What are compensatory strategies?

The Plum Discovery Survey assesses core characteristics about a person - their cognitive abilities and personality - which research has shown are relatively stable once in adulthood*. For example, those who are extraverted are very unlikely to become introverted. Those who prefer to have more stability typically are unlikely to enjoy uncertainty on a regular basis.

As you continue to grow and develop what will likely change is your compensatory skills.

A compensatory strategy is a technique individuals use to help them perform a Talent well, even when it is not something that comes natural to them or drives them. 

You probably already use compensatory strategies on a daily basis, without realizing it. You may give yourself more time when doing a draining behavior, or schedule yourself recovery time afterwards. For example, those who are drained by communication may be really good at preparing notes with clear discussion points they want to talk about before going into a meeting.

As you gain more experience, you will not be changing who you are at your core, but you will be developing these strategies to still be able to perform those Talents well when you need to at work.

An employee's performance evaluation at work, or a job interview, may tap into natural abilities but will also evaluate their compensatory strategies for Talents. If you are still performing at a high level in a role that requires you to use several of your draining Talents, it is likely that you have developed strong compensatory strategies. This means that even though the Talents required on a regular basis may not come as natural to you, you have learned how to perform them well by being more strategic about it. 

We do sometimes see that employees with a lot of work, training, coaching or mentorship experience can have developed very strong compensatory strategies. These strategies are important as many jobs will require individuals to perform all ten Talents at some point. It is certainly important to ensure employees have compensatory strategies in place for Talents that drain them.

At Plum, we try to help match employees with roles where they get to use the Talents that drive them on a regular basis since research shows they are typically happier and overall more likely to thrive in those roles. This also means they do not have to rely heavily on compensatory strategies as this can lead to burnout for some. 


* (Cobb-Clark & Schurer, 2012)

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