Congratulations, you have received your Plum Profile and Talent Guide! This guide is designed to help you use this information for your continued success, development, and career growth.
Perhaps when reviewing your Profile, you thought to yourself, “Yes, this totally describes me!” Or, maybe you thought, “There are parts of this that are right, but I don’t agree with X or Y.” All reactions are welcome.
Plum provides insights that are meant to provoke self-reﬂection, discussion, and developmental action. It is up to you to decide what aspects of your Profile you would like to focus on and explore.
How should this information be used?
- To inform your development and career planning.
- To understand the types of activities that drive or drain you, including those in your current role.
- To identify where to develop compensatory strategies for your Talents, or additional support.
- To help craft your current job and goals in a way that leverages your driving Talents.
Drivers and Drainers
- Talents should not be considered as good or bad as different roles require different Talents. Instead, Talents should be seen as something that either Drive you or Drain you.
- Your top Talents are your Drivers. They give you energy, you enjoy doing them, and/or you seem to have a natural ability for them.
- Your bottom Talents are your Drainers. They take more energy to exhibit, and you may have to work harder at them as they do not seem to come naturally. This does not mean or imply that you cannot exhibit that Talent or are “bad” at it. A draining Talent simply means that you will gravitate towards it less than other Talents or behaviors.
- Everyone has driving Talents, and everyone has draining Talents. Even in the Talents that drive you, there are likely some competencies and behaviors within that Talent that are more natural than others.
- On the days you may be stressed, tired, or rushed, driving Talents will be easy to exhibit while draining Talents will be more challenging. A role where you need Talents you are not naturally strong at will likely leave you feeling tired or run down and may eventually lead to burnout.
Your Plum Profile is a summary of your top 3 Plum Talents and provides insights about your personality relevant to your career. It is generated using the results of the Plum Discovery Survey. The “Work Style” tab is a summary of the behaviors you are most likely to show at work, and how your personality may display itself in the workplace. It also describes what job environments you are a good fit for, and that you are most likely to be happy in. The “Work Preferences” tab offers a guide on how to determine how good of a fit your current role or perhaps even your next opportunity is with your Talents. You will find questions you can ask yourself about a role to make sure it meets your needs and lets you utilize your strengths.
Looking at your Profile:
- What confirms what you already knew?
- What surprises you?
- Have you taken a personality assessment before? How is your Plum Profile similar or different?
Plum Talent Guide
The Plum Talent Guide is a Talent-based professional development guide designed to support self-reflection, discussion, and developmental action.
Your Talent Guide is composed of two sections:
- Your Talent Guide Summary gives you a high-level view of your drivers and drainers.
- Your Talent Breakdown provides you with a deep understanding of the Talents that drive and drain you in the workplace. The Talents are rank ordered by how likely you are to be driven by them in your work.
Within each Talent are several behaviors. Beside each behavior, you will see an indicator of how likely you are to be driven or drained by that behavior. As the scale moves to the right side, the greater the likelihood that the behavior will come naturally to you. As the scale moves to the left side, the greater the likelihood that you will need to work harder at that behavior to excel at it. It is not possible to be driven/energized by everything.
Take some time to explore your Talent Guide to better understand your Talents:
- Looking at your Top Talents, are there any behaviors you are particularly strong at? Are there any behaviors that drain you more even though, as a whole, this is a top Talent for you?
- Looking at your lower ranked Talents, which behaviors are your biggest drainers? Are there any that you are strong at that you can leverage?
- Looking across Talents, do you see similar types of behaviors you are driven or drained by? What patterns do you see and how may they display themselves differently within each Talent?
Plum and Development Planning
Understanding that your current or a future role will always have aspects that may rely on Talents that are more draining for you, it is important to find ways to develop both coping strategies and compensatory skills to fill the gap.
When building your development plan, consider some Talent focused goals. There are several approaches you can take to choosing a goal:
- Select a driving Talent to leverage more than you currently do.
- Select a Talent that drains you and consider strategies to overcome or work around it.
Breaking your goal down into speciﬁc actions gives you a clearer picture of what you need to do. Aiming to be “better at communicating” is a good ﬁrst step but will not get you very far because being “better at communicating” can mean a lot of things. Some specific actions for increasing your communication skills may include 1) Dedicating time to work on your slide decks and see if there is a way to convey your messages more clearly, 2) Volunteering to facilitate more workshops to get practice presenting in front of people, and 3) Sitting in on sales calls with prospective clients to witness how they phrase messaging to be more convincing for the target audience.
How do you choose the speciﬁc actions you want to take?
- Explore the Suggestions tab to see sample development suggestions for each Talent.
- You may have some of your own ideas of developmental actions you wish to take. For example, if you wish to develop your Persuasion Talent, you may want to take a course on influencing, or find someone that is great at persuading and observe them or ask them to coach you.
Although your natural abilities are unlikely to change, developing skills to compensate for these areas will ensure that when these are required, you are able to perform them successfully.
