Free yourself from your work system self to look at your career trajectory, your work life balance!

As I compose a flyer announcing our upcoming July workshop in Aliki, Paros Island, Greece, a flood of memorable participant experiences fills my head. For instance,  I recall vividly four years ago, the experience of a young German scientist, Manfred, from a global Pharma company. Manfred was at a crossroads and needed some time to reflect and consider his options. Considered a High Potential, he was in the midst of deciding what would be his next move. Would he advance on as a technical scientist or move into the ranks of management? Fortunately he had a leader who had the ability to listen carefully, understand, and assist her people in developing themselves. Given his manager’s previous experience with IMD’s development programs, Manfred was then offered the opportunity of IMD’s program on Paros.

His response to our consultation on his results from The Highlands Ability Battery assessment his first revelation.  He got his question answered. He heard about how his hard-wired strengths would contribute to his possible roles. He then heard the challenges inherent in his strengths in his role options.  However, while he did get the answers, he needed to be reminded that making a decision without considering the other 7 factors would be a potential error!

When we are experiencing career or life anxiety all too often it seems to me that we all look for the quick fix to reduce the discomfort we are experiencing! Like fast food it is short-lived and not terribly good for us or likely to sustain us. Manfred was at that moment, having received his Ability Battery results and got what he considered was the immediate answer to his question -“Yes, stay a scientist, stay technical”was ready to pack it in without hearing the rest of his own story.

Manfred, nor any of us, are reducible to one dimension or one factor. It is just hard to try to capture our complexity and think of ourselves in multiple ways –The Highlands Ability Battery. After holding him back and asking him to stay open for several more days, and as the workshop progressed he started to see his bigger picture-all the other factors that we could systemically look at and ask the participant to attempt to integrate into a larger, newer, more up to date narrative.

I leave you with 2 questions I struggle with myself and that others, like Manfred, do as well. 1) How often do you find yourself seeing only one dimension of who you are and 2) how do you communicate your complexity to others?