Every month we shall feature a “profiling tool” – a psychometric.
Clients ask me about psychometric tools and I have experienced many of them. Within this section we shall be allowing you to experience the different tools that can help you make some decisions about what you want to be doing.
And, in the process, we shall have some great conversations with great people and share them with you too! (Selfishly a win-win for us!!)
And talking us through this is Susan Grandfield from sgdevelopmentsolutions.com
PRISM Brain Mapping is an online instrument based on neuroscience. It provides 3 distinct profiles – or maps – of a persons behavior – how he or she naturally prefers to behave, the extent to which he or she feels it necessary to modify that behavior on occasions to achieve key objectives and the overall pattern of behavior that he or she tends to use for most of the time.
LS: When did you start using the Prism brain mapping software?
SG: I started Prism about 4 years ago. I did the Practitioner programme. Why? I’d done Myers Briggs, been using it for years, always felt too restricted, put people in a box, it frustrated me.
I always felt there must be something different that could get the same intended outcome. I became more and more interested in neuroscience and the brain and came across Prism off the back of that, I am fascinated by it. It’s a tool to give people an insight into how the brain works.
It’s more dynamic and works with the Plastic nature of the brain - I found it so empowering.
You could do a map every 6 weeks and the outcome is always different, it can be an unconscious change but you can make it a conscious one.
It’s all about creating more choices, being more aware, and taking more control over your life and work.
Prism brain mapping does that ‘stuff’ –it helps you understand where you are right now and gives you more choice as to what is changing with the brain. I think its fantastic to say ‘I’m going to take some control over my changes.’
LS: Have you seen the shift with your clients?
SG: Yes. You do the online questionnaire, it takes about 25 minutes. Then we would look at where you are right now. What is it you want to achieve in work, in life? In looking at your strengths and maps it allows you to see what opportunities you have.
It takes more energy from the brain to do the things that aren’t good for you, than the things that are good for you. Neuroscience states that you use 80% more brain energy to do the things that are not really you!
In exploring where you are trying to get to we can start the conversation about how your brain helps – or doesn’t – you get there.
Prism works well for people where the evidence is important, visual evidence is there, there’s a real science behind it. It’s based on neuroscience, far more recent and current. In the last 30 years there has been such an amount of research and work on the brain.
It’s more accessible, the brain is so incredible. Society has the facility to know and learn so much more about the brain.
Why would you not want to know more about it? It can make you a better person and a better leader.
LS: You’ve got the underlying map, the adapted and consistent?
SG: The underlying is your instinct or natural behaviour, adapted is how far you flex from that. With some people the two maps might be on top of each other, which means you haven’t flexed much at all and with others the two maps could be far from each other, which means you’ve flexed a lot from your instinct.
Consistent is where you are currently operating most often. Underlying is unlikely to change but the adapted and consistent probably would. You get the three maps.
There is also a fourth one - this can be used in job benchmarking and in looking at teams and recruitment. You can map out the ideal map for someone in this role and see to what extent does this person match that.
SG: So thinking of Prism as one tool I currently use, for me that’s just opened the door – it is finding a way in. I’ve found with some, because its neuroscience, it’s new, tangible, feels like its opening a few more doors, having different conversations with people, a route into them talking about some of this stuff.
Prism is about awareness, which gives you more choices. Any tool, which makes people aware, is a good starting point for that.
LS: If we can expand this conversation wider into you and your thoughts on leadership. Has there ever been someone in your life that you thought was incredible as a leader?
SG: YES, I can clearly think of somebody, one of my first bosses. I hadn’t seen him for 10 years and met up with him a few months ago and he had the same impact on me.
A real genuine way of connecting with people; you just felt like there was no-one else around you when he talked to you, he gives such undivided attention. He’s got a real curiosity about people, he is interested. And he was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in.
LS: What else is there that makes a really great leader?
SG: Another thing I think is, that kind of vulnerability, not feeling that you always have to know all the answers. Thinking because you’re the person at the top of the tree you have to know all the answers can inhibit you. Someone who is very collaborative, very open. Least effective leaders are probably better at managing. He (old boss) said to me ‘there’s something about you, I really believe there’s something in you.’ He was instrumental in me progressing. Inspiring people have a belief in others and create opportunities for them. Demonstrating belief in someone and instilling self-belief in them is so important.
