The first of these blog about intelligence summarizes the talk of Prof. dr. Kathleen Venderikxs about what goes often wrong for people with above average intelligence on the work floor.
The first important point she makes is that there is a difference between what is commonly believed to be the profile of an above average person and what gifted people actually are.
What people often think is that gifted people are spectacular, brilliant and really visible in all that. That they can move more easily at school and at work because they have something more. It is not uncommon for gifted people to be seen as quite arrogant and unsympathetic.
The reality is that gifted people are often perfectionistic to the point of doubting themselves if they don't manage to do things perfectly. They often experience as a discomfort being so different from the rest and tend to think there is probably something wrong with them.
Two typical behaviors have been observed amongst gifted people in the work place:
- Either they tend to get bored and loose the capacity to enjoy their work pretty soon but they stay where they are.
- Or they keep changing job, constantly looking for something new and challenging. This applies to 77% of gifted people.
The process that typically occurs in the workplace where gifted people are involved is the following:
1) The gifted people get a project and starts with great enthusiasm;
2) The gifted people has infinite ideas that are processed extremely quickly in his/her mind;
3) Colleagues find this really overwhelming;
4) A couple of colleagues will try to participate with a couple of ideas;
5) The gifted person will shut them down really quickly (he already thought of that idea and realized it doesn't work);
6) The colleagues give up working together;
7) Gifted person realizes something went wrong but doesn't know what it is exactly and how to fix it;
8) Gifted person take a step back from the project, possibly from the job.
This is called the workplace paradox.
You could say that the more the gifted person does his/her best, the more the rest of the colleagues are going to pull the brake.
Gifted people can think really quick and really efficiently. This translate itself in being able to find really creative and innovative solution to problem and being able to do that in a much shorter time.
However, this is often not see nor appreciated because the gifted one doesn't understand why everybody else is not thinking just like them and this diversity become the reason they think they are the stupid ones and pull back.
This create insecurity on their own abilities and is the reason gifted people sometimes refuse promotions in fear of not being up to the task.
The solution presented in this video is allowing the gifted people to understand the not gifted, the way they look at the gifted and the way they approach work. The other way around is also important, explaining the colleagues what is actually going on inside the gifted person.
This is the first step to create an environment where the giftedness can be used for the benefit of the company and gifted people can get much more satisfaction from their work and work relations.