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Personality Most Important to Hiring Managers: Developing Today's Leader

Posted by Anthony Attan

Aug 13, 2014 10:12:17 PM

4patterngraphic-new3The most recent issue of Training and Development Magazine (T+D, July, 2104) noted new research findings that 78% of managers surveyed indicated that personality is the most important attribute in a job candidate.  This study is a part of a larger conversation that personality is increasingly more important than hard skills as one moves up in the organizational ranks. In addition to typically sought after characteristics such as conscientiousness and analytic skills, the study found that the most desirable traits were creativity, drive and flexibility. In other words, in today’s business landscape, in order to be successful as we assume leadership roles, we must ensure we take a whole leader approach.

 

A whole leader is someone who has developed the ability to be agile in ALL these areas, rather than only be effective in one or two. In my own work with leaders it became clear early on that although technical skills are certainly necessary at the beginning of ones carrier, and that they can do well with only one of these characteristics noted above, this will not take them to the next level of leadership.  As leaders, it is no longer ok to only be analytic, as we also need to be creative and have the courage to make tough decisions.  It is no longer ok to be only laser focused on one thing, as we must also see the big picture and navigate competing priorities.  Whole leaders know how to use their strengths AND know when something else is needed.  Recognizing that AND often means a paradox. Whole leaders know how to strike the right balance between leveraging strengths while not becoming a victim of them. 

 

In addition to my work with leaders, I teach talent development practitioners how to develop their clients to be whole leaders by use of an instrument called FEBI.  The FEBI is a personality assessment specifically designed for leadership development that measures precisely the personality characteristics the study above noted as what hiring managers are now looking for when evaluating if a candidate will be successful in their work.  Since we know from personality theory that we have a tendency to prefer one or two of these characteristics, or energy patterns of personality as FEBI terms them, talent development practitioners can help leaders:

 

  • Be self-aware to understand their own preferences and how it impacts how they interpret and interact with their environment.
  • Align their work with what they are natural great at, growing and embracing their strength.
  • Become agile in all patterns but developing their whole self so that they can summon a different energy pattern when their strength isn’t appropriate for a particular leadership task.

 

The way we bring about this self-awareness is through validated psychometrics such as FEBI.  The four patterns FEBI measures have been found to be essential for leadership success:

 

  • Driver – laser focused, drives for results, challenges barriers, stretches for goals, loves to win, gets to the point, fast and direct, and independent. 
  • Organizer - does the right thing, moves step by step, proper, likes order, plans and lists, neat and tidy, stable and reliable. 
  • Collaborator - engages people, has fun, rolls with the punches, sees both sides, works around obstacles, plays in the give and take, builds teams and networks. 
  • Visionary - goes with the flow, lets go, thinks in leaps, sees the big picture, seeks harmony, thinks strategically, future-oriented.

 

Our research has found that although we tend to favor one or two of these patterns, which we call Home Patterns, the most successful leaders are those that can easily access all four and are able to use the right pattern at the right time.  These whole leaders are able to thrive with their strengths, while not getting stuck in them.  They are able to recognize what the situation demands, what pattern is best aligned with that demand and effectively enter into that pattern to approach the situation with the right energy. Whole leaders know their strengths but have also developed a full tool box so that when their home pattern isn’t best, they can flip into what pattern is.

Want to learn more about how FEBI can be used in your own talent development efforts?  Join us on September 7th for the free webinar, Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBI 

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Topics: FEBI, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership, leadership development

Change Requires Management, Transition Requires Leadership

Posted by Anthony Attan

Apr 7, 2014 8:55:40 PM

cK-to-supermanChange - happening faster all the time - still calls out for management and all the planning, delegating, budgeting and deciding that implies. But transition requires leadership. Change is what happens to organizational process, transition is what happens to the people involved in that process.

There are a few good models to understand the transition side of change. William Bridges' model, for example, identifies three ‘zones’ people go through when transitioning.The first is called the “Ending Zone” which occurs when we must let go of the old way. Bridges describes how we almost need to go through stages of grieving to effectively navigate this zone. Once we accept that the old way is over, we enter the “Neutral Zone” when the old way is gone, but the new way has not yet begun. This zone can be particularly disorienting as it is full of ambiguity and lack of clarity. The final zone in the Bridges' model is the “New Beginning Zone” in which we fully embrace the change and are engaged in the new way. He notes that different people move at different rates through these zones. These individual differences are part of our personality, and self awareness can make the difference between a new beginning or getting stuck in the neutral zone.The FEBI is a powerful framework to create this awareness. Each of the four FEBI patterns has a characteristic way of moving through the Neutral Zone toward New Beginnings:

