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Posts Tagged ‘Lumina Learning’

At some point in your life, most of you will have had your IQ (Intellectual Quotient) measured. IQ testing was designed to measure your analytical and linguistic skills. I experienced my first IQ testing at the end of grade three when students were being evaluated for an accelerated course of study. I did not really understand it at the time; I just remember being disappointed that I was not chosen to skip a grade. What a terrible way to brand children!

In the ensuing years other “Q’s” have emerged including Goldman’s EQ designed to measure Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI relates to one’s inner landscape of emotional self-awareness, ability to self-assess abilities and level of self-confidence. An emotionally intelligent person has also honed their ability to be perceptive of and sensitive to the emotions and feelings of others, skills which are now viewed as vital to business and life success. Our view of intelligence was expanding.

Next came spiritual intelligence, defined by Danah Zohar in her book SQ: Connecting With Our Spiritual Intelligence. Zohar describes SQ as the intelligence with which you address and solve problems of meaning and value, where you consider your actions and your life in a wider, richer, meaning-giving context. SQ invites you to consider that one course of action or one life-path may be more meaningful than another. A person with high SQ is connected to a deeper sense of purpose, lives from a sense of clearly dfined core values, and leads a life that is conscious and intentional. They typically see the interconnectedness of all life. Again, our view of intelligence was expanding.

I propose yet again another “Q”, your LQ which I refer to as Life Intelligence. Life Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of who you are being in the world and of the gifts, talent and value you add to any given situation. In my professional view, LQ is the vital link connecting IQ, EQ and SQ, helping you to assess and synthesize the impact you are having in your world and connecting the dots of your life and the many experiences which have brought you to where you are today. A high LQ implies that you see yourself for who you are, you recognize your uniqueness, and you celebrate the many ways in which you contribute.

In measuring your Life Intelligence, you can reflect on and respond to the following questions:

  • As I review the course my life has taken, what have been my greatest accomplishments?
  • In listing these accomplishments, what do I notice about who I am?
  • What are the strengths I have exhibited?
  • What are the gifts I have brought to different situations?
  • How have my actions impacted on the lives and circumstances of others?
  • Where, in the day-to-day experience of life as it is today, are these gifts and strengths being expressed?
  • What have I learned along the way and how am I applying the lessons?
  • Am I fully aware of the difference I am making in my work, for my family and friends, in the way I choose to live my life?
  • In what ways do I acknowledge myself for all that I am being?

You can see from these questions that LQ invites you into a new level of self-awareness, an in-depth view of the truth of who you are being and the impact you are having on your immediate environment. Note however, that this noticing is intended to be a celebration of who you are not a put down. The goal is to acknowledge yourself and to intelligently see yourself with new eyes.

There is much focus today in creating workplaces where employees can thrive, grow and learn. As a coach and organizational consultant, I know the difference that an organization’s environment can have on employees just as I recognize the effect the environment has on production and profitability.

At the same time, it is important to recognize each person’s internal environment and ask the question, “Am I creating an environment within me that allows me to thrive, grow and learn? Do I see my own inherent value and worth? Do I appreciate and acknowledge the contribution I make everyday?” Imagine the power of having both, an internal environment built upon your ability to acknowledge your self-worth married to an external environment which encourages you to contribute and expand.

Assessing your LQ forces you to examine what your life means, to remember your stories and personal successes, to consider how you want to continue to contribute and be remembered, and to become clear on what, if anything, you want to change.

You have a choice. If your life has not been lining up exactly the way you want it to at this point in your career, it may be indicative that you have some how lost your way, that perhaps you have forgotten who you really are. This is an important assessment to make for it is never too late to shift directions. Now is the time to become clear on what is perfect for you and to take attractive actions to forward the movement on the life you want to attract. What are you waiting for? The only person who can create an internal environment which allows you to thrive, learn and expand is you.

 

Know Yourself

The following options offer you the opportunity to complete you own Life Quotient Assessment. Remember, whatever you choose, the goal is to see yourself objectively and to celebrate who you are and who you are becoming.

