Thursday, December 31, 2015

Centered Problem Solving Similarity #1

This entry is a set of notes for my work in Centered Leadership and Centered Problem Solving. If you're interested in dimensions, personality types, and core concepts behind Centered Problem Solving this may interest you. If not, it won't.

My work in CPS (Centered Problem Solving) is based on four personality types. I've interpreted them as four core leadership skills in my Centered Leadership Model and added a fifth - Centering.

There are many similarities with other personality models so this work is somewhat derivative. It's also I hope an evolution and synthesis of several similar and yet disparate types of sorting mechanisms. The purpose is to help leaders become more effect and efficient problem solvers who are capable of building great relationships while achieving great results.

Our tendency, since we are strongest in one of the four types (however you define them) is to focus on either results or relationships. When we do that we incur a cost to the dimension we are no focusing on. It does not need to be that way. In the parlay of improv, it's not an either/or choice but rather a both/and possibility. We can have both. The key is centering our focus and remaining flexible in our leadership strengths. That does require us to develop those three strengths that we are not as strong in, while also managing and regulating the strength that we are most strong in.

I'm calling this article Similarity #1 not because it is the first that I've encountered but simply as a way to sequence my occasional writings on this topic. It is by no means the first similarity I've found but I did stumble into it today (while looking for images around Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements, which also fit within the category of similarities -- at least I can see how the four agreements relate and apply to the Centered Problem Solving and Centered Leadership model.)

The similarity I found today is Adizes Methodology. Here's a link to some useful information on that:

I encourage you to read it. Part of the reason for writing this is so that I can save that link and refer to it again later.

This chart, taken from that source, is especially interesting in tracking personality types (or strengths) and their dimensions:


It's delightful how it does correspond to the four types of personalities identified in many sorter tools such as those mapped in this chart:

I've also hand-drawn an overlay chart for my quick take on The Adzes PAEI Model slightly rearranged to correspond with my Centered Leadership quadrants, with Ruiz's Four Agreements tracked to each quadrant. Some people might see this as a stretch. I see it as a helpful view of how our strengths can be expanded, strengthened, and made more flexible.

The Four Agreements, while not an exact fit with the types, can be thought of as much as challenges for each type as they are strengths. Someone whose main leadership strength is Courage (Effort) must be careful to always do their best. Those of us who have Creativity as a core strength must learn the agreement "don't take anything personally". Those who are strong with Clarity are very interested in making sure that none makes assumptions. And, those whose core strength is Compassion must strengthen their ability to be impeccable with their word.

Of course, absolutely, all four types benefit from embracing and developing all four agreements. The more I think about it, the less I think the four agreements map to type. They are skills. They are agreements. They are major life changes. All four core leadership strengths should develop them.

Still, I found it curious and decided to share it here for future reference and as part of my ongoing work on developing Centered Leadership and Centered Problem Solving (and yes, I am well aware that there is ample and useful -- even brilliant work on Centered Leadership with a slightly different approach. Again, it's not either/or here but rather both/and. I highly recommend that you read up on the approaches to centered leadership (also sometimes called mindful leadership) as detailed in the fine work of Joanna Barsh and Johanne Lavoie in Centered Leadership, and from Janice Marturano in Finding The Space To Lead.)

Big Questions

  1. What similarities do you see in any of the popular personality sorters?
  2. Do you see preferences as another term for strengths? Why or why not?
  3. How can learning about our personality strengths help us develop our leadership and problem solving skills?
  4. What implications exist to apply personality sorters to collaborative, creative, and centered problem solving?
  5. For that matter, what similarities or differences do you see in what is described as collaborative problem solving, creative problem solving, and (my spin) centered problem solving?
  6. What personality types have you been avoiding when you assemble your problem solving efforts? What should you do about that?
-- Doug Smith

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Solve Problems Together

Centered problem solvers collaborate. When we involve other people we get better ideas, more cooperation, and more lasting solutions.

Solving problems together can be one of our strongest relationship builders.

We struggle together, we talk together, we build together, we fix together. We help each other see what we can't see alone.

Solve problems together -- you'll like the results.

-- Doug Smith