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2. Expert Report
Introduction 00Back to Table of Contents
Many report sections are written expressly for experts to help them to use the materials with their clients more effectively. These sections are more advanced or are particularly useful to the expert, but wouldn’t typically be shared with clients. For example, experts may leverage several models and sections solely for their own use. You as the expert can appreciate the depth of the content regardless of whether you share that content with your clients.
Several sections in this report are written specifically with the expert in mind and include language that can be used with clients. For example, “Tell Joe to focus on listing practical benefits when dealing with....”
Other sections in this report are expanded versions of sections that the client has already seen that provide more information and depth for the expert. Such sections are examples of material that might be shared with clients later, when they are ready for the added complexity.
Finally, some sections dive into models the client isn’t yet ready to tackle, or dive much deeper into topics that don’t relate to the client, or they are more complex than what the client is currently ready to tackle.
Handling Conflict & Difficult People 01Back to Table of Contents
This section highlights particular strategies, both effective and ineffective, that a person may rely on when faced with conflict.
When Handling Conflict & Difficult People
- Encourage Angela to pause to allow her normal gift of can-do optimism to re-emerge before trying to analyze the conflict.
- Suggest that Angela process out loud and record her ideas on paper, whiteboard, or an electronic device preferably with a friend or colleague to help her reflect on the causes of the conflict.
- Remind Angela that connecting concrete facts with people’s feelings is crucial for a full understanding of why conflict occurred and figuring out which solutions are the most practical as well as inspiring.
- Help Angela to resist setting aside her personal values during conflict in order to secure the approval of others during conflict.
- Her input may be just what’s needed to steer conflict resolution in a more caring and people-centered direction.
Troubleshooting Common Problem Behaviors
Believing what’s new is always better
- Tell Angela “Not everyone approaches new ideas with gusto.”
- Have a discussion with Angela to explore how her willingness to embrace almost any solution as long as it’s unique or different can be seen by others as fickle.
- Explain that “If you want others to take the risk of doing things differently, it’s important to make it clear that they can rely on you to follow through consistently on your commitments on big issues.”
Deflecting discomfort through constant activity
- Tell Angela “No matter how busy you try to keep yourself, negative feelings will linger until explored.”
- Have a discussion with Angela to explore how persistently pursuing entertainment or distraction can make conflict worse because it gets in the way of taking a closer look at what’s not working and allows problems to fester.
- Explain that “Many people use nonstop activity as a way to suppress feelings of insecurity or emotional distress that arise during conflict.”
Struggling with constraints
- Tell Angela “Rules are designed to ensure consistency and fairness in how people are treated.”
- Have a discussion with Angela to explore how many people equate breaking the rules with a lack of respect for the individuals, organizations or groups who established them and are therefore less likely to respect the rule-breaker.
- Explain that “Insisting that your situation is so unique that you should be allowed to ignore official structures and procedures can appear entitled and further inflame conflict.”
Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity
- Ask Angela to look at this list (SEE LIST BELOW) of people who might trigger her to lose her cool and pick out three items.
- Have Angela brainstorm possible ways of staying calm when meeting these sorts of people. This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
- As a next step or additional homework, suggest Angela record any new conflicts and reflect on them. Have Angela respond, orally or in writing, to the following prompts:
- “To improve your ability to recognize which people and situations trigger you, keep track of with whom, when and under what circumstances you lose your cool.”
- “To improve your coping skills going forward, note anything that helped you to manage your negative emotions when you couldn’t avoid dealing with these sorts of difficult people.”
List for Homework/In-Session Activity
Angela may be triggered to lose her cool by people who:
- Seem pessimistic and cynical
- Focus solely on the current reality
- Prioritize duty over fun
- Ignore people’s feelings
- Appear to stifle creativity
- Require Angela to be practical
- Make no room for doing things differently
- Discourage enthusiasm
- Want to stick with the known or refuse to look at what’s possible
- Fail to recognize Angela’s vivid imagination
Reducing Stress & Building Resilience 02Back to Table of Contents
Each person's unique style influences the way they are affected by stress.
Reducing Stress & Building Resilience
- Caution Angela not to assume that her typical ability to wing it with any person, on any subject, is enough – preparation and thoughtfulness are important and can make a star performer stand out even more.
- Remind Angela to watch her tendency to jump head first into new activities without considering if this is practical or sensible given her existing commitments and busy schedule.
- Challenge Angela to balance her desire to seek interesting experiences with attention to what’s best for her on a day-to-day basis. Self-care in terms of diet, exercise, rest, etc. provides a healthy foundation upon which to pursue even more exciting experiences.
