Tag Archives

41 Articles

Learning to Be Human – Taking Steps to Remove Racism from My Thinking

Posted by presspass on
0
Business
Learning to Be Human – Taking Steps to Remove Racism from My Thinking

To receive the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up here.

This blog is provided by April Blaine and is a reflection on a past experience and how it shaped her.  It is a companion to the interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future with Joyce Beatty, Congresswoman, and Doug McCollough titled Winning in the Face of Adversity: Overcoming Challenge with Grace which aired on 10/13/18.

One of the first steps to remove racism in the world is to remove it from our thinking. It is essential to take a critical look at our lives and see where we can update our own story about who we are and how we have benefited from systemic racism. This critical view of our stories is an integral part of our healing and allows us to make sense of what we experience now through a lens that is less biased, fairer, and more just. April Blaine, one of the ILI certified facilitators shares her experience with this process.

 

I’m Sorry Mrs. Skull…

I began the first grade at Fulbright Elementary School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1983.  More than twenty-five years after the city’s infamous and violent path toward desegregation at Central High School, the district continued to struggle with integration, particularly in the elementary schools.    While I lived less than a mile from the school, most of my classmates were bused from across town.  All of them were African-American except myself and one other girl.  The remaining children on my block,  who swam with me at the pool went to  local private schools.

My teacher, Mrs. Skull, made it clear on day one that she meant business.  She was tall, thin, dignified, and serious.  One of only a handful of black teachers in the school, she always dressed smartly, her hair pulled back in a bun, accentuating her beautifully defined cheekbones and smooth, clear complexion. My six-year-old memories would place her anywhere between the ages of 25 and 55… something about her felt ageless.

As adults, we can reflect on these moments in our childhood and how we made sense of what was happening around us.  We can review the stories that we were told with a more critical lens… examining them with an ability to ask – was that really true?

But back in 1983, in my all-white neighborhood and nearly all-black school – with the only black teacher I would ever have in my public school experience…  I didn’t have the gift yet of perspective.

My mother had started reading with me from a very young age.  She is an educator by vocation, and I took to reading quickly… spending my preschool and kindergarten years never far from a book.   I’m not sure who was more excited on my first day of school.  My mother dressed me in a hand made purple smocked dress, both of us filled with high expectations for all that I would learn and discover in this new season of life.

In the early part of the year, Mrs. Skull began placing us into reading groups.  I remember reading the book she gave me and thinking to myself, “This is easy.  This is too easy.”  As I looked around the room at other groups, I recognized that others were reading books that were harder.  I wanted to read those.  I was told no.

I don’t remember feeling angry about this… just confused.  Why wasn’t I able to read the books the other children were reading?  At some point, I vocalized this concern to my mother.

There are lots of words you could use to describe my mother.  Strong, intelligent, generous, and loyal would be some of the first to come to mind.  But close behind them would be pushy, aggressive, convinced she is right and unwilling to take no for an answer.

I can only imagine how the conversation went with Mrs. Skull.

All I know is that a battle ensued between my mother and this teacher.  I wasn’t privy to all the details, but I could hear the muttering at home on my mother’s end.  Mrs. Skull was not appreciative of a parent questioning her judgment.  She refused to change the reading groups based on my mother’s demands.

More phone calls and visits to the principal’s office ensued.  The saga ended with me being removed from Mrs. Skull’s class and placed in a 3rd-grade classroom for most of instruction for the remainder of the year.

And so the triumphant story was told throughout my childhood of our victory over prejudice and hate.  In my version of the story, my mother was the hero standing up against racially motivated discrimination directed at her daughter.    I was, of course, the victim in the story.  Mrs. Skull was the black teacher who gave preferential treatment to her black students and discriminatory treatment to the white student.  And in this story, my departure from the classroom was a picture of poetic justice.

Woven into the narrative were all the cultural stereotypes of angry black females.  My serious and dignified teacher became a stern, cold, and hateful woman in the story we were writing.  Even her name seemed to connect to a more primitive, dark, and negative side of the human race.  Mrs. SKULL…

This story left its marks on the identity I built for myself over time, one in which, as a “victim of racism,” I could not possibly be racist or prejudiced.  I even went so far as to align myself with people on the margins in solidarity.  After all, I had been one of the only white girls in the class.  I “clearly knew” what it was like to be discriminated against.

This story gave me a lot of permission.  It gave me permission to excuse myself from anti-racism work, permission to claim the status as someone who understood racism and discrimination. Still, most of all, it permitted me never to ask any questions about the real truth of the story itself.

At least, until now.

It’s pretty embarrassing how long it took me to realize that this story had some real problems.

At 42, I’m starting to come to terms with ways that white supremacy was and is woven into my life. I’m a real beginner at this, and most days, all I’m learning is how much I don’t understand and how complicit I have been for so long.

But the work has finally helped me to start asking new questions.  I’ve started to wonder about how this story might have played out from the perspective of my 1st-grade teacher.

As a child, I was bossy, outspoken, and slipped quickly into roles of leadership… whether I was invited to or not.  I wonder what Mrs. Skull thought as she assessed her class and tried to create the right learning environment for each one of us.

  • Did she see my early reading skills and place me in the reading group with other students so that I could be helpful to the others?
  • Did she recognize that experience in a group that wasn’t the highest achieving would turn out to be valuable for me?
  • Did I somehow misunderstand the nature of the reading assessment and test at a lower level than I actually was?

As a black woman of color, Mrs. Skull had probably worked twice as hard as her white colleagues to prove her worth and aptitude in the profession.  She hadn’t crossed enormous racial boundaries and systemic hurdles to secure a position in the suburbs by accident.

  • What must it have been like to come all this way to have your integrity challenged so directly?
  • What was she thinking when this white mother was relentlessly demanding that she submit to her expectations?

I’m sure it wasn’t the first time she had encountered this kind of treatment by a white parent.  I’m certain it wasn’t the last.

What did it take for her to walk into school every day with her head held high and keep doing what she intended to do… teach these children with dignity?

The stories we tell ourselves matter.  They shape a reality for us that we then live in, often far into adulthood.

This is normal, human stuff.  We all do it.

AND

We need to examining our stories.  They need to be taken out and explored and reconfigured and understood with the new information that we have as adults who are waking up and beginning to see things more clearly.

I don’t know exactly what happened at this moment in 1983.  I don’t know what motivated Mrs. Skull’s actions.

But I do know that if there was a victim in this story, it wasn’t me.

The system of white supremacy that supported my mother’s demands and moved me to an advanced class was operating as it always had… in the interest of white people.

And in the process, a hardworking, intelligent, dignified black teacher, who might have had the opportunity to make a real impact on my life, and teach me things from a new perspective, perhaps throw a wrench into some of the ideals that would be further cemented in my mind when I moved 2 years later to an all white community… was disgraced, disrespected, and overruled by her white superiors.

