February 19, 2010

News & Opinion: How do I Fascinate?

By: Sally Haldorson @ 6:00 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

As I mentioned in our most recent The Keen Thinker newsletter, I highly recommend reading Sally Hogshead's new book, Fascinate. (Admittedly I feel a strange attachment to Sally because there aren't many of us in the world named Sally, let alone Sally H. And although I did not change my last name when I got married, I've never had much affection Haldorson. So it's always nice to stop by Sally's site and see her vigorous defense (and brand-making) of her last name, Hogshead.)

Today, I visited her site and took the F-score quiz to learn what my "fascinate" triggers are. I find these kinds of quizzes difficult because I tend to see the variables in all questions and I always want to hedge on my answers. But I did my best to answer the 24 questions with my gut reactions instead of thinking too much about it.

I'll tell you, when I read my results, I was...uncomfortable. According to my test results, my primary trigger is Power, my secondary is Lust, and my dormant trigger is Vice. At first, I laughed. Power? Me? I'm a pretty unassuming person who left behind a teaching career in large part because I don't like to be the center of attention. But with some reflection, and watching the short video she created to illustrate the power trigger, I realized that there might be some truth to this quiz result. As an editor and writer, I enjoy a certain kind of power. I like to influence the writing of others and I like to persuade via my own writing, which tends to be descriptive and personal (and seems to be the "lust" trigger). While I may not be a dominating personality, I have confidence in my creative and critical abilities. I love nothing more than to critique a piece of writing using solid research as well as my personal experience.

But even writing the paragraph above makes me feel a little squirmy. Why, I wondered. So at the risk of going on a gender analysis tangent, perhaps that discomfort is due to the fact that I am a woman and rarely are women described as powerful, lustful, prestigious, etc. Women are often assigned more stereotypically genteel traits that are more soft, less aggressive. (Excellent article here.)

My Fascinate quiz results did indeed cause me to look at my work differently, to see it in terms I may not have assigned to myself previously. It stretches, perhaps, the definitions I use to create boundaries around my work, around myself, and how, in the future, I can harness those triggers.


About Sally Haldorson

Sally Haldorson's job as 800-CEO-READ’s General Manager is to make 800-CEO-READ a great place to work for our employees, and a consistently high-performing customer service organization for our clients, authors, and our partners in the publishing industry. In addition to her General Manager duties ensuring collaboration, integration, and quality, she reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits for the company. Helping craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time used parts of both skill sets. Outside of work, she is most likely to be found hitting a tennis ball around or hanging out with her boys (husband, child, dog) at home.