Oct 06, 2020

How To Draw On The Energy Of Your Big Four

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Week 4 of a 10-Week Plan to Connect with Your Center of Wellbeing

In times of extreme stress, even the most even-keeled among us can lose our balance. Our inner demons spring unbidden to the surface. We’re short-tempered and impatient, frustrated and bereft. The relentless stress of 2020 is Kafka-esque.

As we wrestle with the human suffering and economic destruction of a worldwide pandemic amid a high-stakes political season, it’s getting harder to tap our inner angels and deliver the mindful leadership to which we aspire.

Connecting to the qualities at our center of wellbeing can help.

Last week’s column identified The Big Four — the members of our Inner C-Suite that enable our visioning, thinking, feeling and achieving: the Dreamer, the Thinker, the Lover and the Warrior. They make it possible for us to inspire our teams, analyze our business risks, engage our workforce and execute the day-to-day operations of our lives and businesses.

We are healthier, more effective and more helpful to ourselves, our families, our businesses and our communities when we can deploy all of the Big Four. This inner balance calms our overstimulated nervous systems.

Over two decades of research and advising executives, I found that few leaders, or people in general, harness the power of all of them on their own.

I also saw that in the majority of cases, people can reclaim these lost parts of themselves to great success. This is the path to closing your Performance Gaps.

You Can Start Right Now

To get the best from our inner C-suite, we need to draw out the unique strengths they bring to the table and identify the power from which they spring.

In your core, at your center of wellbeing, you have the potential to tap four fundamental human qualities: creativity, clarity, compassion, and courage. Each quality powers one of your Big Four.

Try this exercise to take the first step toward identifying and reclaiming your lost powers. Rate yourself on how actively these four inner forces exert themselves in your life today, with 1 being ‘not so much’ and 5 being ‘a great deal.’

Inner Dreamers focus on Possibilities.

My level of creativity is  1   2   3  4  5

Inner Thinkers focus on Perspectives.

My level of clarity is  1   2   3   4  5

Inner Lovers focus on People.

My level of compassion is 1  2  3  4  5

Inner Warriors focus on Performance.

My level of courage is 1 2 3 4 5

This self-scan hints at which parts of your Big Four are active or dormant today. Repeating this 30-second exercise for a little while – let’s say daily for two weeks – will help you shape a picture of which inner strengths are easily available to you and which need your attention to revitalize them.

The Winning From Within methodology, rooted in the Big Four, is about reconnecting all the parts of ourselves and engaging with them skillfully as we navigate our interactions with the world around us. To do that, to become whole, we need the diverse energies of creativity, clarity, compassion, and courage.

We all have the potential to draw on these strengths, even if we can’t remember when they were last active. Sometimes it’s easy to get moving again. At other times, the results are hard won. Both routes provide a way to fulfill the broadly felt wish – especially in times like these – to experience a world in which daily life at work and at home reflects the best of who we are.

Next week: Practical short exercises you can do at work to strengthen the powers behind your Big Four

Catch up with the 10-week plan to connect with your center of wellbeing

Week 1: How To Connect With Your Center Of Wellbeing

Week 2: Close Your Inner “Performance Gap” To Tap Your Most Powerful Self

Week 3: Leverage Your Inner C-Suite: How To Bring Your “Big Four” To The Negotiating Table

 

Published on Forbes.com October 6, 2020