Double Trouble for Prestige: When arrogance takes over

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?

Prestige personalities are admired achievers who set high standards. They are ambitious, goal-oriented, and determined. They keep an eye on details and excel in each project they take on.

They continuously strive to improve performance.

When Prestige becomes pretentious

Prestige personalities thrive on public recognition.

But if your Dominant Advantage is Prestige:

  • Too much focus on your achievements can make you appear pretentious.
  • Fearless to promote yourself, you may show off your awards, proudly talk about your expensive car, and boast about your accomplishments.
  • You constantly strive to win and to triumph over other people. You don’t allow anything to stand in your way to success.

Too much Prestige can turn people into big egos who become overly individualistic in their pursuit of success.

Example of a Prestige personality turning “Imperial”

Devin has high standards, which is usually a good thing. This has helped him rise in his career, and contributed greatly to how he is regarded by his family and co-workers.

Yet when Devin slips into Double Trouble mode, his Prestige Advantage becomes a disadvantage. He comes across as arrogant. Even a little righteous. In this mode, nobody else can possibly measure up. Nobody wants to get involved and contribute, because nothing they do will be good enough. His attitude alienates him from others, because he seems pompous, pretentious, and patronizing.

When Devin recognizes that he’s in Double Trouble mode, he can balance the needs for excellence with the need to build and maintain healthy relationships that value the contribution of others.

Bringing the loftiness down to earth

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, use that Advantage to become warmer and less intimidating.
Show others you care about their achievements, too.

If your Secondary Advantage is Trust, use it to become a valued partner of suppliers, clients, and co‑workers.
You can achieve even more success by building consensus and loyal partnerships.

If your Secondary Advantage is Mystique, use that to tone down your public display of achievements.
You don’t have to tell everyone about your successes. Step back now and then. There’s no need to be center stage all the time.

If your Secondary Advantage is Power, use that Advantage to gently guide your team members and encourage them to take action.
You are respected by your team—use this to your advantage by implementing a mild leadership style (just like a father coaxes his daughter to do her homework).

If your Secondary Advantage is Alert, use that Advantage to rally the team.
Learn how to compromise to avoid conflicts with other team members.

If your Secondary Advantage is Innovation, use that Advantage to become more open-minded.
Invigorate the team by injecting a sense of adventure and creativity.

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

What Advantage do you use to balance it out?

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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.

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