Discovering Your Giftedness
A Step-By-Step Guide
Writing Out Your Stories (Optional)
Some people find it helpful to write out their stories before they tell them to their partner. Writing helps them remember and record details that they might forget to include if they just start telling their stories “cold.”
This pre-work is optional, because not everyone likes to write. But if you are so inclined and have the time, it will certainly benefit the process.
Go back to the list of Giftedness Stories you made earlier. Pick eight of them that you’d like to expand on. It doesn’t really matter which ones you pick, but it will help if you select stories from different periods of your life. For each one, write about. . .
• how you got involved in the activity.
• what you actually did (again not why).
• how you did what you did (what would an observer see you doing?).
• who else was involved in the activity, and what role you played.
• the satisfaction you enjoyed from doing the activity.
Here some sample expansions that people have written:
Activity: When I was 6 I traveled with my dad on one of his business trips. I worked as his assistant, making reservations, planning events for his clients and being his demo person in their trade show booth. Loved every minute of it and still do love that stuff!
After having done a good job helping to plan a family vacation, my dad said that he would like to expand my role and teach me how to be an assistant, since his assistant was not able to travel as much as necessary. One of his major trade shows came up, so he told me I could go with him as long as I worked just like everyone else there. My job was to set up all the plans and reservations for his travel, as well as book all of his client outings and such (my dad was a VP of Sales, so there was always a lot of wining and dining to be planned). In addition to that, if I got all of it done, I could come work the trade show booth with him to learn how things were done and meet and greet potential customers. Little did I know he had another plan for me. My dad worked for a pet supplies company and they had just launched a new brand of alphabet dog cookies. My role was to stand in the booth, draw people in, and then at the end of my dad’s sales pitch to eat a cookie (because “they are so good even my daughter likes them”). It worked like a charm and everyone was so impressed, he got promoted, and I got a prize that I had been wanting for a while. We had a great trip and I have loved trade shows and events and meetings for as long as I can remember. Everything runs better with a good plan!
Activity: I saved a woman from drowning.
Last summer I noticed a woman yelling for help in a sailboat. A wind gust picked up and flipped her boat. I jumped into the lake and swam out to help her. When I reached the boat she was out of breath and told me she was 76 years old. I flipped her boat upright, took down her sail and swam her and the boat back to shore. I always hear that in an emergency some people watch and some people react. After getting back on shore I was proud of myself for reacting so quickly and not being an observer. I did all of this in front of my daughter and was able to show her that we help people in need.
Activity: I was chosen to lead the annual strategic business planning process for my company which owned 250+ hospitals at the time.
I was a director reporting to a SVP in the corporate office of a national healthcare company. My SVP asked me to lead the entire strategic business planning process for the company because I had done a good job with the same thing for the hospitals in my state. I had a very specific timeline because this process had to be completed before the hospitals could start budgeting for the next fiscal year. In addition, we had just signed a national agreement with a software vendor for a customized package that enabled each of our 250+ hospitals to research and produce very detailed data for planning purposes. I was a “super-user” of that software. Within a few weeks I had fleshed out a plan and a timeline for the project, which included me teaching the software and process to someone from each hospital in regionalized meetings. My SVP approved the plan and gave me the go-ahead. I worked in tandem with the software vendor rep to produce the training agenda, demo software, and all communications to the field. Then we set up a training schedule which entailed meetings in Baltimore, Tampa, San Francisco, Kansas City, and Dallas all in one week. We traveled late at night. It was a grueling week, but the hospital people we taught were ecstatic over the material we had produced, along with the software's capabilities. It was a new experience for me and a lot of fun. I enjoyed the challenge of handling a project of that magnitude and my SVP trusting me with that much responsibility.
You get the idea? Then find some paper or open a blank document on your computer and start expanding on eight of your Giftedness Stories. Then have those ready when it’s time to meet with your partner.