A Guide on Identifying and Developing Your High Potential Employees

CoachHub · 6 January 2020 · 8 min read

HIP: Individuals with High Intellectual Potential Are Vital to Your Organization.

Also known as zebras, precocious geniuses, or gifted, high potential individuals can be frightening. And this we mean for a good reason. These individuals show some level of difficulty and are normally more complex to handle than other individuals in the company.

However, what makes them special is their unique intellectual ability and soft skills. These special traits are highly pivotal for the company’s success. In other words, it is the interest of the managers, onboarding specialists, human resource departments and directors to entice and retain these unique talents.

But how do you recognize an HIP? Is there a formula for coaching managers to this specific management style? CoachHub provides solid answers to all these key questions below.

What is an HIP?

High potential meaning

HIP stands for High Intellectual Potential. HIP indicates people who possess several skills such as creativity, intellectual skills, and powerful emotional commitment. An individual with high intellectual potential is distinguished by a cognitive intelligence above the normal.

In other terms, an HIP individual has an IQ (Intelligence Quotient) that is more than 130. High intelligence is based on a complex system of thought inherent to a branched and non-linear pattern.

There are many good reasons for this. For starters, brain imaging research studies have shown that neurological mode operation of high intellectual potential individuals is different from normal people.

To be specific, the genes of these individuals come with numerous neuronal connections that enable them to have tree-like thinking. And that is why high intellectual potentials are known as neuro-atypical profiles.

They have excellent intellectual curiosity as well as high sensory and emotional hypersensitivity.

HIPs are incredible at multitasking. They are extremely comfortable carrying out multiple things at the same time without excuses.

They exhibit a high level of maturity and thus have keen interest in children and aged individuals.

Most have great adaptability, more often become a victim of burnout and harassment, and may occasionally feel out of step with other individuals.

This worldwide vision of the issue enables an individual known as HIP to benefit from an impeccable capacity for systematic analysis. The watchwords of the zebra are analyzing, conceptualizing and synthesizing.

But here is a question, how do you diagnose a high potential profile? The answer is an intellectual level test. Currently, there are three sets of test for intellectual intelligence, they include:

  • WPPSI-IV for young gifted children.
  • WISC-C for gifted kids and adolescents.
  • WAIS-IV for adults.

It is also important to accompany the intellectual test with a personality test such as DISC or MBTI.

The Extraordinary Personality of Gifted Adults

As a gifted adult, it is not always about having intellectual maturity, there is so much more. Other than superior intelligence, there are very specific psycho-affective characteristics.

As a matter of fact, the neurological functioning of a high potential individual is reflected by increased intellectual capability, as well as a feeling of being out of step with other people, as far as emotional management is concerned.

A high potential individual can be identified by qualities such as clumsiness, excessive behavior, hyperesthesia, and hypersensitivity; but also perseverance, attention to details, perfectionism, and sense of justice.

Therefore, it is important for a psychologist to carry out an IQ test along with a personality test. This is key because high intellectual potentials normally lose a couple of points during an intellectual test because of stress.

In addition, it is advisable to complete the psychological evaluation with a disc test, or with a high potential program framework examination, which will make the job of the manager and leader easier thereafter.

Soft Skills and Hard Skills that Could Benefit Your Organization

Extreme Knowledge

HIPs have high cognitive ability and possess high intellectual capacities. They can swiftly assess, mix, and make comparisons more quickly than normal people.

In a short period of time, the individual has completed all the tasks that other persons would take a month to complete. Moreover, an HIP has intellectual precociousness, meaning they have incredible memory and experiential learning speed.

These qualities allow them to easily adapt to situations, making them a strong professional mobility. In conclusion, a high intellectual potential will be the most ideal person to handle strategies, rethinking, and manage complex audits.

Empathy Toward Colleagues

A high potential individual is not only neuronal but also empathic. This is one good quality to differentiate them. And for a valid reason, the emotional quotient (emotional intelligence) of a HIP enables them to understand their own emotions as well as other people to understand them well.