And I participated in it.  I participated in it at the age of 6.

Unknowingly.  Unintentionally, yes.

And yet, I participated in powerful ways that made an impact on the life of my teacher.

I’m sorry, Mrs. Skull.

I’m sorry for making you the villain all these years.

I’m so sorry for not doing the work I needed to see the truth.

I’m sorry I couldn’t see you as a human being…

I’m sorry I took my power and privilege for granted.

And I’m so sorry that you had to suffer because of it.

It’s not OK.

And it’s time to start telling the truth.

The real stories.

Thank you for being my teacher…  36 years later, I’m just beginning to learn.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Rev. April Blaine is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.  She currently serves as the Lead Pastor at Hilliard UMC in Columbus, OH.  April and her partner Martin have 2 children, Eugene and Marcus.  April is passionate about helping others to make their home in a sense of love and acceptance so they can discover within a spiritual depth, honesty, and courage previously unseen.  She teaches prayer and meditation courses online at Hilliard UMC and is working with the Innovative Leadership Institute to develop a course on the importance of Spirituality and Inner Depth as an Innovative Leader.

 

 

5 Tips for Effective Leadership During a Crisis

Posted by presspass on
0
Business
5 Tips for Effective Leadership During a Crisis

To receive the Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blogs via email, please sign-up here.

This blog is provided by Lisa Michaels, as a companion to the interview with Melissa Lamson and her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Managing Effectively in a Complex Global Business Environment that aired on June 30, 2020.

 

When a crisis hits, some companies survive and thrive afterward, while some perish. Often, what distinguishes these two is good leadership.

As a leader, your role is critical during a crisis. Everyone will look to you to help them make sense of the situation and lead the way out.

Below are some critical steps you should take to reduce the impact of the crisis and emerge stronger.

#1 Communicate with Transparency and Immediacy

Once an incident happens, be quick to communicate and provide much-needed details. Be transparent, no matter how dire the situation is. Transparency allows you to reestablish trust, while immediacy ensures people hear the unbiased news from you, not from others.

This type of communication is important for both your employees and people outside your organization. You will need to repeatedly keep people informed about developments.

Communicating the bad news early to employees is important as people need to be aware of the gravity of the situation to act accordingly.

A good example of effective crisis communication is when one Virgin Group spacecraft crashed, leading to the death of one pilot and the injury of another. The founder and head of the company, Richard Branson, quickly went to the scene of the incident and posted ample updates.

The company showed true concern for the pilots’ families. They then continued to work towards successfully achieving its mission in honor of the pilot’s life. These steps prevented reputational damage to the company.

#2 Lead by Example

You will be the one who sets the tone during a crisis. Your employees will often respond in the same way as you do. If you respond calmly and responsibly, your employees will follow suit. If you live in denial, then others will not likely feel any sense of urgency.

A study conducted by the University of Georgia found that self-discipline, or lack thereof, is contagious. If you find that someone on your team is panicking, it is better to talk to them privately and ask them to stay away from others until they can contain themselves.

It is also essential to maintain a hopeful attitude and not show despair in front of your team. Your team morale is your responsibility, and your behavior has a significant impact on it.

#3 Provide Support to Employees

Crises are said to hit organizations, but in fact, they hit people. As a leader, you need to genuinely empathize with your employees and mitigate the damage.

One German company showed wisdom in its approach to cutting costs in the face of the global financial crisis in 2008 without hurting the wellbeing of its employees.

The company offered its employees to work half time or less based on the actual demand for their services, instead of being laid off. The employees took it well and trusted the management team more.

Once the economy recovered, the company rehired the employees on a full-time basis. The lesson is that you should think about the well-being of people, and people will take care of your company.

Moreover, good leaders show responsibility and concern even if the crisis is not their fault.

An example is Johnson and Johnson’s response to the death of seven people who consumed Tylenol. The company knew Tylenol was not the cause, but it chose to recall the capsules, communicate actively, and establish a hotline to answer queries from worried consumers.

While the recall cost the company a lot of money, it kept the company in good standing. As a leader, you should act responsibly and do what is good for the majority of people involved. It will reflect well on your organization.

#4 Think Ahead to Maintain Operations During the Crisis

A crisis subjects your company to a harsh test. When this happens, people wonder whether the company will still exist after the crisis is over. This is why it’s important to conduct a business continuity planning exercise in advance.

The scope of business continuity planning includes steps to improve business resiliency in case a potential threat is materialized to ensure that operations continue during a crisis.

This involves all major systems which should continue to run in case of a major disruption. In today’s environment, the most vital system in most organizations is the IT system. Therefore, response plans for disruptions to the IT system should be established, and you should be able to migrate your databases if needed.

A good business plan usually includes a disaster recovery plan, but the two should not be confused. A continuity plan ensures that operations continue (or endure), whereas a recovery plan is a plan to come back from a major disaster, such as recovering a large dataset after it is lost.

The high failure rates of business following disasters, such as a fire or major hacking, show that both plans are critical for the organization’s resilience. Proper execution of those plans ensures that companies survive and people maintain their jobs.

#5 Develop Other Leaders

Good leaders empower other people to become leaders themselves, rather than gather followers around them. Good leaders request honest feedback and hear criticism. They are humble and realize that they are imperfect and can benefit from people’s views and opinions.

Moreover, true leaders democratize their organizations. They make others feel valued and empower them to become leaders themselves.

Unfortunately, those qualities are rare, but you can stand out as a leader and build a flatter and more resilient organization.

Final Thoughts

Crises are there to test what you are made of as a leader. You need to rise to the occasion, come up with solutions quickly, and lead your team through implementing them while staying compassionate.

You will also need to pay attention to people’s morale. You can be honest with your employees about the situation, while still offering hope at the same time.

It is often this honesty and hope that will empower the team to endure, and possibly offer lessons to other teams in the future.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

 

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.

 

Photo source: Pexels

The 7 Transformations in Vertical Leadership Development

Posted by presspass on
0
Business
The 7 Transformations in Vertical Leadership Development

To receive the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up here.

This blog is provided by Antoinette Braks, Thought Leader in Vertical Leadership Development and Author of Executive Coaching in Strategic Holistic Leadership. It is a companion to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Transformative Executive Coaching in Strategic Holistic Leadership on June 16th, 2020.

