Episode #94 – Marc works with “Sara,” (not her real name) to pivot her career, in the second of a series of four episodes featuring “Sara.”
In Part 2 of this series, Marc covers the second half of the first feedback session with Sara for her personality assessment.
[1:24] Marc welcomes you to Episode 94 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[1:36] If you’re enjoying this podcast, Marc invites you to share this podcast with like-minded souls. Please subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, Google Play, Podbean, Overcast, TuneIn, Spotify, or Stitcher. Share it on social media, or tell your neighbors and colleagues so Marc can help more people.
[2:02] Last week, Marc presented Part 1 of the career pivot evaluation series “Can Sara Repurpose Her Career?” Sara (not her real name) is employed, a closet creative, and a structured anarchist. Sara likes rules, as long as they’re hers.
[2:29] This week, Marc will play Part 2, the second half of Sara’s first feedback session. If you have not listened to Episode 93, Marc suggests you stop here and go listen to Episode 93, first. You will find all of the reports for this episode at Careerpivot.com/sara
[3:11] Next week Marc will work with his good friend Mark Anthony Dyson on a Q&A session to answer your LinkedIn questions.
Now on to the podcast…
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[3:23] Sara turns to the organizational portion of the assessment. First is insistence — Sara’s approach to detail, structure, follow-through, and routine. Sara’s usual behaviors are a definite preference to work from a plan, attend to detail, anticipate difficulties and plan for contingencies — systematic, procedural, and concerned with detail.
[4:07] Sara agrees that she is very much a process person.
[4:26] Sara’s strengths are maximized to the extent that her plan is of her own making. Although she will put systems and procedures in place, she needs occasional opportunities to bend her own rules. Sara is comfortable with bringing order to chaos.
[4:59] Sara can fix a situation and bring order to it. After she has done so, she has been asked to stay and run the system. Her real objective is to go into chaos and fix it, not to maintain the process after it’s fixed. Sara is at her best when she walks into chaos.
[5:58] Sara describes how she would react to a process that is highly regulated. She would work the process and document very carefully her suggestions for improvements. She is not comfortable with strict prescriptiveness in processes.
[7:50] The rules need to be Sara’s rules or at least have flexibility. Sara agrees that is key.
[8:11] Marc will assign homework to Sara to reread the organizational pages about four or five of her behaviors and then think about a time where she got angry. Her orderliness is misinterpreted from time to time by others who don’t realize Sara is at her best in chaos.
[8:52] Sara reads her causes of stress. Since she tries to put first things first, she logically emphasizes systems and control. External interference in her plan can frustrate and distract her. She may overreact to pressures that threaten her personal freedom. Sara likes doing things her way and she is good at it.
[9:27] Sara’s stress reactions: overgeneralizing, neglect of order and systems, weakened follow-through. When Sara can’t get her way, at some point she loses interest and just goes through the motions.
[10:02] Sara turns to the assertiveness section. This is her tendency to speak up and express opinions hopefully and forcefully. Sara deals with people best on the basis of discussion and suggestion. When giving directions to others, Sara has the asset of asking rather than telling. Sara comes across as pleasant and easygoing.
[10:34] Sara’s usual behaviors: pleasant, agreeable, self-directive. This goes with Sara’s incentives score. Sara is a good team player.
[10:47] Sara’s needs: for highest productivity, Sara needs a peaceful environment. She responds best to people who involve her in the decision-making process, rather than ordering her to follow other people’s instructions. Sara doesn’t want a boss. She wants a team around her. She wants to be asked to do things. Sara is an asker, not a teller.
[12:16] Sara avoids interacting with dictators.
[13:20] Sara’s causes of stress: direct confrontations are likely to make Sara uncomfortable, especially when they become personal or emotional. Sara may feel intimidated by highly authoritarian people.
[13:32] Sara’s stress reactions: resistance to others’ directions, difficulty speaking up, avoidance of open disagreement. Sara does not relate to being easily intimidated but she sees some of these stress behaviors in herself.
[14:20] Sara’s team is incredibly important to her. Marc recommends to Sara that when moving somewhere she should do research on the working environment and what the team looks like.
[14:46] Sara turns to the last part of the organizational section, restlessness — how Sara prefers to focus attention or change focus and seek varied activities.
[15:05] Sara is able to resist distractions and concentrate on the subject at hand with greater than average intensity. Sara can also “compartmentalize’ when there is a need to give attention to different activities in close succession.
[15:24] Sara’s usual behaviors: concentrative, thorough, and purposeful. Sara knows how to focus. Sara is the polar opposite of most creatives Marc deals with. They want to do something new every 15 minutes. That drives Sara crazy but she works with people like that.
[16:05] Sara’s needs: It is preferable that Sara be given advance warning of any change that significantly affects her life or work, and that she be provided the opportunity to express her input and ideas concerning such change. Don’t mess with Sara’s schedule or interrupt her. Sara has to watch rigidity in her scheduling to be approachable.
