If you have arrived at this page, you are clearly wanting to make a change. We want to help you with that, so here is our open coaching proposal.

Welcome!

If you haven’t done so already, we recommend that you start by reading these articles before you look at our proposal. If you have already read them, scroll down the page a little …

Why do we find it so hard to change mindset?
Have you ever wondered why we often find it so hard to …
How to become a ‘daring’​ leader …
If daring is the key to great leadership, and vulnerability is the …

Now you know the foundations, here is our proposal…

Firstly, thank you for the opportunity to present this proposal and help you achieve more satisfaction in your life. We consider it an honour and a privilege to support you.

As you scroll down you will discover the assessment tools and processes we use to support your development. We have also included the theory and research that supports our developmental approach in an Appendix at the end. We make no excuse for the detail, as, in our view, you should understand exactly what you are investing in before committing to a coaching program with us.

The Assessment Tool:

At YourThinkingCoach.com, we believe the best way to start a coaching relationship is to help you get reliable data that you can use to inform your personal development.

Human Synergistics International (HSI) is a pioneer in quantifying individual thinking and behavioural styles. Their Circumplex model is a globally recognised, well researched and proven way to create a picture of your mindset and behaviour.

The Life Styles Inventory™ (LSI) uses the Circumplex to provide you with feedback on thinking and behavioural patterns that you can change to enhance your performance. Depending on the programme you chose, you will either be doing a self-assessment or both a self-assessment and an assessment from others.

There are two programmes to choose from:

  • MYMindset® – Our foundation programme that includes LSI 1 – self-assessment
  • MYLeadership® – Our advanced programme that includes LSI 1 and 2 – self-assessment and an assessment from others

Life Styles Inventory™ (LSI)

The Life Styles Inventory™ (LSI) measures the thoughts and attitudes that motivate behaviour, how people relate to others, how they solve problems and how they make decisions.

The LSI can essentially answer two questions for you:

  1. How do I think I think?
  2. How do others perceive me behaving?
The Process:

Step 1 – You will select up to eight trusted people to describe your behaviour by responding to a confidential LSI 2 online survey (MYLeadership® only).

Step 2 – You will respond to the LSI 1 online survey to get a picture of your current thinking styles (MYMindset® and MYLeadership®).

Step 3 The respondents’ descriptions are then combined to form a composite profile, allowing you to see how you are perceived to behave along 12 behaviour styles. By comparing the composite profile to your profile, you will be able to see the difference between your self-perception and the perceptions of others. It is this gap that will provide the focus for the greatest return on your investment of effort. Think of it as a way of measuring the difference between what you intend and how it lands for others. (MYLeadership® only).

The action plan and coaching process are very similar for both MYMindset® and MYLeadership®.

We also offer a full 360-degree option of MYLeadership® for corporates and large organisations.

Action Plan and Coaching for LSI

The key to any benchmark measurement, including the LSI, is converting the results into an effective action plan.

A Self Development Guide (SDG) provided by Human Synergistics is designed to help you with that. It can be broken into three distinct parts:

  1. Helping you to read the Circumplex and understand your results,
  2. Helping you to narrow down the behaviour styles you should focus on by doing a gap analysis between LSI 1 (How I think I think) and LSI 2 (How others perceive me behaving),
  3. Exploring three specific behaviour styles by answering a number of clarifying questions.

The biggest challenge for most people is to convert these insights into a robust action plan that will have you thinking in new ways, doing new things, getting new results and, most importantly, maintaining your values and sense of identity.

For an action plan to meet these requirements, it must:

  • Identify the specific behaviours that you want to focus on changing,
  • Include a picture of what the desired future might look like,
  • Include a list of real-life problems that you can attribute to each of the styles you want to change,
  • Include a list of the benefits you will get by changing each of the styles you want to change,
  • Identify the comfort/satisfaction/benefit you currently get from each style you want to change,
  • Include a set of Personal Objectives that address the problems, achieve the desired benefits and will demonstrate a change in your thinking and behaviour styles,
  • Include a Personal Strategy (a single organising idea) for achieving the Personal Objectives and the desired change.

