Of course you can always ask for feedback when you want to know how the world sees you from whomever, but there’s a caveat to the question – wouldn’t you rather know how the world sees you at your best?
‘At your best’ is your ‘money maker’ or ‘hire me’ quality – something about you that is fascinating to others and effortless for you. If you could name what that is exactly and talk about it and help people using this part of you, well, why wouldn’t you?
Myself and David Shindler, my colleague and friend in the UK, were excited to find a very cool tool and wanted to share it with you because it’s way faster than interviewing a bunch of people about your distinctive value and how to ‘work it’ in the workplace. As two career experts, we were intrigued to learn about an assessment that took a corporate branding exercise and tested it on 250,000 thousand people to bring it to life for personal use.
So what’s different about this?
David and I are no strangers to personality assessments, but what made this different? David says:
“One of the challenges we all face in the Social Age is our ability to articulate who we are, what we stand for and how we add value. We are time-poor, bombarded by information, technologically-dependent and struggling to be noticed amid the noise. We live in a world where the traditional boundaries of time and space are breaking down. People who are changing jobs and careers at all life stages struggle to translate their experience, knowledge and skills into what employers are seeking. At the same time, there is a crisis in employee engagement and trust within the workplace. We are seeing a greater search for meaning in our lives. This assessment seeks to help people to reflect their authentic selves in a way that best resonates with their target audiences.”
Besides, if you’ve done a personality assessment, you’ll know that it’s really focused on giving you insight into how you personally see the world. You get to understand how that is distinct from how other personality types view the world so that you can explain your orientation, mindset and values to others.
This assessment is not from your perspective, but rather from the perspective of how others see you when you are at your best – which is what you’ll want to capitalize on especially since the time has arrived to stop treating yourself as a commodity in the world of work – a set of strengths to be measured against others, one among thousands of others with very similar credentials … the list could go on.
So if a lot of people are doing the same things and presenting themselves in similar ways – how do you help your situation?
You know and own your distinctiveness. Meaning: You can’t be better, but you are different and that IS better.
Do this and you’re not competing with anyone and that’s the easiest way to earn a lovely living. Why do you have no competition? Because you’re wanted for you.
So when you take the assessment, you learn two things – in marketing terms (don’t think icky if that word repulses you – think useful and insightful about how you come across) you learn what your top two ‘advantages’ are. There are 7 advantages in total and the combination of your top two tells you which one of the 49 archetypes you are.
Our archetypes explained
We thought we’d tell you about ours so that you get an idea about what we’re on about here. David explains:
“My archetype is the Mastermind (Power + Mystique). It means I influence people with confidence, authority, and leadership in the field of employability for young people. These aspects don’t come from a position or a title. I do these things through the language of listening, consideration, connecting information and people, adding knowledge and making wisdom explicit. Mark Zuckerberg crossed with Malcolm Gladwell! A combination of action-leadership and thought-leadership. For me, a Mastermind means a ‘master of mind’ and even the ‘mastering of mind’ – it’s about mindsets and mind shifts.”
David’s clients value his wide perspective (both breadth and depth) and they use three words more than any other to say why they are attracted to him: approachable, engaging, professional. David explains: “The difference I make to my clients lies in greater clarity about career direction or job choice, increased confidence to pursue that direction with skill and conscious decision-making – meaning right choices for them at the right time. When I deliver my most powerful self as a Mastermind, my clients are stimulated to insight and action. There is a medical term for a procedure to stimulate the nerve endings – to innervate. That’s me.”
For me, my archetype is the Royal Guard (Mystique + Prestige). It means that I speak the language of listening and that I’m naturally oriented to inner and outer excellence. One of my clients tells people that I see into people’s souls. And she’s certainly not the first one to ever use those words to describe me. I admit that I wasn’t sure how to take that feedback for a long time. Was it good? Was it bad? Could I change that perception of me? Did I want to?
After I learned about my archetype, this outside perception of me at my best made sense to me. In fact it’s what helps people know that they want to work me and no one else.
