Learn from what irritates you

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Core qualities, according to Daniël Ofman, are features which belong to the core of a person, the strengths which characterise someone. Core qualities make you what you are. However, if you keep firing on those qualities, in other words, if you exaggerate them, qualities can also become pitfalls. A pitfall is a distortion of your quality, its downside. It is no longer a strength, but a weakness. For most people, stepping into your pitfall happens subconsciously; it is often the result of major stress situations or when someone has to perform under pressure for a long time. For example, if you’re always self-assured, you might lapse into arrogance. Your pitfalls are often the recriminations which you get from your environment.

Furthermore, it can also happen that if another person fires on his/her quality, that evokes an irritation. Your reaction to that is called an allergy. For example, if you are extremely modest, you can probably get greatly annoyed at people who like to give themselves a pat on the back. If you always adopt a committed attitude, people who are indifferent will probably feel irritated. Those people then sit in your allergy zone at that moment.

The challenge is often what you admire in others and have developed insufficiently in yourself. Annoying qualities of another person are usually also qualities in which he or she has ‘fired on’. For the person who is allergic to it, the quality behind the negative feature can be a point for development, but the challenge then is to develop it. In other words, you can learn a lot from people who annoy you the most!’

It is an extremely instructive process to monitor your own qualities, pitfalls, allergies, and challenges. Together, they form your core quadrant. Insights will help you to avoid stepping into your pitfall, why it is that you come into conflict with some colleagues quickly, and how you can work lifelong on your personal challenges or learning points. 

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