Leave out any of these elements, and you will likely suffer from the ‘immunity to change’ mentioned in the article above during your attempts to implement your improvements. Our approach to debriefing the LSI results meets these requirements and will give you a deep insight into your thinking to help you overcome your immunity to change.

LSI Debrief Session

The purpose of the first session we have with you is to debrief your report. We call this a Technical Debrief.

During the Technical Debrief we: 

  • Introduce the Circumplex and the LSI tool and explain how to interpret the results,
  • Help you create a picture of the desired future Circumplex,
  • Complete a gap analysis between LSI 1 and 2 (MYLeadership® only),
  • Help you to identify the specific styles to focus on for the greatest return on effort,
  • Help you to define the benefits sought from changing each of the selected styles,
  • Identify the comfort/satisfaction/benefit from each style you want to change,
  • Identify the real-life problems you can attribute to each style.

This sets the foundation for the coaching sessions.

Coaching sessions

Our programmes are designed to maximise your momentum and will be timed to suit your needs. Coaching is focused on uncovering your hidden commitments and developing objectives that, when actioned, will release the thinking that is holding you back. Imagine it like releasing the brakes when driving a car. As soon as you release the brakes you have potential to move forward faster. We then help you to discover and apply an accelerator that really gets you moving towards more growth and satisfaction.

Through the process, you are guided to develop a set of Personal Objectives and an overarching Personal Strategy (a single organising idea) for achieving your desired change.

Online Support

We want you to get the maximum benefit from your LSI results. To support this, we have developed an online learning portal to assist you in working through the Self-Development Guide and maintaining your motivation.

Confidentiality

A vital aspect of any coaching is the confidentiality between the coach and the participant. All LSI results and coaching conversations remain private between you and your coach.

Sustainable development

Changing the habits of a lifetime is hard, but it is easier with the support of your peers, colleagues, and leaders. In the final session, we will discuss opportunities to practice and embed new ways of thinking and behaving and how to access support when you need it.

Our Coaches

Our Coaches are dedicated to your growth. We are all accredited practitioners with Human Synergistics International and have been specifically trained in our proprietary approach for accelerated development.


Meet our Coaching Community of Practice


Our Programmes for individuals

MYMindset®

Master Your Mindset is our foundation programme. It includes the world-class self-assessment from Human Synergistics International – the Life Styles Inventory™ 1.

MYLeadership®

Master Your Leadership builds on the foundation programme and adds feedback from others in a safe and usable way. It includes the Life Styles Inventory™ 1 & 2.

Next Steps …

We don’t think you should engage a coach without meeting them in person. With the incredible advancements in video conferencing over the past few years, that has been made easy no matter where you are.

We offer you a complimentary coaching experience with the founder and developer of our approach. Find out if it is right for you.

Appendix

A truly developmental approach:

The adult development theory that informs much of our coaching practice is Prof. Robert Kegan’s theory of adult development. His work around ‘immunity to change,[1] supports the use of systems thinking to unlock the potential in our development. 

Kegan’s work focuses on how people create perspective and their ability to make sense of complexity, ambiguity and paradox. In other words, our capacity to think. It is this focus on the capacity to think that makes this model ideal for considering in the context of our workplaces and organisations.  Theories like Kegan’s show that coping well within our workplaces is not just related to competencies, personality traits, skills or expertise.  It also relates to the way we create meaning from our experience.

Also, consistent with Kegan, Dr Suzanne Cook-Greuter effectively distinguishes between a competency or personality-based approach and an evolving developmental approach by describing them as horizontal and vertical (see Figure 1)[2]. She argues that a vertical approach, with each new expanded perspective incorporating and adding to the previous, provides the highest probability of increased satisfaction at work and at play.  Once again, this comes about through evolving our thinking.

Development within Organisations:

Critical to the understanding of leadership development within an organisational context is the work of Dr Elliot Jaques.  Jaques identified several developmental strata, each distinguished by the ability to handle complex thinking and each a prerequisite to the next. 