  • Driver: The Driver grows impatient in the Neutral Zone and does not do well with ambiguity. Drivers need to remind themselves that change is a process and takes time. They will benefit from stepping back, embracing the change, and envisioning the benefits once the change is fully realized.
  • Organizer: The Organizer can be a worrier about change, relying as it does on on consistency and predictability. Organizers will do best to anticipate different scenarios so they feel prepared for anything. Since predictability is often lacking during a change process, Organizers will benefit from activities that loosen, stretch, expand and renew them during this time.
  • Collaborator: The Collaborator is nimble enough to navigate process changes, but may get caught up in the drama or concern for people during this time. Collaborators may gossip and potential elicit unwarranted fears among colleagues. Collaborators do well to keep those initial conversations between their supervisors and themselves. They can serve an important role getting people on board with the change once they're engaged themselves.
  • Visionary: The Visionary is perhaps the most at ease with transition among the patterns. Visionaries can run into trouble, however, when new processes must be followed in order for the change to be successful. Visionaries can navigate the neutral zone by continuing to keep the bigger picture in mind. They should remind themselves of the importance of this change and what is possible once the change has been fully realized.

Bridges' model is a great framework for those in the organization who are handed a change and must comply with it. However what if you are the leader in charge of this change? We can turn to change expert, John Kotter and see how, in leading others through change, the FEBI patterns provide useful agility through the stages of the process. Our own research has found that that leaders who can effectively align their inner state with the needs of the situation act in the most effective way. Below you can see how the energy patterns of FEBI map to the steps in Kotter’s model:

KotterChangeSteps

Here we see that mapping these steps to the patterns gives clarity as to which pattern to use, when. It's easiest to move into these energy patterns at the right time once you understand their signature in you. Perhaps you have some sense already as to what your favorite pattern is and which patterns are less preferred. To remove the guess work, you can take the FEBI, a validated assessment that measures these patterns. Just as GoogleMaps or GPS are useless in giving directions without first knowing where you are, the FEBI provides this initial understanding of our own starting point, and how we can move into any pattern as we need it.

Are you a coach or development practitioner and want to use FEBI to help your clients manage change and lead transition? Become FEBI-Certified. The next FEBI Certification begins May 4th. Seats are limited so register today.Click HERE to learn more. You can also download a whitepaper on coaching with the energy patterns using the link below.

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Topics: FEBI, FEBI Certified Coach, change management, transition

Wrestling with the Demons of Woo

Posted by Anthony Attan

Aug 28, 2013 1:30:15 PM

I wanted to share an article that FEBI-Certified Coach Amanda Blake recently wrote.  I loved this article so much I wanted to share it with our entire FEBI community!  Amanda is a very talented coach and an expert in the science of somatics.  If you're interested in this topic I strongly recommend you join the the call she is hosting September 10th on The Science of Personal Change.  I know I'll be on the call.  And for those of you new to FEBI, you can now take the full FEBI with online video debrief.  Enjoy Amanda's article on how to deal with the demons of woo...

 

Wrestling with the Demons of Woo by Amanda Blakeamanda_blake_picture-resized-600

This week, I had a meeting with a prospective client who was curious about doing some coaching with me, but also a bit hesitant. "I have to be honest, I'm just really not that comfortable with all that new-agey stuff," she said skeptically. All the way across the country on the other end of the phone line, I could almost hear her eyebrows go screeching up towards her hairline.

I totally get it. I'm a big lover of the far-out and the unexplained mysteries of life. But I also have a huge, cringing allergy to the ungrounded and hyperbolic claims that are so frequently made in the realm of personal growth.

As we would have said back in the 80's, gag me with a spoon.

But here's what I loved about our conversation. When I told her that learning to experience her body differently could help her make a good decision about her next move in her career, she asked "do you have research that supports that?" And, in fact, I did.

I told her about the somatic marker hypothesis, and explained that the parts of our brain that are involved in decision making also happen to be the same parts of our brain that are involved in parsing sensation. In other words, how we make decisions is heavily impacted by our ability to feel our own preferences. People who have lesions in thSomaticMarkerHypothesise relevant parts of the brain (the VMPFC, ACC, and OFC, for you neuroscience nerds out there) find themselves unable to make good decisions, and sometimes, any decisions at all.

I can't tell you what a delight and a relief it was for me to be able to answer her question and point her to specific resources where she could verify it for herself. Even just a few short years ago, a question like hers would leave me flustered as I struggled to explain why embodied learning is so powerfully transformative. I remember leaving many such conversations with a frustrating sense of inadequacy and a deflated sense of confidence.

Hopefully it's not that way for you! I tend to make things harder than they need to be. :-) But there are lots of reasons why you, too, might want to be able to offer a rigorous, grounded, and credible response to this kind of genuine desire to understand. If so, then here are a few things you can do.

