“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen Covey
Have you ever been reading an email and gotten triggered by what someone said, or even how they worded something, and then fallen into the reactivity trap?
Me, too. In fact, even the most conscious and intentional leaders are susceptible to falling into old reactive patterns sometimes. So, how does one stay creative, and, more importantly, if a person does fall into the reactivity trap (asking for a friend, of course), how can they recover?
Let’s do a quick refresh on what we mean by reactive and creative. The model is based on the Stages of Adult Development and comes from The Leadership Circle’s research and assessment.
Reactive Leaders are focused on playing to not lose or on protecting themselves from problems. They exhibit reactivity by complying with others, protecting themselves, or being controlling. Self-worth is determined by external factors.
Creative Leaders are focused on their vision and creating outcomes that matter. They play to win, and they exhibit creative leadership competencies by: relating to others, self-awareness, authenticity, systems awareness, and achieving results. Self-worth is driven by internal factors.
Reactive behaviors and patterns are triggered by unexamined assumptions and beliefs. These are the stories that once kept us safe, but they may be getting in our way now. Some examples of unexamined assumptions are:
When we operate from a place of reactivity, we are at risk for damaging relationships, breaking trust, and reducing our leadership effectiveness in a big way. So, how can we move into a more creative way of operating that energizes us AND helps us avoid getting caught in the reactive trap?
Even the most creative leaders can find themselves being reactive sometimes. How can we recover from a less-than-effective leadership moment, after we’ve gone reactive?
At pLink, what we know for sure is that conscious leadership is a lifelong journey, and we must continue to explore our beliefs, our stories, and our patterns to level up our effectiveness. Each time we fall back into reactive patterns, we are gifted an opportunity to learn, grow, and become a more effective leader.
If you are interested in going deeper with this topic, be sure to add “Creative Leadership” to your PositivePace® Leadership Development Program or add the Leadership Circle Profile (360 assessment) to your coaching package.