Sally Hogshead is Hall of Fame speaker, international author, and the world’s leading expert on fascination. Sally sat down with the We First team for a Q&A to share why she wrote her latest book, ‘How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination’, how each person or brand can tap into the distinct traits that make us invaluable.
Q: Why did you write the book, How the World Sees You?
A: For over a decade, I had a torrid love affair with branding. As an advertising creative director, I developed national campaigns for clients such as MINI Cooper, Nike, Jägermeister, and Coca-Cola. During my advertising career, I discovered that there is a pattern to captivating messages. To fascinate someone, you must understand how they see you, and what they value most from you.
This was a pivotal moment in my writing, and in my life. I stopped researching brands, and began to study people. In 2009, I launched the Fascination Advantage® assessment. The research inside ‘How the World Sees You’ includes the results from a a quarter of a million professionals inside companies such as AT&T, Unilever, YMCA, and California Pizza Kitchen. Along the way, I learned that anyone can be fascinating. Each person on the team has subtle but crucial differences that help him or her “specialize” and add distinct value.
Q: How can the ability to fascinate transform your professional and personal life?
A: It’s not your customer’s job to know what makes you different. It’s not your manager’s responsibility to figure out what makes you valuable and the same goes for your co-workers and clients. If you don’t recognize your value, don’t expect anyone else to.
Once you know what makes you valuable to others, you’re more authentic and confident, and more likely to make a positive impression. It all begins with understanding how the word sees you, at your best.
Q: How is the Fascination test different to other personality tests?
A: If you’ve read ‘StrengthsFinder’, or done a traditional test such as Myers-Briggs, you probably already know strengths. But in a crowded or competitive market, everyone has strengths. Strengths become a commodity. To stand out, you must know something else: your differences.
Unlike other assessments, this is not measuring how you see the world, but rather, how the world sees you. It’s built on branding, not psychology, which is a new and sometimes unfamiliar perspective. We don’t urge people to stop using traditional tests, but rather, to understand that those tests no longer give a complete picture of themselves. Just as you can’t measure temperature with a ruler, you can’t measure differences with StrengthsFinder.
Q: Is there a better personality type to be or is it more important to be authentic?
A: There isn’t one Advantage (or Archetype) that’s better than the others. But there is one that is right for you. There are seven different ways to successfully communicate and seven different ways to break through and win. Each of these has a distinct way of adding value and each follows a particular formula. Each has a different approach to building relationships, and fascinates for different reasons. You can find out how your personality is custom-build to win when you read your Fascination Advantage report.
Q: Once I know my type, how do I apply that to my personal brand?
A: To become more successful, you don’t have to change who you are. You have to become more of who you are. Your personality has a built-in specialty. It’s how you do what you do– and how you do it differently than everyone else. This is your highest value. It’s what makes you fascinating. Tiny differences represent the most valuable part of yourself— your little zone of genius. ‘How the World Sees You’ will tell you how to apply those traits to your business, your marketing, and your life.
Q: What if I work inside a big company – how does it apply?
A: Within a team, loud voices can drown out the quieter voices. Outgoing personalities can overshadow more subtle ones. That’s why it’s so important for organizations to understand how individuals contribute to the whole. There are many, many ways to communicate and become more valuable. Understanding the full spectrum helps to make sure that each person makes a real difference. ‘How the World Sees You’ will show you how your personality naturally captivates others, and how to build your career and your team around your signature style of communication.
Q: What do you mean by ‘creating a personal anthem’?
A: An “Anthem” is a very short phrase, only two or three words. It’s the tagline for your personality.
When you can quickly explain how you add value, you make it easy for others to understand what you bring to the table. Your Anthem gives a clear road map for how you are most likely to solve problems. Customers will see how you contribute. Co-workers will “get” you. Your manager will know how to quickly tap into your natural mode of communication. You’ll learn how to create your own Anthem in part III of ‘How the World Sees You.’
Q: Is there one key thing I can do to make a better impression starting today?
A: Avoid your dormant Advantage. If your daily tasks require a skill set you don’t innately have, you need to surround yourself with people who can help you accomplish those tasks. By knowing the Advantages on your team, you can know who will deliver best on your specific needs. If working with others isn’t an option, try to find the way in which your personality is going to be best suited for the job.
Reading Time: 1 minutesSimon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.