We recognize that communities throughout the United States are going through massive upheaval in trying to address longstanding, systemic racial inequality and injustice. Even as we join in the efforts to support such initiatives, we also believe continuing to share perspectives via this #talentswithoutburnout series can help people better understand one another as unique, talented individuals that should be celebrated and supported, regardless of their skin color or national origin.
People exceptionally talented in the Input theme have a need to collect and archive. They may accumulate information, ideas, artifacts or even relationships."
- Gallup CliftonStrengths Themes Quick Reference Guide -
With change comes new information. Depending on how big the change, the potential for information overload can become overwhelming. In these situations, those with Input talents might be pushed toward burnout in the following ways:
Expecting them to "capture it all." You and your team members might think that because someone has Input® talents, they will want to explore and catalog anything and everything. Be careful. Those with Input® talents often have a focus area where they will have far more interest and success. Moving them away from this area will incur burnout.
In our current COVID-19 crisis, there might be an expectation that teammates with Input® talents will want to capture and catalog all the new information about remote working options, workplace regulations, and constantly changing health information. Don’t burn them out trying to collect information that they don’t find appealing.
Trying to access old storage options. Sometimes change involves a simple office move. Other times it can mean a completely new working paradigm. If you minimize opportunities for those with Input® talents to stay connected to their "catalog" you increase their emotional anxiety. The longer the separation, the greater the chances for burnout.
In our current pandemic, access to many physical storage options (e.g. personal filing cabinets) is now limited by closed offices and social distancing. This could be leaving those with Input® talents feeling un-moored from their usual storage and cataloging systems.
Those with Input® talents can be godsends in times of change. They often have a depth of knowledge that is unrivaled by other team members. This means they can offer up ideas and information long-forgotten by others. If you're a team leader or team member looking to minimize burnout and get the most from these talented people consider the following actions:
Clarify which topics interest them and how they can help you catalog and categorize. Is it HR? Health information? Office layouts & practices? Government regulations? New industry trends? Or something else entirely? By allowing them to focus on what matters most to them, they'll be less likely to burnout on gathering information the team might feel they need, but holds little importance to them on a personal level.
Ensure that there is a digital method for them to share their collected knowledge & information, and a way to categorize it. This might be a special folder on a cloud drive, a distinct thread or hashtag on Slack, or company Pocket.co list. When change occurs, physical channels may become limited. By helping your Input®-talented team members ensure they can share their collections, you lessen the emotional anxiety of not being able to contribute to the team.
Encourage transparency and information sharing throughout the organization. If those with Input® talents can see what information is important they might be inspired to research more of the same. They may also be inspired to help you and your team sort, catalog, categorize, and share relevant information with the team.
As with coaching any individual, their combined set of talent themes will effect how their Input® talents show up, and how to best manage them. As a beginning, next time you check-in with them, ask,
What information or relationships have you recently discovered that might be helpful to the team?
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