There is something we can all do today to support our future!
Supporting our youth, especially our young girls, is our priority as both parents and professionals. We would like to thank all our coaches with whom we had the opportunity to work together in this project and Hayat Holding, who opened this field to us.
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. .
A few years ago, I had the chance to coach the CFO of an international organization in India during a project that covered many countries. The main theme we worked on was the relationship with his team (not his communication, I want to highlight this point), how to improve it and increase the teams influence within the organization. However, whenever the subject became about his inner world, he unwittingly guided the conversation toward the teams individual and collective attitudes and behavior.
Meeting Ken Wilber in Denver, Colorado in 2006 deeply affected my view of my coaching career and life experiences. As a mathematics engineer, I find being able to recognize cultural aspects (as much as I’m able) as well as systemic and holistic approaches, both individually and collectively, very valuable.
I’d like to share with you ICF ACTP certified I.C. Integral Coaching™ and I.L. Integral Leadership™ (intended for senior managers) which are both based on the All Quadrants approach and began in 2018 abroad and in 2020 in Turkey. Using this foundational method, I hope to contribute both to the motivation you provide and your leadership skills.
We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.
The reactions and responses we unwittingly give to situations, events and people generally come from four main areas. If we pay attention to our discourse, we will notice that we often overutilize one of those areas.
The area which we use the most will unintentionally limit our views, thoughts, perspectives and actions. As a leader or leadership team, if we become aware of which area, we utilize the most, our personal lens will be broken and we’ll have the chance to look, think and act from other perspectives.
The subject will become easier to understand when we visualize it: (Figure-1)
The main message of the holistic perspective is this: These four quadrants exist in every situation we come across in personal and professional life. Each of them is important and valuable. In order to receive and provide leadership, the first area we need to focus on is the upper left quadrant (UL.)
Leaders who become cognizant of themselves in the “Self” section (UL) will observe their team more easily and realize that the value they provide to them has increased. The first step is obtaining self-knowledge. . After completing the most difficult step of self-reconciliation, you will approach your team with confidence and inclusivity.
A person’s language and attitude give clues about which quadrant they use the most. Language is an authentic reflection of the way a person sees themselves, others and the world as well as the way they form relationships. Leaders who attach importance to this point will easily understand which quadrant they and others lean toward by recognizing the language used, and perspective held by themselves and others.
Let’s look at a scenario to show the difference and give more detail; In this scenario, a group of four was requested to work on a project and it’s their first meeting. Each started by saying a few words about being a member of the team and the project. These are their comments:
The person from the Upper Left (UL): “I’m really excited to work on this project and to have creative freedom. The most important point for me in this project is to be given a space where I can easily express my ideas and thoughts.”
The person from the Upper Right (UR): “I feel very energized to be a part of such a challenging project where I can show my full performance. There’s a lot of work to do and so little time! Let’s dig in, learn what we need to do then start right away. I’ll prepare an action plan and write our to-do list.”
The person from the Lower Left (LL): “We all come from very different backgrounds and have unique talents so I can understand why the four of us were chosen for this project. It is vital for us to be on the same page and that we set a common purpose.”
The person from the Lower Right (LR): “Although we have limited time, the result will better affect our core business infrastructure. Our starting point should be to establish the structure that will lead us to our goals and to clarify the rules that we will all follow.”
These may be typical opening comments from four people in a meeting. Each comment shows the different objectives they have and reflects which quadrant they use more heavily. I think this will be a good point to take a look at the quadrant which affects each person’s perspective, and the lens or filter with which they see themselves and their surroundings.
If we elaborate these approaches, (Figure-2) we can come to understand the perspectives of leaders, teams, and organizations by their language and attitude. Then by including the less used areas, we can create the whole.
While the given example reflects what four people with different quadrant orientations may say, the quadrant an individual leans toward builds the landscape they see and hear at all times. This landscape is directly related to themselves, others and their surroundings. Imagine if a leader who sees the whole picture is able to analyze these ideas, perspectives, and methods at every meeting and step. Wouldn’t it be wonderful?
