Reflective Writing: Meaning Of Talent
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Through self-assessment and borrowing from various research articles, the preliminary conclusion is that there is no specific meaning defining talent. Research affirms that talent is a social construction, meaning talent is not commonplace, self-explanatory, or obvious. Gallardo-Gallardo et al. 2013 back up this observation by highlighting that in the contemporary English dictionary, the ‘object’ and ‘subject’ approaches to the conceptualization of talent coincide, which further cause more contradiction of the exact definition of talent. I discovered that the meaning of talent in most cases relies on the individual’s social perspective defining the term. In this regard, my definition for talent was a conglomerate if natural ability, skills, and aptitude, which is acceptable because talented individuals show another level of potential than their counterparts who mimic to perform the same activity. While the definition of talent is universal, there exist unique interpretations defining this term at various levels. There are three commonly known levels of defining talent: the individual, group, and organizational level. Despite each level relying on their perception to define talent, it is arguable that debatable concepts and controversial issues in theories of development help to coin the meaning of talent.
I support the notion that talent is innate and not acquired. According to Carole 2011, current debates about talent mention that several types of talent exist in people from birth. Some individuals start showing particular skills at an early age. For instance, musical and sporting talent can be observed early. I subscribe to this notion because I have had a singing talent since my early days. I call this a unique capability because not all young children can sing at earlier ages. Doing such activity with high potential implies that I have unique qualities that people of my age lack. While some people argue that talent is developed through working hard, practicing, or exercising, I contend that this is only possible in specific fields. That is why excelling in academics, and memory skills rely on hard work and effort, and the scenario does not qualify to be regarded as a talent. People have unique talents, which they can execute more quickly than others. For example, at school, I observed that my desk mate was good at drawings. I always tried to compete with her but she was perfect and quicker than me–I found it hard if I tried to draw the way she did, even after taking classes and training. It implies a person cannot perfect some skills if they lack talent in that particular field. This affirms that talent must be innate and unique among various people.
Furthermore, it is believed that most gifted individuals keep their intrinsic abilities regardless of how much or how little they use them. I believe person becoming genius is a genetic trait. Talented musicians improve their skills even without much practice or performance in the theatre. Although I abandoned singing and voice training as an adult, I have the ability to play an instrument. Additionally, the talented artist I know have always maintained their capability to execute the art regardless of knowing the skills while they were young.
High talent means high intelligence, which is a genetic trait. The experiment by Lewis Terman on gifted children and their talent revealed that giftedness belongs to the top one per cent of intelligent children (Gallardo-Gallardo et al., 2013). High hereditary indices of intelligence range from .60 and .80, further indicating a correlation between intelligence and talent (Gallardo-Gallardo et al., 2013). Literature reports highlight that modern assessment in the workplace consider intelligence and cognitive abilities during the recruitment process. These factors are assessed because of the intertwining of intelligence and performance. Since there is the notion that high intelligence automatically yields high performance, organizations consider choosing those people who prove to be highly intelligent in their recruitment process.
It is common to find hereditary genes passed through generations. This makes me to conclude that certain abilities can be passed down through generations. For example, have a natural talent of singing, and so does my aunt. Although home members of the same family may appear to be different at a young age, after some time, kids begin to display similarities in their abilities of other family members who have special talents. For example, in football, my three older brothers are all skilled players since childhood. However, even though my father has never played the sport himself, he was able to display impressive abilities during a family friendly game. Conclusively, at every stage of development, each person is capable of discovering a unique skill. It is true that your surroundings have an effect, but that is only because they improve what already exists.
Exceptional performers are also talented people, and they are few among a group of people. In the literature comparing giftedness and work performance, only one to ten per cent of people are gifted performers assuming the comparison is between people of the same age. The scenario aforementioned implies that nurturing contributes little to the formation of talent. The statement connotes that nature is superior to nurture; innate factors contribute more to skill than nurture factors. I suppose the argument that talented autonomous outdo their coequals and colleagues in whatever chores they do without necessarily composing as hard as their peers are true. For this reason, modern organizations focus on recruiting high performance, high potential, or talented employees. These organizations aim to tap the few high-performance employees rarely found.
Additionally, I believe that individuals can be gifted in different areas. These include spatial ability, naturalistic and melodic abilities, and mathematical abilities. Individuals with a deep connection to the natural world frequently have a more acute awareness of their surroundings than the ordinary individual. They may be instrumentalists, singers, composers, or dancers. They are born dancers, and their innate rhythm and tone enable them to perform at a high level. On the other hand, individuals with a natural ability for language are more prevalent among spoken word performers. Individuals with linguistic abilities are fluent and fluid in their knowledge and expression of the language.
Talent as high potential has sparked the curiosity of firms to become selective when recruiting employees. Potential is commonplace in talent management because it implies the possibility of someone becoming better than their present status. In this case, talent as a high potential means that talented people have the potential to become better than giving the best in their line of duty. For example, most organizations aim to hire talented individuals because of the notion that such individuals have the potential of becoming high performers. The literature of high potential gives an idea that high potential individuals are scarce.
Contrary to this perspective, talent as high performance is a measurable output tool revealed through appraisals for talent identification. When appraisals are done, the best talent who are the best performers is identified and rewarded as the non-performers are warned or laid off. We, therefore, acknowledge through such a scenario that talent is manifested in performance.
In conclusion, talent is defined differently depending on the individual’s perception defining the term. Throughout this paper, the arguments demystify what talent stands for, but no clear definition is identified because of the existing controversies on the issues related to the development of talent. However, talent is defined based on context and level. There is a varied definition of this term in the individual, team, and organization levels. The supporting points elucidate that talent can be classified as innate and genetically instigated.
Further, talent has been identified as high performance, high potential, and high intelligence. Examples to support talent as innate include musical and sporting talent that usually starts at an early age. Further, modern organizations are linking talented employees as performers, the notion that I agree with because these scarce groups of talented people have the potential to improve on particular abilities that further encourage organizations to undertake performance appraisals to reward to identify talent. Since talent is inseparable from performance and potential, it is vital to invest is talent development. A working talent development plan ensures people will improve their natural abilities to achieve the best through hard work and consistency. It is critical for individuals with talent to nurture them through proper development of their abilities to realize full potential.
Carole T., (2011), “What do we mean by the term “talent” in talent management?”, Industrial and Commercial Training, 43(5): 266 – 274. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00197851111145853
Gallardo-Gallardo, E., Dries, N., & González-Cruz, T. F. (2013). What is the meaning of ‘talent in the world of work?. Human Resource Management Review, 23(4), 290-300. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrmr.2013.05.002