Tag Archives: reflection

15. Apr.

Reflection creates real and therefore efficient cooperation

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A team development in which patterns and core themes are addressed and solved.

“My management team does not really work together. For my department to be more successful, I need a top-performing troupe.”
On further inquiries, the divisional head of a group explains: “They are lone fighters. Everyone starts from his point of view. They all work well, they are top people, but when it comes to finding consensus where one or the other is said to be weak, there are conflicts and vanities that complicate daily processes. I’ve taken part in several development processes and workshops with them and they have helped with collaboration, but nothing hits the nail on the head. This lone attitude and the competitive thinking always lead to tensions and cost us time and money. We could be much more efficient if we approach each other differently and really work together.”

When is a management team really a team? What makes the difference between a collection of individuals and a team?
The quality of the connections to each other, the relationships. If they are superficial, the cooperation is also superficial. If they are binding, the cooperation is also binding. The way of dealing with each other shows the quality of relationships and vice versa. Missing interpersonal connections are usually compensated with a counterproductive hard gait and selfish behaviour. For a successful strategy and team building the relationship level must therefore be tackled:
– What does the management team stand for?
– Do the managers know each other?
– Do the managers know what strengths and weaknesses the others have?
– Can the managers empathize with the others?
– Is there a mutual level of understanding?
– Do the managers know what the others need or what they can handle only with difficulty?
– Do they treat each other with respect and appreciation?

All these questions are addressing the relationship processes and how they treat each other. By reflecting and answering such questions, one’s own personality development and interpersonal quality become visible. Obstacles, misunderstandings and tensions are illuminated honestly. What are the core topics? What repeats, what are the patterns in the collaboration of the team? All participants face the core issues that can be solved.

In the reflection process, the managers see where they are similar and where they are different. Suddenly one recognizes with respect to his colleague: “Now I understand why you block when I push! I always thought that you did not want to give me the information. It’s just the pressure that you dodge. We are different and approach our work in a completely different way.”

In order to achieve such “aha-experiences”, it requires protected development spaces and time to immerse in reflection processes. The different needs and intangible issues of how to get to work are made visible without assumed value. Due to the resulting clarity, the findings of these processes are transferred into everyday life. The quality of relationships is more genuine and therefore more binding in every respect.

The joint coordination and cooperation will improve efficiency in the long term. The managers develop appreciation for themselves and others. The reflected and thus clearer strategy-orientation causes everyone to strive towards the supra-personal goal. The new and stronger WE-feeling motivates to achieve top performance and pushes everyone forwards.

Image: ©shutterstock

This is a translation of the German blog article Reflexion schafft echte und somit effiziente Zusammenarbeit posted on January 28th 2013 by Christine Kranz

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9. Apr.

How Schiele’s artworks show psychological compensations

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Lead authentically and differentiated with high level of awareness

In the context of leadership and career, mental illnesses such as depression, ego weakness, personality disorder, burnout syndrome and narcissism are often used as a matter of fact. This led to the concept of resilience meteorically gaining prominence. What is quickly and superficially thematized and put into boxes, can in no way do justice to those affected. The inner life and the resulting external effect are the result of a long, incomparable life journey. The sum of all experiences makes the uniqueness of people. With all our unprocessed weaknesses, strengths and applied potential.

To expose the inner potentials, a profound personality development is required. This includes reflecting on one’s own psyche. As self-evident as body care and hygiene are embodied in our culture, the treatment of mental stability requires differentiated attention with a focus on self-development. Anyone who neglects or even negates the “psycho-hygiene” with its contained fears, patterns and weaknesses risks becoming mentally and physically unstable and unwell over time.

100 years ago, the Austrian artist Egon Schiele presented psychological content with the most intense expressiveness. The following digression with two of his self-portraits shows profound topics and development potentials with the help of symbolic translation and associative contemplation. Not Schiele’s thoughts are interpreted, but rather attention to the symbolism and his own feelings are paid, which triggers the depicted. If the viewer leans on personal associations, he succeeds in bringing inner patterns and processes to light.

This self-portrait created in 1910 symbolizes the expression of the intellectually controlling abilities as well as the power of action and locomotion through the concise shaping and intensive coloring of the head, the hand and the leg indicated on the lower edge of the picture. The angular lines, the strong expression of the face and the red eyes represent insecurity as well as dominance. Schiele renounced entirely on the painting of the robe. This associates a reduced body or a floating shell which, in contrast to head and limbs, has an incredible effect.

This emptiness symbolizes people whose inner personal areas of feelings, needs and instincts remain empty and unfulfilled. They have lost contact with each other by identifying with performance and successes in the outside world. Usually these people are dependent on the feedback of others and therefore function reactive and undifferentiated.

In the outward-looking business
world of superlatives of more, faster and bigger, the inside look is pushed completely to the side. The inner voice is silent and meaningful questions remain unanswered. The original source of life and energy is drying up. Psychology offers ways inwards and gives answers to psychodynamic processes that work in people and are constantly triggered from the outside. Because everything that moves a person, be it in a pleasant or unpleasant way, has to do with oneself. With a low level of awareness, one’s own problem is projected onto others and the potential for conflict is increased, which in turn makes it difficult to find constructive solutions. For example, critical feedback might be met with defense. With a high level of awareness, it is possible to reflect the subjective insult and to understand that, for example, the lack of self-esteem led to the pain and the defense. The self-responsible analysis of the triggered inner pattern and the potential for development contained therein is dealt with. For example, this can lead to a healthy self-awareness. Accordingly, the event is dealt with objectively by all participants and an adequate further development and design of the work situation is possible.

