Guest Blog: Applying Working Genius To Your Real Life 

My daughter Natalie has been leaning into the Working Genius model and wrote this blog with a real-life story and application. If you are an inventor, galvanizer, or discerner this will be of special interest, but don't just think personally - you coach, work with, and have family members who are inventors, galvanizers, and discerners too! Hope you get as much out of it as I did!

[That's Natalie and her husband, Mike, in the picture.] Here's her blog:

Have you been reading the genius blogs and wondering how can this apply to real life? What if I am the only participant at my workplace or in my family who is interested in this topic? Especially if your genius is not galvanizing. 

Fear not, I am a galvanizer. Wait discerners, don’t go anywhere… this blog is actually for you. As an inventor and galvanizer, I am attracted to discerners… my husband, several former bosses, and many of my closest friends. Often times I have felt that I cause them distress,...

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Working Genius & Coaching [Tenacity]

We're on the home stretch now! The final letter in Working Genius is T for Tenacity! 

Working Genius says this about it. "The natural gift of pushing projects or tasks to completion to achieve results."

This is one of my geniuses and I have a love/hate relationship with the concept. I mean I don't go out of my way to notice things not getting completed, I just can't help but see them and have a strong desire to see things through.

Most often this is a gift and a value add, but sometimes it isn't perceived that way or received well, or it is just too much.

Once I was called a "pusher" by a well-meaning colleague, and it stung a little. I mean I wouldn't have to push if things were being completed right? ... just saying...

Working Genius has helped me so much! Having Tenacity as a genius can be used for good as a means of follow through making sure things don't get dropped, but it can also be a handful. It's truly hard for me to just let things go without express...

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Working Genius and Coaching [Galvanizing]

Letter 4 in our Working Genius journey is G. 

In case you missed the first three they were W - Wonder, I - Invention, D - Discernment, and now we have G for Galvanizing.

Patrick Lencioni defines it as, "The natural gift of rallying, inspiring and organizing others to take action." Honestly, without good galvanizing, a project will most likely tank. 

Galvanizing is one of my frustrations. I really stink at it actually. It feels "un-coachy" like I would be telling people what to do. 

It's not like that at all though. 

Lencioni says every job is a 6 letter job. And every coaching session is a 6 letter journey!

Galvanizers are like fuel. They come in right on cue. First, an idea is posed. "What if...? Then, comes "How about...?" where the plan options are considered. Discernment is when the choice is made. It says, "What do you think?" and then finally we get some movement with, "Okay, let's do this!"

Galvanizing makes the difference between lagging energy and...

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Working Genius & Coaching [Enablement]

"Can I do that for you?" or "I can make that happen!" These are phrases someone with an E as a Working Genius type frequently say and words I LOVE to hear!

The fifth type of Working Genius is Enablement. The Table Group folks like to mention that this is the good kind of enabling, not the bad kind. The word "enable" may have a bad reputation, but the concept is beautiful!

Enabling takes that project we have dreamed about, thought through, discerned to be ready to go, and rallied around on to the invaluable step of actually doing something! Enabling is the ultimate action step. It launches the concept into reality!

If your Working Genius letters don't include an E, you may struggle with "boots on the ground" forward movement or repeated tasks. This may mean you make lists but don't get to them, or you have competing priorities, and the actual doing part gets pushed down. 

Enablement is a frustration for me. (I have a strong T genius, but that is different, more...

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Working Genius & Coaching [Discernment]

Discernment is noteworthy for several reasons.

  1. It's the third letter/step in the Working Genius process. (Wonder and Invention are the first two.)
  2. Discernment may be the most neglected part of the process while at the same time the most important.
  3. Discernment is likely the most difficult genius to describe and also to trust.

Let me explain.

The official Working Genius definition of Discernment is "The natural gift of intuitively and instinctively evaluating ideas and situations."

It's a gut thing. And personally, that is hard for me. I'm a facts person. I value logic and reason, so when someone with the genius of discernment just isn't "feeling it", I have a hard time accepting that. 

And yet - I have paid many a steep price for skipping this step. 

I'd like to think I have this genius, but the truth is I just want to move things along. I tend to go straight from invention to implementation and skip D and G altogether. (More on G next time.)

Once I start...

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Working Genius and Coaching [Invention]

Next in the Working Genius series lineup is Invention. 

First, we had Wonder - in a nutshell - that is where the ideas start. Then we move to stage 2 of our 6-letter series. 

Patrick Lencioni defines the Genius of Invention as "The natural gift of creating original and novel ideas and solutions." Remember a genius is something you just love to do - you were born for it. You enjoy it so much that you lose track of time when you get to do it. 

Invention is like that for me!

I LOVE to ideate, especially when it has something to do with organizing and projecting. Structure development is way fun for me. I'm happy to build multiple scenario possibilities so the best ideas can be chosen.

I know it's a little geeky, maybe even more than a little, but understanding this genius has changed my work life in a few significant ways.

1) I volunteer to organize stuff now. I used to think everyone loved structure and I was "stealing" the fun jobs if I worked on...

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Working Genius & Coaching [Wonder]

Wonder is the first in the lineup for Working Genius. 

Wonder is the start of .... well....everything. Nothing new starts without this essential first step.

People with the Working Genius of Wonder have a natural tendency to think of new versions of what is or completely new ideas of what could be. In short, they have a propensity to see what might be out there. 

I like to think of wonder thoughts as seeds. Planters often have a lot more seeds than actually take root, but without seeds, there can be no plants.

If you have a client who has this genius they will easily dream about possibilities and depending on their second genius they may, or may not, need direction in choosing which dreams to pursue.

Clients who have Wonder as a frustration (one of their two lowest-scoring geniuses) will likely have difficulty, or be frustrated coming up with dreams or potential long-term goals. I see this all the time with faithful people who are truly put out by thoughts for their...

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