 

There are seven key transformations in executive leadership capacity in the world today. They form the progressive stages in adult maturity or Vertical Development, in contrast to horizontal learning that takes place within a stage. The seven transformations are:

  1. Opportunist
  2. Conformist (Diplomat)
  3. Specialist (Expert)
  4. Achievist (Achiever)
  5. Catalyst (Individualist)
  6. Synergist (Strategist)
  7. Alchemist (Constructivist – Alchemist)   

The stages of development form a holarchy where the strengths of each stage are incorporated in the following stage. As we progress through these stages of development we gradually release our shadow or personal reactive patterns based on the ego’s sense of insecurity and feeling “not good enough.”  As we develop our leadership capacity, we grow in terms of perception, consciousness and perspective, and gradually embrace all of who we are with awareness, understanding, kindness, compassion and wisdom.

The stages of vertical leadership development were successively developed by three pioneering scientists: Jane Loevinger, Susanne Cook-Greuter and Terri O’Fallon. The descriptions of the stages is based on my studies with Susanne and Terri and Bill Torbert, and my decade of coaching experience explicitly focused on later stage vertical development for strategic divisional leaders. Let’s look at each stage in turn.

The Opportunist

The Opportunist is concerned with survival and security, Maslow’s first two needs. They are self-interested, relatively isolated and will get away with whatever they can. They operate on a day-by-day or minute-by-minute basis without a care for consequences. Their view of the world is that it is unsafe and everyone else is assumed to be an enemy. They play only to their own advantage.

The Opportunist is deceptive and manipulative. They are the executives who steal your ideas without recognizing their source, who always blame others when things go wrong, and seem to be unavailable when immediate help is needed. They will also attack first in order to defend themselves when feeling threatened and are completely adverse to feedback.

The Opportunist lives in fear, trusts no one and operates largely in fight, flight or freeze mode. This view of the world is their Autopilot. In 1995 some 4% of the Executive population were anchored at Opportunist, although this proportion has since reduced to 0%. Whenever our safety and security is threatened in the succeeding stages, it is relatively easy to regress back to the level of the Opportunist and resolve our situation based on self-interest alone.

The Conformist

The Conformist decides to play it safe. While they still view the world as a very challenging place to be, they believe that if they abide by all the rules and do what people in higher authority ask or tell them to do, they will be safe. They conform. They are risk averse and will only take action if instructed to do so. Most will also need a step-by-step approach mapped out for them. Their level of voluntary participation is relatively low.

In complying, Conformists give away their personal authentic power to positional authority. This leads to a sense of personal ineptitude that moves them to complain. In other words, when we give our personal power away to comply with others, we address this imbalance by complaining about others. If you know anyone in your workplace who complains a lot, they will be operating from a Conformist mindset. Around 10% of the Executive population are anchored at Conformist although there are very few anchored at this stage in organisations that invest in leadership development. It is a common fallback position for succeeding levels when under stress.

Conformists use reactive emotional strategies to get what they want. The three key strategies are appeasing others by being nice and bending over backwards to fit in – usually towards more senior people; controlling others by criticising, berating and offending others – usually towards more junior people; or otherwise withdrawing from people altogether by avoiding all communication and even eye contact.

All are unconscious emotionally manipulative techniques that produce workplace drama in the form of passive-aggressive behaviour manifesting in bullies and victims. We subconsciously base our boss-subordinate and peer-based interpersonal strategies on those we employed to get what we wanted as a child within the comparable context of parent-child and sibling dynamics.

The Specialist

The Specialist devotes themselves to their work. They wish to develop their skills, perfect their craft and focus on the details to get everything absolutely right. They switch their primary focus from being compliant and fitting in, to standing out through the course of their work. They are experts in their field and strong contributors dotting i’s and crossing t’s for as long as it takes to get something perfect. They can make up some 38% of the Executive population (1995) but this proportion too has dropped to under 10% in deliberately developmental organisations.

Specialists largely work individually and are focused on the quality of their work and mastery of their craft. They will drill down to the detail and ensure complete accuracy taking a perfectionist rather than pragmatic approach. A micro-manager is typically operating at the Specialist mindset. Their personal identity merges with their work so they take feedback very personally. They tend to be emotionally reactive on the receiving end of constructive feedback and emotionally responsive to recognition and praise.

While the reactive behaviours are still present, they are now more associated with their work than trapped within the power struggle of the endemic parent-child and sibling dynamics. They are driven by the need to perfect their work, which is a quantum step up the spiral from Conformist. Focusing on increasing the quality of our own work based on our own albeit critical view of self and others, leads to continuous improvement.

The Achiever

The Achiever is a pragmatist rather than a perfectionist. Their goal is “fit for purpose” rather than perfect. The Achiever begins to consider how their work meets the needs of colleagues, customers and clients. Their focus extends to the impact of their work rather than just the work itself. They are open to feedback on their work, can manage change, drive projects, meet deadlines, produce results and heed the customer.

Achievers also shift from working individually to working effectively with others as team players. They enjoy being in the driving seat and driving initiatives forward. They are competitive, strong performers, will do what it takes to win and enjoy the glow of success. Achievers can also be very black and white. This enables them to be decisive and proactive albeit somewhat shortsighted compared to more advanced stages of development when life becomes shades of grey.

Customer-centric organisations adopt an Achiever mindset by creating feedback loops and generating team accountability for customer interactions and the customer experience. The introduction of scorecards to drive results and address gaps in performance supports the Achiever’s competitive, capitalist worldview.

In the mind of the Achiever, the world is made up of winners and losers and their primary focus is to strive for more. This keeps them on the treadmill of doing more, wanting more and getting more. What they have is never enough. This vicious cycle is extremely stressful!

In 1995 they made up some 33% of the Executive population. The proportion peaked at 60% in organisations investing in stage development (2005) and is now dropping as more executives develop their leadership capacity at the later post-conventional level of Catalyst.

The Conventional World

Opportunists, Conformists, Specialists and Achievers are all mindsets in the conventional world. In 1995, 78% of a sample of 4,510 adults in the US held a conventional mindset (Cook-Greuter); in 2005 this was down to 70%, and in 2015, at 59% (Harthill Consulting, PwC) albeit their population sample is drawn from organisations actively investing in stage leadership development. Achievers work extremely well in the world.

However at these stages of leadership development or conscious awareness, we are not able to work on the world. We are not able to introduce and sustain transformational change that will create a better world. To do this we must make the shift to post-conventional later stages of leadership capacity. While this “new” world is uncertain and ambiguous, by developing our conscious capacity to navigate and transcend the chaos, we are able to redeem peace of mind, restore personal wellbeing and build the world anew.

The percentage of Catalysts is growing at the rate of approximately 10% in each of the last two decades. At this stage, we begin to navigate our world with a view to creating change but this novel capacity does not manifest fully until the following stage of Synergist. Only Synergists have been found to have the capacity to lead sustainable transformation in an organisation (Rooke and Torbert) and their numbers have only inched up slowly from 5% to 8% in the last 20 years.