In this self-portrait, which was painted three years later, Schiele emphasizes the use of gesture and color in contrasting ways, as in the previous work. The orange robe stands for a strong, personal relationship to the emotional, physical and instinctive life force. The sensual expression with the closed eyes represents the attention directed inwards. Through the forehead wrinkles the inside look does not appear passive at all but rather a search and struggle for deeper essential insights.

If a person directs the self-critical discussion too much inward with too little distance to the subjective feeling, this can have an inhibiting effect on the spontaneous development of potential. Constant self-doubt and questioning absorb the power that would be necessary for a lively exterior design.

The balanced psychological confrontation with oneself is an invaluable benefit for executives and decision makers. Because everyone has their sunny sides and shadow themes, which are destructive, preventing and exhausting in displacement. Even if a very difficult person gets along relatively well with themselves, they usually pose an unbearable burden on the environment, especially in their role as superiors. If they are also taken over by a selfish omnipotence, they can be unaware of the responsibility they have and the burden they put onto others. When too many stress factors come together in the individual, the psyche compensates with counter-reactions or breaks down.

The development of inner processes should be accompanied by coaches and counselors with high psychological competence. Their own reflection competence and personality development play a decisive role here. For only those who have explored and integrated their own depths can surely accompany others in their deep development of personality and potential. The way inwards is not only worthwhile for those affected. The companies also benefit. Executives and decision makers get through the serious, individual confrontation with strength and support. They are clearer, more decisive and more authentic in their attitude and all their actions. An immense amount of valuable potential lies on the inner levels, waiting to be activated and used on the outside.

Images:
Self-portrait, 1910, Egon Schiele, privat collection;
Self-portrait in orange jacket, 1913, Egon Schiele, Albertina, Vienna

This is a translation of the German blog article Wie Schieles Werke psychologische Kompensationen aufzeigen posted on January 27th 2015 by Christine Kranz

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19. Oct.

Pure analysis overlooks essentials — reflection goes deeper!

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The time has come that the business community understands and uses reflection processes.

The economy and training systems increasingly deal with reflection and self-reflection. Often it is not understood how effective reflection is in the world of business. Only a few know the exact difference between reflection and analysis. The time has come to explain what is to be gained by the inclusion of reflection processes and to provide clarity in the differentiation between the two. Only in this way the reflection competence can be specifically measured, developed, applied and utilized.

Analysis is an active thought process in which you combine numbers, facts, occurrences, put them into context, derive results and draw conclusions. You almost exclusively use your intellectual and factual approach to the world.

Reflection is a passive and sensing process, in which you perceive impressions, intuitions, moods, … you approach and realize them and gain insights. You almost exclusively use your intuitive and emotional approach to the world.
When analysing, you personally stay on the surface, on the outside, at a distance, with those aspects which are measurable and visible. The process of analysis itself is fast and extensive.
While reflecting, you personally go beneath the surface, to the inside, get in contact with aspects which are intangible and invisible. The reflection process itself is slow and pervasive.

The differences between reflection and analysis can be understood with this artwork by Claude Monet. Imagine yourself standing on the bridge in the picture, looking at the scenery. You analyse every visible plant and animal. When you walk of the bridge towards the bank and look into the depth of the water, you only see a blurred vision of what inside. A reflection process corresponds, to the situation, when you take time to get a closer look. Gradually, you can see what is happening below the surface more clearly.

For one’s own personal development, it is important to know the difference between self-analysis and self-reflection. During self-analysis, you think about yourself, without having to enter an intimate relationship with yourself. In self-reflection you dive into your inner personality levels. There you will find your strengths and weaknesses and at the same time your needs and drives. You meet yourself authentically, without changing artificially through a behaviour control. Understanding turns to insight –knowledge becomes certainty.

For example, a manager has determined through self-analysis that she has trouble getting in lane and adapting. This knowledge is nothing new for her. Despite her efforts she did not manage to resolve the tensions, which she created through her behaviour in her work environment.

Through self-reflection, she could see that she has a fundamental problem with proximity and distance and that once her decision space is limited, insurmountable resistances arise in her. The manager realized that she needs a clearer definition of her area of responsibility to increase her efficiency and that, whenever appropriate, she needs to communicate her inner “No”. In this way, she can prevent tensions and resistances, which otherwise would arise in her and others. The manager has achieved clarity in which suggestions she will communicate to her supervisor in order to change the working conditions so that her work environment fits her optimally. She took responsibility for her situation by considering her own strengths and associated weaknesses. She decided to change, which was based on certainty by her inner personality and was implemented in a solution-oriented way.

If you have developed your skills for self-reflection, you become clearer and more confident in your realizations. Expand your skills as leader, decision maker or specialist by activating your access to self-reflection. In many ways, your life will become richer and more successful, not only for you but also for your environment.

Images: Pen and calculator on paper, Evlakhov Valerity, Shutterstock
Le Bassin aux nymphéas, harmonie verte, 1899, Claude Monet (1840–1926), Musée d’Orsay, Paris

This is a translation of the German blog article Reine Analyse übersieht WesentlichesReflexion geht tiefer! posted on November 25th 2010 by Christine Kranz

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