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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

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

 

13a41325-1aae-4d4e-8b0f-d97e64bccee3  

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

4 Tips for Leadership Coaching

Posted by Mark Kiefaber

Mar 6, 2012 9:00:00 AM

Often times when I work with high level leaders I’m shocked by the lack of real leadership development they have experienced.  Usually highly intelligent and talented people, they have risen through the corporate ranks to a position of leadership on their technical skills alone.  Here is where leadership coaching comes into play, which can be the difference between a highly talented employee that meets goals and an integral leader that changes the game.  Below are a few tips on how to ensure your leadership coaching is developing great leaders. 

  • Self-Awareness:  Start by helping the leader become aware of how s/he shows up as a leader.  What is his/her personality?  Thinking style?  Communication style?  Behavior?  You can’t get to where you want to go without knowing where you are, so first help your clients start with this important self insight.  

  • Others-Awareness:  Provide a frame to see how these different styles/preferences show up in the people around them and perhaps more importantly, how to use this knowledge to meet people where they are.  Leaders can gain important insight when considering what the message looks like from the followers’ perspective.  Understanding follower personality preferences, behavioral styles, needs, etc. and approaching leadership from that perspective is one of the most powerful tools that a developed leader have.

  • Situational-Awareness:  A third important piece of the puzzle is what the needs of the situation are.  Sometime the situation means we just need to get things done, other times we need to slow down and think outside the box.  Help your client develop an awareness of what the situation calls for.

  • Putting It All Together:  In my work with leaders I have found that the most successful leaders, the ones that their people look up to as great leaders, are those that can effectively and continuously put these three elements together.  The most developed leaders are those that understand themselves from the inside out, meet their people where they are and incorporate the needs of the situation in their approach.

At Focus Leadership we have developed the perfect leadership coaching tool to guide this very process called the FEBI.  Click on the link below to download a free FEBI Coaching Guide.

download-febi-coaching-guide

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, leadership, leadership development, change management, leadership coaching, whole leadership development, business coaching tool

Business Coaching Tool: What Differentiates FEBI

Posted by Anthony Attan

Feb 27, 2012 9:10:00 AM

Blog Rewind:  We went back to our archives to bring you our most popular posts from the old blog.  Here is a response from Ginny Whitelaw around the question of what makes the FEBI assessment different from other business coaching tools.

 

Title:  What Differentiates FEBI?

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 to 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.

  download-febi-coaching-guide

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership, change management, leadership coaching, whole leadership development, energy patterns, business coaching tool

Why Driver Matters and, for that Matter, Why FEBI Matters

Posted by Ginny Whitelaw

Feb 10, 2012 10:06:00 AM

The patterns are always teaching me something.  I just had a FEBI debrief session yesterday with a terrific physical therapist.  Her specialty is working with pelvic floor dysfunction (related to incontinence, chronic pelvic and abdominal pain etc.).  I was telling her about this base-of-the-abdomen area also being the Driver center – which you can feel anytime you start pushing.  She mentioned that studies show that these base muscles are triggered before one initiates any sort of movement – from taking a step to opening a door knob – to stabilize the body.  Often when people are weak in this area, she notices they’re not assertive, don’t get to the point, and other signs of low Driver.  She’s doing some great work helping people regain health in this area, and now she knows even more about the energy her work enables.

Suzanne, one of our FEBI Certified Coaches, wrote to me today saying how much the FEBI was helping her in her leadership coaching, and how she was spreading word of it all over.  I wish there were a million Suzannes, because then millions more people would find FEBI, and millions more people would find that it has a way of expanding one’s capacity like no other tool I’ve come across.  Most of you who come here are already FEBI certified, but with our winter certification starting soon (Feb 27), this would be a great time to spread the word all over.  And if you’ve been thinking about FEBI, and thinking you’ll get to certification eventually, dive in now, and maybe what you learn will make you better equipped to handle all your other demands.  And if you don’t even know what FEBI stands for, but could use a great coaching tool or leadership consulting tool, talk to us (anthony@focusleadership.com). 

    learn-more-about-febi-and-certification

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

Using Physical Activies in Leadership Development Coaching

Posted by Anthony Attan

Feb 6, 2012 11:42:00 AM

Blog Rewind: We went back to our archives to bring you our most popular post form the old blog.  here is a Q & A written by Ginny Whitelaw, titled "Coaching Clients on Physical Activities for the Patterns".