It would seem that the container of the organisation can support the Catalyst mode of diverse open engagement, yet still inhibits the presence of Synergist leadership that can bring about real transformational and sustainable change. Thus a greater investment in leadership development that liberates Synergist capacity is essential to reinvent the organisation, the collective, at the corresponding evolutionary levels of green and teal (Laloux).

The Achiever tends to be very hesitant before they make the leap into what appears to them to be the great unknown. They must make the shift from the external world to their inner world. At this point the guidance and encouragement of a later stage Coach is invaluable to them. Indeed I would go as far as to say that Executive Coaching in Leadership Development with a Strategist or Alchemist Coach is essential to ease this shift and also a powerful investment by organisations that genuinely wish to foster global sustainable shared prosperity and community wellbeing.

The Catalyst

The Catalyst is the first post-conventional stage. It represents a leap into a new growth zone and an unfamiliar world. At the individuation phase of the Specialist we were focused on perfecting our work. At the individuation phase of the Catalyst we are focused on understanding ourselves: our thoughts and feelings, motives and fears, reactions and responses, and our deepest desires and aspirations. We ask existential questions: “Why?” “Why am I here?” and “What is the meaning of life?”

At Catalyst, we move into our personal growth zone where growing and evolving becomes our natural way of being. Even though the challenges we encounter along the way may be unfamiliar and disconcerting, for the participant, life is forever enriched. We shift from being satisfied with a life based on cause and effect to feeling our way forward in the world despite uncertainty in order to lead a more purposeful and fulfilling life based on conscious intention and committed action.

Catalysts are focused on engaging others, igniting change and working across boundaries. Their focus turns from the impact of their work on customers and clients to the input into the design and nature of the work itself through active early genuine engagement with all stakeholders. They are attuned to leveraging strengths, fueling personal growth and collaborating with others in order to exercise mutual power to co-create the best possible outcomes for the whole community.

The capacity to genuinely innovate and collaborate is initiated at Catalyst. At this mindset the inner world of the individual becomes more important than the external world within which they operate. In other words they heed their intuition and feelings to make decisions and generate new insights and ideas. They also listen from a much deeper place of inquiry and can therefore create a deeper connection with others and develop the ability to build real trust with others.

Many words beginning with “in” are associated with the Catalyst worldview: insight, innovation, intrinsic, innate, inquiry, introspection, intricate, inclusive, inquisitive, interest, intimacy, intuition and inspiration.

The Synergist

Executives anchored at Synergist still number just 8% today, even in organisations investing significantly in leadership development. At this point in their journey of increasing expanding consciousness, they have become self-aware and other-aware and have the ability to be discerning and self-validating. They do not seek approval or permission from others. They have developed strength of character and their integrity is evident.

Synergists have the vision, courage and presence to generate and sustain transformational change (Torbert, 1998). They have adopted the mantle of personal authentic power in the interests of serving their whole community and not just selected interest groups. This represents a shift from ‘not good enough’ at Conformist, looking good at Specialist, doing well at Achiever, doing good at Catalyst and onto focusing on the greater good for all concerned at Synergist, now and in the longer-term future.

When led by a Synergist, the organisation shifts from being customer-centric to community-centric. It succeeds in achieving medium-to-long term sustainable outcomes that make a real, significant and beneficial impact on the people they serve and affect now and in the future. They generate a new world through their convictions and intentions, living by their principles and in tune with their life purpose while embracing others with compassion and enthusiasm.

The mature Synergist is an authentic, inspiring and strategic leader. They lead confidently from the ‘inside-out’. They are able to consistently stand and hold their ground while holding a nurturing space for the emergence of a transformed world. They are extremely mindful, highly considered and passionately articulate in their advocacy for a better world and are able to take purposeful action in the moment to raise conscious awareness and liberate the emergence of latent potential across the organisation and amongst all stakeholders.

The Alchemist

The final stage that can be observed and calibrated in the post-conventional world is the Alchemist. They number 1%. The Alchemist can have a far-reaching impact on their world. They are the iconic leaders who ignite and generate social evolution as well as transform global industries. Illustrious figures such as Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and Anita Roddick would appear to have realised their potential as Alchemists. However there are also Alchemists who are amazingly effective behind the scenes in niche markets and uniquely tailored roles such as executive coaching!

The Alchemist embodies their own intuitive guidance and employs mutually collaborative power to generate transformational shifts in the world that respect common humanity and all of life. They are able to hold and embrace wonderful future possibilities while standing firmly in the present and being cognisant of all that has preceded and led to the current situation. They look at events symbolically and value both the shadow and the light in the psychodynamics of common human interactions.

The Alchemist has released the shadow of the ego through grief and forgiveness, and surrendered their personal will to be an instrument in the divine orchestra on earth. They live to evolve in tune with the cosmos listening into the dark and the deep recesses of their soul’s voyage in life. They feel free to be uniquely themselves, liberated from any social or cultural conventions, and can feel both delighted and tormented as they perceive, attend to and process the vast cacophony of thought and emotion that swirls around them. They are able to be fully vulnerable yet vitally alive and vigorous as they give their conscious, compassionate attention to the dynamic interplay in each and every moment to exercise wisdom in action.

The Post-Conventional World

We need the perspective of the Synergist and Alchemist to navigate our way through the interconnected global crises we face today. Only at these levels can leaders transcend the turmoil, cut through complexity, trust in emergence and transform and evolve the economic, education, health and environmental foundations of society today. We are being invited to generate a more sustainable, healthy and equitable world.

Until recently we thought it took 5 years of focused development to shift to later stages. However, we now know that an executive coaching program explicitly focused on vertical development to Synergist can expedite this vertical growth in just one year.

In my recent PhD Research Study 100% of the participants surprisingly and inspiringly all shifted a full stage in leadership development in a single year, most from Achiever to Catalyst. Two shifted two full stages to Synergist, and five went on to land at Synergist a little later. This is in direct contrast to the commonly held view that it takes several years to make a vertical shift to later stages of development.

The participants were all engaged in an Executive Coaching Program focused on strategic and holistic leadership development. In other posts I explain how 8 key drivers reflecting a blend of “outside-in” and“inside-out” coaching transcending conventional organisational operating norms and cultivated their latent, emergent potential as authentic, inspiring, strategic transformational, quantum leaders (Zohar).

The implication is the extent to which conventional operating norms are stunting our leadership development. To my mind there is not a dearth of leadership potential in most organisations today, there is simply a very tight lid on the container for growth. Instead of providing the opportunity for executives to become more aware of their role in the interplay of life and the freedom to express themselves more fully and make conscious decisions that will create a more sustainable, healthy and equitable world, organisations have become pressure cookers.

Organisations and political parties can make substantial gains from later stage executive coaching from the Synergist/Alchemist perspective. It is essential for senior executives and aspiring future leaders to transform their perspective on life and become fluent co-creators in shaping their organisation and the communities they serve. Post-conventional vertical leadership development enables us to realize our potential to generate an economic and social transformation, redeem peace of mind, restore shared wellbeing and renew our world so that we all thrive and flourish.