Speaking of inter-team relationships we all know that it’s becoming harder to increase performance and improve motivation with the expectation of immediate results and city life coupled with ever increasing stress levels.
It’s quite complicated to motivate teams during these times of crisis when they’re so focused inward, and yet it’s all the more critical. It’s paramount that you stand by your team and instead of seeing them as workhorses, remind them that you’re also a human being. It’s paramount that you stand by your team and instead of seeing them as workhorses, remind them that you’re also a human being.
It’s worth reminding that being polite and tactful in life is one of the most important resources as a leader.
Many people have become extremely tired of the quarantine and working from home. One of the obvious reasons for this is the online meetings which last from morning until night which managers set up in order to strengthen relationships. Does being so involved in their individuality and not recognizing boundaries equate to being motivational? What if I said that it was easy to remain in touch and warm the hearts of teams and stakeholders? When Mr. Ross has finished his project before the deadline, or Ms. Zane has gone through an intense week at work, we may be too far away to embrace them, but we can certainly send a “Thank you” bouquet or a box of chocolates expressing that we value them and that these days will soon pass. These are the types of behavior which will motivate them to come to work and strengthen the bond among the team. I’m sure that you’re already aware of these and have done them many times in the past. However, what I’d like to underline is finding a way to create permanence and turning positive behaviors into habits.
Now, lean back and envision this: You’re the general manager of a company with hundreds of millions of dollars of turnover which produces and sells both domestically and abroad. As you’re heading toward your 2020 goals, the entire world is hit with a pandemic. in the first quarter. Your first action was to take precautions to ensure the health and safety of your team and organization with disregard to official working hours. (and unless you’re a hundred years old, this is most likely the only pandemic you’ve been through.) Through this you’ve minimalized the damage, however the Chairman of the Board of Directors criticized you in front of your management team and other board members. After that, he kindly stated that he no longer wants you to act without his prior knowledge.
Now, take a deep breath, lean back and once again visualize this: You are the assistant general finance manager. During the pandemic, you handled your responsibilities quite well and supported your team. Your successful navigation through these times attracted the attention of Headhunters and you begin receiving back-to-back offers. One offer is your dream job and position, and you decide to leave your current job. As you’re about to leave one of the most vital positions within the organization during a pandemic, during your last week, the general manager set up a meeting for the entire executive board at 7:30 on a weekday. You unwillingly logged into the Zoom meeting and after ten minutes, the doorbells of all the participants began to ring. Once you open your door, you’re faced with a cheerful delivery person. He hands you a meal and a drink and as you return back to the meeting you realize that your general manager has organized a special send away dinner for you.
Here are two questions: Which leader would you like to work with? Which leader would you want to be? Which leader would you like to work with? Which leader would you want to be?
Buddha sits under a tree with his students. A man comes along and spits in his face. Buddha wipes his face and asks the man: What else? What else do you want to say? The man is surprised because he did not expect someone to ask him “what else?” when one spits on that person’s face. He has no such experience. He has always humiliated people before, and they reacted by getting angry. Or they smiled with fear and tried to get along with the man. But Buddha did not do either, neither got angry nor scared. Just plain other? he asked.
But Buddha’s students get angry and react. His closest student, Ananda, says: This is too much, we cannot tolerate it.
Buddha speaks: Be quiet. He didn’t annoy me, BUT you made me angry. He’s a stranger, he has just got here. He must have heard something about me, like this Man does not believe in God, he is dangerous, he is misleading people. He got an opinion about me. He did not spit on me, he spat on his own thoughts; he doesn’t know me, how could he spit on me? If you think about it, he spat in his own mind. I am not part of it, and I see that this poor man must have something else to say. Because this is a way of saying something; spitting is a way of saying something. Sometimes there are moments when you feel language is not enough; in deep love, intense anger, in hate, in prayer. There are intense moments when language is not enough. Then you have to do something. When you feel deep love, you hug someone; WHAT do you do there? Then you have to do something. When you feel deep love, you hug someone; WHAT do you do there? . . .
The man is even more surprised! And Buddha says to his students: You made me angrier because you know me, you lived with me for years, but you still react.
