Look at that face in the mirror.
Don't just see it, but
pay close attention to it.
The man behind it is looking at you.
Right at you.
He has been long waiting for this moment,
for the two of you finally finding each other,
looking at each other,
understanding each other.
Listen to those eyes in the mirror.
They're talking to you
with your own voice.
Look at that face in the mirror.
Look at yourself.
You made it home.
It's time to rest now.
One of the tools I use for my OD consulting and coaching work is Inner Archetype Search. One of the wonderful gifts archetypes have for us is that they are always there, inside us, and can be awaken or activated, either by external stimuli or through inner work (which, by the way, can be really fun). So, today, I found myself activating my inner ORPHAN, along with my inner LOVER and SEEKER.
Our inner ORPHAN helps us realize that something has been lost, that in certain respect, the world turned out not to be what we thought it was and, especially, the way we thought it was to stay. So, here we are faced already with a form of unwanted change. If we get stuck in the pain, frustration, anger that may be triggered by our loss, our ORPHAN may go the the 'dark side', remain in our shadow and come out in unwanted, unpredictable, and toxic ways. By the way, this applies to all archetypes. But if we accept our ORPHAN's call, and accept the fact that there has been a loss, then we can hear the next thing that our ORPHAN is telling us, which is that we are not alone, it isn't happening just to us, and we don't have to go through it alone. Maybe, even, we shouldn't. That doesn't mean that somebody else will do the work for us. Of course not. It means that, while we do it, we can walk along other ORPHANS who have experienced a similar loss. Probably, by now you are already thinking about certain types of organizations or certain individuals that embody this archetype.
Here is when our inner LOVER may kick in (as mine did this morning). This one can be very straightforward: our inner LOVER takes care of us, wants the best for us, and its voice reminds us that we are worth it, and that we deserve to be in peace and happy. Our inner LOVER is very helpful in keeping us away from self-sabotaging us or self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and actions. If our inner WARRIOR is well and awake, it will push us to wanting to do something. But to do what? That's where our inner SEEKER comes handy. It did for me this morning.
The SEEKER archetype is also quite clear: whenever we feel like we need or want, or have a hunch about the existence of something different, new, unknown, that's our inner SEEKER calling. If we listen to it, then we are giving ourselves the chance to find a way to move forward, to get out of being stuck, to find a new way, the new path that we probably need.
So, this is the background info. Now, what happened today?
It took just a couple of minutes. I was thinking about how tired and disappointed I am of an organization I've been working with for about 18 moths now, and the word "stuck" came to my mind, quite loud and painful. I have very low tolerance for certain types of "stability", especially in settings where stability is not invested in pursuing a dream, fulfilling a purpose. So, here I was, feeling a deep disappointment (here's the loss), and telling myself that I love my other lines of work, the ones I do solo , but there is a part of me that craves team work, team effort, a plural way of giving back to society (societies, in my case), learning and growing in community.
Now, I'm currently working FOR an employer is out of question. First of all, I wouldn't want to, unless I could function as an INTRAPRENEUR with no strings attached, and be able to keep doing my solo work. Second, even if I wanted to, I seem to have been labeled as "not employable" due to my age, plain and simple (more loss here).
At this point of my thinking, I was already fully immerse in my ORPHAN, and here was when the name of three people I know, two in the US and one in Catalonia, came to my mind. They also carry the same "not employable" abel, feeling the same craving for meaningful and purposeful team work ,and at some point, not long ago, found themselves having to (not wanting to, as it was my case), setting up their own solo business. This was my inner ORPHAN telling me 'you are not alone'. I could have stayed there, but I know my inner WARRIOR has been fully active for a long time now, and it took me just seconds to hear my inner SEEKER kicking in, fast and loud, and say to myself: "Why should we all go solo all the time?" "Why should we stay in this partially reactive mode?" "Why couldn't we explore the possibility of setting up a small company, with 4 or 6 of us, half women half men, with the explicit purpose of giving back to society by offering to society added value coming from what makes people like us a gift, a jewell: our age, and everything that comes with it?"
Because yes, we are a gift, a jewell. We are at a point where most people around us are not. We may have already over 20, 25, 30 years of professional experience, and still have other 20, 25 ahead. We have gone, or are going, through our midlife crisis, a unique time of cleaning, renewal, and a chance to become more complete, more who we really can be, each one of us in his or her own way and circumstances. It is not only that society needs us; it is also that we deserve to be needed, appreciated, rightly valued, and sought after. Because we're worth it.
I don't have to tell you that hat was my inner LOVER talking.
Does any of this sound familiar? Most likely, it does. These archetypes are inside all of us, and they may be very quick: it's taken me about an hour and a half to write this, to share with you all about a minute of my thinking. And that's how it works.
You can read about these archetypes, with examples, here:
Maybe sometimes you asked yourself the following question: What to write for? I do sometimes, and these are some of the answers I have come up with repeatedly:
I write to...
I also write for no reason, or for any reason, or for every possible reason.
How about you? Do you write?
If you don't, would you like to?
For more on this, go to the Journaling for Life page
Image Source: http://www.12manage.com/methods_beckhard_change_model.html
Organizational change classic formula. It shows how key factors must come together so that organizational change has a chance to succeed, although success, obviously, is never guaranteed.