The higher our self-expression and the deeper our self-awareness, the richer our life experience and the greater our soul evolution. ~ Antoinette Braks

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Antoinette Braks is a thought leader in Vertical Leadership Development and a Master Certified Executive Coach with greater than 3,500 coaching hours with over 250 strategic leaders from across the private and public sectors. She has a proven track record in expediting rapid shifts to later stages enabling strategic leaders and executive coaches to realise transformative outcomes. She is renowned for enabling executives to transcend the turmoil and cut through complexity, trust emergence and navigate uncertainty, and transform their world to spark ingenuity.

Antoinette’s expansive StageSHIFT coaching approach incorporates strategic systemic organisational leadership, evolution and transformation, and personal holistic leadership based on psychodynamics, reframing narrative and shadow resolution, while realising the highest aspirations in life, career and business.

Her corporate background includes C-suite leadership of People and Culture with Vector NZ during the merger integration of their gas and electricity businesses, Director of Strategic Culture Transformation at Businesslink NSW Australia and Regional Strategic HR Management with Shell International Latin America and Africa. Antoinette also led Leadership Capital Solutions for Korn Ferry Asia Pacific and consulted with Hudson Talent.

As well as a Master Executive Coach, Antoinette is a strategic facilitator, leadership consultant, coaching supervisor, and conference presenter. She presents at Coaching, Leadership and Integral Conferences to share her unique insights into the non-linear spiral nature of vertical leadership development to later stages e.g. the Spectrum Stage Shift, the 2-Step Square Dance and Vertical Development Theory based on her PhD research.

Her new book, Executive Coaching in Strategic Holistic Leadership: The Drivers and Dynamics in Vertical Development, will be published by McGraw Hill in May 2020.

Antoinette has an MBA from London Business School, has submitted her PhD thesis in Vertical Leadership Transformation, and studied the Oxford Brookes Professional Certificate of Advanced Study in Coaching Supervision.

Antoinette.Braks@Join-the-SHIFT.com

www.stageshift.coach

Photo by Markus Spiske

Why Should Leaders Look After an Employee’s Financial Health?

Posted by presspass on
0
Business
Why Should Leaders Look After an Employee’s Financial Health?

To receive the Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blogs via email, please sign-up here.

This blog is provided by Ashley Johnson, a business blogger, as a companion to the interview with Jack Modzelewski and his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Leadership, Communication and Credibility in a High-Stakes World that aired on April 14, 2020.

 

Your responsibilities to your staff go beyond simply signing their paychecks, granting their leave requests, and assigning work. It is also your duty to look after their financial health, especially in light of recent developments that have pushed America into an economic crisis. In these times, 15% or more of any given workforce is struggling financially. Part of this is due to flat-lining income levels that, when adjusted for inflation, are a mere $50,000 annually per household. In other words, there is a good chance that many of your employees are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and are possibly deep in debt. The question for today’s business leaders is what should they do about this?

Financial hardship equals poor performance

The above scenarios can lead to financial stress, which can be very debilitating for employees. In a Marcus feature on the link between physical and financial health, money coach Elisabeth Donati explains how money-related stress is almost as bad as health stress as it is directly tied to a person’s drive to survive. Failure to attain this drive, in turn, worsens stress, and can result in some serious health problems like depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and psychosomatic symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and even pain. In other words, financial stress can take not only a mental and emotional toll on your staff, but also a physical one that can affect how they work.

Indeed, a Reuters article on financial health by journalist Beth Pinsker describes money stress as being “as bad for workplace productivity as back pain.” In a 2018 survey of 1,600 working adults, some 15% admitted to missing work due to health problems caused and exacerbated by financial stress. Around 40%, on the other hand, admitted to being distracted due to thinking about their finances, leading to a reduction in workplace productivity. The situation today is likely the same as that of 2 years ago, if not worse, given the unsettling events of 2020 and their adverse impact on the American economy.

The physical, mental, and emotional toll of financial hardship underscores why you, as a leader, need to look after your employees’ financial health. Put simply, doing so is good for business, as financially healthy staff will be more productive, especially since they won’t be distracted by thinking about their financial issues. Crucially, making sure your employees have sound finances will help them avoid the health-related pitfalls of financial stress, and will cut down on missed work days due to health concerns involving money anxiety.

Ensuring employees’ financial health

So, the question is: How can business leaders ensure the financial wellbeing of their employees? Amway chief HR Shantanu Das recommends three financial wellness strategies you can implement, beginning with giving competitive compensation, which should ideally be above market standards. Staff must be compensated based on merit, so as to encourage a high standard of work and to keep them motivated. You can also offer a variety of financial assistance programs, like emergency loans, educational sponsorships, and even car payment subsidies. Make sure that you also give everyone all the benefits — 401(K), medical insurance, etc. — they are entitled to, and more if possible.

Finally, it would be a good idea to connect your team with financial planners, who can give them expert advice on how to attain financial independence. These can range from one-on-one meetings to group seminars on everything from retirement savings to cultivating healthy money habits. While a business cannot be directly responsible for how an employee spends their money, having these services in place shows them that you are prepared to go beyond the usual parameters of most companies. Such advice, along with your financial programs and support, will help ensure your staff’s financial wellbeing, and keep them productive and happy at work in the process.

Leaders Lead

Your job as a leader isn’t just about running the business and counting the numbers. It is all about stepping up and being someone who your employees can count on for a wide range of issues. Marie Miguel notes in ‘Why Mental Health Awareness is Important for Leadership’ that good leaders lead, and that means taking care of your people so you can motivate them to be productive and efficient. In this context, taking care of your employees means keeping them happy, which you can do by looking after their financial health as well as their physical and mental health. This is what it means to create a healthy work culture that will inspire those who work for you and encourage future top talent to seek out your company. We hope the above points will help you have a better understanding of how and why you should look after your employees’ financial health.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ashley Johnson is a business blogger who specializes in following the latest leadership trends. She hopes her articles will inspire new and veteran business leaders alike, and help them establish a better company culture. In her free time she loves to hike with her family.

