10 Unusual Talents That You Wish You Could Do
What's the most unusual talent you have?
In the spirit of having fun, we asked HR experts and business leaders this question for their best unusual talents. From denture implants to wiggling your nose, there are several random and unusual talents that one can have.
Here are 10 unusual talents:
- Active Listening
- Denture Implants
- Obtaining Trust In The First Meeting
- Indoor Rowing
- Hitting The Slopes
- Interpreting Chinese Financial Documents
- Productively Daydream With Spreadsheets
- Recite The Alphabet Backward
- Wiggle My Nose
If I could do anything exceptionally well, that unusual talent might have to start and stop with active listening. Sounds simple, but active listening is so difficult to do. A conversation might be entered into with a desired outcome, or when someone is speaking, there may be thoughts going through your head as well that can distract you from truly hearing and understanding what another person is communicating. Any exceptionally intelligent human being I’ve met in life seems to have mastered this talent, especially board members and CEOs. If we actively listened better, we’d all have a super talent that seems to be absent in today’s realities.
I have successfully treated thousands of patients with denture implants or denture issues. Denture implants are a talent that has enabled me to open four denture clinic locations in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. People usually offer career advice to find something they’re talented in and turn that talent into a profession. For me, that’s exactly what I’ve done with dentures.
Obtaining Trust In The First Meeting
Because I have a soft, southern, Mississippi style and persona, I have had tremendous success earning people's trust in the first meeting. More importantly, if we are in a one-on-one meeting, I can share my story and invite them to share theirs. My story, where I was a caricature of most people's workplace challenges, creates a safe space for them to share openly and freely. I've even had people admit they committed fraud, and I wasn’t conducting any kind of fraud investigation.
I currently hold the world record for the indoor row for the 500M, 100M, and max distance in 1:00. One day when doing a cool down for a workout, I wondered how fast I could go on the rowing machine. I found out I was only a few seconds shy of hitting the world record, so I decided to train for it and now share a world record!
I would say the most unusual talent I have is home staging. I spent the early years of my career as a retail manager and loved the merchandising aspect of the business. Seeing how color, layout, and positioning can entice humans to spend more money was fascinating. Fast forward 10-years, and I find myself using these same principles when it comes to working on my home. Whether I am remodeling a room or setting up furniture with a photograph, I find myself calling back to the knowledge I gained during my early years.
Hitting The Slopes
Most people hear that I'm the principal SQL consultant for a company I founded, and they suddenly picture me as a mousy fella wearing glasses that have more than a bit of tape holding them together. What they don't know is that, if you meet me on the slopes at Tahoe or Vail, it'll only be for a second before I leave them behind in a mist of fresh powder.
Interpreting Chinese Financial Documents
I can read corporate financial statements in Chinese. In my 20s, I spent significant time in mainland China, including making investments and helping friends with their businesses. As I was the only foreigner involved, the organizations didn’t convert documents to English; instead, I learned how to read Balance Sheets and P&L statements in Chinese. This talent isn’t unusual in China, where millions of people could do the same. But for a non-native Chinese speaker that grew up in a small town in Canada, it is kind of unusual.
Productively Daydream With Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets are commonly thought of as accounting or financial tools. My unusual talent is to use Excel for "productive daydreaming." For example, I love to use Excel to analyze different marketing campaign ideas (e.g., should I invest further in SEO or Facebook Ads)? In addition, I use this productive daydreaming approach to flesh out personal goals, such as planning my approach to learn new technical skills.
Recite The Alphabet Backward
I can say the alphabet backward faster than I can do so forward. Ever since I was little, I was fascinated by letters as the most fundamental building blocks of language and communication. On the other hand, I always enjoyed going against the grain and doing things backward. As a matter of fact, until this day, as irrational as it may seem, I like to skim a magazine starting from the back. Either way, when combining these two phenomena, I started saying the alphabet backward because...why not? Fast forward a few years, et voila! I can now say the alphabet in reverse quicker than the "normal" way.
Wiggle My Nose
I know that it may seem trivial, but one of my unusual talents is that I can wiggle my nose. I know, I know, it’s not the same as reciting the alphabet backward or naming all 50 states in alphabetical order, but it’s the best I can do. Hey, I bet you can’t do it. Go ahead, try. See!