1. Self-leadership, Type, and Getting into The Communication Zone(R)

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    Adapted from an article published in Volume 38.4 of the “Bulletin of Psychological Type,” March 4, 2015. Linda Berens and Stephanie Berens-Kiler Maybe this is familiar…At dinnertime, they had some leftovers and she said to her partner, “You don’t want the spaghetti.” She noticed that he seemed confused and somewhat irritated. He even said something about why was she so negative? Obviously she wasn’t in the communication zone like she usually saw herself. Read on to see how she used type to help her develop more self-leadership. It is said that leadership starts with self-leadership. It is also said that we all need to do more self-management as our organizational systems flatten and we receive less direction. Self-leadership requires self-awareness and the capacity to step outside ourselves. Self-leadership is most like what Robert Kegan called the self-authoring mind. Jennifer Garvey Berger describes it in this way: People with a self-authored mind are those who own their own work, make their own decisions, and mediate among different perspectives with relative ease. Communication is the medium for this development. Communication involves how we listen to others, how we interpret what they say and do and make meaning of it, and how we...
  2. Stress Triggers, Mindfulness, and the Shadow

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    When we are stressed we are not as agile as we need to be. And stress takes a toll on our health and quality of life. Personality related stress is often unconscious. Here is a story about an experience of mine where I unpack the relevance of all the models to one stressful situation. Each lens—Essential Motivators, Interaction Styles, and Cognitive Dynamics—helps me understand myself better and grow into having more positive interactions. I hope my story helps you see how you can use type lenses to increase your level of mindfulness and interpersonal agility. So here goes… I recently found myself in a situation where I didn’t show up in a way that I wanted. It was a somewhat difficult conversation and I made it more difficult by expressing my anger inappropriately. On reflection, I realized that I was more stressed in general than I had realized and that level of stress tipped me into a shadowy place, where something ‘had’ me rather than me being my authentic, best self. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t express anger. The issue was that in this instance expressing that anger was counterproductive. I lost some credibility when I did so and it...
  3. Mindfulness Part 2: The CORE™ Method and the Brain

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    Thursday, I learned of some research that, to my mind, clearly supports how the CORE Method can evoke integrative processes in the brain and thereby strengthen neural integration and stimulate the growth of the middle pre-frontal structures in the brain. Neural integration is what is necessary for us to be more adaptable, balance our emotions, attune to others, have a greater sense of morality and empathy, regulate the body, eliminate fear, gain insights into oneself and more. So how did I make this link? Mind, Relationships, and the Brain I wasn’t able to attend the Wisdom2.0 conference this week, but I did catch some of the live streaming and am very grateful for being able to experience Dan Siegel’s talk on Mindfulness and the Brain. Dr. Siegel is a psychiatrist who studied “family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical memory and narrative.”  His current field of research is interpersonal neurobiology, a term he coined in The Developing Mind, 1999. It is an “interdisciplinary field, which seeks to understand the mind and mental health.” He also coined the term, Mindsight, which is what led me to see a connection between HOW we introduce type lenses...
  4. Mindfulness Part 1: What’s Type Got to Do With It?

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    There is a fair amount of interest in Mindfulness these days. Large corporations such as Genentech have mindfulness programs. There are five LinkedIn groups with Mindfulness in their name and the largest one has over 5000 members. The Wisdom 2.0 Conference where mindfulness is explored in relation to technology was sold out in its second year and again this year at a larger venue. So what is mindfulness and why did I title a leadership workshop, Mindfully You: Leading from the CORE? This is the first in a series of posts exploring mindfulness and type. I hope you join me in the discussion. Mindfulness is often equated with meditation. The dictionary defines it as keeping aware or being heedful. Mindfulness is not just meditation, but also a way of being open to the experience of the moment. Some describe it as awareness, others as being intentional about our choices. There is a great deal of research linking mindfulness to stress reduction and lowering blood pressure to mention just a few of the benefits. Last year at Wisdom 2.0, I was struck by what seemed to be a rather specific definition of mindfulness that linked it to meditation and tuning in...
  5. Not about you?

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    I just read a very interesting New York Times Op Ed piece by David Brooks called, It’s Not About You. Given the time of year with graduation speeches he has identified the developmental tasks that are facing young people as they graduate and enter the workforce. His message is that these tasks are contradictory to the preparation received by graduates’ educations as well as the messages sent in graduation speeches. I found two of his statements very interesting. The first one ends in a very powerful statement (emphasis is mine): Today’s graduates are also told to find their passion and then pursue their dreams. The implication is that they should find themselves first and then go off and live their quest. But, of course, very few people at age 22 or 24 can take an inward journey and come out having discovered a developed self. He goes on to say Most people don’t form a self and then lead a life. They are called by a problem, and the self is constructed gradually by their calling. I think the developed self is constructed all our lives, from birth forward. It is influenced by our inborn natures as well as the...
  6. Wisdom and Mindfulness in the Information Age

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    Two weeks ago I attended the Wisdom2.0 conference, which is about “Exploring Living with Awareness, Wisdom, and Compassion in the Technology Age.” I thought it was a great conference and highly recommend it for next year. The theme seemed to be about how much we are constantly wired and digitally connected so how do we stay centered and connected to ourselves and our relationships. Last night I attended a follow up, sponsored by ProjectFresh. Leaving the session last night I had the thought that in both instances I didn’t quite get what I was looking for in the sense of ‘things to do.’ However, on reflection I realized that it isn’t about ‘doing,’ but about how we choose to ‘be.’ I fully enjoyed all the panels and presentations in both events. It was the words of panelist Alex Lightman that sparked me to find an answer to some of the questions I had. He said that the most frequent decisions humans make is where to put your gaze. In other words, where to put your attention. He said that there is an illusion of information overload. If we define information as a ‘difference that makes a difference,’ the rest is...