Download the Plum Talent Guide Worksheet to further help you use this new insight in development planning.
Download the Plum Learning and Development Catalogue to find helpful learning resources such as LinkedIn training sessions, books, or videos for each Talent. You can also access Talent-specific development resources in the Suggestions tab for each Talent.
When thinking about your development plan:
- Which Talent(s) do you think is most important to your current role? Which Talent(s) do you think are most important for your career progression?
- Which of your top Talents do you think you can continue to leverage or perhaps use more?
- Where do you see opportunity for development and growth to ensure you are set up for success?
- What actions can you take to fill any gaps to ensure you continue to be successful?
Plum and Goal Setting
As you think about your role and creating performance goals for next year, it is important to consider how well these will leverage your top Talents, as opposed to relying on your draining Talents. Naturally, there will always be some work that drains us, however, ensuring that your goals maximize your Talents is critical to your ongoing success and fulfillment in your role. When discussing your goals with your leader, discuss work that will take advantage of your strengths, and find ways to minimize the work that does not come as naturally to you.
Reflecting on your current or past goals:
- In your current role, do you feel like you are able to utilize your top 3 Talents so that you are getting a regular sense of accomplishment and fulfillment in your work? Can you think of any previous goals that energized you and kept you engaged in your work?
- In your current role, are you spending more than 20% of your time on the areas that drain you? Can you think of any previous goals that drained you, or you felt were challenging to accomplish, as they required more effort?
Plum and Building Relationships
Once you have had the opportunity to explore your own Talent Guide, you may wish to use this information as a way to build or deepen your relationships with others. Use our guide “Exploring your Talent Guide with Others” to show you how this can be successfully done. It includes a step by step guide, example questions to ask, and helpful tips.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I found the Plum assessment difficult / The Plum assessment made me feel uncomfortable / I feel conflicted when taking the Plum Discovery Survey.
This is a normal reaction to taking the Discovery Survey. This happens because the survey is forced choice (e.g., forces you to choose between desirable options). Research has shown that if we give people the ability to say everything good is “most like them” and everything bad is “least like them”, we would not get a very accurate picture of a person. Plum wants to get an idea of your priorities. If given limited time in a day, everyone prioritizes some things over others.
- I do not agree with my top Talent/I think my Talents are in the wrong order. What should I do?
If you feel this way, don’t worry, it is natural response to feedback. If you disagree with the Talent order it can be helpful to:
Dig deeper into the specific competencies and behaviors within a Talent. Sometimes people disagree with where a Talent is ranked, but when they see a deeper explanation of what the Talent entails, they can understand why it was given a certain ranking.
Ask yourself whether you naturally gravitate towards the Talent or behavior, or if you have to consciously work at it. As discussed before, you may not naturally exhibit that Talent, but have developed strategies to overcome it or put deliberate effort into making sure you demonstrate that Talent.
It can also be helpful to have a discussion about this with others that you trust, such as friends, family, colleagues, mentors, managers, and/or coaches. The Talent Guide is only one input from a number of different possible avenues for feedback, and it should be taken into consideration among all other feedback sources.
- I completed a personality assessment before, and the results were different. How is that possible?
It is possible that other assessments have given you different results as they may be grounded in different models of personality or can also be assessing completely different things, such as states instead of traits. The Plum Discovery Survey is a measure of your personality traits and is grounded in the most well-researched model of personality, the Big 5 Factor Model.
- What are the behaviors in the Plum Talent Guide?
The behaviors are the attitude, actions, and habits that make up each Talent.
- What does the scale next to the behavior mean in the Plum Talent Guide?
Beside each behavior, you will see an indicator of how likely you are to be driven or drained by that behavior. As the scale moves to the right side, the greater the likelihood that the behavior will come naturally to you. As the scale moves to the left side, the greater the likelihood that you will need to work harder at that behavior. It is not possible to be energized by everything.
- If the scale indicator is in the blue area for a behavior in the Plum Talent Guide, does that mean I am bad at that behavior?
Not at all. The scales are relative only to your own natural inclinations towards certain behaviors. It is not possible to be perfect at everything, which is why you will see some behaviors in the green area and some behaviors in the blue area. The scale in the blue area means that you may have to work harder or be more deliberate with that particular behavior in order to excel, yet it is still possible.
- If I work on improving my Talents, will my Plum Talent Guide results change?
The Discovery Survey, the results of which feed into the Talent Guide, is designed to capture your natural, ingrained tendencies. Those tendencies tend to be stable over time. Even if you try to develop in a particular Talent, that Talent may still be difficult for you on days when you are stressed or tired (i.e., when you revert to your natural tendencies).
- Is it possible for my lowest strength to become my greatest strength?
It is very unlikely that there would be such a large shift in your Talent Guide results. As noted above, the Discovery Survey, the results of which feed into the Talent Guide, is designed to capture your natural, ingrained tendencies. Those tendencies tend to be stable over time.