Friday, April 28, 2017
Developing Leadership Effectiveness Using a Polarity Lens Part 2
When June became aware her growing impatience with her staff was a result from trying to solve a problem that was not a problem to solve but a polarity to leverage, her capacity to be an effective leader increased.
Healthcare leaders are master problem solvers. There are many situations and issues that daily require problem solving skills and decision making. For example, do we need a policy for xyz? Who should we have complete the survey? And, Should Mary be promoted to nurse manager? Problems to solve have end points. They are not ongoing. They have mutually exclusive opposites. Problems to solve require Or thinking.
Polarities require Both/And thinking. Both sides of the polarity are important. There is a natural tension in polarities and the oscillation between both sides is ongoing. Other realities about polarities include:
· Polarities are inherently unsolvable in that you cannot choose one pole of the pair as a “solution” to the neglect of the other pole and be successful over time.
· If you treat a polarity as if it were a problem to solve, the natural tension between the poles becomes a negative, self-re-enforcing loop or “vicious cycle” leading to unnecessary dysfunction, pain and suffering.
· If you can see a polarity within an issue, you can leverage the natural tension between the poles so it becomes a positive, self-re-enforcing loop or “virtuous cycle” lifting you and your organization to goals unattainable with OR thinking alone.
· The natural tension within all polarities is often experienced as resistance. Polarity thinking helps us leverage the wisdom within this resistance. It helps us convert resistance to change into a resource for stability AND change.
· Polarity thinking helps us see ourselves and our world more completely thus increasing our capacity to love.
Dr. Barry Johnson www.polaritypartnerships.com
In addition to Task AND Relationship, other common leadership polarities include: Stability AND Change, Candor AND Diplomacy, Directive AND Participative, Collaborate AND Compete, and Conditional Respect AND Unconditional Respect.
What can we do when we experience the tensions and dilemmas of polarities? Dr. Barry Johnson created the Polarity Map™ and his team at Polarity Partnerships created the 5 Step S.M.A.L.L process to help leaders leverage polarities.
Seeing – Identify the tension and the two interdependent poles that when leveraged well will create a virtuous cycle toward a greater purpose.
Mapping – Determine the upsides (values) and downsides (fears) of both poles.
Assessing – Gather data to determine how well or how poorly we are leveraging the polarity.
Learning – Understand what we learn from the assessment.
Leveraging – Create action steps and early warning signs that provide us a path to navigate the energy of the polarity.
June’s map helped her organize the energy she was experiencing while feeling impatient with her staff and acknowledge the oscillation of energy needed in the polarity of Task AND Relationship to help her reach her greater purpose of being an effective and inspiring leader.
Polarity Thinking – Dr. Barry Johnson www.polaritypartnerships.com
Blog post submitted by: Danine Casper, MHA, St. Joseph’s Adjunct Faculty Member HA 511 Leadership in Health Administration. Danine is also a Leadership Coach and Consultant. www.aponicoaching.com and is completing the Polarity Mastery Program to be a licensed polarity consultant.