My personal learnings from the Organic ScoreCard
After my American job came to a close in mid-2010, I enrolled in an ICM training, “Coaching for Professionals” which was set up to help people like me begin a professional career as coach. It was a good experience—so many personal insights gained along with various coaching skills and techniques. I feel certain that the five-month training helped me become a better person, especially in light of how I got a handle on much of the irrational thinking behind much of my ongoing behavior (e.g. perfectionistic tendencies, too high expectations in certain settings, low frustration tolerance). I gained better parenting skills as a result, as I now ask far more open questions instead of automatically taking on the more typical advising / steering role. I’m a better partner and friend for similar reasons. I’d probably also be a much better team member / manager / supervisor, yet I decided in early 2011 to set up a private practice as coach / consultant for individuals and teams.
In November 2010, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Marc Grond, inventor of the Organic ScoreCard (OSC). When he first explained my results to me, most didn’t sink in. There is so much there, particularly things that we don’t stop to reflect on, and others don’t see and can’t point out to us. Much of what was said to me in that initial conversation wasn’t digested (I later learned when I re-listened to the recording). Over time, I gained the following two primary learnings about myself.
1. Ask myself far more often: “If it were just me . . .”
The primary thing I did walk away from the conversation with was, “Get in touch with Cara – know what you want, who you are, what you need, and try to put the brakes on depending on others for e.g. positive feedback, decision making, having fun, stability.” According to my score, I spend a lot of my energy in the we-perspective of consciousness, which Marc translated into “having fun, social interactions with others.” What I took away was a real need to move more toward the I-perspective, which for me means asking myself more often what do I want and need instead of automatically going for the group.
This really hit home when, one day recently I realized that when my partner began a sentence with “If it were just me . . .” I felt an immediate allergic reaction. How preposterous that sounded to me – of course it’s NOT just you, so why go there? But the end effect was that he was able to achieve a personal goal that he knew would be problematic for me. My letting go of my expectations and group-related standards (which took serious effort on my part!) enabled him to do something that made him very happy (and at very little cost to me). What an exercise – a core quality quadrant in real-life (to be discussed in a future posting). I saw that I have a lot to learn / gain from embracing this simple phrase, “If it were just me . . . “
2. Get in touch with what provides inner stability
Only 16 months after immigrating from the U.S. to the Netherlands, it wasn’t surprising to hear that there’s currently a lack of inner stability. Yet, I welcomed the reminder that there is quite a bit I can be doing to at least feel more grounded on a day to day basis. I’ve put much more focus into this effort than I was allowing myself to do before. In other words, I’m trying not to fill every moment I have for myself with work-related activities. I’ve made an effort to regularly visit natural areas, do yoga, Sudoku puzzles, and other favorite relaxation routines. I’m reminding myself more frequently to be in-the-moment and especially “soak in” my two children who are great teachers of this art. Of course all of these things help me feel more stable and grounded – yet when not consciously making the effort, my automatic behavior tends to drive me to stay busy doing other things – outside myself. I realize that making the effort to slow down and connect with what’s happening inside gives me the opportunity to also check in with “What does Cara really need/want?” I feel like I’m making great strides on that front, and in turn feel healthier and more grounded.
OSC as one of my methodologies
I underwent the OSC training in the spring of 2011, because I was inspired to help others (the way I was helped) with self-awareness and feeling empowered to reflect on and ultimately change daily behavior. For me personally, some of the greatest learning points have been gaining a much better understanding of how I “tick” (self-acceptance) as well as how people differ from me, which leads to more acceptance of them and better communication. Regarding the tool itself, I especially like the “short-cut” effect to one’s assets/quality and challenges/growth potential, and feel it greatly strengthens my coaching toolbox. I’ve grown very fond of how it goes beneath the surface of behavior which is visible to others and allows a much deeper awareness about what’s driving our behavior. This is where the real opportunity for growth and development can take place. Other personality diagnostic instruments I’ve encountered were interesting particularly in a team setting for gaining general awareness and perhaps acceptance about one another, but I can’t recall that any of us set out to change as a result. With the OSC, this is far more possible, starting on the very day one hears the results. With openness and will, it can turn into quite a positive growth journey.