Q: How, in an actual coaching session, do you recommend physical activities for developing a pattern, beyond just looking over a list of them?

A: It’s a great question, and one that I invite other coaches to share their experience on as well. For in landing on the right practices by which our clients can cultivate this or that pattern, we make the patterns deeply personal for our clients, and HOW we do that is deeply personal for us as coaches. This is how I do it: start with exactly where the client is starting:

What are you interested in?FEBI Logo

What do you love to do?

What renews you?

What did you used to make time for that you no longer do?

These are the sorts of questions I might ask. And then I listen deeply for whether they know what’s good for them or are they lost? In particular, is there something they name that could be done in the energy of the pattern they want to cultivate? And can we identify some strengths that will help them strengthen a weak pattern?

For example, one client, I’ll call her Margie, was a strong Driver and wanted to develop more Visionary. Other things I knew about Margie was she had a strong sense of responsibility (i.e., especially not letting others down), her health was starting to fail, and she was Driver-determined to “make war” (her words) on getting her life back. When I asked her about practices already in her life, she said she used to go to the gym and weightlift, but didn’t have time for it anymore – classic Driver! – but she knew she needed to get back to it. She also loved cooking, gardening, just being out in nature, but didn’t have time for those things either.

Already she had given me plenty of clues. We talked about converting her “make war” determination into committed time for a renewing practice. Using her Driver strength and sense of responsibility, I suggested keeping score (“Give yourself a point each day that you stick to your commitment, and set a target for, say, 70 points this quarter. Make a bet with a friend. If you don’t hit 70 points by end of the quarter, you owe her something you’ve agreed on.”)

Now that we had a wedge of time, how could Margie best fill it? She wanted to get back to weightlifting a couple times a week, and I told her that was great, but don’t expect that to develop the Visionary. It would be important renewal time for her, however, and would keep refreshing her “make war” determination, so I didn’t try to talk her out of it. “In addition,” I asked, and this is where the pattern activity lists come in, “Would you consider Tai Chi once a week? Done with a friend (whom she wouldn’t want to let down, of course!). In general, this is where in a coaching conversation I might bring out the lists. Do any of these speak to you? Which of these are you already doing? Which are you curious about?

As for Tai Chi and Margie, she said she would think about it, but in a way that made me think she’d do nothing more than think about it. But the seed was planted, I let it go. In the meantime, gardening was already a passion (and on the Visionary list); could she commit to an hour a week being one with her garden? And doing it in a sort of Visionary way – creating, making spaces, feeling into the nature of what wants to happen in a semi-shaded part of her yard? She was quite charged about this possibility, and I could hear it would have enough energy to get started. She also wanted to add a Visionary walk at lunch through a park near where she worked – a midday refresher that would also spark ideas for her own garden. Twenty minutes for her walks, an hour a week for her gardening, weightlifting twice a week, and a bet with a friend wrapped around all of it – a perfect starting practice for this Driver!

So there is a place for the lists – i.e., those development activities listed in the end of chapters in Move to Greatness, or in the Development Recommendations of a FEBI report – but I suggest not starting with them, but rather starting with where our client starts, listening for how we can build on strengths and current passions, and making connections to what we hear will resonate for him or her.

 

Not yet FEBI Certified?  Learn more about becoming a FEBI Certified Coach and join the next Certification beginning February 27th, 2012.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, leadership, leadership development, change management, leadership coaching, whole leadership development, embodied learning

Interview with FEBI Coach Rhonda Morton

Posted by Anthony Attan

Feb 1, 2012 3:51:00 PM

Recently FEBI Certified Coach Rhonda Morton was interviewed by the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy.  In addition to sharing her expertise on the power of empathy, Rhonda discussed how the FEBI has helped her clients reach their full potential. 

“…when working with individuals and groups I have this tool called FEBI [Focus Energy Balance Indicator].  It was developed by a women named Ginny Whitelaw.  She took energy patterns in our bodies that exist, like the way that our muscles work, the way that our neurons fire and the way that our nervous system works and based on that came up with four types; Driver, Organizer, Collaborator and Visionary.  To make a long story short, it’s a shorthand or a lens to look at how we behave ourselves and how we interact with other people.  And what I love about it is that it is so simple, it’s four types and they are words we understand and we get it.  When I start explaining it, people are like ‘oh yea, I’m a Driver/Organizer’ or they say ‘oh, that’s why I can never go shopping with my daughter, she’s a Visionary and I’m a Driver, I just want to get it done and she wants to touch everything’…”  

Rhonda went on to say, “We are by no stretch of the imagination the same, we don’t think the same or feel the same.  So once you can have that awareness and you can start looking at life through that kind of lens, it’s like there is an easiness that comes from it, just knowing that drops the frustration, drops some of the resisting what is…I find that when I introduce these four ways to approach the world, that it tunes up through your whole body…when people get that and they have this language to talk about it, it’s like grease, it just makes things go smoother.”

