It can happen all the time if you work on it, and it’s actually a great skill to learn. Here is a simple technique to try the next time you want to do or say something to get the best outcome .
In the simplest terms, we have what the personality experts refer to as 3 Centers of Intelligence. (Refer to my Enneagram page for my favorite personality tool that provides more detail about this!)
Our Centers of Intelligence can be thought of as our central operating system – how we process information. The three centers are the head center or intellectual center, the heart center or the emotional center and the body center or the physical center. Most of us operate with one Center of Intelligence more dominantly and then the others follow in priority to some degree of intensity, or in some cases, are considered very little.
Think of yourself like a tripod. If we prefer to use our head or thoughts to solve a problem, then that is the longest leg on our tripod. We think our way through a situation first and foremost. That leaves the other two legs shorter and typically one is the shortest. What happens when your tripod has differing length of legs? Not such a secure place for our camera!
For example, someone operating foremost from their Head Center, can collect so much information from so many perspectives that they become confused as to which information is the most relevant or important. Someone operating foremost from their Heart Center, can be over-empathic with people or with themselves so they lost objectivity about the situation. Someone operating foremost from their Body Center, can become overly stubborn when they perceive another as trying to control them or extremely quick to act without thinking through the implications of their actions.
This may sound frightfully simplistic. The take away is this. If you were to give consideration to all 3 Centers of Intelligence when trying to perform at your best, what would that do for the outcome you are trying to create? Most personality experts agree, that to be centered and balanced, we need to access all 3 Centers of Intelligence in a productive way if we want to operate to our full potential.
So next time you are trying to solve a problem ask yourself: What do I think? How do I feel ? What do I do? See if your solution reflects the best version of yourself and let me know!
Current estimates suggest there are up to 20 million Yoga practitioners in the United States, yet in my travels, I haven’t come across too many top executives who admit to practicing yoga. Yoga has been rated as a highly beneficial practice on multiple levels of body, mind and spirit. I have been practicing yoga for the past five years, and given the many benefits I have experienced, I am convinced we could use more executive yogi’s in the business world.
Here is my vision of what yoga-practicing executives would inspire in their employees and businesses:
- Discipline to work at being our best selves and companies
- Positive intent and commitment to unlocking our full human and business potential
- Union with ourselves and each other; no silos; together we support each other’s evolution in a balanced way
- Rigor to work and grow; to find our optimum performance edge that working towards can be uncomfortable, but won’t hurt us or be more than we can handle and leads us to exceed our expectations of what is possible
- Individuality in self expression of the flow, that is also guided by a shared framework and goal within a community
- A “mindful state” where one recognizes distractions and attachments, acknowledges them and then returns to being fully present in the moment. Yogi’s turn off cell phones, lap tops, and thoughts about past and future and focus on RIGHT NOW and doing the best you can at that very task
- Calmness of mind that inspires confidence in times of change
- Clarity of mind and enables us to see things more clearly to inspire creative and strategic solutions to complex problems
- Emotional and physical strength to face difficult situations and people
- Stress management techniques for facing outdated habits, new challenges and other stressed out people or customers
Wow, just listing these benefits makes me want to get to the yoga studio. The funny thing is, yoga can be as simple as taking time to sit with your eyes closed and breathe deeply for 5-10 minutes. Clearly, if we are all breathing, we can all practice yoga no matter how busy – even executives.
What do you say?