Photo by: Alexander Mils via Unsplash

LOVE LIGHT GUEST TESTIMONIAL

Posted by presspass on
0
Empowerment
LOVE LIGHT GUEST TESTIMONIAL

                                                                       LOVE LIGHT GUEST TESTIMONIAL

                                                                               Dr. Rana Al-Falaki (England)

                                                                                                  Be Free Be Fun Be Fearless

Founder of Light Changes Coaching, Life and Business Coach, International Speaker, International Bestselling Author, Periodontist

                                           Show Episode Title: “Recover Your Losses – Journey to Re-Connection”   May 15, 2020

                                                                             LOVE LIGHT Host, Dr. Jean Marie Farish 

“Jean Farish is an inspiration – I also think she never sleeps! She was the ultimate epitome of professionalism, from asking me to be on the show, right through to when we finished it. Her energy is contagious and she is quite clearly incredibly passionate about love, light, consciousness and growth.  The show was so well organized, and I simply loved her engagement with her audience and with myself. I felt like a very welcome guest in her home, and Jean’s warmth and spirit has the ability to draw in people from all walks of life, where everything she says makes you more curious to know more, learn more and simply be more.  Thank you so much for having me Jean, and I look forward to being able to give you a hug in person once again soon! ”  

                                                                                                                                                                                    Dr. Rana Al-Falaki

                                                                                                                                                           Website: https://www.lightchangescoaching.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Using a Great Coach in a VUCA Environment

Posted by presspass on
0
Business
The Benefits of Using a Great Coach in a VUCA Environment

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is provided by David Goldsmith of 7 Paths Forward, LLC. (www.7pathsforward.com) It is a companion to his interview as a part of the WBECS (The World Business & Executive Coach Summary) Interview Series that is featured on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. David’s interview aired on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, titled The Benefits of Great Coaching in a VUCA Environment.

 

VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. It’s a term that comes from the military to describe conditions during war. The current pandemic has highlighted and accelerated the disruption that leaders were already experiencing in their organizations. Now when we talk about VUCA more people have a first hand experience of what we are talking about.

The world is volatile right now. Everyday things change. We don’t know when and if things will return to how they used to be. This creates a lot of the uncertainty that we are all experiencing. Just as we think we know how things might be, we learn new things and our view changes rapidly. Sometimes we experience this change hourly! It’s a lot to keep up with.

It’s hard to imagine a time when things were more uncertain. When will children go back to school? How long will we work from home? Will there be further waves of the virus? How will we deal with those? What does “normal” look like in the future? How will this affect organizations? What kind of work will there be? What do we want to keep and preserve from the disruption?

The complexity has only increased. As a leader you had your OKRs for the year. How do you accomplish those goals with your workforce configured very differently? How do you get these done when your workforce is facing childcare challenges and experiencing a level of stress and personal disruption previously unknown?

The pandemic has also been a great example of ambiguity. We are watching governments manage a public health crisis and an economic crisis at the same time. There are no easy or right decisions. Every decision has consequences. And you never have enough information to make a decision. You have to choose and then be prepared to update your decision very quickly!

Coaches help leaders grow and develop and handle more complexity. Great coaches help their clients do this more efficiently and with deeper results. A simple example is inter-city trains. In many parts of the world you can take a train service from city a to city b that might take ten hours. Or you can take a high-speed train that makes the trip in six hours. The high-speed train is usually more comfortable and gets you there significantly faster. Both options get you to your destination.

During this pandemic we are finding that leaders are making time for their coaching sessions. However, many times these sessions are shorter. A great coach can efficiently work with the client to identify the issues, help them develop actionable insights and help them get on with their VUCA challenges.

To deal with these VUCA challenges requires a coach who has the experience, skill and insight to customize their work to provide what these leaders need now. They must be agile, insightful and armed with a large toolbox of skills and approaches. ​They must themselves be comfortable in a VUCA environment.

When you have to make a complex decision without enough information, you need a coach who can lean in to the conversation, help you understand all four of the VUCA elements and then help frame the issue so that the leader can make their best decision. And the coach is standing by ready to help that leader adjust (because they will need to).

Leaders also need great coaches who can work with a variety of narcissistic, defensive and emotional clients. All of us are dealing with a far greater level of conscious and unconscious stress. Leaders are behaving in ways that are unusual and often surprising to themselves. They need a coach who isn’t fazed by this and in fact knows how to utilize this new behavior to help the leader accelerate their growth.

Our current environment is a great example of why leaders who want to grow, develop, and thrive need to work with a great coach.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

A pioneer in the coaching industry, David Goldsmith was Chief Operating Officer of CoachInc.com and past President of CoachU. He has staged many innovative conferences on coaching and was the first to showcase coaching research almost 20 years ago. He co-founded the Foundation for Coaching which has now become the Institute of Coaching at Harvard. he has also co-founded Accelerating Coach Excellence, a program dedicated to helping coaches get to the heart of client issues in less time.  David is an active coach working with senior leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs around the globe. He has also coached many of the leaders in the coaching profession helping to grow the impact of coaching worldwide.

9 Types of Silence and the Impact of Each

Posted by presspass on
0
Business
9 Types of Silence and the Impact of Each

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is written by Marcia Reynolds. It is a companion to her interview as a part of the WBECS (The World Business & Executive Coach Summary) Interview Series that is featured on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. Marcia’s interview aired on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, titled Difficult Conversations That Get Positive Results. You can take part in the month-long 10th Annual World Business and Executive Coach free Pre-Summit  by signing up here.

 

When you choose how to use your silence, you have the opportunity to align with, shift, and possibly transform the thinking of the person you are with. You must consciously choose how you are holding your stillness. Some of the 9 types of silence can hurt your connection with others more than help it.

For example, choosing not to speak when your brain is full of chatter is a kind of silence that can be disruptive. You aren’t present. You are biting your tongue until you can state what is on your mind. Others feel your impatient energy. They may yield the floor to you knowing you have something you are anxious to share or they may just avoid eye contact with you to keep you silent.

When in a conversation, especially a difficult one, you want to be aware of the silence you are holding. Is your silence alert and full of curiosity? Or are you just waiting to end what you think is a dead-end discourse? Are you open to receiving what your partner is expressing so you can share what you see and hear for clarification? Or are you just waiting for the opportunity to state your opinion?

9 Types of Silence and How You Use Them

Novelist, poet, playwright, and psychotherapist Paul Goodman identified 9 kinds of silence in his classic book, Speaking and Language.¹ Here is his list with my interpretation of how the silence might impact your conversations.

