I fell and hit my head….

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On returning from a working trip to Europe, I reached for my luggage piled up on the luggage carousel, pulled on it, and landed you know where and then hit my head on the floor! Ouch! I had been traveling for 20 hours and was a bit foggy to start with, and the decision to quickly grab my luggage was not a good one. I had 3 hours before I had to catch the domestic flight. What was my rush? Well, it was habit and old messages to ‘get my luggage before someone else did.’

Apparently the wheels got stuck and it pulled me forward. Never happened to me before, but it sure has been a pain in the butt, neck, and back. The good news is that it was just a slight concussion and not any brain damage…at least from the CT scan. Now the reason I’m writing you about this is not to tell you about my woes. The reason is to share the lessons I learned afterwards about my own energy.

Lessons Learned

For a few days, I was tired and disoriented and even a little dizzy, yet, a mere 5 days after the accident I had one of the most energizing 3-hour phone calls I’ve ever had and my energy stayed up over the 2 weeks or so that we worked on it. What was so energizing?

I was working with a new colleague, Lesley, whose task was to help redesign and tighten up an online self-discovery process that is part of the Matrix Insights platform? It turns out the task was what I am most talented at doing by nature. It involved identifying the essential qualities of our CORE self-discovery process. She was learning from me and I was learning from her as she applied her knowledge of instructional design in a virtual learning environment to our task. It felt so collaborative and just flowed. (I’ll let you know when the revision goes live.)

My observation is that even when I am sick, tired, or injured, I seem to be able to perform no matter what, IF what I’m doing taps into my Essential Motivator (Temperament) talents, feeds my needs, and meets my core values. I was taking a strategic look at what had been done and what principles we needed to follow to make the necessary changes while meeting strategic goals. I was in Theorist heaven, refining theory as we go and sharing my expertise with her.

I was also in Behind-the-Scenes heaven because someone was asking for my input, giving me input, listening to me when I integrated it, and giving me time to think it over and revise before it was final. Over the two weeks, we just kept revising until I was satisfied with the content and she was satisfied with the timing and process we outlined.

And as to full type, my pattern is Designer Theorizer (INTP) and that was even more on target in the way I described my expression of Theorist temperament above. In terms of the Cognitive Dynamics pattern, I felt like I was functioning on all four of my preferred cylinders!

  1. Leading role: Analyzing and finding a leverage point (introverted Thinking)
  2. Supporting role: Interpreting and seeing emerging patterns and the multiple meanings that each type is likely to make (extraverted iNtuiting)
  3. Relief role: Reviewing and looking to all my past experiences in facilitating people to find their best fit to find a reliable standard for what we were doing (introverted Sensing)
  4. Aspirational Role: Connecting as we built trust with each other with a give and take (extraverted Feeling).

Part of the magic of that energizing work was the connecting with Lesley and how much we were in sync. It made my heart sing and kept the energy going as we worked on the project later, so it isn’t just my dominant heroic process that was energizing, but also my aspirational one. However, if the main thing I would have had to attend to was extraverted Feeling in nature, it would have been draining.

Then add in the new Intentional Styles lens and here I was Enhancing an already good product. What more could I ask for! (You can read more about this lens here.)

This was fun and rewarding, but the real gift of hitting my head is the reminder that I need to arrange my life so that I am doing more and more of this kind of work and less and less of some of what I have to do as an entrepreneur. I know I can’t have it all be that much fun and feel that productive, but I do know I want to tip the balance to have more of what really energizes me.

So what?

My wish for you is that you don’t have to hit your head to remind you of the importance of bringing your gifts to what you do. So what can you do to take charge of your life, fully engage your talents and gifts as well as your growth edge?

Take a look at your daily work or home life. Which activities are energizing you?

How do those activities engage your Interaction Style drives and aims and preferred decision making style?

Interaction StyleDriveAimDecisions
Chart-the-CourseTo anticipateDesired ResultsDeliberate Decisions
Get-Things-GoingTo involve and be involvedEmbraced ResultsConsensual Decisions
In-ChargeTo accomplishAchievable ResultsQuick Decisions
Behind-the-ScenesTo integrateBest Results PossibleConsultative Decisions

Do they require your Essential Motivator (Temperament) talents? Remember that engaging our talents helps us getting our deep motivational needs met.

Essential Motivator PatternCore NeedsTalent
ImproviserImpact, Freedom to ActTactical Intelligence
"What actions to take now or soon."
StabilizerA place to make a contribution and be responsibleLogistical Intelligence
"What arrangements to make so things go right and don't go wrong."
TheoristKnowledge, competence, and masteryStrategic Intelligence
"What are the long term goals and implications to consider."
CatalystUnique identity and deep meaning and purpose"What differences need to be honored, conflicts resolved, and what do people need?"

How do they engage your Cognitive Processes? (Read more about these here.)

  • What kinds of information are you likely to access?
  • What kinds of evaluation processes come easily to you?
  • Is your Aspirational Role process also engaged appropriately?
  • Are you getting to engage your relief role process in a way that contributes, but doesn’t overtax you?

Pay attention to when your energy is feeling low.

  • Are you having to engage a less preferred skillset?
  • Are you getting your core Temperament needs met?
  • Is this activity taking too much of a different Interaction Style energy?
  • Is there a way to charge your battery by performing another task that feeds you before getting to those that don’t?
  • Have you been overusing one of your growth edge processes and now it has become overload? If so, take a break to recharge. Or ask someone who does that well to help you.

Now What?

Managing your daily activities this way can set you up for more energy and satisfaction Recognizing the things that don’t energize you can help you understand and remove that guilt that creeps up on you when you are feeling stuck, blocked, or unable to complete something. At the same time, recognize that there are other factors like general stress, fatigue, and overwork that may be the source of your lack of energy. After all, type models don’t explain everything, but they can give us clues to how to reenergize even if these other factors are at play.

Our goal is to help you, and those you work with, use the Berens CORE™ Approach and these lenses to increase your sense of well being, become more productive, and be purpose-filled.

If the time is right, we hope you join us for our upcoming Berens CORE Intensive July 18-22, 2016, in Southern California to learn more about how to help yourself and others self-manage for individual well being and effective teamwork.