Click HERE to watch the full interview.  Under that video is also a video of Rhonda giving a TED talk on being an ‘Empathy Ambassador’.  If you would like to learn more about Rhonda and the great work she is doing, visit her website at http://www.possibilityapplied.com/

 take-the-mini-febi

 

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

Leadership Coaching with Physical Activities and the Energy Patterns

Posted by Anthony Attan

Jan 18, 2012 5:50:00 PM

Blog rewind: We went back to our archives to bring you our most popular posts from the old blog.  Here is a Q & A written by Ginny Whitelaw, titled "Coaching Clients on Physical Activities for the Patterns."  Enjoy!

Q: How, in an actual coaching session, do you recommend physical activities for developing a pattern, beyond just looking over a list of them?

A: It’s a great question, and one that I invite other coaches to share their experience on as well. For in landing on the right practices by which our clients can cultivate this or that pattern, we make the patterns deeply personal for our clients, and HOW we do that is deeply personal for us as coaches. This is how I do it: start with exactly where the client is starting:

What are you interested in?

What do you love to do?

What renews you?

What did you used to make time for that you no longer do?

These are the sorts of questions I might ask. And then I listen deeply for whether they know what’s good for them or are they lost? In particular, is there something they name that could be done in the energy of the pattern they want to cultivate? And can we identify some strengths that will help them strengthen a weak pattern?

For example, one client, I’ll call her Margie, was a strong Driver and wanted to develop more Visionary. Other things I knew about Margie was she had a strong sense of responsibility (i.e., especially not letting others down), her health was starting to fail, and she was Driver-determined to “make war” (her words) on getting her life back. When I asked her about practices already in her life, she said she used to go to the gym and weightlift, but didn’t have time for it anymore – classic Driver! – but she knew she needed to get back to it. She also loved cooking, gardening, just being out in nature, but didn’t have time for those things either.

Already she had given me plenty of clues. We talked about converting her “make war” determination into committed time for a renewing practice. Using her Driver strength and sense of responsibility, I suggested keeping score (“Give yourself a point each day that you stick to your commitment, and set a target for, say, 70 points this quarter. Make a bet with a friend. If you don’t hit 70 points by end of the quarter, you owe her something you’ve agreed on.”)

Now that we had a wedge of time, how could Margie best fill it? She wanted to get back to weightlifting a couple times a week, and I told her that was great, but don’t expect that to develop the Visionary. It would be important renewal time for her, however, and would keep refreshing her “make war” determination, so I didn’t try to talk her out of it. “In addition,” I asked, and this is where the pattern activity lists come in, “Would you consider Tai Chi once a week? Done with a friend (whom she wouldn’t want to let down, of course!). In general, this is where in a coaching conversation I might bring out the lists. Do any of these speak to you? Which of these are you already doing? Which are you curious about?

As for Tai Chi and Margie, she said she would think about it, but in a way that made me think she’d do nothing more than think about it. But the seed was planted, I let it go. In the meantime, gardening was already a passion (and on the Visionary list); could she commit to an hour a week being one with her garden? And doing it in a sort of Visionary way – creating, making spaces, feeling into the nature of what wants to happen in a semi-shaded part of her yard? She was quite charged about this possibility, and I could hear it would have enough energy to get started. She also wanted to add a Visionary walk at lunch through a park near where she worked – a midday refresher that would also spark ideas for her own garden. Twenty minutes for her walks, an hour a week for her gardening, weightlifting twice a week, and a bet with a friend wrapped around all of it – a perfect starting practice for this Driver!

So there is a place for the lists – i.e., those development activities listed in the end of chapters in Move to Greatness, or in the Development Recommendations of a FEBI report – but I suggest not starting with them, but rather starting with where our client starts, listening for how we can build on strengths and current passions, and making connections to what we hear will resonate for him or her.

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, FEBI Certified Coach, energy, leadership, leadership development, managing energy, change management, leadership coaching

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.

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