Start Here: Choose some result that you consistently produce for people in your work. It may be reduced stress, or an ability to negotiate more effectively, or… you name it. For instance in the example I've been talking about, it's helping someone find a meaningful direction for their life and work.

Read Up: Do some research. Who are the scientists, authors, and teachers who are working in the realm you've chosen? A google scholar search always turns up interesting results.

Write The Story: Look for how the research conclusions map to the work you do. Do you see any connections between what's coming out of the lab and the results you produce? It can be a bit of effort to make those connections, but it's worth it for moments like the one I had this week.

Test It Out: Try explaining the connections you see to trusted friends and colleagues. When you've got the kinks worked out, start trying it out on clients.

If you want a bit of a shortcut, you can also join my free call on September 10th, The Science of Personal Change. We're going to be talking about the scientific basis for embodied learning and I can't wait to share it with you.

I don't know if this particular client will decide to join me or not. But whether she does or she doesn't, I was left with the impression that I introduced her to some new ways of seeing herself and her opportunities that she didn't have before. Even if we never speak again, that's an impact I can feel good about.

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Topics: coaching, decision making, embodied learning, FEBI, FEBI Certified Coach

FEBI: The Power of all Four

Posted by Anthony Attan

Jan 31, 2013 1:35:00 PM

In this final part of the five-part blog series called The Patterns of FEBI we look at the power of combining all four.  This series explores each pattern measured by the FEBI.  The FEBI is a validated psychometric assessment and coaching tool that measures four fundamental patterns of personality and the various contexts in which they are expressed; cognition, physical movement, emotions, environment, etc.

 

When thinking of what to write for this post I was hoping to start with a funny story, a wise saying or some brilliant research.  What instead kept popping in my head was the theme song to a cartoon from my childhood, Captain Planet.  The basic plot of this cartoon was five extraordinary people around the globe had special powers derived from the planet; wind, water, earth, fire, and heart.  When villains sought to harm people, animals or the environment, one of the five would spring into action, utilizing their superpowers to fight crime and take down the bad guys. When a force was too great for one of them to take on, however, they would combine their powers, summoning Captain Planet: “With your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!”

 

describe the imageSo far in this blog series, we have seen how important each energy pattern of FEBI can be: How the Driver can be a great warrior, ensuring we clear barriers and reach our goals.  How the Organizer can give process to our brilliant ideas, giving them a way to become reality.  How the Collaborator can recharge our internal batteries, allowing us to be fully engaged and engage others.  How the Visionary enables us to embrace the chaos, expanding our world to all that is possible. Interestingly, these four patterns aren’t far from Captain Planet’s elements of fire (Driver), earth (Organizer), water (Collaborator) and wind (Visionary), and all of them manifest heart. Could you imagine being at your best with any of these players not on your bench?   

The good news is you don’t have to; you have all four of these patterns available already and, with a bit of awareness and practice, you can summon the right pattern at the right time! 

 

Through our work with leaders around the globe we have found that the most successful leaders are those who are best able to utilize all four aspects of themselves.  In one chapter of The Zen Leader, author Ginny Whitelaw asks a group during a leadership development program to describe a ‘whole leader’.   Here is what they say:

 

“gets the big picture and the details, drives results, gets it done, is good with people, thinks short-term and long-term, has a clear focus but still listens, balances work and life, can handle ambiguity, works well with diverse people…”

 

To become such a multi-faceted leader, you better have a full bench!  The best leaders do.  And this goes beyond corporate leadership.  If you’re a parent, a coach, an artist, a teacher, a sailor, a nurse, or an active member or your neighborhood, to be at your best you need all four.  No wonder the Captain Planet theme song kept ringing in my head!

 

While you don’t have to hum the theme song or dress up in blue tights and a cape, the power of multi-faceted excellence can be yours.  It starts with self awareness.  While it is certainly true that we have the ability to summon all four energy patterns, we also have preferences.  In psychology we might call this personality type.  Most people have a preference for one or two of these patterns, naturally utilizing those patterns more often – both when they’re useful and when they’re not.  Conversely, most people also have one or two patterns they use less often; it takes more energy to engage these weak patterns and may cause some discomfort.  Discovering what patterns you prefer and don’t prefer, what you are utilizing and not utilizing, is the first step in creating that full bench of pattern players.  Perhaps you already have a sense of your preferences just from reading this blog series.  If you want a more scientific answer, you can complete the FEBI, a validated psychometric assessment that measures these four patterns and tells you to what extent you prefer each of them. It will also show you numerous ways to cultivate a weak pattern, and how they might help you.  Armed with your newfound self awareness, you can begin to use your personality more fully, rather than be stuck in it.  You’ll also gain new insights into those around you, and be able to pick out which patterns they prefer.