Psychometric Assessments: Although some coach-consultants suggest that the field of Personality Theory is superficial or possibly ego-based, I view these assessments as an opportunity to develop an objective awareness of self. The assessment I recommend and currently use with my clients is the Lumina Spark Portrait which highlights your 24 qualities or strengths. (For more information go to http://www.roadsigns.ca/products/lumina-portraits-2/ )

Lumina_Logo_Spark_10cm

Life Review: Take the time to look back over your life. Create a list of as many of your great accomplishments you can think of. Consider events that occurred throughout your life, in childhood and adulthood, in play and in work, with colleagues, friends and family. Identify as many as you can.

Next, choose three of these accomplishments, those which were especially meaningful to you, the events that give you that connected feeling inside, that give you a sense of completion and excitement, that bring a smile to your face and create joy in your heart. Write a paragraph or two about this accomplishment. Create a factual account of what happened, step by step, about each of these three accomplishments.

Finally, share your three stories with someone who cares about you. Ask them to listen deeply and to notice what gifts, strengths or talents are evident in your account of this special time. Once you are finished with your sharing, ask them what they heard. Write down all that they offer. Do not judge their comments. Notice what shows up.

Acknowledgment: Take the time to notice what types of feedback you have been receiving from others, both family members and co-workers. Specifically note that feedback which is complementary. Now notice how you respond to complements. Do you simply thank the giver or do you offer some self-deprecating response?

If your response is typically of the self – deprecating style, shift gears and simply thank the person. Secondly, repeat the compliment to yourself, as if you were initiating it. It goes like this, “I acknowledge myself for…”. The goal of self-acknowledgement is to reinforce your ability to see the difference you make and what you contribute to specific situations.

An Hour of Prime Time: One of my favorite all time questions, as coined by Gregg Levoy in his book Callings is as follows: If you were given one hour of prime time (on TV or radio) what would you speak about?

This question came to light again in the book, The Last Lecture,  by Randy Pausch. Randy was dying of pancreatic cancer when he was invited to give the last lecture, an annual tradition at Carnegie Mellon University. Because Randy was aware that he had little time left, he chose to approach his lecture on what he knew for sure about life and what he wanted to impart to his students as well as his three young children. He understood that this was his hour of prime time and his teaching legacy.

Given the same challenge, what are your thoughts on life? Prepare and give your last lecture. Have someone videotape it for you. Share with your audience, real or virtual, what your life has stood for, what you have learned and what lessons you want to impart to them. Then take the time to view the tape – what becomes clear to you about you? This is your legacy on tape.

The World is your stage

Adapted from ME FIRST – If I Should Wake Before I Die (2009) and the ME FIRST Playbook (2011), by Betty Healey (http://www.roadsigns.ca/wp/products/)

 

Until next time,

Betty

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In a great article posted today through the Gallup Organization, the latest research shows that the best way for people to grow and develop is to identify how they most naturally think, feel, and behave — their talents — then build on those talents to create strengths, or the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance. The article recommends the following:

Managers and leaders can take these steps to help employees use their greatest talents and build a strengths-based organization:

  • Don’t assume that employees know their strengths. People often take their most powerful talents for granted or may be unaware of them.
  • Find ways to apply strengths in a team setting to achieve common goals. Help coworkers learn and understand each other’s strengths and how their talents complement those of others on the team. Consider posting employees’ top five themes in their offices or cubicles.
  • Use team meetings to help team members deepen their understanding of the strengths approach, and assign team projects based on employees’ strengths.
  • Help employees align their greatest talents to the expectations and responsibilities of their roles.
  • Incorporate strengths into performance conversations and reviews, and help employees set goals based on their strengths.
  • Create a community of strengths advocates and champions to act as internal experts who help everyone in the company use his or her strengths. These people will help with initial launch efforts and sustain those efforts through the entire company’s strengths journey.

The first point holds true from our experience. When working with coaching clients we find that few people truly understand their strengths. This can be a liability in terms of working from their best place as well as when they choose to transition to a new position. To facilitate the identification of preferred qualities/strengths we are using the Lumina Learning Spark Portrait, http://www.roadsigns.ca/products/lumina-portraits-2/, both for assessment and coaching purposes. Providing individuals with a detailed 40 page profile of themselves, which highlights their preferred qualities or strengths, provides and active and dynamic coaching and development tool. In our early work related to creating strength-based work cultures, this has been the essential first step.

to read the full Gallup article go to http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/167462/employees-strengths-company-stronger.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=monthly&utm_content=heading&utm_campaign=syndication#2.