Jaques used the word “stratum” as opposed to “level” in part because, as it does in geology, it suggests a requirement for all layers to be robust and strong, none better than any other, each being a foundation for the next and all serving a requisite purpose.  Every organisation needs people operating at each stratum, and more importantly, every person needs to be growing into their next stratum to maintain satisfaction and engagement. Without this growth, engagement and performance deteriorate.  This is the foundation of Jaques’ “Requisite Organisation”. [3]

Like Kegan and Cook-Greuter the evolution of our capacity to think is at the core of individual and organisational performance.

Organisations as learning systems:

In his book, The Fifth Discipline[4] Peter Senge defined learning organisations as those that encourage adaptive and generative learning, encouraging their employees to think outside the box and work in conjunction with other employees to find the best answer to any problem.  

According to Senge, this requires the adoption of systems thinking, which he defines as:

“[The fundamental rationale of systems thinking] is to understand how it is that the problems that we all deal with, which are the most vexing, difficult and intransigent, come about, and to give us some perspective on those problems [in order to] give us some leverage and insight as to what we might do differently.”

Often overlooked in Senge’s work on learning organisations is the impact that collaboration using systems thinking has on individuals working in groups. Learning and applying systems thinking in a collaborative environment to solve problems increases proficiency in rational thinking. Combine this with individual learning, application and practice at a personal level and the ability to handle complexity, ambiguity and paradox increases.

In other words, applying systems thinking collaboratively and personally plays a crucial role in accelerating development within ourselves and our organisations.

Leadership is critical in creating such collaborative environments and encouraging personal proficiency.

Systems Thinking:

The systemic thinking tools used in our programmes have been developed, tested and applied in thousands of organisations worldwide for the past 25 years. Led by Dr Eliyahu M. Goldratt, these tools, known as the Theory of Constraints (TOC) Thinking Processes, are now taught in most business schools in the world.

“TOC is more than a set of tools or techniques, though it certainly contains these. It is more fundamentally a paradigm shift which demands that we think about our problems and solutions, our goals and objectives, policies, procedures and measures, in a different way.”[5]

What does this mean for Leadership Development?

Though leadership has been defined in many ways, most contemporary definitions directly or indirectly focus on the impact of those in leadership positions on their organisations and their members.  For example, leadership has been described as:

“ … that process is which one person sets the purpose or direction for one or more other persons, and gets them to move along together with him or her and with each other in that direction competently and with full commitment.” 

Jaques and Clement, Executive Leadership

” … the art of mobilising others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.” 

Kouzes and Posner, The Leadership Challenge

” … enabling people to use their own initiative and experiences rather than … denying or constraining their experiences and actions.” 

Bennis and Nanus, Leaders

Given the progress in our understanding of adult development, the connection between individual development and organisational structure, and the role that systems thinking has in encouraging adaptive and generative learning within that structure, a Leader:

“… cannot be considered to “lead” (i.e. to guide or direct) unless they in some way transform, shape, or influence the organisational context of members and the ways in which they approach their work and interact with each other.  The effectiveness of a leader, therefore, depends on the magnitude and direction of – as well as the strategies used to achieve- this impact.”[6]


[1] Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. L. (2009). Immunity to change: How to overcome it and unlock potential in yourself and your organization. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

[2] Cook-Greuter, S. Making the case for a developmental perspective, (pp. 275-281) In Industrial and Commercial Training. October 2004. Bradford, UK: Emerald Group.

[3] Elliott Jaques, Requisite Organization: A Total System for Effective Managerial Organization and Managerial Leadership for the 21st Century, second edition, Cason Hall Publishers, 1988, 1996

[4] Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Doubleday/Currency

[5] Mabin, Victoria J.; Balderstone, Steven J. (1999). The World of the Theory of Constraints: A Review of the International Literature, St. Lucie Press

[6] Dr Robert A Cooke (Associate Professor Emeritus of Management Studies, University of Illinois, Chicago and CEO of Human Synergistics International.)