 

As we saw throughout this blog series, certain patterns are best at engaging certain situations.  For example, the Visionary is best for creating a strategic vision.  The Organizer is best at creating steps to bring that vision to reality, and so on.  You’ll begin to have awareness of what pattern is best for a particular situation.  Putting this all together, with a bit of practice and intention, you can become proficient at bringing out the right pattern at the right time.  Since we do have preferences, those patterns that are least preferred do require more energy and intention to access. You can kickstart any pattern by engaging its various forms, such as using physical movement, cognitive activities, playing a certain kind of music, or putting yourself in a particular environment. Take time to practice engaging all the patterns, especially those that you are less comfortable with. This will allow those bench players to be ready when they are needed – when your inner equivalent of Captain Planet needs to summon those elements.  With your powers combined, what couldn’t you handle?

 

Need help getting started using all four patterns?  Download this worksheet from best-selling book, Move to Greatness, to learn how to build your own best by effectively utilizing all four energy patterns of FEBI.

Want to learn more about FEBI?  Join us on February 12th for the free webinar, Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBI.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership development, managing energy, whole leadership, energy patterns, Driver, whole leadership. whole leadership development, Organizer, Collaborator, Visionary, whole self

Visionary: Embracing the Chaos of Possibility

Posted by Anthony Attan

Jan 25, 2013 2:50:00 PM

Part 4 of this five-part blog series called The Patterns of FEBI, expands into the Visionary.  In this series we explore each pattern measured by the FEBI.  The FEBI is a validated psychometric assessment and coaching tool that measures four fundamental patterns of personality and the various contexts in which they are expressed; cognition, physical movement, emotions, environment, etc.

 

“No chaos, no creation.  Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime.” – Mason Cooley

 Visionary logo

As a child, one of my favorite toys was a set of bricks made of cardboard that I could stack and build into just about anything.  I used to love creating forts, race car tracks, cabins, buildings, castles and more.  Have you ever watched a child play with blocks, legos or other such elements of creative construction?  For that child, those random pieces can turn into anything, limited only by imagination.  I still recall the feeling that all the possibilities in the world existed in that chaotic pile of cardboard bricks.

 

One of the more unfortunate side effects of growing up is that we often lose this childlike imagination.  Instead of envisioning a fort, we see a mess of boxes that needs to be picked up.  Instead of seeing potential, we see only the stress that chaos can bring.  Chaos, however, brings with it possibility.  Losing one’s job, for example, can be one of the most chaotic events that a person can encounter.  This event can certainly be stressful, and full of all the negative side effects that accompany stress: headaches, stomachaches, lack of sleep, feeling inadequate, depression, etc.  Now, consider if this event were instead approached by embracing the chaos.  Think of all that is now possible, that you are no longer tied down by that job, that you can now create a new chapter, a new world.      

 

Consider chaotic events in your own life that have shaped where you are today.  I can certainly think of a few.  For me, those events earlier in my life were not filled with the enthusiasm and excitement of possibility.  They were full of fear and stress.  “What am I going to do now?”  “How will I get past this?”  Questions like these ran through my head as the fear took over my body, making me physically ill.  I felt small, unimportant and inadequate.  Just think of the kind of world I was creating, one that was just as small as I was feeling.  Now, imagine I instead embraced the chaos, empowered by all that is possible. 

 

Now, this is exactly how I approach situations cloaked with unknowns and chaos.  The energy pattern that got me here is Visionary. The Visionary is a pattern of no pattern, it is a pattern of big picture thinking and future orientation, of connecting with the essence of situations and thriving in the unknown.  For me, a strong Organizer/Driver, this was not a natural pattern.  It had to be cultivated.  When I approached chaos as an Organizer, especially when the solution could not be immediately known, the result was always fear and stress.  When I learned to instead approach these situations as a Visionary, the fear went away and I felt big with all that was now possible. This shift in emotion occurs because the Visionary is simply better in these situations.  In fact, it thrives in them. 

 

NVisionary Energy Patternext time you’re faced with chaos, try this exercise to approach it with all the possibility of the Visionary.  To get the most out of this activity, I strongly encourage first entering Visionary physically, such as is shown in the Visionary Pattern Energy you can download below.  With blank paper and a pen, find a quiet open space.  A park bench, a meadow or by a body of water is a great space for this activity.  Become aware of your breathing, let your body relax, and let your eyes soften to take in full peripheral vision – seeing the entire scene around you all at once.  Now, in the middle of the paper draw a circle and write the phrase “what is possible now?”  Over the next 20 minutes, write down any thought that pops in your head.  You don’t have to think too hard about it, nor do the thoughts need to make sense now.  Just keep feeling the flow of your breath, feeling into the bigness of the Visionary, and let thoughts of all that is possible arise on their own. After writing down a thought, rather than focusing on it, just let it go and await the next thought.  With this random smattering of possibilities in front of you, turn your page over and again draw a circle except this time write the phrase “what wants to happen here?”  Again, take 20 minutes powered by the Visionary and, with this question, write down whatever thoughts decide to pop in your head.  By the end of this activity, take a look at your paper and see what you came up with.  Check in on the feeling this framing brings whatever issue you were facing.  Empowered by the Visionary, it will be hard to find anything you can’t handle.

