Double Trouble for Power: from authority figure to Aggressor

Your personality has valuable, captivating differences. These attract people to you, and help you build relationships.

Yet we all have one fatal flaw.

When you get stressed, or tired, or out of whack, you can become exaggeratedly one-dimensional.

Your advantage becomes a disadvantage.

Rather than being seen in a positive light, you can turn people off, or push them away. I call this a “Double Trouble,” because rather than having a healthy balance, you are “doubling up” on one trait.

This causes big problems at work, and at home, often without our realizing it. It’s our personality danger zone.

The good news is, there are patterns behind our pitfalls, and once you know what they are, you can avoid turning people off. Once you know your personality’s danger zones, you can avoid those pitfalls.

Your personality normally uses two dominant qualities: Your Primary and Secondary Advantages. These two Advantages balance each other and help your Archetype communicate within a healthy range.

Your Primary Advantage + Your Secondary Advantage = Your Archetype

However, what happens when you get stressed, overwhelmed, or fearful?

Power personalities are natural leaders, comfortable with being in command. This is a positive attribute and makes them decisive leaders. Yet in certain situations, a Power personality can be seen as overly opinionated, forceful, or dominant.

When too much Power corrupts your message

Taken to the extreme, the Power Archetype’s natural air of authority becomes dominant and forceful if it doesn’t blend in a secondary Advantage. Taken too far, if you have the Power Advantage, you can crush creativity in others and silence the group’s voices.

A Power personality acts as an Aggressor when you dominate discussions, speaking in absolute terms as if there’s no alternative possible. Some of the results could include:

  • Decisions become facts.
  • Coworkers may feel belittled or even bullied into accepting a decision.
  • Rather than building consensus, you order your subordinates (that’s how you see them) to do as they are told.

Leaning too much on Power can create a sense of dictatorial leadership, inspiring fear rather than nurturing loyalty in your team.

The Aggressor in action

Normally, Katrina is an effective decision-maker. She uses Power in a positive way, and is willing to consider alternate points of view.

However, when she gets worked up, watch out! When Katrina starts to over-rely on her power Advantage, she becomes unreasonably overbearing. Barking orders and hurling insults, she doesn’t consider the effect of her actions on other team members.

In Double Trouble mode, the language of confidence becomes the language of dominance. In Katrina’s case, she becomes overbearing and dogmatic.

With some emotionally intelligent thinking, Katrina can return to a balanced communication style.

Moderate your messages

When you’re stressed or anxious and find yourself communicating just one way, it’s good to remember your secondary Advantage to balance your messages:

If your Secondary Advantage is Passion, you can use it to inspire participation from the team:
Gain buy-in by making people feel part of the decision-making process.

If your Secondary Advantage is Trust, you can use it to develop a loyal team.
Show that your decisions will benefit the team and not just yourself.

If your Secondary Advantage is Mystique, you can use this to observe the team’s reaction:
Have you noticed how they go quiet when you enter the room? Coax them out of their shells by asking questions.

If your Secondary Advantage is Prestige, you can use this to recognize your team for their efforts:
Show that you’ve noticed their hard work. Praise them for the quality of their work. Tell them you appreciate their input.

If your Secondary Advantage is Alert, focus on the nuts and bolts of your projects:
Don’t just focus on the ultimate goal. Be sure to understand the milestones involved in getting to your destination.

If your Secondary Advantage is Innovation, you can use it to break through hierarchical barriers:
Dissenting voices will help you make better decisions.

Do you feel yourself slipping into the Aggressor when you feel stressed or overwhelmed?

What Advantage do you use to balance it out?

Discover your most impressive qualities today. Log in to your account or take the Fascinate® test here.

In less than 5 minutes, you’ll find out exactly how you’re most likely to add value. Unlock your Fascinate profile–or send a friend to find theirs–right here.

Don’t miss a single fascinating tip!

Sign up to receive updates on our latest blog posts, offers, and more.

Blog post email and popup form

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

About the author

Sally Hogshead

Sally skyrocketed to the top of the advertising world in her early 20s, fascinating millions of consumers for clients such as MINI Cooper and Coca-Cola. Since then, she’s published two New York Times bestsellers on the science of fascination, and is one of only 172 living members in the Speaker Hall of Fame. Over a million professionals have taken the Fascination Advantage® personality test to discover how others perceive their communication.

Recent Posts

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we’re shining a spotlight on incredible women who are making waves in their respective fields. Our friends over at SpeakersOffice recently featured our fearless leader, Sally Hogshead,...

What’s your Halloween personality? Are you devilish or angelic? Ghoulish or glamorous? Normally, we show you how to be more authentic. But Halloween is different. For one night, you can unleash your secret streak of...

Related Posts

This week I’m celebrating my anniversary. Not my wedding or my work anniversary, but the anniversary of an event that makes my work especially meaningful.   Seven years ago, I was recognized by my peers at...

The following is a review of my book Fascinate, Revised and Updated: How to Make Your Brand Impossible to Resist by seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten...

It happened 5 years ago, on a winter morning. My husband and I walked past Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue in NYC. He said to me… “Imagine your book cover right there, in that...

Send this to a friend