In my last post I spoke from personal experience about being primary UCD and being married to an IAF. Since I provided some blunt practical advice to the UCD, I felt it was only fair to do the same for the IAF.
Your Intuition, Alignment and Fulfillment
The IAF simply thinks differently than all other gifts. The IAF has the ability to circle around any person, problem, topic or project, and see it from all different angles practically at once. They rely on their “gut feelings” and their intuition is highly sensitive to emotions and motives. The IAF also automatically sees the potential excellence in anything and envisions it in a state of complete fulfillment.
As you can imagine, this makes for a very complex emotional thought process. Therefore it is often difficult for an IAF to articulate what they sense and know in their hearts. One of the first competences an IAF must develop is the ability to express themselves and communicate in a linear fashion that others can process.
Linear communication is just the beginning. If you are an IAF, here are some other keys to helping you navigate your gift for success and fulfillment–especially if you are in leadership.
Just a note here. These lessons have been learned going on 14 years of marriage and counting. I would never give any IAF advice that I wouldn’t give in loving my own amazing wife.
Not Everybody Can Read Your Mind
Because your intuition is a big radar dish always scanning every frequency, it doesn’t mean others are doing this as well. The IAF can get very frustrated because others just don’t know what they know. The fact is we will never know unless you tell us. Yes, they say that women are far more intuitive than men, but this is amplified exponentially with the IAF gift.
Not Everybody is as Detailed as You Want to Be
One of the greatest assets and IAF brings to the table is detail orientation. Combine this with the intuition and you have some serious potential. But there is a difference between big picture and seeing all the details. By seeing all the details you can be looking at every minuscule issue at the same time. Thinking big picture sometimes requires foregoing some of the details in order to get everything done. Be careful not to overwhelm others with all the little issues (I know, they aren’t minuscule or little to you, but sometimes they really are inconsequential to the bigger picture). This can bog them down or even make them feel insecure for not seeing what you see. In other words, sometimes the details are not as important to others as they are to you.
Not Everybody is Driven for the Same Excellence
There is never just a “good enough” to an IAF when they are passionate about something. But just like not everybody is black and white like the UCD, not everybody has the same intrinsic motivation for excellence as you do. To others, good enough is perfectly good enough. This is why the IAF hates feeling rushed when envisioning and fulfilling excellence. But others, for the sake time, are willing to do what is minimally viable (yes, we are referring to learn startup MVPs here), to move onto the bigger picture. It’s not that they don’t care. They just care about other things than you do.
Think of this like a staircase with seven steps. All the other MDNA gifts will focus on one step and take it. Then they will do the same with the next step. At best, they may be looking one or two steps ahead and the steps already taken. But they always make sure they get their step right. You as an IAF on the other hand, have the ability to be focused on step seven, the final step, regardless of what step you are on. In fact for you, there aren’t even seven steps at all. This is one big step that, if you could, would take at once and end up at the top.
The issue is if your team or project is only on step one, you need to allow everybody to take it one step at a time before they think of the what’s next. And again, you have to remember not everybody even wants to get to the top of the staircase like you do. This means in leadership, you may need different people and the right timing to help you complete each step. Don’t be surprised if you are the only one on step seven after everybody else has been perfectly content helping you get there.
The IAF is a powerful gift. I have come to appreciate the Intuitive Alignment and Fulfillment that my wife brings to our marriage and children. As a UCD in particular, I need her intrinsic contribution to be complete as a husband and father. But as an IAF you need to accept that your gift is completely unique in relation to the rest of the MDNA spectrum. Don’t let it discourage you. Everybody will be better for it.