Until next time

Betty Healey
The roadSIGNS Coach

 

 

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Introduction
Over the last four years, roadSIGNS has been working with one of our clients as a beta group to understand the impact organizational leadership can have when they develop their employees differently. Rather than focusing constantly on areas for development, usually based on perceived weaknesses, our question was how can you identify individual strengths and leverage these to develop and promote staff. We are now is the process of expanding this work to other clients and as we do so are in the process of developing a toolkit for assisting clients in implementation.

As a result, I have decided to dedicate the roadSIGNS Coach to this discussion in the upcoming months. It is intended to be a discussion and an exchange. Your questions and comments are most welcome. And now….

The Case for Creating a Strengths-Based Work Culture

While there are many levers for engaging people and driving performance….
the master lever is getting each person to play to his strengths.
Pull this lever, and an engaged and productive team will be the result.
Marcus Buckingham, Go Put Your Strengths to Work

 

In his book Go Put Your Strengths to Work, Marcus Buckingham points out that while individuals have been taking the time to identify their strengths over that last two decades, few individuals are doing anything with this knowledge. It seems that we gather information but fail to apply it. It is possible that this lack of integration and application to day to day life/work is related to the absence of the necessary tools and coaching to facilitate this.

Over the last four years our organization, roadSIGNS, has focused on building a strengths-based work culture with our clients. We did not embark on this journey because it was ‘cutting edge’, it simply made sense to us. We were introducing our clients to a variety of tools which assessed individual strengths as part of our coaching/consulting process. Our question was and continues to be, ‘How can this knowledge be put to good use in support of the organizations goals and objectives?

We dove in, learning as we went, partnering with our clients to understand how to implement the strengths-based work culture and making adjustments as we went along.

Today, we are still learning. To date, our clients have experienced a number of shifts within their organizations including:

  • Clarity regarding their compelling ’WHY’ and rallying staff around this cause
  • Enhanced hiring strategies
  • Improved staff retention
  • Improved staff engagement and commitment
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Increased organizational flexibility
  • Better matching of individuals strengths and work requirements

The Research
As we dipped into the research literature regarding strengths and integrating strengths as part of a strengths-based work culture, we were surprised to learn that this area has not been well investigated. Most of the relevant research evidence is sourced from the Gallup organization and the field of Positive Psychology.

Harter and Schmidt (2002) reported that employees who have the opportunity to do what they do best every day, that is work from their strengths, are 44% more likely to succeed in engaging their customers. If these individuals are managers they are also more likely to retain their employees and enhance overall productivity.

Organizations that offer their employees the opportunity of assessing their strengths, without any further interventions such as coaching, are still ahead of the game. Asplund (2008) reports that employees are 12.5 % more productive, that their organizations are 9% more profitable and that staff turnover is 15% less than organizations, with no strengths assessments.

Clifton and Harper (2003) found that managers who built on the strengths of their team members were 86% more successful than managers who did not. These managers were also more likely to invest time in coaching their staff, matching talent to tasks, and rewarding strengths rather than seniority when making personnel decisions.

Outside the work environment, there is evidence within student populations that students whose strengths and talents were identified perceived they had more control of their academic futures than students who did not know their strengths or talents. In addition, students who actively develop their strengths are more likely to set learning goals and have a growth mindset. (Louis, 2008)

Additional research from the literature related to the Via Character strengths, suggests that engaging one’s strengths leads to increased happiness (Gander et al, 2012), leads to a higher sense of well-being (Forest et al, 2012), helped individuals overcome obstacles (Elson and Boniwell, 2011), increases vitality and self-esteem (Wood et al, 2011), and improves progress toward goals, independence and competence (Linley et al, 2010).

Now What
With our experience to date and the support of the research to date, we believe that creating work cultures which build on the strengths of individuals, creates a strong organizational foundation. Marcus Buckingham noted that the greatest asset of organizations is not their employees, rather the strengths that those employees possess.