- Help Angela leverage her natural desire to want to be in harmony with others by recognizing that it’s more thoughtful to check on how realistically possible something is before agreeing to it and/or encouraging others to participate.
Troubleshooting Common Problem Behaviors
Hiding behind the belief that "Enthusiasm is enough."
- Tell Angela “Studying the facts, doing research, and having at least a general sense of the specifics involved shows respect for the topic and those involved as well as helping your ideas to be taken seriously.”
- Have a discussion with Angela about her tendency to ignore key details and practical constraints, believing that the positive aspects will simply override the drawbacks.
- Explain that different people have different strengths and Angela doesn’t have to be a detail expert but doing her part to show commitment to the nuts and bolts involved means that she will be perceived as capable and as making a valuable contribution to the process.
- If Angela is receptive, suggest she stretches her communication muscles by taking part in courses or seminars on active listening. Angela’s goal is to act as the listener and receiver of others’ input, paying careful attention and then responding to what specifically is said (and only to what specifically is said), rather than her usual mode of offering her hunches and impressions.
Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity
- Ask Angela to look at the list of overuse tendencies and pick out three of the items.
- Have Angela explore how the items she chose have adversely affected her life and what she might like to do differently instead. This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
- Suggest Angela use these prompts to record any new insights, a-ha’s and actions that could be tried.
- Keep track of with whom, when and under what circumstances you find yourself overdoing your style in order to improve your ability to recognize which people and situations result in overuse of your preferred strategies.
- Note anything that helped you to cope in stressful situations and how this might help you to expand your perspective, try new things or reach out to others more readily.
List of Overuse of Preferred Style ITEMS TO GIVE Angela – She picks 3
Angela may overuse her natural style and increase her stress when she:
- Ignores her body’s signals of fatigue and carries on to the point of near collapse.
- Assumes that the proper mood will strike and things will get done without her needing a plan or structure to keep herself on track.
- Distracts herself by busily pursuing novel and unusual activities to avoid dealing with concrete day-to-day concerns affecting her life and her well being.
- Looks at so many options that determining which approaches and opportunities are best becomes overwhelming.
- Longs for an idealized future, failing to prioritize practical things that could be done now to support her wellness.
- Presumes that others are as emotionally aware as she is and so should understand and honor her feelings in the same way she does theirs.
Essential Motivator - Expanded 03Back to Table of Contents
Essential Motivators, your core psychological needs, values and talents as described by Linda Berens
Angela’s Essential Motivator
Catalyzing is natural to those who need to have a meaning and purpose to their lives.
It is the means to self-actualization.
- Angela tends to be gifted at unifying diverse peoples and helping individuals realize their potential
- She builds bridges between people through empathy and clarification of deeper issues
- She uses these same skills to help people work through difficulties
- Thus, Angela can make an excellent mediator, helping people and companies solve conflicts through mutual cooperation
- If working on a global level, Angela tends to champion a cause
- If working on an individual level, she focuses on growth and development of the person.
Insincerity and betrayal
Loss of meaning
Lack of integrity
Angela wants to be authentic, benevolent, and empathic. She searches for identity, meaning, and significance. Angela is relationship oriented, particularly valuing meaningful relationships. Angela tends to be idealistic and visionary, wanting to make the world a better place. She looks to the future. She trusts her intuition, imagination, and impressions. Angela focuses on developing potential, fostering and facilitating growth through coaching, teaching, counseling, and communicating. She is generally enthusiastic. Angela thinks in terms of integration and similarities and looks for universals. She often is gifted in the use of metaphors to bridge different perspectives. Angela usually is diplomatic. She frequently is drawn to work that inspires and develops people and relationships.
Needs & Values
Angela's core needs are for the meaning and significance that come from having a sense of purpose and working toward some greater good. She needs to have a sense of unique identity. Angela values unity, self-actualization, and authenticity. People of this pattern prefer cooperative interactions with a focus on ethics and morality. Angela tends to trust her intuition and impressions first and then seek to find the logic and the data to support her. Given Angela's need for empathic relationships, she learns more easily when she can relate to the instructor and the group.
