I draw on many leadership diagnostics and tools, and am certified in the following:
The Leadership Circle Profile (LCP)
The Leadership Circle Profile is designed to accelerate leadership effectiveness beyond traditional competency-based approaches. When it comes to developing leaders, training to competencies alone does not work very well. For more rapid and lasting results, it is crucial that organizations help leaders gain deeper insight into their behavior and what is driving it. The Leadership Circle Profile™ is the only 360 degree competency assessment that simultaneously provides focused competency feedback while revealing the underlying assumptions that are causing a leader’s pattern of strengths and limitations. The Leadership Circle Profile helps leaders understand the relationship between how they habitually think, how they behave, and, more importantly, how all this impacts their current level of leadership effectiveness. Once this awareness is established, leadership development can proceed. Without it, change rarely happens.
The Leadership Development Framework Profile (LDF Profile) and Global Leadership Profile (GLP)
Most developmental psychologists now agree that what differentiates leaders is not so much their philosophy of leadership, their personality, or their style of management, but rather it’s their internal worldview or ‘Action Logic’ – how they construct reality and respond to emerging situations, and plan for the future.
Each leader is informed by a dominant Action Logic which has been shaped by time, experience and learning. A leader’s Action Logic both enables and constrains effectiveness, interacting with the demands made on the leader. Most leaders, however, are not conscious of their Action Logic and thus are ‘blind’ to it. They are unaware they can transform beyond the limits of their current ways of thinking and acting.
Becoming aware of their Action Logic provides leaders with crucial insights into what constrains their effectiveness and importantly, how they can develop beyond these constraints to become more effective leaders.
Leadership Embodiment draws on mindfulness and the traditions of Aikido, a revolutionary non-aggressive martial art that offers simple yet deep techniques that help you recognize how your mind and body habitually react to pressure.
By the time we are adults, we have put in thousands of hours developing habits, which are like super highways with few exit ramps in the brain. Once a behavior pattern is triggered, momentum quickly builds. By changing the energy pattern in our bodies, we can change the thinking pattern in our minds. In other words, we can’t change the habits of our minds with our minds alone. We can, however, shift the habits of our mind by shifting our bodies.
As an example, the way that we sit and stand changes our chemistry and affects the way that we think and speak. For example, when we sit and stand in a closed, contracted posture, more cortisol floods the system. Elevated cortisol is associated with hypertension and memory loss. When we sit and stand in a more open expansive posture, we increase our testosterone. Increased testosterone improves our capacity to endure difficult and stressful situations and may also improve our confidence. When we are open, and our nervous systems relax, we are much more capable of seeing patterns and making wise strategic decisions.
This body of work is vast. I find that it is game-changing for leaders who are often under pressure and need a wide repertoire of responses to skillfully manage a multitude of demands and diverse stakeholders.
Leadership Embodiment was developed by Wendy Palmer who holds a sixth degree blackbelt and has practiced mindfulness for 45 years. She is the author of two books, The Intuitive Body and The Practice of Freedom.
Immunity to Change (ITC)
The mind, like the body, has its own immune system. Dr. Robert Kegan and Dr. Lisa Lahey spent 10 years developing and researching an award-winning coaching method based on their breakthrough discovery of a hidden dynamic called the “immunity to change”. Their research found that – despite thoughtful plans and and heartfelt intentions – some changes are simply hard to make. It’s as if we have one foot on the gas pedal and a larger one on the brake.
Their research suggests that “lack of discipline,” “insufficient motivation, “ the inability to reverse old habits,” are all inadequate explanations for why individuals, teams and organizations don’t change.
They found that people’s failure to enact visible goals is often due to competing commitments. For example, a man who must take anti-cholesterol medicine may unconsciously be more committed to not taking the medicine than to taking it. By not taking the medicine, he can avoid feeling old.
The Immunity to Change (ITC) methodology is designed to bring this internal unconscious resistance to change to light, so that people can attain deeply sought changes.
Structural Dynamics (Kantor Institute)
I work with David Kantor’s model of Structural Dynamics to help leaders, teams and organizations see the underlying dynamics of their communication and collaboration. I am certified in the Kantor Profile, which measures the baseline behavioral propensities and teams in everyday low stakes settings. It also provides a perspective on that person’s behavioral repertoire – their ability to move fluidly among available actions.
Structural Dynamics is a theory of how face-to-face communication works (and does not work) in human systems. Its roots lie in systems theory, the study of phenomena as systems of interrelated parts. This model was developed through an empirical study of family communication over 35 years ago and has evolved and expanded over time in application to families, couples, teams and whole organizations.
Structural Dynamics is broadly applicable because most of the “work” of human systems and the decisions made there take place in face-to-face discourse. Communicative competency – the understanding of the structure of face-to-face communications in human systems – is the key to sound decision-making and to creating results.
Coaching from a Systems Perspective (Society for Organizational Learning, SOL)
Coaching from a Systems Perspective brings a radically different approach to working with individuals and teams. It raises leaders’ awareness about the invisible organizational dynamics that can entangle them outside their conscious awareness. Failure to understand organizational systems dynamics can lead to cycles of blame and self-defense. It can significantly undercut leaders’ performance. By expanding their awareness of the systems in which they are a part, leaders become better able to take effective action and achieve goals for the good of the whole.
The Empowerment Dynamic (TED)
I sometimes use The Empowerment Dynamic (TED) as a way to help leaders view their roles and relationships in teams and organizations in fresh ways – especially when conflict arises.
When conflict arises, people tend to take on three roles, in what Stephen Karpman MD identified as the Dreaded Drama Triangle. They become a Victim (the primary role), a Persecutor (who the Victim blames for their suffering), and the Rescuer (who tries to take away the Victim’s suffering). People shift in and out of all three roles in this Dreaded Drama Triangle.
The Empowerment Dynamic (TED) offers an alternative to the drama triangle. Rather than engaging in conflict as a Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer, leaders shift their mindsets, and take on roles that are empowering, thereby shifting the dynamics of the system.
- Rather than falling into a Victim stance, leaders practice becoming a Creator of their own reality by focusing on a desired outcome and taking steps toward what they want to create.
- Instead of Persecutor, leaders learn to become a Challenger who holds the Creator accountable while encouraging learning, action and next steps. Rather than persecuting, a Challenger consciously builds others up.
- And instead of the role of Rescuer, leaders take on the role of Coach, using compassion and questions to help a Creator develop a vision and action plan. They provide encouragement and support, in place of “rescuing” actions.
By consciously moving into the roles of Creator, Challenger or Coach, greater awareness and options become available to leaders. Rather than fall into reactive patterns, they can shift the dynamics of conflict towards creativity and generative solutions.