Want to learn more about FEBI?  Join us on February 12th for the free webinar, Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBI.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership development, leadership coaching, energy patterns, Visionary

Collaborator: The Power of Play

Posted by Anthony Attan

Jan 18, 2013 10:18:00 AM

In Part 3 of the five-part blog series called The Patterns of FEBI, we swing-on into the Collaborator.  In this series we will explore each pattern measured by the FEBI.  The FEBI is a validated psychometric assessment and coaching tool that measures four fundamental patterns of personality and the various contexts in which they are expressed; cognition, physical movement, emotions, environment, etc.

 

Fighting off giant sea creatures and spiky turtle men to save Princess Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom.  Building a ladder to the moon out of trash, musical instruments and slices of pizza while dressed as a rabbit.  Racing a big squid car through an outer space race track called Rainbow Road.

 

You may think I’m describing plots to summer movies or the ramblings of a child’s Collaborator dogimaginations.  You would be mistaken.  I am actually describing a typical Saturday morning for my wife, Jennifer.  No, Jennifer is not from a magical land, nor a figment of my own imagination.  Come Saturday morning, Jennifer is a gamer.  Her games of choice are always of the creative, whimsical and playful variety.  I already know what some of you are thinking:  What a waste of time.  Isn’t Nintendo for children?  I would postulate that not only should we play and have fun, but that time spent doing so is of tremendous benefit to us.  The more childlike and whimsical the better!   

 

Let me explain.  During the week, Jennifer works for the Burn Rehab Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Her typical patients have burns over 90% of their body, are in tremendous physical and emotional pain, and if they make it past the first few weeks, have a long hospital stay ahead of them.  It’s Jennifer’s job to help in the rehabilitation process, which can range from wound care, to helping them sit up on their own, to teaching them how to walk again.  Recovery is only possible with continual work, which is often very hard and painful for the patients.  Painful as it is, day after day, Jennifer and the Burn Rehab team take their patients through their activities and treatments as they make incremental progress toward recovery.  The toughest days for Jennifer, she tells me, are the days she spends time with the family members, and all the emotions that go with it. 

 

In spite of this challenging job, Jennifer always has a huge smile and an infectious laugh.  Even her patients, who are usually in pain when they see her, adore Jennifer.  So back to taking on the whimsical world of Nintendo, Jennifer says, “With my job, I need this time just to keep my sanity!”  She’s right.  For us to be fully engaged, as Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz describe in their book The Power of Full Engagement, we need a rhythm between push and release, between drive and recover.  We need to recharge those batteries.  As Ginny Whitelaw describes in her latest book, The Zen Leader, we often take better care of our electronics then we do ourselves.  When our iPhone battery is about to die, we plug it in to recharge it but we often don’t take the time to recharge our own batteries.

 

I realize that for some of you, this seems like common sense.  Those of you with a strong preference for the Driver and Organizer patterns (that we covered in Parts I and II) may be less convinced that playing Nintendo can have benefits like helping you be better at your job.  So, for you left brainers out there, research shows that happier people are more helpful, creative, prosocial, charitable, altruistic, healthier, live longer, are more likely to marry, stay married longer, and have more close and casual friends.  At work, happy people take fewer sick days, receive better evaluations from their supervisors and from customers, stay loyal to their employers longer, show more helpful behaviors, are more innovative, have lower corporate healthcare costs, and have lower turnover rates. And our research shows that play – bringing out the pattern of the Collaborator – correlates with positive emotions.

 

Collaborator logoPlay is not only great for recharging your batteries outside of work, you can also engage this pattern at work, which makes work a lot more fun. The Collaborator pattern loves to have fun, to engage others, play in the give and take of relationships, and see both sides of a situation.  Imagine how powerful this pattern could be if you need to engage your employees while navigating an organizational change, or to problem solve a complex issue.  The Collaborator is often left out of the very situations where it is most needed.  In such situations, especially if you normally approach them with the Driver’s urgency or the Organizer’s seriousness, you may need to be more intentional about summoning the Collaborator.  But with a bit of practice, it will be easier and easier to do so.

