In other words, you are designed to connect and experience all that life has to offer. You do not just consume. You savor. This includes your professional pursuits. Whereas some work for money, for you it is deeper. Yes, money is important, but you have to feel engaged and fulfilled in what you are doing.
This does not necessarily mean artistic creativity. You do not believe in formulas. You enjoy putting a unique stamp on everything you put your energies into. Whether it is a report, strategy, or client project, if it does not exude excellence, it won’t represent who you are.
In other words, you envision where something needs to be and strive to bring what is necessary for fulfillment into alignment. This typically requires colleagues to act as sounding boards to help you clarify and articulate what you are sensing.
People mistakenly isolate the term design to the world of fashion, graphics and home décor. Design is much more than that. Design is the process where you take what is, and help others realize and experience what it can be. This especially applies to the context of business. Every business can be enhanced by design. You passionately live and thrive in this world.
You can sense how the environment, people, and culture react to different challenges and situations. You may not have exact words for it. But you know it is there.
The term intimacy may sound somewhat out-of-place when it comes to the context of work. Intimacy in terms of business is all about making the deepest social connection. For other gifts, social connections are a means to an end. For the IAF (and EIA), the social connection is the end—it is the whole point. For example, you do not engage customers because you are trying to sell them a product and make a quick buck. No. The product is secondary to seeing the customer fulfilled. All while you get to know them and they get to know you, even if it is only briefly. This is what intimacy is all about. And it is an extremely powerful tool when used correctly.
Again, this is not limited to the arts. You have the potential to be a true innovator in the business arena and beyond. But this type of innovation does not involve sitting in a research and development lab and formulating ideas from scratch. The IAF innovates by creating and aligning ecosystems that empower people, ideas and potential. In other words, you intuitively know how to take an idea and make it complete.
When you buy into a project, team or objective, your commitment is unwavering. But this works the opposite way as well. If you do not feel the emotional buy-in, it can be difficult to get you engaged. And sometimes you need to watch that your emotional investment does not go so deep that tunnel vision occurs and you miss other areas to be mindful of.
For you, not everything is rational and linear. You are therefore sensitive to change and sometimes simply need more time to process how you feel about any transition before acting. For example, an IAF and another more spontaneous MDNA gift, such as the UCD or the EIA, are transferred to another office in a different city. The UCD or EIA would have emotionally transferred long before the actual physical transition. Both gifts are the type that would hit the ground running. The IAF, however, would require time to disengage from the current office, spend time in neutral to emotionally process the change, and then require more time to engage in the new environment and set of relationships. Neither approach is wrong. Both are right (not to mention highly necessary) for each.
It is not uncommon to have co-workers or even strangers, feel like they can open up and just get personal with you. It is also not uncommon for colleagues to make comments about how your very presence is helpful in the office or team meetings. This is because of your empathy and sensitivity to interpersonal dynamics.
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of compassion is, “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” Now at the organizational level, you may not be dealing with misfortune and suffering. But typically, individuals with this MDNA gravitate towards those in the organization that may not fit in or feel confident in who they are personally and professionally. Even customers who need their problems solved benefit from the compassionate IAF.
This is an interesting personality trait of the IAF. For you, the heart is what matters. Therefore, no matter what happens, if motives are in the right place, you believe the intent deserves equal weight. In other words, you are always ready to award an “E” for effort.
This is because, although you are relationally wired, you approach social connection on a micro-perspective. You get to know people one- at-a-time as opposed to a mass approach typical of the EIA gift. This also means you are more comfortable with the few that know you as well as you know them. And therefore, you are deeply loyal and emotionally committed to these relationships.
This especially applies to those in your inner circle. You are a champion for those in need. If harnessed and applied properly, you easily win the loyalty and affection of your teams and co-workers. You are not just considered a colleague, but a friend as well.
When you look at a project or task, your perspective is anything but linear. You are able to think in 360 degrees taking into account everything that is needed to achieve alignment and the desired results.
Unlike the other gifts, you think in a circular fashion, spinning around a task or project, and gathering conclusions. This creates a tendency to shift from micro-details to macro-vision in the blink of an eye. If you can learn how to carefully organize this intuitive processing capability into an orderly linear fashion, everybody benefits.
This is how a corporate culture becomes engaged as a community—when people are willing to care. This is where you excel. You care about people and that always goes a long way as a leader whether you are formally recognized as one or not.
In nature, an ecosystem is a complex set of relationships among living resources, habitats, and residents of an area. In the business of life and the life of business, it is also about the complex set of relationships and how formal and informal networks interact to advance the corporate objective. You have the innate ability to think in ecosystems, and create ecosystems that empower other ecosystems. Whether it is an administrative or management ecosystem, when you are engaged all your natural gifts converge to see the vision fulfilled. This is not a simple task, however. It is as complex as how you have been designed. But this is precisely why you are at your best when operating on this level. Develop it and embrace it.
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