The Importance of Talent Programs

The win-win effect of talent programs

Before we can expand on the importance of Talent Programs, we have to discuss the need of emotional intelligence for everyone who wants to achieve something in their (working) life. Daniel Goleman (1998) wrote an interesting article, “What Makes a Leader?”, in which he outlines that well-developed emotional intelligence makes a leader more competent:  ‘IQ and technical skills are important, but emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership’ (94). Although the function of emotional intelligence in leadership is worth it writing about, this article focuses mainly on the effects of it towards talent programs. Though, we have to list the elements of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence consists out of the following components: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill. 1) ‘Self-awareness means having a deep understanding of one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives (…) they are honest – with themselves and with others’(96). People who are self-aware know where they are heading and why; they are self-confident, they know when to ask for help and they’ll play to their strengths. 2) Self-regulation ‘frees us from being prisoners of our feelings’ (98). These people master their feelings and Goleman even states that it enhances integrity because people with self-regulation don’t get carried away with their impulses. 3) Motivation means ‘being driven to achieve beyond expectations – their own and everyone else’s’ (99). People who are highly motivated have an intrinsic motivation to do their job and ‘they remain optimistic even when the score is against them’ (100). 4) People with social skills have a ‘proficiency in managing relationships and building networks’ (95). These people tend to find common ground with everyone and therefore they have a wide circle of acquaintances. 5) Having empathy means having ‘the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people’ (95). These people know intuitively what people are feeling and they can treat others according to their emotional reactions.

Having empathy is crucial when it comes to coaching and mentoring talents. Daniel Goleman states that ‘empathy plays a key role in the retention of talent, particularly in today’s information economy. Leaders have always needed empathy to develop and keep good people, but today the stakes are higher. When good people leave they take the company’s knowledge with them’ (101). buro dijkstra noticed that too many organizations fail in the retention of talent because there is lack of time, no necessity, or they’re having other priorities. But also because they’re missing the right people who are able to mentor talents.

As Goleman continues: ‘That’s where coaching and mentoring come in. It has repeatedly been shown that coaching and mentoring pay off not just better in performance but also in increased job satisfaction and decreased turnover. But what makes coaching and mentoring work best is the nature of the relationship. Outstanding coaches and mentors get inside the heads of the people they are helping. They sense how to give effective feedback. They know when to push for better performance and when to hold back. In the way they motivate protégés, they demonstrate empathy in action’ (101).

buro dijkstra has an expertise in coaching and mentoring talents within organizations. We believe that with giving talents the opportunity to develop, eventually these talents as the companies they work for will achieve more. With creating a customized talent program, our aim is to create a win-win situation in which both the company as the talent gains profit. With an individualized approach we guide the talents in their process with giving feedback and reflection. We help talents grow by forcing them to develop their maturity which eventually enables them to show their capabilities to their environment.

This development process adds value to the company because the talent knows how to act, be creative, make decisions, et cetera. Therefore, these talents are a key factor in the overall result of the company. But there is also another important added value of talent programs. Organizations who integrate these programs in their business structure do become organizations talents want to work for because they know that working there means making the first steps into a promising career!

Written by,

Tjitske Dijkstra

Owner of buro dijkstra

buro dijkstra is about personal development and career. We focus on students and young professionals. We support development processes at three levels: personal, team/ startup and organizational. For more information about how we encourage development check or contact us:

Goleman, D. (2004). What makes a leader?. harvard business review, 82(1), 82-91.

Read more about Emotional Intelligence in English or Dutch by Daniel Goleman.