While creating a strengths-based work culture is, in our view, common sense, the practice is not pervasive. Typically employees are given their annual report card called performance review and while they may excel in several areas of performance, typically the conversation turns to areas for improvement. These are viewed as weaknesses.

We are not here to suggest that these areas should not be identified. We are here to suggest that the approach and the performance review methodology can improve significantly by working from a strengths-based platform.

Until next time…

 

Betty Healey, MEd.,
Facilitator, Teacher and Coach

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Your child or teenager comes home from school and presents his report card to you. You review the list of subjects and note the grade assigned to each one: English – A,  French: B+, History: A, Science: C, Math: F. In the following minutes you discuss the results with your child. What do you focus on?

According to Marcus Buckingham, author of GO, Put Your Strengths to Work, more than 70% of parents will zone in on the F grade, ignoring the decent to great marks in the other subjects. It seems that we are programed to focus on weaknesses rather than strengths.

I am sure that most of you have been on the receiving end of this flawed assumption. In an interview recently with one of my clients discussing the annual performance review, they admitted that little time was given to successes and accomplishment during the review process. Time was dedicated instead to what did not happen and the weaknesses they believed the employee needed to address.

Building a Foundation

Imagine building a house or any type of structure using the same principle. Basically the foundation of human development is being built upon the premise that weaknesses must be addressed and strengths taken for granted. If this were a house, what kind of foundation would that be? Would you want to build on a weak infrastructure or would you choose to build on something strong, resilient, secure and so on.

A New Paradigm

In the work we are introducing to organizations and to individuals, we are convinced that building on strengths is the way to go. Buckingham suggests that there are three myths associated with personality and living from our strengths:

Myth #1: As you grow your personality changes.

Truth: As you grow, you become more of who you really are.

That doesn’t imply that you don’t change and grow at all, this simply means that you are born with the personality you have, and with that your innate strengths. Over time what may change are your values, your beliefs, and even your behaviors, the result of your personality gaining life experience.

 

Myth #2: You will grow the most in your areas of greatest weakness

Truth: You will grow the most in your areas of greatest strength

New medical research is actually showing that those who focus their development from their weaknesses are prone to chronic pain and other illnesses. Spending time investing in your strengths however, keeps you engaged, inquisitive, resilient, creative and invested in your learning.

 

Myth #3: A good team member does whatever it takes to help the team.

Truth: A good team member deliberately volunteers his strengths to the team.

We are taught that we must be all things to all people. This is sure to burn you out. A great person or team member is not well-rounded, a great team is. A great team is well rounded because each member comes to play from their respective strengths. It is not your job to be all things.

Lumina Circle

Final Word

If you are feeling disconnected from yourself in any way, chances are you have invested a lot of time addressing your weaknesses. This is not a criticism of you. In all likelihood, you were told you had to, by a parent, a teacher, a colleague or a boss.

Guess what – it’s time to change the conversation because trust me; it is time to start investing in building a strong foundation for your inner house. Find a way to identify your strengths (we use the Lumina Spark Portrait for these purposes). Take a stand for them once they have been identified. Educate those around you, your colleagues, your manager, your family members, about who you are through the lens of your strengths. This is not bragging – it is stating a fact!

On the Mat 06

Take some courses that help you in invest in your strengths and engage them in doing your work, whatever that may be. And finally, address your least favorite activities by activating your strengths.

Each person is unique, possessing a cadre of strengths that defines who they are and how they play in the world. Wouldn’t it be amazing if each person played from their strengths while respecting the strengths exhibited by others? This is true collaboration.

 

What are your strengths?

 

Until Next Time….

Betty Healey

 

roadSIGNS is offering two programs in the upcoming weeks:

 

The Living from Your Strengths Coaching Circle: go to http://www.roadsigns.ca/wp/our-focus/conscious-communication-for-self-discovery/coaching/coaching-circle/, beginiing September 24th.

The Living from Your Strengths Retreat Day – Saturday, Nov. 23rd/13

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ConsciousCommunicationIt’s a new year!

I love this time of the year, a blank slate beckoning me. I grow excited with all the possibilities that are ahead of me. And so, I am taking this opportunity to share with you our new program Conscious Communication.