- Diplomatic Skill Set
- Build bridges between people
- Has empathy
- Strive to unify by understanding and resolving deeper issues while honoring individual uniqueness
- Move to a level of abstraction to see how two seemingly different views are alike and then to choose a symbolic way of communicating the similarity to transcend differences
- Help others harmonize and clarify their values to bring unity to the individual and the group
- Have foresight and vision with implications for developing the people involved, then communicating that vision so it is accepted and followed
- Help others find their path and inspire them to follow it
- Envision and then mentor others to achieve the envisioned potential
Original work by: Linda Berens © Step Research Corporation
Problem Solving 04Back to Table of Contents
How you can improve on your problem solving and decision making skills.
HOW Problem Solving is based on the two middle letters in the type code – ST, SF, NT or NF, which are of great importance to focus, motivation and interests when solving problems and making decisions.
Enthusiastic & Insightful - NF
”Are we solving the right problem?”
Problem Solving Strengths
- The big picture: Has the overall contexts and values in mind. Insightful. Can often ”feel” when something is not right. Contemplates the long-term consequences and the context into which the solution must fit.
- Creative: Thrives on big challenges and is creative and innovative. Works well in an unstructured setting. Brings many solutions to the table.
- Flexible: Is flexible in problem solving – believes there are many ways to solve a problem. Thinks out solutions that are adaptable to new opportunities with a particular focus on strengthening human relations.
- Values-based: Assigns value and worth to ideas and things. Seeks solutions that create the most meaning and value for people – now and in the long run. Focuses on making the world a better place.
- Cooperative: Solves tasks well with others. Is enthusiastic and motivates and inspires others to develop their potential.
Problem Solving Development Areas
- Be realistic: Examine the mundane factors which may be necessary to bring a solution to life, including economic and structural limitations. Be careful not to overlook important details or facts.
- Use experience: Do not reinvent the wheel every time. Establish if there is experience to draw on. Keep what works well – do not change for the sake of change.
- Focus: Hold back generating possibilities until you have collected more facts about the task at hand. Include short-term perspectives and what logically makes sense to launch right now. Be careful not to make decisions based solely on personal values and ideals
- Objective analysis: Make an objective and logical analysis of the task. Remember to include the unpleasant facts. Keep a cool head. Put aside your ideals and concerns for people’s needs for a moment.
Romantic Relationships 05Back to Table of Contents
This section is both descriptive and has developmental suggestions for handling romantic relationships.
- Angela typically has a focus on being cooperative and getting along with others.
- She likely makes the effort to imagine what the other person is going through and wants to talk through these feelings.
- Angela may sometimes neglect to consider how present circumstances might contrain her ability to create the future she can so clearly see.
Relationship EnergizerThinking optimistically about how the future might unfold with your partner
Relationship StressorHaving to spend too much time considering practicalities
Relationship Quick TipTake time to listen to others' cares and concerns about the difficulties that might lie ahead
Evaluating Career Options & Crafting a Career Plan 06Back to Table of Contents
The career search process is not a one-size-fits-all proposition and therefore an important initial step for a person is finding an approach that works for them.
Evaluating Career Options & Crafting a Career Plan
- Get advice from others on where to start exploring a breadth of career options that she would find rewarding.
- Look at her dreams, hunches, and off-the-wall ideas for clues about which career options to consider more deeply.
- Ask herself whether the possible career choices she has identified feel right.
- Respond to new information, chance meetings, or spontaneous opportunities that keep her career search fresh.
- Do people in this field value conversation, group work, and action?
- Do people in this field value imagination, insight, and reaching toward an ideal future?
- Do people in this field value warmth, appreciation, and relationships?
- Do people in this field value freedom, adaptability, and openness?
Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity
- Show Angela the Z-Model Handout below, and call out that the processes she likely uses effectively (these are highlighted in blue).
- Ask Angela to pick out at least two items that most surprised her from the processes she is less likely to utilize.
- Have Angela create an action plan for applying these questions:
- When I am selecting which careers to explore, I need to ask myself...
- When I am evaluating of the appeal of different careers, I need to ask myself...
- Encourage Angela to continue testing her assumptions about what makes for a good career by asking new questions about her career options.
- How does this career option take advantage of skills I already have?
- What direct experience do I need?
- What existing knowledge will I be able to apply?
- What is the customary entry point for this career?
- How does this career option stretch abilities I already have?
- What experiences of mine might be transferable?
- What new knowledge will I be able to obtain?
- What alternative entry points exist for this career?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of this career option?
- What reasons support choosing this career?
- What parts of this career would I find most challenging?
- How does this career promote competence?
- What are the most rewarding and most stressful aspects of this career option?
- Would choosing this career fit my values?
- What parts of this career would I find most meaningful?
- How does this career promote personal satisfaction?