The first part of this blog set up the Advanced Career Development graduate course I have developed and delivered to working adults in our Organization Development and Leadership Program. Here is part II….
In my most recent graduate class this summer I gave this RBS exercise as pre-work three weeks before the Program (along with completion of the THAB). I struggled over when to insert the RBS (I knew it worked well from prior uses in other classes) but I wasn’t sure where to insert it as we went through the Graduate course adaptation of the Highlands Personal Srategic Planning Seminars. Finally it dawned on me to insert the RBS in the Integration phase of the Program, right before the brainstorming. Wow, what a hit! The RBS had provided one more highly emotional moment for many clients, joining the Family of Origin genogram exercise.
The experience reminded the presenters of their moments of success, but the process of reading aloud what they had put together – the strengths and positive strokes – was for some just emotionally overwhelming. At a more cognitive level, there was clearly confirmation from folks in work and outside that the abilities they had identified for themselves were reflected in their Best moments, along with their skills, values and personal style.
As I look through the feedback for the RBS exercise, I find the responses very interesting. They definitely tie into the exercise we did about owning what you do well.
Here is one graduate student describing in her weekly reflection journal (another powerful exercise to be discussed in the future) to me her experience with the RBS: “It is a bit difficult to see it the way others see it. I remember the events or situations the respondents are remarking about, but at the time (and even now) I don’t see it in quite the way they do. I’m tempted to ask them who the heck they’re talking about. You can surmise that people care about you, think you do a good job and so on, but the really impacting sentiments like ” I make a difference, I am selfless, I’m an expert,” and the like kind of blow you away.”
And here is someone else commenting in his journal on the entire experience of Integration and then Brainstorming:
“Saturday’s class was a lot of fun and thought provoking. Putting together all my statements and then reading them was very impactful, more than the brainstorming. I liked the brainstorming because it gave me a chance to catch my breath. I felt sort of exposed up there reading all my stuff and the brainstorming allowed me to “put my clothes back on”. Over the last two days, I’ve felt like – not a new person – but a version of me that I hadn’t identified with in a long time. It feels good, comfortable. I have realized that what I do has to strongly be identified with who I am. Others are able to work as a means to an end; it’s not the way for me. I’ve tried that before (and certainly may have to do it from time to time) and know that is not a sustainable model for me. I also know that I need to have a number of different channels or aspects to work – a mix of paid work, volunteer work, helping friends, etc.”
This RBS tool should definitely be added to your Coach toolbox. It’s powerful, inexpensive, strength-based and aligns well with our important Highlands work.