Individual Leadership

The fascination factor: Your secret weapon!

Written by Maya Patel

4 Min Read

How do you fascinate people?

If you don’t know how people perceive you, now is the time to find out! You might have some idea of what you bring to the table, but what intangible traits do your colleagues see in you?

In her revolutionary and proprietary Fascinate® system, Sally Hogshead presents a framework for identifying and understanding your most valuable intangibles – the traits that make you unique and intensely valuable. You are much more than the technical experience listed on your resume, and knowing your unique intangibles is essential to becoming a high performer. Once you become aware of them, you can consciously apply them to become a better communicator, teammate, and leader and transform into the most irresistibly compelling and seriously relevant version of yourself.

At Siegfried, we leverage the Fascinate® system to help our employees lean into what makes them so unique. During onboarding, our employees take Hogshead’s Fascinate® Assessment to learn more about themselves and develop their personal brand. Our professionals are high performers not just because they work hard and have impressive experience, but because they also know their intangibles and consciously leverage them. Thanks to Hogshead’s system, each employee can begin their journey at Siegfried with the confidence and self-awareness to exceed expectations and thrive.

Get to know yourself

Becoming the best version of yourself isn’t all about avoiding your weaknesses or changing to become more like those around you. Knowing your weaknesses is important, but identifying and skillfully leveraging the unique characteristics you already possess is essential. You don’t need to change who you are – instead, become more of who you are.

Consider the strengths that you know you have. What do you already do well, and how can you take advantage of those traits? Knowing this can help you both as an individual and as a teammate. When everyone on a team puts their best foot forward and is honest about where they excel, the team is more balanced and can collaborate more effectively. Being different is your superpower – after all, a football team comprised entirely of quarterbacks wouldn’t win the big game.

Now that you’ve reflected on the strengths you’re already proud of, it’s time to find out what makes you wonderfully different.

Fascination Advantages

Self-reflection isn’t an easy task. To provide a starting point, Hogshead developed a systematic way to identify your most valuable advantages: the Fascinate® Assessment. In her methodology, she specifies seven Fascination Advantages: Power, Passion, Mystique, Prestige, Alert, Innovation, and Trust. Each of these advantages represents a particular way to stand out and offer distinct value. Once you pinpoint your strongest advantages, you can learn more about them and more consciously leverage them to perform at your best.

After taking the assessment, which all Siegfried employees take before joining the Firm, I found that my primary advantage was Prestige, and my secondary advantage was Innovation. This means that I perform at my best when I am setting high standards, maintaining a results-oriented mindset, and bringing a sense of creativity and originality to my team. I’ve always known that I’m competitive and creative, but I saw these traits as weaknesses in a professional environment. In reality, they have the power to uniquely set me apart, especially when I know how to leverage and communicate them.

Considered together, your primary and secondary advantages form your Archetype. Your Archetype ultimately represents how people most likely perceive you when you’re performing at your best (mine was the Avant-Garde!). Hogshead calls this your built-in superpower – it already exists within you, and once you identify it, you can work on strengthening it and skillfully using it to your advantage.

You can find more information on the Fascinate® system here!

Beware of roadblocks

Knowing and embracing your intangibles won’t be effective if you don’t know how to communicate your advantages and the value they help you provide. According to Hogshead, there are three big threats to properly emphasizing your unique intangibles: distraction, competition, and commoditization.

  1. Distraction: The average person’s attention span only lasts for nine seconds. You only have those nine seconds to pique a person’s interest and make a good first impression. If you aren’t communicating to the best of your ability, you’ll waste your audience’s time as well as your own.
  2. Competition: The best way to rise above your competition is to avoid participating. Hogshead points out that there’s a difference between better and different. Instead of pointing out how you’re better at certain things than your competition, emphasize how you’re different. Show how your uniqueness gives you a different perspectives and abilities.
  3. Commoditization: If you aren’t aware of your intangibles and how to advertise them, people will think you are easily replaceable. Knowing why you are uniquely suited for certain situations and knowing how to communicate that information is necessary to avoid blending in.

By identifying your advantages and learning how to effectively apply and communicate them, you can successfully break through the noise and perform at your best.

Even if you’re successful on paper, knowing precisely who you are and how you’re seen can take you to new heights. If you want to become your best self, understand how you Fascinate!

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