 

To help with summoning and strengthening your inner Collaborator, download the Collaborator Pattern Energizer activity.  One of the best ways to engage this energy is with playful movements: rocking, swinging, dancing, or finding a way around obstacles in a video game. Build a fort with your kids, play ball with the dog in the park, or just be silly for no reason whatsoever. So next time you have the urge to shrink to the size of an ant and play in the digital grass on your TV screen, I say pick up that joy stick and get your game on!

 

Want to learn more about FEBI?  Join us on February 12th for the free webinar, Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBI.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, managing energy, work-life balance, Collaborator

Organizer: Giving Form to Those Brilliant Ideas

Posted by Anthony Attan

Jan 14, 2013 10:35:00 AM

Part 2 of the five-part blog series called The Patterns of FEBI steps into the Organizer.  In this series we explore each pattern measured by the FEBI.  The FEBI is a validated psychometric assessment and coaching tool that measures four fundamental patterns of personality and the various contexts in which they are expressed; cognition, physical movement, emotions, environment, etc.

 

Remember this comedic exchange from a scene in Tina Fey’s movie Baby Mama?

Kate:  What do you do, Carl?

Angie:  Carl is an inventor/entrepreneur.

Carl:  I'm still looking for that home run, you know.  I mean, when I saw the iPod the first time, I could've kicked myself.

Angie:  That was so hard on him.

                                                                                                                  Organizer logo            

I’m sure we all have a friend who has claimed to have invented the iPod, Facebook, Amazon or Silly Bandz (those squiggly rubber bands kids wear that sell around $200 million annually).  Maybe you are that friend who is always beating your head against the wall when you see someone else become widely successful from an idea you had years ago.  No matter how brilliant our ideas are, not all of them can become reality. But when we have an idea that could be realized, how is it that some people are able to do that, whereas others are not?  Get ready to brush the dust off those stacks of scribbled ideas on legal pads and napkins, and see how they could gain new life!

           

It is certainly true that some people are simply more creative, inventive and think more outside-the-box than others.  In psychology we explain this difference with discussions of personality.  Some people have a personality that predisposes them to making connections that are less obvious, being able to envision the future, play with possibilities when problem solving, and able to adapt to a range of situations and environments.  In the FEBI, these people are described as being high in a combination of Collaborator and Visionary.  The Collaborator pattern is great at playing with possibilities and seeing both sides of situations.  The Visionary pattern is great at making unconventional connections, future orientation, and thinking outside-the-box. 

 

The issue many creative people run into is that they favor these more creative aspects of their personality so much, that those ideas never see the light of day.  Before an idea has a chance to turn into anything tangible, they are often on to the next stroke of genius.  So how is it that some creative people succeed, while others fail?  The key lies in the conversion of idea to action.  From intangible to tangible.  From thinking to doing.  What is needed is a roadmap to do just that.  Enter the Organizer pattern of personality.

 

We often find those that are high in Collaborator and Visionary are also low in Organizer.  Organizer is a pattern of form, systematic thinking, planning, discipline and responsibility.  The Organizer pattern thrives at taking a big process and breaking it down into individual steps.  It’s great at thinking of the logistics and constructing a plan to make that brilliant idea a reality. 

           

Organizer computerHere is how to get started.  Take one of your brilliant ideas and write it down on a blank sheet of paper.  Now, envision what it will be like for this idea to turn into reality.  How is the world different?  How is your idea/product being used?  Really put yourself in that future of your idea.  Now, summon your inner Organizer.  Sit up straight, clean your workspace and put on some classical music.  On your paper, write down several key things that would have to happen to make your idea a reality.  Next, pick one of these things that you feel you can make headway on now, and write out a step-by-step list: how can you bring that about?  Now, transfer this list to a calendar and hold yourself accountable to following through on these steps.  It’s important to make these deadlines real for yourself, so if you are having a hard time following through, try telling a friend - sort of like an accountability buddyJ  The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu famously said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  With a little help from the Organizer, take that step today!

 

Having trouble entering the Organizer, download this Organizer Pattern Energizer to help enter this pattern.  Stay tuned for the next installment of the Patterns of FEBI blog series in which we discuss how a little fun can go a long way.

 

Want to learn more about FEBI?  Join us on February 12th for the free webinar, Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBI.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, managing energy, energy patterns, Organizer, personality, coaching, personal development

Driver: From Distracted to Dominating!

Posted by Anthony Attan

Jan 10, 2013 10:47:00 AM

Part 1 of this blog series called The Patterns of FEBI digs into the Driver.  In this five-part series, we explore each pattern measured by the FEBI.  The FEBI is a validated psychometric assessment and coaching tool that measures four fundamental patterns of personality and the various contexts in which they are expressed; cognition, physical movement, emotions, environment, etc.  Enjoy!

 

Have you ever had a day like this?