In this context, gifted adults have proven to be excellent leaders. High intellectual persons may possess empathy in three phases :

  • Cognitive: This feeling allows them to intellectually comprehend what other people are feeling to themselves and toward HIPs.
  • Emotional: This quality allows a highly intellectual individual to go beyond understanding, to feel other peoples’ feelings. This is possible because of their mirror neurons.
  • Behavioral: This trait allows them to respond to the information that they receive by using emotional empathy and cognitive skills. This quality of connection and impeccable interpersonal skills makes high intellectual potential individuals especially efficient collaborative profiles.

Highly Developed Creativity

According to a psychological survey, high intellectual potential individuals are extremely creative. These qualities, among other traits, allows them to come up with effective and innovative solutions to a given issue. The creative intelligence of a high potential talent can be useful in artistic projects. Not only that, they come in handy during organizational transformation or crisis.

Trustworthiness and Loyalty

High potential individuals care less about power. In other terms, they are not soaked into the spirit of betrayal or competition. Contrary to popular belief, an HIP main goal is to utilize resources effectively to find sustainable solutions that will improve company’s performance and ensure growth.

As such, zebras can be identified by their high moral integrity that makes them honest and loyal. Therefore, they are trustworthy individuals who can be counted upon. However, they also expect the same treatment in return because they give their all when they trust in a course or individual.

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Managers : The Group That Can Retain HPIs

A lot of high intelligence potentials do not know about their high potential personality. And here is why, their characters have never been regarded as a revealing sign. Early diagnosis is important to ensure the development of the characteristics of high potential employees. As a manager, the first step is to find the right talent through strategic talent acquisition.

Moreover, these complex profiles, because of their emotional skills and high intellectual capability, can be quite jealousy, more often than not. And this is true for both company leaders and the high potential employees.

As a great leader, there is nothing to worry about for your position. Just as we have witnessed earlier, power is the least of HIP’s worries. There is no war of ego in their heads. On the contrary, a high potential individual is a powerful element, when embraced by a team, they can develop a genuine cohesion. The mission of the manager therefore is to leverage this gifted individual into the team, more so, through team building sessions and innovative training and coaching through corporate university.

Lastly, you must know that in case of injustice, HIPs are likely to have explosive reactions. Sometimes, their sense of transparency and fairness can, at times, cause an explosive cocktail. So, the responsibility of the manager is to handle these conflict situations by reducing the probability of these situations.

It is the leader’s job to retain the high potential individuals. If you manage to convince these individuals to be faithful and loyal, they will stay, otherwise, they will leave your organization when they feel mistreated or uncomfortable.

Managerial Coaching To Better Manage High Potential Profiles

As we have seen throughout the excerpt, it is really important for an organization to recognize the role and potential of high intellectual potential profiles and ensure employee retention of such talents.

On the other hand, it requires an adapted management style.

Unfortunately, a lot of managers are not trained well to manage highly intelligent profiles. And this is the reason why we at CoachHub, offer personalized individual and group coaching sessions to improve managerial skills.

Our program is very versatile and adaptable. In our digital sessions, we coach managers through the following ways :

  • Developing talent– through instilling soft skills of high potentials, by offering them assignments that suit them perfectly.
  • >Encourage the high potential individuals to prevent the first signs of boredom.
  • Create a real internal coaching through either mobile learning or blended learning, and a professional career mobility strategy. It will enable >professional development and hence offer resourceful perspectives to the high potential individuals.
  • Develop trust with a delegative and benevolent management style. With a good management style, team members become more engaged as they are consulted often and feel more respected. For instance, you could encourage and promote team cohesion between the employers and the employees. With cohesion, team members are able to meet goals and achieve great results, decrease anxiety, increase self-esteem and work satisfaction.
  • Communicate with the colleagues in a peaceful manner and use a proactive listening to the requirements and needs of the high potential employees. Communication is key to understanding one another, which yields many benefits including high levels of trust and commitment, as well as creativity.
  • Strengthen the leadership of the managers, which in turn, encourages employees to pursue leadership skills as they are leaders potentials.
  • Improve risk management – any business operation features some element of risk. Therefore, corporate coaching helps current and future leads in risk management and can encourage them to gain risk management skills and strategic vision. Consequently, adding value to the business.

In other words, all the skills necessary for a talent management and employer branding strategy that are adapted to the management of high potential experts in a company. This will not only allow you to retain current HIP’s, but also to attract future talents. In addition, investing in management coaching allows you to effectively work on your employer brand.

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