  1. Dumb silence of slumber or apathy. Do you have nothing to say because you don’t care? Their words are bouncing off you like a wall.
  2. Sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face. Have you given up being a part of the conversation and just listening because you feel you have to? You may feel like a prisoner until you are released.
  3. Noisy silence of resentment. The judgment you have for the speaker is so loud in your head you don’t hear what is being said.
  4. Baffled silence of confusion. You aren’t sure of the intention of the conversation, the meaning of the words, or the direction the story is going. You are reluctant to say anything because the speaker might not take your feedback well.
  5. Musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity. Whether you are alone or with others, you are so immersed in what you are doing that it feels as if the world is silent around you.
  6. The silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos. The science of awe and wonder reveals a beautiful combination of peace and curiosity when we feel a sense of oneness with what we see. We quietly accept the unknown but want to know more.
  7. Fertile silence of awareness. What is being revealed has your head spinning. Are the thoughts arising from what you are curious about now or from what you think you now know? Observations and questions arising from your curiosity can further the conversation. Sharing what you think you now know might shut it down.
  8. Alive silence of alert perception. Are you noticing everything in your visual sphere? Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton said, “Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.”
  9. The silence of listening to whole person you are with. When you are silent but focused on the other, you can catch the drift of their meaning from their words, their expressions, and the energy they radiate. This is how you cultivate non-reactive empathy. You not only understand their experience, you are then able to reflect what you hear and notice to help the other person assess their thinking. This is an alive silence but not intrusive. This is the silence most useful to effective coaching and leadership conversations, and probably parenting as well.

Can You WAIT?

There is an acronym used in training for many years, WAIT – Why Am I Talking? Whether you are speaking out loud or you are allowing your brain to fill your head with words, ask yourself if silence would be more useful and what type of silence you want to hold.

Kahlil Gibran wrote in his 1923 classic The Prophet, “There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone.” You can help people feel connected with your silence. They will come to feel safe with you, willing to reveal what is on their minds that they do not understand.  Your curiosity and care can help them come to a new understanding filled with possibility. Gibran called this way of being with people, “rhythmic silence.” I believe this silence is what we hold when we are practicing Coaching Presence.

Alive, focused silence is a skill we can all develop. Find a moment to practice today.

 

Want to hear more from Marcia and other great coaching speakers? You can take part in the month-long 10th Annual World Business and Executive Coach free Pre-Summit  by signing up here.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Dr. Marcia Reynolds, president of Covisioning LLC, is endlessly curious about how humans learn and grow. She found coaching to be the best technology we have for accelerating the process of change. She has coached and trained leaders and coaches in 41 countries and has presented at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cornell University, and The National Research University in Moscow. Dr. Reynolds is a pioneer in the coaching profession. She is a founding member and 5th global president of the International Coach Federation. She returned to the board for two years in 2016 where she focused on credentialing requirements and strengthening relationships with coach training schools. She is the Training Director for the Healthcare Coaching Institute and on faculty for the International Coach Academy in Russia and Create China Coaching in China. Global Gurus recognizes her as one of the top 5 coaches in the world. Dr. Reynolds has published 5 books.

 

¹ Paul Goodman, Speaking and Language: Defence of Poetry. Random House, 1972. Out of print but you might find it in your local public or university library.

What Is Intrapreneurship? 3 Ways it Can Supercharge Your Career

Posted by presspass on
0
Business
What Is Intrapreneurship? 3 Ways it Can Supercharge Your Career

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is part of the extra blog series we are doing as encouragement in these uncertain times.  This post is for those looking to solidify their value to their current employer and develop their own leadership skills without necessarily having a leadership role. And for those who are in leadership roles, are there potential leaders in your organization who have the characteristics of an intrapreneur? This blog is a companion to the Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future interview with Greg Moran that aired April 7th, 2020 titled Bridging Millennial and Traditional Leadership.

 

When you imagine a professional leader, many of us picture a manager, a business owner, or an entrepreneur. Leadership in many cases is synonymous with being in charge of a group of people. While it is true bosses and business owners are leaders, there are many different kinds of leadership that one can embody. You don’t have to be in charge of an organization or team in order to lead with your efforts and insights.

Whether you’re a manager or simply a member of a large team, intrapreneurship is a skill you can utilize to position yourself as a leader. Intrapreneurs are innovators within an organization who use their knowledge and skills to drive new ideas. In a similar way that entrepreneurs create a new product or service, intrapreneurs create new processes, develop new products, forge new pathways at their own company.

There are several key characteristics that allow intrapreneurs to achieve more than the average employee, which you may already be familiar with. They are eager to learn, always asking questions to understand why things are the way they are. They are flexible and collaborative, always willing to make adjustments and react to changing situations and requirements. Though they work well in a team, they also are motivated by a certain degree of competition.

Perhaps one of the factors that makes them most successful, is their creativity. Using their innate curiosity, they think outside of the box to come up with unique solutions to common problems. They also tolerate a certain degree of risk when advocating and testing their more unusual ideas.

These characteristics are often seen across every level of a successful team. No matter your position, you can focus on these traits to help find success. Here are just a few of the ways that intrapreneurship benefits your career:

  1. Positions You as a Leader

If all these characteristics sound familiar, it is because they also make great leaders. Being a team player, taking initiative, and coming up with innovative ideas can all help others see you as a leader in the workplace.

  1. Helps You Build Lifelong Skills

No matter what you’re doing in 5 or 10 years, the soft skills you build while working as an intrapreneur will always be valuable. Being able to innovate, take on risks, and learn from failures are some of the most important skills in any career. While you may not use the same software job to job, these skills will always be useful.

  1. Sets Your Career Up for Success

Being able to offer a unique perspective, smart ideas, and flexible teamwork abilities will undoubtedly benefit your career. When looking for someone to take on a new project, or spearhead a new team effort, your bosses and coworkers will be more likely to look to you if you have a track record of intrapreneurship.

To learn more about intrapreneurship, check out this infographic by Turbo:

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Brigid Ludwig is a digital content creator who helps Turbo create helpful and compelling stories worth sharing. With a background in digital marketing and creative writing, she has written on everything from tiny homes to financial planning. aspires to empower others to make smart financial decisions for a happier and healthier life.

Tips to Succeed at America’s Toughest Interviews

Posted by presspass on
0
Business
Tips to Succeed at America’s Toughest Interviews

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is part of the extra blog series we are doing as encouragement in these uncertain times.  Unfortunately, many have seen jobs disappear or cutback. This post is guidance on potential job interview questions. It is a chance to hone your skills and be prepared when the right job opens up. A companion interview to listen to is Employee Confidence, the New Rule of Engagement with Karen J. Hewitt.

 

Spending time inside while quarantined gives you the opportunity to focus on professional development and self-improvement. It’s a chance to hone in on your long-term career goals and sharpen up your interview skills. If you ever must leave your current position and re-enter the competitive job market, you will want to be prepared.

Has it been years since you have practiced for an interview? By taking a look at the interview processes of America’s top tech companies, you can refresh your memory and learn key strategies. After all, it is not only the big tech companies that use these techniques during interviews. Nowadays, businesses across industries follow the same best practices for interviewing job candidates.

When you understand how to answer the types of questions asked by interviewers at Google, Facebook, and Twitter, you will feel ready for anything. Let’s outline some of these interview questions and tips on how to respond below. Plus, check out a helpful graphic from the experts at LiveCareer below, which nicely illustrates this interview advice.