The initial dissatisfaction (D) must come with a vision (V), attractive enough to make us want to take the first steps (F) towards the fulfillment of that vision. It is not simply a matter of adding up factors (D + V + F), but rather a constant systemic interaction among them (D x V x F) : Dissatisfaction by itself doesn't make us move unless an alternative Vision gives us a foundation for hope to redirect our energy towards. Walking in that direction feeds and clarifies the Vision, and tends to make Dissatisfaction more and more difficult to bare, Vision more desirable, steps more decisive.
But all this will have a chance to really work only if and when that combination of energies becomes bigger, stronger, than the Resistance (our own or others' or both) to change. There are many things that can be said about resistance. It always must be taken seriously; it must always be honored, even when we don't embrace it. It is very important not to stigmatize it, not to pour blame on those who show it. Resistance to change has a role, and that role is important, and unavoidable. When we face it, we must remember that, somewhere else, some other time, we probably showed or are showing resistance as well to some other chance process. It is only through acceptance and understanding that Resistance to change can be overcome.
This is valid for any kind of organization, from a personal relationship to a country, as it is for parts of a whole: departments, sections, teams, groups.
The 5 components of Emotional Intelligence as defined by Dr. Daniel Goleman can be looked at as anITINERARY that goes from the person's deep inner world to her social environment.
The first two components have to do with the dialogue that the person engages in with herself, being the starting point the effort to know oneself, followed by the self-regulation of one's own emotions.
The third component is right on the threshold where the person's inner world and the outer world meet, in a positive way, thanks to motivation: one's inner energy as the pushing force towards the outer world.
When we get to the fourth component, "the other" appears in the picture: the other person, seen and felt empathically from her or himself. And, last, that other person multiplies and diversifies and, with that, we get to the need of our social skills.
In the book The New Leaders (2002), co-written with Richard Boyatzis and Annie Mckee, the model was revisited and simplified into Four Core Emotional Intelligence Domains.
Image source: http://maximizeyourtalent.derekberes.com/company/
This visual representation shows the itinerary I was referring to above. One major take away is the fact that everything starts with the self, engaging in an inside-out process that goes from ME to US.
This is not just a model, but life. We can use it as an extremely useful tool to help us improve and optimize our relationship with ourselves and with others, no matter where, when, and who we are and they are.
One example of a very specific application is a Conflict Resolution program I have designed to be implemented in schools and companies. It is based on the Four Core EI Domains model:
This is the framework and the context for the whole program, which unfolds following the itinerary shown by the blue arrows. The following image shows the focus of each one of the four components, and the place, within the program, of the conflict resolution process itself:
Since this is a program designed for companies and schools, the Social-Awareness component becomes especially relevant, and an opportunity to work with each group of people so that they become stronger as a group, and move towards becoming a small community. Only after working with the fourth component, the work on the Conflict Resolution process itself (techniques, tools, practice) begins.
The contrast between a person's intention in doing or saying something, and the impact of what is done or said on another person seems to be an almost infinite source of conflict. This simple and elegant image helps understand that, in part, conflict arises because both intent and impact remain inside the people involved, while, at the same time, they try to manage the interaction based on what is visible, that is, what was done or said.
When that happens, we may find the people involved saying to each other things like "I didn't mean to..."(on one side) or "why would you..." or "how could you..." (on the other side), for instance. And these kinds of things may be said repeatedly.
Probably an effective way to start getting out of the maze, which may need just a few seconds to completely wrap the people involved, would be starting by acknowledging the pain associated with the perceived impact, instead of stating repeatedly that hurting was not the "doer"'s intention. Saying or doing something with a different intent does not invalidate the fact that the other person feels hurt. So, let's start there without having to justify or getting defensive. Once the impact has been heard, acknowledged, and empathically understood, it will be much easier to look at the other side, and hear, acknowledge, and empathically understand what the real intent was, and close the gap between one and the other.
Image source: www.tripleloop.com.au/LearningLoops.html
Simple, clear, and elegant representation of Chris Argyris' model.
"Single loop learning" involves changing what we do: we can solve a problem by doing something different, without questioning or changing what we think or believe nor what we are.
"Double loop learning" happens not when we simply do something different, but when we haveto change our way of thinking. In order to solve a problem we're facing, we need to change something in our belief system, principles, assumptions.
"Triple loop learning" takes place when we change our perceptions and, with them, the way we see ourselves. This is the truly transformational learning that gives way to a new aspect of ourselves, because that part of us is what we need to solve the challenge we're facing.
Let's see an example from an educational setting.
Say we have a 5th grade student who is failing Math.
Giving her a battery of exercises to do at home with a private tutor is doing something new without changing what we think about learning or teaching, and without changing what we are. That is 'single loop learning'.
Presenting to this kid the math material trying to make connections with some of her interests or hobbies, because we think that if we make those connections she will be more motivated and less blocked, is 'double loop learning', because we have changed the way we think about how to learn math, not just what we do.
Re-designing our Math sessions by distributing the time and space in our classroom in a way that allows us to have not just a group of students facing the teacher, but a number of small mixed work groups, in one of which our student can work the material with other kids, making connections to their interests, leveraging their differences in skills and mastery, while the teacher moves around focusing his or her time and energy on who really needs his or her assistance, is 'triple loop learning'. In this instance, we have gone from being a traditional teacher to a facilitator / coach: instead of leading most of the time a class with 28 students, we create "small classrooms" of 4 students within the classroom, and we go in and out of each one of them as we are needed to give support or orientation.We have changed what or who we are.
Blogs We Love
Association of Women in Business Ethiopia AWiB
Live On Your Terms
Living For Purpose