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Gifted workers: Hitting the target Paperback – April 7, 2016
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About the Author
Noks Nauta (1947) is a medical doctor and a psychologist. She co-founded the Gifted Adults Foundation (www.IHBV.nl), which collects, documents and distributes the information on giftedness in adults. Her mission is the empowerment of gifted adults and the improvement of the competences of professionals (for instance doctors and psychologists) on the theme of giftedness. She gives presentations, writes articles and published a book 'Gifted Workers, hitting the target'.
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Top customer reviews
Although I found it on Amazon, it was only available from Shaker Verlag, a vendor I had never heard of. In fact, they are from Germany. The shipping was reasonable, and price not bad, so I purchased it. Not only did it arrive very quickly, it did not at all read like a translation; my initial concerns were unfounded.
Quite simply, there is nothing like this book available on the market, it was immeasurably beneficial for me. With 11 case studies to digest, there were many examples of how giftedness can go wrong. “Loss of direction” is the term the author uses, and I myself have experienced the loss of direction. I am much more aware of the circumstances that can lead to loss of direction, and in summary – I am a better person for reading this book. I highly recommend it for anyone who is gifted, who might be gifted but is unaware, or of anyone who knows such a person.
As with any good book, I do find myself wanting more. For this reason, I hope the author is considering a next edition of this book. The book focused on the clinical observation of these 11 patients, and ended when their care ended. It would be great to know how well the suggestions worked. A follow-up interview, approximately 6 months after the end of their care, would be very insightful. To know how well the suggestions worked, and how the patients were able to incorporate these changes into everyday life, would be very useful. Greater personalization of the subjects, through more in depth and specific examples from their lives prior to therapy, would also have been useful. I know these were characters created from compilations of real patients to protect the real identities, but these extra stories, both before, and after therapy, would add to an already good book. It was a little short for me, leaving me wanting more.
I wish the author great success with this book, it was most helpful for me. Hopefully with increased sales, Amazon will add this title to their normal offering, not just available through a specialized third party. Of course, there’s always the Kindle version, but I like paper.
Looking at gifted people as “missiles”, Noks and Sieuwke point to our very powerful energy that, when aimed at the right target, can make a huge positive impact. However, when off-track, that same powerful energy can be a destructive force to both to ourselves and others. Their book demonstrates a truth most of us know all too well: our gifted qualities cause many of us to go off-track when working within typical workplaces, work hierarchies, and work teams, turning us into “unguided missiles”.
The stories in this book illustrate subtly but powerfully a frustrating paradox common to gifted people: we can be so smart, yet we can sometimes be so ineffective at dealing with others around us. And the authors show why: very often it is because of irrational beliefs we hold about ourselves and the way things should be. We uphold an ideal even when collaborators do not share that ideal, and Noks and Sieuwke paint a clear picture of the emotional results of the paradox: we feel guilty toward ourselves and furious toward others all at once.
A major theme that shows up again and again throughout the case studies is something I call in my coaching practice for gifted people, “Binocular Behavior”. This is the phenomenon of believing that others perceive the world as we do and interpreting their behaviors only in light of the way we see the world (not in light of how they see the world). Noks and Sieuwke succeed in demonstrating something that is often very hard to demonstrate: how gifted people and their typical characteristics can be perceived by non-gifted people, and how a gifted person using what I call “gifted binoculars” can go through life largely or completely misunderstanding how others perceive him. Noks and Sieuwke illustrate very well the need for learning and practicing effective communication – a form of communication that includes expressing emotions, negotiating, and giving feedback, and which takes into account our own cognitive biases and the very important differences between gifted and average cognition.
Noks’ and Sieuwke’s case studies highlight situations in which it was possible to be identified as gifted by a professional treating occupational problems, and to be treated specifically as a gifted person. Many healthcare professionals, however, are never trained on giftedness and often don’t even know what it is. In my coaching practice, I have heard so many stories of unidentified gifted people who went to professionals for occupational help and were told that they just needed to calm down, learn how to cooperate, or stop being so difficult. Noks’ and Sieuwke’s book is therefore a wonderful addition to and resource for the effort to let helping professionals around the world know that giftedness exists and that gifted people, with the right help, can hit the right target!