Surprised, confused, the man returns home. He can’t sleep all night. He comes back the next morning. He goes down on Buddha’s knees. Buddha asks: What else? This is another way to say what cannot be said using words. When you touch my feet, you say something that doesn’t fit in words and cannot be described in ordinary language. Buddha continues: Look Ananda, this Man is here again, telling us something. This is a Man with very deep feelings.
The man stares at Buddha: Forgive me for what I did yesterday. Buddha answers: Forgive you? But I’m not the Man you made that move yesterday. The river Ganges flows constantly, it’s never the same Ganges. Every Man is a river. The Man you spit is no longer here; I look just like him, BUT I’m not the same, so much has happened in this twenty-four hour! A lot of water flowed from the river. So I can’t forgive you because I’m not angry with you. ”
And you have been renewed. I see that you are not the Man who came yesterday because that Man was angry. He was angry, BUT you bend in front of me and touch my feet, how can you be the same Man? You are not him, so let’s forget this. Those two Men; The Man who spit and the Man who was spit, no longer exist. Come closer. Let’s talk about other things. ”
There was an old man in a village. He was very poor, but even the King was jealous of him… He had such a legendary white horse that the King offered almost all of his treasure to get this horse, but the man never sold it.
He always said, “This is not a horse for me but a friend. Can you sell your friend?” One morning, the horse was gone. The villagers gathered around the old man, “You old senile! It was obvious that they would not leave that horse with you. If you had sold it to the King, you would have lived like a lord until the end of your life. Now you have neither money nor a horse.
The old man said, “Don’t rush for judgments.” You can just say, “The horse is missing”, because that’s the truth. Beyond that are your comments and judgment. Is my horse being lost a misfortune or a chance? We don’t know that yet. Because this is just the beginning. Nobody knows what will come next. ”
The villagers laughed hard at the old man. About 15 days later, the horse suddenly came back one night… It turned out that it had not been stolen but it had left for the mountains. And it brought back the 12 wild horses in the valley with it. The villagers who saw this gathered and apologized from the old man. “Hey, old chap,” they said, “You were right. The disappearance of your horse was not a misfortune but a godsend for you; now you have a herd of horses.” “Once again you are rushing to come to conclusions.” the old man said. “You can just say that the horse is back. This is the only known fact. We do not yet know what will happen next. This is just the beginning. How could you have an opinion about a book by just reading the first word in the first sentence?”
The villagers did not openly make fun of the old man this time but “This guy is a real idiot.” they thought… In about a week, the only son of the old man fell from the horse and broke his feet while he was trying to manage the wild horses. The son who was the only source of income in the house would have to stay in bed for a long time. The villagers came back to the old man and said, “You were right again.” “Because of these horses, your only son will not be able to use his leg for a long time. However, there is no one else to take care of you. Now you will be poorer and more miserable than before.” “You have been caught up in early decision-making disease.” the old man replied. “My son broke his leg. That’s true. Anything beyond that is your opinion. God knows if it is true. Life comes in such small pieces and you are never told what will happen next. ”
A few weeks later, the enemies attacked with a massive army. With one last hope, the king called all the young people who can fight to the army. The officers who came to the village enrolled in all young people, except for the old man’s broken-legged son. Bereavement surrounded the village. Because there was no way to win the war, and everyone knew that the young people who were going would either die or be captured. The villagers came to the old man again…They said, “It has been proved that you are right again”. “Your son has a broken leg but at least he is with you. But perhaps ours will never come back to the village. It was not unfortunate that your son’s leg was broken, but it was luck … “You keep on rushing to early conclusions,” said the old man. “However, nobody knows what will happen. There is only one reality. My son is with me, yours are in the military… But only God knows which is fortune and which is just bad luck. ”
Lao Tzu completed his story as follows:
“Don’t make hasty decisions. Avoid looking at a small piece of life and making decisions about the whole. Decision is what makes your mind stop. When you make a decision, the mind stops thinking and therefore developing. However, the mind always forces people to decide. This is because development is dangerous and makes people uneasy. The trip never ends. As one road ends, a new one begins. As one door closes, another opens. You reach a goal and you see that a higher target is right there. “