Any company that dedicates itself to investing in quality talent will not have an easy interview process. There will never be a foolproof way to set yourself up for success in an interview.  Google probably would not have such a tough interview process if it was not a top company that receives millions of applications a year. Once you have already spent time and energy perfecting your resume and landing the interview, you want to maximize your chances of acing the interview. Let’s hope you can use these takeaways to aid in your job search.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Gabrielle Gardiner is an NYC-based content creator who enjoys writing helpful articles about professional development for companies like LiveCareer. She’s passionate about sharing her insights to empower people to succeed in their careers.

DEALING WITH PEOPLE YOU CAN’T STAND, HOW TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE AT THEIR WORST: The Lens of Understanding Why Do People Act the Way They Do

Posted by presspass on
0
Business
DEALING WITH PEOPLE YOU CAN’T STAND, HOW TO BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE AT THEIR WORST: The Lens of Understanding Why Do People Act the Way They Do

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

The following blog is provided by Dr. Rick Brinkman. It is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled How to Bring Out the Best In People at Their Worst that aired on April 28th, 2020.

 

Conflict can take many forms. It can be in your face, or passive aggressive behind the back. It can be caused by a specific context like meetings where typically assertive people talk too much while others drop out. The first step to successfully exiting a conflict or even better preventing it in the first place, is to understand why people act the way they do. In order to do that I would like to introduce you to the Lens of Understanding, from our book, “Dealing with People You Can’t Stand, How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst.”

When you understand why people act the way they do, then you will be empowered to transform and prevent conflict behaviors. Let’s examine behavior through the Lens of Understanding. We have a green Cooperation Zone and people have 4 intents operating within them: the intent to Get Things Done, to Get Things Right, to Get Along with People, and to Get Appreciated by people. Behaviorally speaking if a person is in a Get it Done mode they will be focused on the task at hand and become more assertive to make things happen. If things are not getting done and perceive others as wasting time, then they have a tendency to go into the yellow Caution Zone and will become more controlling because if they can take over they can make things happen. Sometimes the fact that they take charge and move things forward is not a problem but a solution. That really depends on how it is done. People can also go into what we call the red Danger Zone and their behavior is more destructive and can easily become a Tank. A Tank declares martial law and runs right over you. Life is really simple to them. You are part of the solution or you are eliminated. They may rip you apart personally, but the irony is, “it’s nothing personal”. You just happen to be in the way of an end result and so must be eliminated.

However, control has other expressions. When people have suppressed anger or resentment, Sniping is often the result. At a meeting their attack is hidden in put down humor, snide remarks and sarcasm. This can be to your face or also behind your back. Sabotage and malicious gossip are also versions of this behavior. A third controlling behavior is Know-it-All. They control through knowledge because they really know a lot, but they are closed minded to everyone else’s possible contribution. In a meeting they can take the group down endless irrelevant tangents.

If we shift gears to the intent to Get it Right, we find people still focused on the task but less assertive because they must slow things down to make sure all the details are covered.   If the people around them are not paying attention to accuracy, then they can move into the yellow zone and become more perfectionist. The positive of that is all the details are covered but if they go too far into the red danger zone, they can get to a point where no one including themselves can meet their high standard and then begin to feel helpless or hopeless. When people feel helpless, Whining is the result. When people feel hopeless, Negativity results. What they both have in common is they speak in generalizations that “everything is wrong, nothing is right, and it’s always that way.” It is these generalized problems that drive everyone around them crazy, because the first step to problem solving is specifics. You can’t solve a generalization.

Other people in the face of that unattainable perfection just get frustrated and give up. That’s when you hear, “Fine, do it your way. Don’t come crying to me when it doesn’t work out.” From that point they become the Nothing person and give up.

You also get Nothing behavior from a different area of the Lens. Out of the intent to Get Along with people you get people who are friendly and helpful. Here the yellow zone is all about get approval from others. And since if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say it at all, Nothing behavior is a common result. Agreeable Yes behavior also stems from this motivation. Out of the desire to please and get approval, people don’t consider their own needs but just say yes to whatever anyone else wants. Maybe behavior can also originate from this zone. We have all told a salesperson, “I’ll think about it.” Were you really planning on thinking about it? No, it was approval-oriented behavior. Passive aggressive behavior also originates out of this zone. They are nice to your face but become a Sniper behind the back.

Shifting mental gears to the intent to Get Appreciated by people, we find the focus is still on people but behavior tends to be more assertive because what goes hand in hand with appreciation is a desire to contribute to others. But if they are not getting the appreciation they feel they deserve, their behavior gets more attention seeking. The red zone version can be a temper tantrum or what we call the Grenade. It is different than a Tank attack in that the Tank is focused on a specific person and you know what the issue is. When a Grenade blows up they do so in 360 degrees, indiscriminately and everyone gets hit. You are more likely to hear things like, “It’s the government’s fault! That’s the problem with the world today.” and other statements that make no sense given the present circumstances. A Tank is demanding action. A Grenade is demanding attention.

What you also get out of a need for attention is another kind of Sniper; friendly fire. These are people who like you and use put down humor or teasing as a way of showing their affection. There is no ill intent, but it can still have painful consequences.

Last but not least another behavior with an extreme need for attention is Think-They-Know-it-All behavior. Here you have someone acting like they know what they are talking about, but they don’t. You get one-upmanship in this category. If you had a great vacation, they had a better one. If you were sick, they were sicker. If you had a big inauguration, they had a bigger inauguration.

Tank, Sniper, Know-it-all, Think-They-Know-it-All, Grenade, Yes person, Maybe person, Nothing person, No person, and Whiner are the top ten-problem behaviors people face. But the good news is communication is like a phone number and there is a “right number” behaviorally that you can dial that can pull people out of their stress response and back into the normal zone of behavior.

Detailed strategies for all the behaviors are beyond the scope of this article but are certainly available in the book, “Dealing With People You Can’t Stand”, published by McGraw-Hill.

Download a free Lens of Understanding and see a live presentation of the Lens of Understanding in Dr. Brinkman’s trademark Educating through Entertainment style here.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Dr. Rick Brinkman is best known for his Conscious Communication® expertise conveyed to millions of people via keynotes and trainings in his trademark Educating through Entertainment style. He has performed over 4000 programs in 18 countries. He is the coauthor of six McGraw Hill books including the 2,000,000 copy international bestseller: Dealing With People You Can’t Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst. Which has been translated into 25 languages. His latest book is: Dealing with Meetings You Can’t Stand, Meet Less and Do More.  His clients have included: the Astronauts at NASA, LucasFilm, Sony Pictures, the FBI, Defense Department, Lockheed Martin, Adobe and many more. He has been featured as a communication expert on CNN, the Wall St. Journal, the New York Times, and O Magazine.

Photo by Kaboompics .com

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

RSS
Follow by Email