What is it? Conscious communication is an invitation to become more mindful in all aspects of your life, to forge a deeper connection with yourself and those important others around you.

It begins with your relationship with yourself, becoming consciously aware of your inner dialogue and asking yourself whether your conversations with self are spirit depleting or spirit lifting.

Next, the conversation turns to your relationship with others and assessing how present, aware and available t you are.

I am convinced that Conscious Communication is an important step for each of you to engage in this year as a means of knowing yourself and living from your strengths and as a way of forging meaningful relationships with others in both your personal and professional life.

Conscious Communication is built on a program called LUMINA LEARNING SYSTEMS, an amazing series of psychometric tools which allow you to know yourself ans see yourself through the lens of ‘the best of who your are’.

Lumina LogoFollow us in the upcoming days to learn more!

Until then…

Betty

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Just as the wind from Sandy blew into our region last evening, catapulting me forward as I drove down the 401, new opportunities have been blowing into my life and business. It is a great time in life, especially when you are open to what is possible rather than planning all the details. Of course I set the scene when Jim and I sat down mid-September and created our Strategic Attraction Plan (SAP) for the upcoming year.

Strategic Attraction
For years clients and colleagues have asked me about running a business and what makes a business successful. I simply say, Strategic Attraction Planning. I know you have all heard of a Strategic Plan, something that is considered an essential ingredient for any successful business. A secret, I’ve never had one ! What I have instead is my SAP. So what’s the difference? Strategic Attraction as the name suggests, is about engaging the Law of Attraction strategically in your business. It has four sections to it:

  1. The qualities and characteristics of your perfect customer/client
  2. What makes you, as  a business person/entrepreneur ‘tick’ – why you do what you do
  3. What you want – we call this clarity, setting your business intentions
  4. Who do you BE –  understanding that everything you want from life begins within you and your energy

That’s different than a regular Strategic Plan!

Intentions and Goals
Intentions and goals are frequently confused. A simple explanation is that an intention is open-ended. It states what you want yet is not fixed on a specific outcome. Example: I am attracting my perfect healthy body. Notice that you have not specified how this will happen or what you specifically mean by that. You are leaving the solution open-ended and as a result, give yourself permission to attract something you may not have considered otherwise.

Goals on the other hand specify an outcome. For example: I plan to lose 10 pounds, begin the new diet and go to the gym 3 nights a week. You have already decided on the solutions and fix your attention to the scales, what you eat and working out. Boring !

In business I have found that intentionality is far more powerful than goals. That’s not to say I don’t have any goals as most of the projects I work on have deadlines and deliverables. At the same time my intentions have opened up possibilities for me I never would have considered. You have to love that.

Who You BE
We all have a slightly skewed view of who we are. I have long been a believer of taking every opportunity to learn more about ME and to understand my strengths and what makes m unique. Knowing these things about yourself helps you to engage those strengths and focus on what you do well. Too often you do the opposite – you focus on improving your weaknesses. Trust me this does not work. Whatever you focus on grows! Don’t you want to grow your strengths?

So where do you start; what can you do. One of the tools I love, and which recently blew into our lives is a learning system called Lumina. It offers you the opportunity to complete a self-assessment questionnaire which then generates a Spark Portrait which is all about you. You learn about the four colour energies and how you play in them, the eight aspects and twenty-four qualities of personality and, most importantly, your strengths. Of course the added benefit is that, the more you learn about you, the more you learn about others.

Invite in the WIND
For me the WIND signifies Welcoming In New Discovery. Investing in yourself, is an investment in your life, your work and if you are like me, your business. With the wind comes new air to breathe, new knowledge of self and of course new life opportunities.

I invite you to stand outside, open your arms, feel yourself fly in the WIND, and imagine where your journey is headed. Who knows where you might land next?

Upcoming opportunities

Celebrate Your Strengths – Lumina Spark on November 13th,  Cornwall, Ontario and Strategic Attraction Planning on December 1st, 2012, Tigh Shee Retreat Center. To find out more contact Betty at betty@roadSIGNS.ca or go to http://www.roadsigns.ca/programs/upcoming-events.html.

If you are interested in completing your Lumina Spark Portrait contact betty@roadSIGNS.ca.

Until Next time;

Betty

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