PREVENTING DRAMA FROM BLOCKING THE BOSS’ AGENDA

BACKGROUND

 

A wonderful Vistage Chair, Ken Mandelbaum and I often exchange tools which our CEO coaching clients tell us are valuable. You can find it in the public domain on Youtube if you look for Above the Line: Key to Conscious Leadership. I am told that Above the Line and Below the Line are the trademarks of an outfit called Partners in Leadership, LLC which does leadership work. Otherwise this post is based on original materials prepared for Vistage CEO Peer Advisory Boards in New York City. And the video is public on Youtube. 

CONTEXT

Above the line, as defined in several videos by various people, is a way of being, a way of showing up: when you are open, deeply listening, learning what the other believes or knows. Momentarily postponing your point of view or instructions. In this condition, good things happen because you have all your powers.

Below the line is a way of being, a way of showing up but: in this state of mind you are closed, impatient, listening poorly, already at the conclusion and action item. This is not a good state for you or others. You have lost some of your power to find better solutions, to enlist others, to train others to solve problems, even to be “boss ready” for you.

Surprise?:   most people are not often aware of where they are in a given moment or situation (above the line or below the line), nor what game their mind is playing in conversations with themselves that put them there. Nor do very many have a learned way of observing, framing, changing where they are and restoring their power to deal. They may not be aware of how they are experiencing life.

Leaders live in a world of massive inputs and numerous daily circumstances which compete for time. How we interpret these and make meaning out of them[2] can put us above or below the line.

Worse, Today’s we are biologically biased for our own survival to worry and to interpret many inputs as threats[3].

PRACTICE  

  1. HOW TO KNOW IF YOU OR THE OTHER PERSON IS BELOW THE LINE: IF ONE IS….
    1. Impatient
    2. Aggressive
    3. Angry
    4. Overwhelmed
    5. Anxious
    6. withdrawn
    7. Not really listening
    8. Stewing about something
    9. Fearful
    10. Dominating
    11. Intolerant
  2. The Challenge to Managing our Minds and Teaching Others to Manage Theirs

lies in training ourselves (or others) to notice/hear the signals

  1. Negative thoughts
  2. Negative feelings
  3. Pain
  4. Cravings
  1. Developing techniques that interrupt the cycle, e.g., “Scuba Rules” (stop, breathe, think, act) and
    1. Learning what or who triggers us
    2. Learning skills to self-correct and get above the line
    3. Making this as second nature as spotting a problem on the balance sheet
    4. Engaging others in exploring mutual interpretations and alternatives; feedback
    5. Doing this without becoming self-conscious or inauthentic
    6. Avoiding voluntary sources of anxiety

 

  1. THE PAYOFF

 

HIGHER PERFORMANCE WITH GREATER CONTENTMENT

“LEARNING TO DANCE WITH LIFE AS IT SHOWS UP AND ENJOY IT”

TEACHING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME

 

Wouldn’t you want to be above the line>? Want your people to be above the line?

Jim Blasingame, the amazing host of Small Business Advocate, and I explored this topic on

his internet radio broadcast? If you value new ideas and ways to succeed, go to:

http://smallbusinessadvocate.com    for live streaming from his “brain trust.”

 

And if you would like to know more about the amazing world of CEO Peer Advisory Boards and the coaches who lead them, visit Vistage International:

http://vistage.com

That’s just my view. What’s yours?

[2] A uniquely human obsession

[3] Threats to our safety, security, self-worth bias us to have more than 70% negative thoughts

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