Quadrant 3 Touchstones

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As with the previous two quadrants, the touchstones of Quadrant 3

are areas of personal development that are integrated into coaching

to support the attainment of Quadrant 3 goals. The touchstones for

Quadrant 3 are as follows:

1. Know thyself

2. Learn to work with patterns of dynamics

3. Expand your beliefs

4. Trust yourself

1. Know thyself. The central theme for Quadrant 3 is creating

alignment, which begs the question, alignment to what? We

realize our greatest potential and tap into our most powerful

gifts when we operate in alignment with what we value most.

There can be a significant difference between what we believe

we should value and the values that have that clear, true ring

of authenticity. The work of this quadrant is to discern the difference.

Although many exercises can be engaged in to list

various values and whittle them down to a neat list, most often

the test of our own experiences points us in the direction of

our true north.

The work of this touchstone is to readily recognize within

yourself the ring of your own truth. Although this statement

may sound rather profound, it is actually immensely practical.

It is simply the process of synthesizing the available information,

both rational and intuitive, and making choices that feel

right for you. Mark went through this process when he was

faced with the decision of firing his two team members. The

development work that he did in the previous two quadrants

gave him confidence in his own insights, the ability to clearly

express his plan to his boss, and the momentum to take action.

With this solid foundation,Mark was able to bring his actions

into alignment with his values. It was entirely possible that his

boss would not support his idea or that after six months, his

team would not make the necessary progress.What was important

was that Mark took the initiative to act with integrity.

2. Learn to work with patterns of dynamics. Quadrant 3 is also

about getting things done in groups, teams, and networks. In

these more complex environments, underlying patterns that

get in the way of accomplishing goals must be detected. In the

case of Mark’s team, Mark could see that team members

had the habit of blaming others for problems. As long as it

remained acceptable for team members to assess blame and

pass it along, the team was unable to take responsibility for its

own actions and address the core issues that needed to be

addressed. Mark could also see that the pattern of blaming

served a purpose for the team. As long as no one was ever

completely responsible for an outcome, then no one could be

held completely accountable. There was a certain amount of

safety in this approach, even if it did not deliver satisfying

results. Mark needed to work with this pattern on two levels:

(1) to identify the pattern and make the team aware of the consequences

of this shared behavior, and (2) to provide training

or other support so that the team could create a more functional

pattern that delivered the desired results. By guiding the

team to take responsibility for the habit of blaming,Mark was

able to bring the team closer to being in alignment around

their shared goal of increasing client satisfaction.

The ability to see patterns expands with each quadrant. In

the first quadrant, clients reflect on their own patterns of

habits that get in their way. In Quadrant 2, the focus is on

reading patterns that occur in the emotional context of situations,

and in Quadrant 3 the scope widens to take in the

dynamics of patterns that underlie group behavior. The ability

to see these patterns is supported by the deepening levels of

insight that occur with each quadrant. The ability to see larger

patterns is intuitive and supported by the intuitive insight that

is honed in this quadrant.

3. Expand your beliefs. There is often a need when working in

Quadrant 3 for clients to examine their beliefs about how

things ought to be. As clients bring their work into alignment

with their values, they often find themselves face-to-face with

their own beliefs. In Mark’s case, until his boss recommended

firing the two team members, Mark may have held the view

that a good manager always does what his boss suggests

without question. If Mark had decided to hold on to that

belief, he would have fired his two team members without

putting forward an alternative approach.

At the team level, when Mark first introduced the new standards,

he expected the team members to just adopt the new

procedures, perhaps because he held the belief that his direct

reports should just do what they are told. If he chose to hold

on to that belief, he would probably have resorted to telling his

team members more emphatically, in e-mails and reminders

at their weekly meetings, that they were supposed to be complying

with his demands.When he could see that his approach

was not getting much traction, he worked with his coach to

understand the underlying dynamics of the team and came to

see that the team was unlikely to apply the new procedures

consistently without some additional support. By flexing his

view of the situation, Mark was able to find a workable solution.

Whenever clients are stymied, it is important to see if the

obstacle is a belief that is out of alignment with current reality.

4. Trust yourself. Many ingredients combine to create trust in

oneself. The insight and experience that clients gain through

their work in the first three quadrants enable them to trust

their own judgment. Although Mark was not sure how he was

going to inspire his team to realize the stretch goals they had

agreed to, Mark trusted that he could do it. He did not have

all of the answers, but he did have confidence in his own abilities.

It is not uncommon for the choices that clients are presented

with in Quadrant 3 to require an element of trust. As

the environment in which clients work becomes more complex

and the pace at which events unfold quickens, a person who

trusts her own intuitive and logical assessments will react with

greater speed and agility than someone who doubts himself or

needs all of the answers before taking action. A genuine feeling

of personal power comes from trusting oneself. This is one of

the many gifts clients receive for their efforts.