My clients don’t want to be seen as the façade they’ve worked so hard to create. They want someone to work skillfully and artfully to see beyond that and to help them be more real in their real life and to uncover their real work. And being the Royal Guard, it feels satisfying to commit to someone to offer spiritual and emotional protection paired with an executive-style methodology to elegantly and discreetly navigate the career terrain. After all when you’ve attained a prestigious job engaging in a potential career incarnation feels like a big sacrifice and it doesn’t have to be that way.
David and I did what we hope you’ll do with your archetype results. We shared our reports with each other and decided to share with you what we found fascinating about each other at our best, but never really knew why. Until now.
What we find fascinating
What fascinates me about David?
Well … as the Mastermind (Mystique + Power) David comes across as very gentle with people and himself, and he certainly is. He’s understated and that’s a powerful thing because his mind is always thinking of authentic, meaningful and purposeful ways to connect to industry colleagues and the young adults he works with. He’s really comfortable with making decisions that have big implications, but he’s not loud about it.
Au contraire he’s fascinating because you can’t believe how much brilliance comes from the simply profound sentences that come out of his mind. I always find myself thinking: “Wow, that’s so smart,” or “What a great idea,” when he shares. Now I know it’s because he’s a Mastermind. In fact it was David who suggested we co-author this article for you.
David shares: “Sabrina at her best is the Royal Guard (Mystique + Prestige). Words I associate with Sabrina are warmth, empathy and congruence. She is an astute reader of emotions and articulates accurately the nuances of people’s self-limiting beliefs. I am fascinated by Sabrina’s natural, intuitive and often profound language. She is protective in positive and assertive ways that ensure people remain whole. Soulful is a perfect word to describe her style and intent. Sometimes ethereal. Often curious. Sometimes challenging. Always supportive and considered. I found this fascinating because I always find myself thinking ‘Being human with all its flaws is OK,’ ‘I’m safe here,’ or ‘There is always a way forward.’ Because she is a Royal Guard.”
So when you take your assessment, we don’t just want you to read your own report and file it away. Remember this is how you are seen by others at your very best, so it’s up to you to make use of this invaluable information. The creator, Sally Hogshead (that owns her last name loud and proud) says that you can take the words right out of your report and incorporate it into how you talk about yourself today. No more worrying about picking the right words – just take the ones that really speak to how you come across to others at your very best.
8 ideas for using this to get results
Here are 8 ideas of how to use this assessment that David and I brainstormed just for you because we like practical application + real life results – for when “you need to learn to leap” (David) or want to take the steps towards “making your career fairy tale come true” (me):
1:: Share your results with people who know you well.
Ask them for examples of when they’ve seen your archetype at work + help you brainstorm connections to make for networking;
2:: Highlight and incorporate what words resonate.
Capture words and phrases that describe you (think of adding them to your resume, LinkedIn profile, twitter bio, a personal introduction for when someone asks you what you do as they shake your hand);
3:: Pay attention to yourself.
Notice when you are ‘in the zone’ and totally comfortable in your own skin. Notice what reaction it invokes in others. Use these insights to apply for jobs or get promoted where you can be at your most fascinating more of the time;
4:: Give examples to give insight + your offering.
At job interviews (or informally at social gatherings) offer stories of your best self in action and the impact it has (just like David and I shared earlier). Just getting comfortable talking about yourself from this perspective so that it sounds natural and easy takes a few tries. Not because you’re boasting but because someone is bound to ask how your day was and preparation helps;
5:: Name your distinct value.
Be able to describe what your next prospective employer would be getting if they hired you (in an interview, but practice with friends beforehand .. so that how you talk about yourself is the best of what others see anyway). It never fails that if you tell people who you are, they will believe you and in this case there’s nothing to make up – just something to give words to;
6:: Know that your dormant trait is someone else’s advantage.
Work with people who have your dormant advantage as their primary or secondary advantage (this is the advantage that you scored the lowest in and talk to them about how you are and how they are – create a dynamic duo at work). Rise to the occasion + do good in numbers;
7:: Trust that you are fascinating.
You just learned how to be boring. Owning your archetype is about unlearning boring. So practice using your archetype consciously;
8:: Spread awareness.
Ask others you work with to do the assessment and plan a meeting to share your results. Let the goal be to create understanding about how to best spend time and human resources + learn about where the gaps are on your team just in time for that new hire.
So … are you going to take this assessment or what?
Here’s more info on the book and how to get it.
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