Know Thyself

I have always been interested in behavioural psychology, particularly when it helps me to understand more about myself and how I can use these insights to improve.  Last summer, as I was preparing to move away from Hong Kong, for the second time in my life, I was so grateful for the book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds.  Every page spoke directly to me, described the particular situations I find myself in and offered tools to support my slightly nomadic existence.  This Christmas, I burrowed into Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.  I have always believed these qualities are often undervalued, and have found great support in fellow proud introverts, particularly through Beth Buelow’s podcast, The Introvert Entrepreneur.

So, I was very excited to have the opportunity to take Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Advantage Test this week.  Watching her TEDxAtlanta talk, I was intrigued that rather than measure how you see yourself, this test analyses how the world sees you.  Through this perspective, Hogshead aims to help you maximize these assets to fascinate those you meet. Why is this important?  We no longer have the luxury of time when we are competing in an information-overload world.  As the BBC puts it, we are digital goldfish with attention spans of just 9 seconds!

With that in mind, I quickly started the online test to find out which of the 7 Triggers of Fascination were my primary, secondary and dormant qualities.  Much like the Gallup Strengths Finder Test, Hogshead’s approach is to make the most of your natural triggers and inherent qualities, rather than trying to manifest new ones.  This was certainly on my mind as I answered each question, trying to remain honest rather than give answers for the person one might like to be seen as.

It certainly worked, because unless Hogshead had been talking to my therapist, her algorithms are spot on!   With mystique as my primary trigger and trust as my secondary, I have the personality archetype of The Wise Owl.  While I personally prefer the term ‘dark horse’ as more fitting for my age, I was pleased to see many of my ‘good-introvert’ traits within my personalised archetype report:

MB Wordle

(word cloud courtesy of Wordle)

While reading about my personality archetype, my instinct was to look for role-models who shared the same fascination triggers.   Thankfully I am in good company:  Stephen Hawking, Confucius, Malcolm Gladwell, Sergey Brin, Tina Fey, and Bobby Fisher (…. perhaps I am an undiagnosed genius too!).

What I particularly appreciate about the Fascination Advantage Test is that it provides advice on how your personality archetype adds value at work.  Being focused, assured and unruffled has absolutely been key to my success as an event manager. Moreover, by understanding ones dormant trigger (in my case, prestige) Hogshead provides an action plan to make sure these qualities do not undermine your success (in my case, a dislike of self-promotion and not taking due credit).

I am now dying to know what my friends found their triggers to be.  While I’m pleased with my own analysis, it’s undoubtably different personalities that make the world interesting, and make teams work best.  God forbid we were all reclusive, stoic, power-houses!

I urge everyone to take The Fascination Advantage test when you have the chance, and I thank you for indulging me.