 

9:00am – Start work

9:15am – I’m off to a good start, better check that email

9:30am – Still checking emaildescribe the image

9:35am – I’m sick of email, but I’m one click way from Facebook

9:55am – Still have time to get work done before 10am, get off of Facebook

10:00am – Back on track working on that project!

10:01am – Ding! Is that my phone I hear?  My best friend texts me their latest crisis.

Noon – After more emails, phone calls and games of Angry Birds, I realize how behind my work is today.  Looks like I’m taking another “working lunch”

 

Many of us know this type of day, some more than others.  And who can blame us?  Our phones are practically mini-computers.  We get constant ding and ping noises occurring all around us, triggering us to check our email, text or social media accounts. Oh yes, accountS with a capital “S”, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Google+, LinkedIn or that yet-to-be-created site.  And if you work at home, which is an ever growing way to work these days, you also have the doorbell, those dirty dishes, and the dog to pull you away from your work.  Distracters like these can not only be an annoyance, they can do real damage to our ability to get anything done at all!  Not only does it take us away from our work, it takes us away from the good quality work we do when we are in the zone.  Every time we come back from a distraction, it takes us time to get back to that zone and, over the course of a day, all that time adds up.

 

With distracters all around us that can derail our day, how do we get back on track?  This looks like a job for the Driver!  The Driver is one of four energy patterns of personality measured by the FEBI.  The Driver is a pattern that gets things done, is laser focused, challenges others, and loves to win.  It is a pattern that embraces competition, pushes through barriers, and sets stretch goals.  In other words, the Driver is a warrior, fighting against the destructive force of distractions and making sure we get the job done!  Although it is certainly true that, like any personality characteristic, people vary in the degree the Driver shows up in them, the good news is that with a little practice, we can all bring up the power of the Driver to keep us on task and get stuff done!  Here is your first lesson:

 

To engage the laser focus of the Driver while sitting at your desk, start by planting your feet on the ground.  Really feel into the ground beneath you, especially through the balls of your feet, sitting on the edge of the seat as if you were ready to jump up at any moment.  As you do this, put your hands together and with your two index fingers, and point to a spot in front of you, siting down your fingers to the spot with intense focus.  Continue to press down with the balls of your feet.  Now, pay attention to how this feels, having uninterrupted focus on this single point.  Physically, you may notice your brow furrows and your hands naturally push against each other.  Emotionally, you may feel strong, powerful and focused.  Take this same intense focus with you as you go back to your agenda.  Ask yourself, “What’s next?”  Then, with your newly energized Driver to focus, EXECUTE!

 

For more ways to engage the Driver in you, download this Driver Pattern Energizer from the bestselling book Move to Greatness.  Next in our Patterns of FEBI blog series we will explore how the Organizer energy pattern can bring our great ideas to reality.  Stay tuned:-)

 

Want to learn more about FEBI?  Join us on February 12th for the free webinar, Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBI.

 

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership coaching, energy patterns, Driver, whole leadership. whole leadership development

Science of Somatics: Interview with Amanda Blake

Posted by Anthony Attan

Dec 7, 2012 12:14:00 PM

Amanda Blake is a FEBI-Certied Coach who is doing some amazing work around the Science of Somatics.  I recently caught up with Amanda about her work with leaders, her forthcoming book and how she utilizes the FEBI patterns in her work.


Amanda Blake HeadshotTell me about Stonewater Leadership.

I started Stonewater to support social change by helping people become more deeply embodied. New research is revealing - and yogis and martial artists have been telling us for generations - that as you increase self-awareness in physical, emotional, and mental domains all kinds of benefits open up, from increased health to reduced stress to greater empathy.

In my line of work as a Master Somatic Coach I primarily apply those insights to the challenges of leadership. When done right, cultivating mindful embodiment can have practical leadership benefits as well as personal benefits.

Through Stonewater I work with two groups of people: practitioners who want to learn more about the science of embodiment, and leaders - primarily social entrepreneurs - who want to increase their capacity to lead during these challenging and turbulent times.


What can we expect in your forthcoming book, Your Body Is Your Brain?

The big promise behind the book is that it will help people get smarter about what matters to them by harnessing their full intelligence, including the wisdom of the body. Your Body Is Your Brain surveys the research landscape in a wide variety of fields - biopsychology, embodied cognition, neuroscience, and psychoneuroimmunology, to name a few - and connects that research to powerful and compelling stories of change told by somatic coaching clients worldwide.

In the book, I explore how leaders can cultivate the social and emotional intelligence they need to effectively galvanize people around their vision, manage their mood when the going gets tough, handle conflict when it arises, and so on. Most importantly, I explore why it’s imperative - really, truly non-optional - to include the physical body in any kind of personal development. There are sound neurobiological reasons why this is so, and in the book I explore those reasons.


