by Hanna Vock


As in the conditional model: Prerequisites for the Evolvement of Giftedness (by Barbara Teeke), various personal competencies are important for the development of giftedness.

The development of such personal competencies (also called „key qualifications“) is a decisive factor in the extent to which a person can exploit his or her talent potential.

These include: communicative, social skills, but also skills related to task management and stress management, and other personality traits that promote successful (working) together.

Many researchers and practitioners today rely on the „five-factor model of personality (Big Five)“.

It comprises the following five factors:

Neuroticism describes an emotional instability, which is expressed in increased anxiety or irritability, in worries and in the tendency to experience negative emotions. Extraversion includes aspects such as sociability, activity, hunger for experience and the tendency to experience positive emotions. Openness to experience means intellectual interest, but also imagination and the joy of experimenting. Compatibility describes social competence, willingness to cooperate and unselfishness, while the factor conscientiousness aims at organization and love of order.

(after: Brain & Mind, 9/2009, p. 33)

In my opinion, the following personal competencies can be observed in kindergarten children, which are consistently positive and formulated as abilities:

O Ability to motivate oneself

O Ability to self-control

O Stable self-esteem

O Ability for a clear and differentiated self-concept (self-perception)

O Abilities for the favourable evaluation of successes and failures

O Confidence in one’s own performance/learning ability

O Ability to maintain emotional stability, even in adverse circumstances

O Abilities for metacognition and reflection (thinking about one’s own thinking and acting)

O Flexibility, ability to modify behavior patterns


O Empathy

O Fairness and generosity

O Can win and lose

O Cooperativeness

O Ability to plan

O Organisational skills


O Communication skills

O Language skills (oral and written)

O Vocal, mimic, body language expression ability

O Abilities for adequate self-portrayal

O Ability to assert oneself, assertiveness

O critical ability (accept criticism and criticize fairly/constructively)

O Discussion skills

O Negotiation skills


O Creativity

O Courage for own ideas

O Willingness to take risks, courage to make mistakes


O Physical and mental health

O Fitness, energy resources

O Energy management skills

O Abilities for self-soothing

O Abilities to reduce anxiety and stress

O Stamina

O Ability to concentrate

O Ability to set your own goals

O Perseverance in pursuing goals and achieving results

Many of the characteristics listed above (perhaps all?) are more or less accessible to self-education and pedagogical influence from outside.

The sentence „You have it or you don’t have it“ is true for the snapshot. But when you look at the lifespan, all these characteristics develop. They can become stronger, but also weaker due to various unfavorable influences. The foundations for personal skills are laid in early childhood.

Arno Zucknick writes as an IHVO course instructor when he is dealing with a participant’s written homework:

„Attention! Abilities are not static. The fact that he (a five-year-old described by the IHVO participant) has perhaps not shown so much concentration, patience and perseverance in the day-to-day life of a kindergarten (compared to this project) does not mean that he has just developed these virtues (in this project).
As it turned out, he has them when he can use them in an exciting project in a stimulating environment.
The fact that he could show them now does not mean that he has now learned to use them in all sorts of situations. It is to be expected that in frustrating contexts he will again show impatience, unwillingness and lack of concentration – and that is actually a good thing, because it can show him and others that he is mentally challenged.“

We can consider how well the features listed above are developed in our own company, or in that of colleagues. But also the children in the kindergarten show very differently developed personal competencies.

It is undisputed in specialist literature on the subject of giftedness that the characteristics of these personal competencies make a considerable contribution to the extent to which a highly gifted person can – or cannot – exploit his intellectual potential.

Therefore, it makes sense to support the highly gifted children in the development of these competences at an early stage and to pay attention to them in projects.


Date of publication in German: March 2017
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.



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