Why certain tasks feel awkward (but others are effortless!)

Think for a minute…

What’s your LEAST favorite type of communication?

For example, do you dislike networking events?

Or speaking in front of a crowd?

Or explaining the same exact process, over and over?

We all have certain types of conversations that exhaust us. These interactions require so much energy that we leave them feeling drained. Yet we’re not all the same. An interaction that exhausts you will energize someone else on your team.

There’s a reason why.

Your personal brand has a primary Advantage: the type of communication that leaves you feeling energized.

You also have a dormant Advantage: the type of communication that leaves you feeling drained.

(You can find your dormant Advantage on the overview page of your Fascinate profile.  Haven’t taken the Fascinate test?  Find out your highest value in five minutes right here!)

It’s crucial to understand the difference. You do not have to “fix” your dormant Advantage. But you probably want to minimize these tasks, or delegate them, or outsource them.You are perfect for some things, and not for others.

So what is YOUR least effective form of communication?

  • Dormant Innovation: You dislike new and unproven ideas over time. Your predictability is why people depend on you.
  • Dormant Passion: Instead of connecting with others based upon feelings, you usually connect based upon ideas, discussions and debates.
  • Dormant Power: You build consensus in a group, and don’t like to force your opinions on others.
  • Dormant Prestige: Rather than intimidating or pushing others to reach the next level, you communicate with a grounded, peer-to-peer attitude.
  • Dormant Trust: You love to explore new ideas and invent fresh solutions. You’re frustrated by rigid procedures. (I have a dormant Trust, too.)
  • Dormant Mystique: You are expressive, open, and candid. People know where they stand with you.
  • Dormant Alert: Details exhaust you. Instead of meticulously reading the instructions, you’d rather figure it out yourself. You want to focus on the bigger picture, and avoid getting stuck in the weeds.

My dormant Advantage is Alert. I’m exhausted by tasks that are highly regimented and strictly controlled. I can do these types of things, of course, but they’re not my highest value. Yet it’s unrealistic to think I’ll never have to review meticulous details in my work.

Let’s say you have dormant Alert, too. How could you maximize your strong suit, and minimize your pitfalls?

3 ways to avoid feeling drained by your dormant Advantage

  1. DISCIPLINE: Set aside time to accomplish these tasks, knowing you’ll need extra energy to finish them.
  2. DELEGATE: Find a partner who excels in the areas that exhaust you.
  3. DELETE: Reduce these types of interactions, so you’re not put in a position to spend your energy here.

Follow this simple formula, and you can be seen at your best, and reduce your dreaded zones.

Discipline, delegate, or delete. One final word:

The goal is not to “fix” yourself, but to do more of what you’re already doing right.

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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.

44 Comments

  1. Lauren

    I am also a teacher with Dormant Power which honestly does feel like a disadvantage when it comes to discipline. Since discipline is such an essential part of teaching, it almost seems inescapable and can be very discouraging. I completely understand your discouragement.

    However, this post made me wonder if there are other ways for me to discipline that would rely more heavily on my strengths. I haven’t taken the time to really think this through nor implement, but my initial thoughts are these: I am a Dormant Power because I hate to force my ideas upon others. I like to build consensus. Because of the way this is worded, I realize that there *are* many advantages to this, especially in a classroom setting. A classroom where everyone is working toward a common goal (learning) because of mutual consensus seems to me to be much better than a classroom obeying out of fear of punishment/someone enforcing power over them. So, can I use this along with my strengths (mystique and trust) to create a classroom atmosphere where I don’t need to “enforce power” over others as much? And/or is there a way I can change my attitude toward discipline so that it doesn’t feel so uncomfortable/unnatural?

    As a teacher, it is impossible to just avoid, delete or delegate discipline to someone else. But is there a way to either look at it with a different attitude or change my approach to better suit my strengths? I don’t have any concrete ideas yet, but am definitely interested to see if this could play out realistically.

    At the beginning of this post, I said that Dormant Power feels like a disadvantage as a teacher when it comes to discipline, but now that I’ve typed all this out and thought more about it, maybe it really isn’t. I think there are many teachers like you who struggle in this area. Maybe there is a reason for that. Someone who wants to be a teacher because they want to enforce power over others or force their opinions on someone probably isn’t the greatest teacher. I know I had teachers like this growing up – teachers I feared – and I really didn’t learn much from them. I was too nervous. I think learning happens best in an environment where kids feel safe and loved, free to explore, express their opinions and experiment. I really cannot imagine this happening in a place where others’ ideas are being forced upon them. This encourages me. Hope it helps. 🙂

  2. NicoleGraves

    I’m so glad my Mystique response helped you, Jessica!

    I guess I have a firm grasp on the Mystique thing since that’s my primary advantage. But my secondary advantage is Passion, which means I connect well with others based on their feelings. In this case I could totally feel your frustration, Dr. Stephen’s frustraion, Vito’s frustration, and I just had to see if I could help.

  3. NicoleGraves

    Hi Kari,

    I am no expert, but I think Sally is saying to just be what you are good at. So if you are open, expressive, and candid, then just do that more. In your case you don’t need to work at making those traits your strength because they already are your strength!

    But that’s not the real message of this blog post. The real message is not about your strengths; it’s about ways to minimize your dormant advantage (which is another word for dis-advantage) and how to avoid letting your dormant advantage exhaust you. You didn’t say what your dormant advantage is. But whatever it is, that’s what delegate to others or just avoid altogether. Make sense?

  4. WalterSomerville

    Well done, Patrick!!!

    Melody Prosser, please don’t ever let your dream die. If you don’t dream, then your dream will never come true.

    What matters more than anything when you talk with people is your sincerity. There are a lot of people out there who say one thing but mean something else.

    Always go for the max. If you go for the moon, and miss, you’ll hit the stars. You’ll either win or get smarter.

    Rock music makes your body and soul vibrate like nothing else. You can get up on the stage and talk and maybe, just maybe, if you’re very good at it, get the audience to go where you want for a while. With good music, properly done, the audience can’t resist. They are totally and completely in your hands, and you have to be gentle when you lead people into and out of emotions and feelings.

    I, too, played the piano a la Jerry Lee Lewis – using hands and feet as required. This too, was very uncool at the time.

    Most people have no idea of the tremendous kick you get from music – playing and listening. You can’t help but be totally absorbed by the rhythm which takes over your body and soul like nothing else can, You can (as Patrick says) push a pen all day to make a living.

    Rock music gets to basic human emotions like nothing else. Raw and basic feelings like love and sadness and loss and happiness are the stuff of which it is based.

    Melody, I remember Patrick in another blog telling a musical person that if you are an apple, you can be a really good apple, but there are going to be people who do not like apples, but like bananas. However, no matter how hard you try, you can never be even a second-rate banana, Keep the music in your head. Never let it go. Be the person you are. You have the vibrations in your heart and soul (an absolutely amazing gift).

    Walter

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