During a recent FEBI Certified Coach webinar, you discussed how subtle changes in body posture can induce powerful changes in ourselves and those around us. Can you speak more to this phenomenon?

Sure. Dr. Stephen Porges, a prominent researcher focused on the autonomic nervous system - a part of our nervous system involved in stress and relaxation - collaborated with bodyworkers to study the effects of Rolfing on stress. They found that changing the angle of the pelvic bowl from a slight anterior tilt to a more balanced position was associated with a sustained increase in parasympathetic tone. What this means, in lay terms, is that people experienced a greater sense of calm when their hips were in a healthier and more efficient anatomical position. This is because the parasympathetic nerves involved in calming physiobodybrainbehavior V2 resized 600logical systems run right through your pelvic bowl. Your everyday posture actually plays a role in your resilience to stress.

So what does this have to do with leadership and organizations? What I and other somatic coaches consistently see in our clients is that as they make sustained postural changes, several things shift in conjunction with that, including their typical mood, their sense of confidence, and their capacity to take actions that were previously difficult for them. This can include speaking up in meetings, or modulating their flashes of anger, for example. This claim that posture impacts more than just physiological health is supported by Amy Cuddy’s research on power postures at Harvard Business School, which I mentioned during the webinar.


How are you utilizing FEBI in your work? How do the patterns connect with your work?

Obviously, FEBI is a great fit with my work. Most of my work is about helping people learn how to be in their body in a new way so they can take different actions. FEBI is the only instrument I know of that goes beyond increasing self-awareness to help people actually move differently in the world, both literally and metaphorically. For this reason, it’s the only leadership assessment that I use.

I often play a little game with myself: I tend to guess at people’s FEBI profiles by watching them move, and then when I have a look at their FEBI results, I check how close I was. This has really helped me hone my ability to see how clients’ behavior and personality shows up in their gestures and comportment. Sometimes I teach in programs that don’t include use of the FEBI. In those circumstances I’ll still observe participants through the lens of the patterns and help them access new options and actions through other qualities of movement. Overall, I have found the FEBI to be a really helpful tool.

I should also add that I have written about the patterns in Your Body Is Your Brain and I refer to them as well in my Body = Brain practitioners class. I interviewed Betsy Wetzig, Ginny Whitelaw's co-author on Moving to Greatness, to get a deeper understanding of how she came to her understanding of the patterns. And several FEBI coaching clients have been generous with their time and stories as well. Many thanks to all of the wonderful folks at Focus Leadership for supporting the effort!

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership development, leadership coaching, embodied learning, managing stress, energy patterns, mindful practice

What Differentiates FEBI as a Coaching Tool?

Posted by Anthony Attan

Sep 4, 2012 11:01:00 AM

 

Blog Rewind:  This short post was written by Zen Leader author Ginny Whitelaw responding to a question that came up in a FEBI Certification session.  This recently came up again when I was working with one of our FEBI Certified Coaches, so I thought it would be good to repost Ginny's answer.  Like many, this practitioner was great at coaching with FEBI, but was struggling with the step before the coaching even began, describing the instrument to people that have never heard of it.  This can be an important step for practitioners that are in the 'selling' phase of a coaching engagements, which as we know, sometimes continues after a contract is signed.   

 

Near the end of our FEBI certification webinar yesterday, I was asked how I would – in a 30 sec pitch to a client - differentiate the FEBI from other assessments. What are 3-4 key talking points? Great question! Here’s my answer:

1- Connects Being with Doing

Creates an immersion experience where leaders feel on the inside how they need to be FEBI Patterns logoto authentically behave in a certain way or create a certain climate or performance around them; FEBI can then be linked to all other course content

2- Is both Descriptive and Prescriptive

Many assessments give insight into personality, but only the FEBI prescribes specific, mind-body practices to enable and support desired shifts

3- Scales from Individual to Groups

Gives insight into individual personality, as well as how these same patterns emerge in relationships, on teams, in organizations, and across demographic, professional, and national cultures. In all cases, leaders learn levers for bringing out more of a needed energy pattern, and can tie that back into themselves, and how they need to be

4- Accelerates Development

Study after study has shown that mind-body awareness accelerates awareness and development in general; the FEBI makes this crucial link

 

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Not FEBI Certified but want to learn more about this coaching tool?  Join us on September 10th for a free webinar: Energize Yourself, Energize Your Business with FEBISign up today!

 

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership development, leadership coaching, energy patterns, business coaching tool, Ginny Whitelaw, coach training

Welcome to the FEBI Learning Lounge

The official FEBI blog

The FEBI Learning Lounge is the official blog of FEBI Assessment.  In this blog we discuss all things related to the energy patterns of FEBI, digging more into each of the patterns of personality and discussing various applications that can benefit from a pattern perspective.

Also visit the Zen Leader Blog

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