What work feels like for your gifted employees

You might feel frustrated to have top performers who seem to fizzle out or get distracted or create conflicts or just seem dissatisfied. What is wrong? Why can’t they just keep up the good performance? Do you need to discipline them?

You might be dealing with gifted employees.


-They want new challenges.

-They want a large degree of control over their process.

-They might interface with others, but when it comes to deciding on process, they might not work well on teams, because they are particular about their way.

-Other traits from the article.

You might be annoyed with these people for not being team players.

However, what you need to keep in mind is that in their minds, everything they are doing is great!! They are trying to do you a favor!

The way they think, they might see that what matters most is the bottom line, or the ultimate goal, and they want to achieve it in the most efficient way possible, doing their best, while delivering a lot since they are going to challenge themselves and look for continual improvement.

Think about it from their perspective.

How to understand what work feels like for gifted people:

Normal tasks that feel fine to others might feel very different for gifted people.

Routine work can feel like s siting in a bare room by yourself for thirty minutes or longer. Painful.

Meetings can feel like going to a third world country where bureaucracy is rife and everything goes very slowly.

Sensory stimulation can make them feel like they are trying to work in a room full of crying babies.

In general, trying to connect with others can feel like trying to succeed in a country where you know the language but not really enough to connect with native speakers on their level/

Work can also feel like trying to deal with an emergency that only you know or care about, while others are blissfully ignorant and proceed slowly as though there is little urgency.

They might feel like others are consciously trying to be inefficient or hard to work with.

They might feel that doing what is good for the company causes them problems, whereas staying in line seems to work better, so they are confused about what their job description really entails. Are they being hired to socialize and tolerate incompetence and slowness? Or to get a job done?

They can feel praised for some of their gifted skills, like fast turnaround or insightfulness or analytical ability, yet disliked for other gifted traits such as challenging authority, out-of-the-box thinking, and an aggressive or discordant attitude when they see ways to do things better but are rebuffed.

In general, they can feel mixed messages and feel like the manager or coworkers are playing with their mind. Things that make perfect sense to regular people can be contradictory to gifted people.

Do your best but don’t challenge the way we do things. Point out problems and inefficiencies but don’t point them out every five minutes. Do some things fast but don’t do everything fast. Focus on your work at work, but also socialize. Speak up, but don’t speak up. Let us know if there’s a problem, but don’t let us know.

Don’t assume that gifted employees are willfully causing problems. They could be simply confused and experiencing the situation very differently from you.


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