[17:29] Marc, like Sara, has to find ways to minimize his distractions so he can stay focused. He gives the example of a person answering email and doing simple tasks in an open office and finding a conference room to do tasks which require concentration.
[19:01] Sara’s causes of stress: frequent interruptions can be a burden to Sara’s thoroughness. Changes which are imposed on her, with little or none of her input, may create resistance within her. It’s very important for Sara to stay informed. Marc recalls his last boss, who shared no information.
[20:13] Sara’s stress reactions: resisting change, over-concentration, and reduced perspective. Sara reflects on how these describe her. She likes Marc’s suggestion from the previous episode to take work breaks and read something for personal enjoyment. If she doesn’t break away periodically, from her focus, her quality of work suffers.
[21:26] Marc reminds Sara that the things that really interest her are not the things she does at work. She needs to fit them into small breaks in her day. A lifetime of doing work that doesn’t bring you joy is exhausting.
[23:35] Sara turns to the physical energy section. Sara’s high energy level affords her the considerable assets of vigorous and persuasive reasoning and a generally forceful and enthusiastic approach to everything she does. Sara finds it easy to be physically active on a regular basis.
[24:07] Sara’s usual behavior: enthusiastic, energetic, and forceful. Sara goes and goes.
[24:18] Sara’s needs: Sara prefers to be in control regarding the spending of her energies. It is best when her environment neither places the demands of a heavy schedule upon her nor emphasizes thought and reflection to the exclusion of personal action. Sara’s behavior rating is 76 against the median rating of 75, so she is normal.
[24:46] Sara’s need is a little bit below usual, which indicates she wants a little bit more control over how hard she physically works and control over her schedule, more than people probably understand about her.
[25:08] Sara’s causes of stress: external demands on her energies, either physical or mental, are likely to be frustrating to her. When she is denied the opportunity to balance planning with action, her naturally high energy level may result in unexpected fatigue.
[25:26] Sara’s stress reactions: edginess and feeling fatigued. Sara definitely feels this way at home. She wants to do things around the home on her own terms. Marc reviews some of Sara’s characteristics with her. She is really good at fixing things and creating processes when she can set her own terms. She is a cooperative team player.
[26:48] Sara turns to the thought section — Sara’s decision making process and concern for consequences in making the right decision. This regards big decisions. Marc finds Sara’s scores to be really unusual for a creative person. Marc sees it as one of Sara’s superpowers.
[27:14] Sara is generally decisive, able to quickly formulate her answers and make decisions without undue delay. Her ability to grasp relevant issues and form quick judgments allows her to be direct and to the point. Sara’s usual behavior: matter-of-fact, decisive, and direct.
[27:40] Marc points out what is unusual in this description for a creative person. Usually, creatives see every shade of gray and can’t make a big decision.
[27:52] Sara’s needs: Sara feels that she doesn’t need to be given a lot of time to make decisions, especially those that are usual and routine. However, the time she needs to make a decision will increase as the issues become complicated or unusual. Sara likes to see things in black and white. It didn’t take Sara long to buy a new car.
[28:50] Marc tells of a couple with ‘needs’ scores of 1 and 99. The wife wanted to buy a cell phone in one afternoon. Her husband wanted three weeks to compare plans and phones. Sara is closer to the wife’s score.
[29:34] Sara’s causes of stress: since Sara likes to make decisions rapidly and dispassionately, ambiguity can frustrate her at times. She may be inclined to be impetuous, overlooking points of detail. Marc tells about a past client who, like Sara, was really good at getting people together in a room and coming up with a decision.
[30:35] Marc calls that a superpower. He wants Sara to think about how that applies to her. Organization, creativity, and being a good decision-maker tie together into making good quick decisions. Sara likes to think things through early, and likes to research before making a decision but does not get into analysis paralysis.
[32:12] Sara’s stress reactions: over-definite thinking, becoming impulsive, snap decisions. In other words, when stressed, Sara spends less time and effort thinking through the decision.
[33:02] Marc will pick out four or five behaviors, and ask Sara to think about times when she got angry, and see if she can find the triggers based on her behaviors, needs, and causes of stress. Sara should think about the worst times in her career.
[33:32] Marc also wants Sara to look at her 27 usual behaviors in the report and pick out 8-15 of them she fully identifies with. Her next assignment will be to turn those into ‘Sara talk,’ and the assignment after that will be to turn that into a speaking narrative. This will be her authentic language to use when someone asks her to tell them about herself.
[35:14] Marc invites you to think about your own odd combinations of behaviors which are your superpowers, and why they are superpowers.
[36:42] Check back next week, when Marc will be working with his good friend, Mark Anthony Dyson and they will be answering your LinkedIn questions.
Mentioned in This Episode:
StrengthsFinder (now Gallup CliftonStrengths)
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