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.



Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, Coaching Tool, leadership coaching, leadership, leadership development, change management, 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.



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

What is Whole Leadership?

Posted by Anthony Attan

Feb 24, 2012 1:39:00 PM

If you are reading this post you have likely heard the term ‘whole leadership’ and are wondering what in the world we are talking about.  You also likely care enough about leadership to wonder in the first place.  Fear not, you are in the right place.

Picture these scenarios, the leader who…

  • Has brilliant ideas but lacks the follow through to do anything with them.

  • Is incredibly hard working when alone but lacks the ability to connect or work with others.

  • Is laser focused on ambitious goals but fails to anticipate where the industry is going.

Do these people sound like the next successful leader?  The next great CEO?  Our research says most likely they are not.  Why?  They are all partial leaders. 

Although leaders should know their strengths and use them to reach desired goals, those same strengths can also get in the way of success when overused.  For example, you could have a real strength of breaking down big processes, analyzing all of the individual parts and get stuck in those details, not seeing the forest for the trees.  Or you’re a great innovator but you spend so much energy creating that nothing gets done. 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. 

To further describe whole leadership let me concentrate the discussion on the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of whole leadership.  First the ‘what’.  One thing that is certainly not new about leadership, or personality in general, is that we take on preferences in how we show up in the world.   These preferences have been call personality types, cognitive modes of thinking or behavioral tendencies.  From our research, and similar to many models in the past, there are four main preferences, which we call energy patterns of personality

  • 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. 

This brings us to the ‘how’.  To become a whole leader means developing your whole self.  As models on personality have evolved, we now know that patterns of personality are actually impacted by a range of interconnected elements such as cognition, behavior, communication styles, our environment, our emotions and how we physically move.  The whole leader uses all of these elements collectively to develop these patterns.  At Focus Leadership, we have developed a tool called the Focus Energy Balance Indicator (FEBI) to measure these energy patterns and help leaders develop their whole self.   




Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, FEBI Certified Coach, energy patterns, leadership, leadership development, whole leadership development, embodied learning, whole leadership

Energy Patterns Helping To Form New Habits

Posted by Anthony Attan

Feb 9, 2012 9:18:00 AM

We are now five weeks into the New Year and for many this means resolutions are beginning to fade in lieu of old habits.  What is the best intention on January 1st often becomes just another a failed resolution by now.  By March, many of us have for forgotten them all together.  So, what will make this year different?

I should first point out that I am not against resolutions.  In fact, quite the contrary, I think it is really important to take the time when the calendar changes to reflect on the past year and verbalize goals for the future.  Take the time to stop and reflect on all that you have accomplished in the past year, what your greatest challenges were and your greatest victories.  I find myself getting so caught up in the daily grind that I lose sight of all that has occurred over the past year.  So I encourage everyone to take the time to reflect, celebrate those victories and learn from those struggles.  

Next, think of what you want to accomplish this year.  What needs to happen so that on January 1st, 2013, you will look back on your year and say, “2012 was a great year!”  The energy patterns can help with this effort.  Enter the Visionary pattern to help you broaden your thinking to be more future oriented and picture what would have to happen to make 2012 a successful year.  Stay in this pattern and envision what the emotion is and really feel into what a great 2012 would feel like.  You don’t have to do this alone, in fact, you shouldn’t do this alone.  Enter Collaborator and share your thoughts and this feeling with others, building on the collective energy of those around you.  Next, enter the Organizer pattern and capture what needs to happen to make it a great year.  Think of the steps that must occur for those things to happen and write those down too.

So, how do we prevent this year from being just another year of broken resolutions?  For this we will summon our inner warrior, which we call the Driver energy pattern.  The key is to turn good intentions into habits that define us.  The Driver energy can help as the best way to form a new habit is to start today.  It’s really that simple: every day enter Driver and get it done!  If ‘it’ is working out, the best way to form an exercise habit is to workout TODAY!  Not tomorrow, not next week, but today.  And tomorrow will turn into your new today so guess what, it's again time to summon the Driver and workout today.  Eventually, this will become a habit, as the activity will occur with minimum thought and more psychological distress will arise when not doing the activity - even when the activity is hard.  Until then, let your Driver be your inner warrior, fighting for today.

As we see in leadership, the patterns can support your efforts in making 2012 a great year.  Just as whole leadership has shown to be best practice in business, so can all the patterns support you in forming new habits, reaching goals and creating an amazing year.  This year, let your whole self, with all the potential within you and all the support around you, make it the best one yet!

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Topics: FEBI, Focus Energy Balance Indicator, energy patterns, leadership, leadership development, whole leadership development, energy, whole leadership, managing energy, managing stress

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.


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




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

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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