How Do We Spot Genuine Talent?

How do we spot genuine talent?

The Little Book of Talent gives us some ideas.

For most of us , the problem revolves around one word : “how.” How do we recognize talents in ourselves and in those near us? How do we nurture talent in its early stages? How do we gain the most progress in the least time? How do we choose between different strategies, teachers, and methods?

In the book Dan talks about Talent Hotbeds and the methods they use.  First:

The talent hotbeds are not built on identifying talent, but on constructing it, day by day.

This is a kind of relief. So people can be trained to develop talent. You (the teacher, the institution, the parent) needs to figure out how.  There seems to be some general approaches that apply across multiple disciplines.

No matter what skill you set out to learn, the pattern is always the same: See the whole thing. Break it down to its simplest elements. Put it back together. Repeat.

You can take some comfort in the fact that

You are born with the machinery to transform beginners’ clumsiness into fast, fluent action. That machinery is not controlled by genes, it’s controlled by you.Even the most creative skills— especially the most creative skills— require long periods of clumsiness.

This book provides a few tips.  It is worth running a few experiments and observing the results.