. These are areas that you can “hang” and feel competent in for a time, but if you live there for too long, your energy will begin to fade. 

And lastly, you’ll see 2 Working Frustrations. These are the areas that will drain your energy quickly and you’ll find yourself on the track to burnout! 

Here are mine:

WORKING GENIUS | WORKING COMPETENCY | WORKING FRUSTRATION

There are many layers to Working Genius that I wish we had time to dig into. One final thing to highlight is mapping your team to the WIDGET framework. 

It’s fascinating to be able to see whose gifts are in which bucket on your team. When we are functioning within our strengths, and being appreciated for the gifts that we bring to the table, it fosters an environment of confidence and contentment in our work. 

It also illuminates potential gaps in the cohesion. Areas where maybe no one on your team has a strength, and you might want to consider finding ways to fill the gap. 

I have only begun to explore the tip of the iceberg with Working Genius. What I have learned so far has really brought a groundedness around the value that I personally bring to my team. 

I believe it also champions us as humans to show grace and empathy for our colleagues. No single working genius is better than the other, they are all valuable & needed for a cohesive team.

And I would propose that the work we do when we are functioning with confidence and contentment might very well be completed with more efficiency and excellence.

A win/win! 

If you want to learn more about Working Genius you can visit their website at: https://www.workinggenius.com/

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