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Ben Patton
Ben Patton

Posted on • Originally published at Medium on

The Working Genius Assessment — Understanding The Work We Do

Photo by Ben Garratt on Unsplash

The Working Genius Assessment — Understanding The Work We Do

As a recap, here are the six types of Working Genius and my Geniuses, Competencies, and Frustrations.

I will use the word Genius a lot. This is not me referring to myself as a genius. This is me using the assessments wording for a ‘natural gifting’.

  1. Wonder  — The natural gift of pondering the possibility of greater potential and opportunity in a given situation.
  2. Invention  — The natural gift of creating original and novel ideas and solutions.
  3. Discernment  — The natural gift of intuitively and instinctively evaluating ideas and situations.
  4. Galvanizing  — The natural gift of rallying, inspiring and organizing others to take action.
  5. Enablement  — The natural gift of providing encouragement and assistance for an idea or project.
  6. Tenacity  — The natural gift of pushing projects or tasks to completion to achieve results.

You can find these on the Working Genius [_website](

My Geniuses, Competencies, and Frustrations

Working Geniuses: Wonder & Enablement

Working Competencies: Discernment & Galvanizing

Working Frustrations: Invention & Tenacity

My Day-to-Day

I don’t know if this is the case for all who have the genius of Wonder, but my day-to-day is typically pretty frustrating. I dream and think of how things could be better and I want so terrible for it to be better. But I have not figured out how to communicate this effectively yet. That when I suggest something because I have thought about it at length and the possibilities of implementing a change, I am not saying I am dissatisfied or hate the company. I am saying, ‘things could be so much better if we were doing this.’

The weird and sometimes incredibly frustrating part of this is that the genius of enablement tied with the genius of wonder makes it seem even more like ‘my ideas are the best and I will help you towards that idea.’ Which I understand sounds arrogant. I am still learning how the two work together.

My competencies are discernment and galvanizing. This means that I can spend time evaluating ideas but it is not my preference because I want to help others. I want to enable them to do what they want, not pick them apart. My genius of wonder already feels like that to some degree. Galvanizing is also not my preference because I don’t really like the responsibility of rallying people. I can do it but where I thrive is being on board with the idea and seeing the idea bringing about greater opportunity within the team or organization.

My frustrations are invention and tenacity. In one sense I really hate that I don’t have tenacity because this makes me feel and I think look, a lot of the time, like a really terrible worker. The genius of tenacity is defined as “The natural gift of pushing projects or tasks to completion to achieve results.” To be on any team that is focused on ‘deliverables’ is so unbearably frustrating to me. I don’t really like to just ‘get something done’. I like helping others get something done.

Where this really gets confusing is when someone says, “Well what if helping someone (enablement) means that you ‘get the thing done’?” That is a fair question but enablement is more rightly defined, in this sense as encouragement. Thinking for others and helping them do their work better.

Invention was confusing to me at first because I was confused as to how I could have wonder and not invention because they seem somewhat similar. But an example from my own life answers this well I believe.

The last year I worked in ministry, I was working with Senior adults and I was told, “make this ministry whatever you want it to be.” I don’t know if I have every been more stressed. To create something ‘new’ was terrifying and too much pressure.


I feel like I have to write a conclusion for today, otherwise I would write forever on this.

I hope that those few examples of my Geniuses, Competencies, and Frustrations were helpful for understanding what this assessment is trying to do.

Tomorrow I will give a short example, a story from my life, that illustrates how understanding geniuses of others and them understanding your geniuses can help when working together or having conversation.

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