When I read this true story from Sally Hogshead’s How to Fascinate team, I knew it was something I wanted to share with you. As marketers, we often feel we have to be outrageously forward in order to succeed. That’s simply not so. In an effort to help introverts see their enormous value, I bring you one woman’s realization courtesy of (and reprinted with permission from) the How to Fascinate Blog.
A quick introduction from Sally Hogshead:
A little over a year ago, a young woman walked into our office for a job interview. She wasn’t outgoing and bubbly. In fact, she almost didn’t make eye contact with me. She was cautious and private.
Yet while she wasn’t outgoing and bubbly, her hidden brilliance shone through.
She listened carefully. She answered questions simply and insightfully (reflecting the prep work she’d done about the company). This young lady is different than anyone on our team. Yet she’s treasured not in spite of her differences, but specifically because of them.
You might already know her. She interacts with you on social media, she helps respond to your questions, and she creates posts here on the blog. She’s our content manager, and we love her.
When she showed me this piece of writing, I asked her to share it with you here. (Do you know an introvert or have one on your team? Pass this post on to them.)
Personalities who have Mystique, Alert, or Trust as their primary personality Advantage are often self-described introverts. They’re the ones who listen before speaking. The ones who put substance before style. We need them, because they see all the details we’d otherwise miss.
In this unusually revealing story, she shows us what it’s like inside the mind and heart of an introvert. And, she describes how she overcame that feeling to tap into her most valuable self. I want to thank her for helping me see how an introvert can feel more fascinating.
“Be like everyone else, or you’ll never be anything.”
That’s the line I bought into for the first half of my life. Growing up I always felt like something was missing. Why did making an emotional connection come so easily for others, and was such a struggle for me? Being an analytical thinker I decided to make a list of my personality traits. And you know what?
The more I wrote them down, the worse I felt.
The list included things such as: quiet, thoughtful, careful. Those descriptions didn’t seem that bad at first – until I compared them to every job listing I sent in my resume for. It seemed like every company was looking for an “out-of-the-box thinker” or a “passionate people person.” And those things just weren’t me.
Every personality assessment told me what I already knew.
I tried to figure out what the true difference was between being an extrovert and an introvert.
I took assessment after assessment to figure out something new about myself. All I learned was what I already knew. I was an introvert. I have trouble with small talk. I don’t connect quickly with others. I wasn’t a good fit for any of the jobs I was interested in.
Every assessment, every awkward party, every uncomfortable interview reinforced the same conclusion: If I didn’t learn how to be like everyone else, I would never be anything.
Until I learned how the world sees me.
That’s when I stumbled across a job application for Fascinate, Inc. I wasn’t sure how far I would get in the interview process but I decided to give it a try.
Then I saw the first requirement to apply: taking the Fascination Advantage assessment.
Immediately I was filled with panic. Great. Another personality assessment, and it’s going to tell me the same thing every other test has. It’s going to tell me my personality isn’t what they’re looking for.
But something different happened. I didn’t get a generic “You are an introvert,” cookie-cutter response. It didn’t tell me I was an “INTJ.” It told me I was The Detective. It told me how the world sees me.
After taking the Fascination Advantage assessment, I was amazed at how much thought had gone into the report. And I was amazed that there were 48 other personality profiles that had just as much thought put into them. But most importantly, it told me that I had a unique set of skills that were a core differentiator above my competition.
I spent a long time pouring over the information. Finally, I had found an assessment that didn’t just tell me what I was. It told me how I could be valuable to those around me. I wasn’t being told to be like everyone else.
I learned that I had distinct advantages that I could bring to a team – to a company. My analytical thinking and calm demeanor could be an essential asset to the personalities that I had always tried to mimic. A balance. And when I went to my interview, I learned that my top two advantages had been specifically requested for the position I was applying for.
Alert is the language of details.
Mystique is the language of listening.
So what does it all mean?
It means that there isn’t one advantage that’s better than the others (like we’ve always been led to believe). But there are some that are better for you.
Unlock these advantages, and you’ll become the most valuable you.
Don’t let other people put you inside a “one size fits all” box. Your personality is custom crafted to deliver maximum value.
~ A quiet member of Team Fascinate
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