Article: 10 characteristics of a High Potential

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10 characteristics of a High Potential


There are several attributes that set apart High Potential employees from the rest
10 characteristics of a High Potential

High potential employees in any organization comprise typically 5-8 per cent of the total employee base and they always stand out in every situation, particularly the ones that are challenging. Hence it would be interesting to talk about some of the attributes of high potential employees that set them apart.

  1. Extremely proactive about their careers: They are always on the lookout for new opportunities and seek ways and means to make full use of the same and be successful. They understand that acquiring new skills and competencies are a must for reaching the next level. They create opportunities and enhance their experience in order to prepare for future roles.
  2. Demonstrate hunger for continuous learning: Instead of becoming specialists in one area or focusing on a specific skill, high-potential employees find ways to create value that creates impact across the organization though their presence. Their adaptability to change, their ability to learn quickly and their willingness to develop others often leads to new leadership roles and opportunities.
  3. Aware of emotional strengths and weaknesses: They work towards maximizing their strengths, and identify ways to get over or around their weaknesses. They possess good cognitive abilities and are aware of the impact of the people and environment on themselves. They are also able to assess the impact of their words and actions on others.
  4. Can develop and maintain relationships: They know how to network and understand that networks must be “nurtured” rather than “used.” They seek out mentors and advocates who can provide valuable support and speak positively on their behalf. They are aware of others and take a genuine interest in getting to know people personally.
  5. Receptive to feedback: While High potential employees demonstrate confidence, they are always aware that they need to continuously sharpen the saw. They are receptive to feedback and strive to use it toward self-improvement. In fact, they are good at seeking feedback from those around them in order to gain self-awareness and further their development. They leverage mistakes and setbacks as learning opportunities and focus on applying lessons to the future rather than dwelling in the past.
  6. Extremely adaptable: The High Potentials understand that no matter how much planning is done, they will always be deciding under conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity. The information at hand will never be complete. High Potentials not only survive, but thrive in conditions of uncertainty by ensuring control over the situation they are subjected to. They are aware that they need to have the courage to take risks and be accountable for their decisions.
  7. Committed to the organization: High-potentials are highly engaged, want to do more, always go the extra mile, and see a future for themselves in the organization. They show commitment to the organization by being involved in creating opportunities, identify challenges and motivate others to achieve common goals. They nurture and harness individual potential, and respect individual career and personal needs.
  8. Effective collaborators: High Potentials are strong collaborators and can work with people across and outside of their organizations. They utilize their flexibility and interpersonal skills to work effectively across the organizations. They focus on involving and communicating with the right people in order to meet goals collectively rather than trying to display individual brilliance.
  9. Seeking new growth zones: High Potentials are highly enterprising and always in search of new pastures. They are explorers and enjoy leaving their professional comfort zones periodically in order to grow in their career. Their agility helps them to outweigh the risks and gain success inspite of adversity.
  10. Assertive but humble: Last but not the least, High Potentials are assertive, yet humble. They understand that assertiveness is the key differentiator and ensures empathy and sense of purpose, which is in alignment to their values while negotiating in varied situations.

Topics: #HiPoWeek, #HR Ready, Performance Management, Culture

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