LS: Any leadership books that you have loved?
SG: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, it’s a bit out there, not necessarily an easy read. The premise of it is just so powerful. We live so much of our lives in the past and project our future but all we really have is right now. From a leadership point of view, if people were aware of that they would make different decisions and behave differently to people. For me, that is about becoming consciously aware.
I’m reading a book at the moment called ‘Conscious leadership’ and it is really really good. Gary Douglas, one of the contributors, developed a programme called ‘access consciousness’ and he gets you to realise how unconscious we are of a lot of things we do in life. It’s about becoming more aware of the habits in our behaviour and thinking. Leaders and their organisations are really unconscious of what they’re doing.
LS: What would you say the difference is between being in a business to owning a business?
SG: How long do we have?
From a leadership point of view, initially you feel like you don’t have any leadership, you are all of a sudden leading yourself, which is challenging. I start to notice that you begin to experience leadership in different ways, when you’re employed you tend to look at your boss and follow their lead but when you’re your own boss, you become more of a leader to others. You find leadership in other ways and really identify qualities in other people. Leadership takes on a more expanded meaning when you’re self-employed. Leadership isn’t about being given a title, you are actually only a leader if your people choose to call you that.
LS: I get that. There’s expansiveness in the term leadership – we have a wider lens.
SG: Leadership really is intangible, you start to realise people choose to follow. If you get people to be really in touch with who they are, what their purpose is, in tune with what is around them they then just naturally demonstrate leadership qualities without having to be trained. That has really got me thinking about my training models.
‘A radical change is needed so that we have conscious organisations and conscious leaders’.
LS: It’s so true, in the corporate world we need a model, maybe it is actually about how do you create an authentic model?
SG: It’s about giving people the space to be able to explore, deep down we all love learning about ourselves. The challenge I find is how you position that with companies. It’s about finding a way, using a language that people can relate to.
LS: You travel; you do a lot and move about a lot, how do you keep fit for business?
SG: I’ve always kept fit, love exercising. Actually, not sure I love! I’ve always done a lot of exercising. I do try to do it wherever I am. It sounds clichéd because everyone’s talking about it but exercising the mind is important too.
Meditation. I started practicing Mindfulness 3 years ago and the difference it’s made is huge. I personally can’t put my finger on what it is but there is something different. As a result I’m doing a Masters in Mindfulness, I just want to explore a bit more and why it has the impact it does.
Running your own business and the job we do there is so much internal dialogue. We are constantly trying to manage our state, their state, so much going on. To step back and give you the headspace is absolutely brilliant. I do 10 minutes every morning before I do whatever I have on that day and recently I have been fitting half an hour in during the day.
It’s not easy but the difference it makes is enormous. I am phenomenal at planning, because I sit and plan thing after thing. It’s a great habit to get into.
LS: I know the difference when I am meditating and when I’m not. It’s just not that tangible but it just works.
SG: I was watching an interview with Dan Harris who was the anchorman for ABC news in America. He has written a book called 10% happier (How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story), because he basically had a panic attack on National news with 5.5 million people watching. He got into mindfulness as a way of helping him to deal with this. In the interview, he says ‘I know there are plenty people out there who will be able to tell you what’s going on in my brain and what mindfulness actually does but I just know it works.’ That doesn’t sit comfortably with leaders in the corporate world. But - give it a go and see what happens.
LS: What is taking up most of your thinking space right now?
SG: Well. Going on holiday is one thing. First and foremost.
Actually, how to take all this amazing stuff that I’m experiencing and share it with leaders in organisations.
I’ve worked with so many organisations where people are so unconscious. I was that person, I just know how much benefit it can have. I fundamentally believe that we can’t keep going the way we are going. Organisations cannot expect more and more from people without finding a different way of investing in them and developing them. Some people are resourceful and will go out and find ways to develop themselves by themselves but some people really need the guidance and they look to their employer for that and so I think the employers almost have a real duty to find a different way to do it. I am thinking about engaging in a different type of conversation. Trying to find a language that doesn’t scare people off and doesn’t dilute the power of what it is but allows people to connect with it a bit more easily.
LS: What brings out your dark side?
SG: Oh goodness... that’s a really interesting question. Probably meeting people where there’s a real resistance to wanting to explore something different. People who are not prepared to see there could be a different way to see things or do things. Frustrating.
LS: And the killer question - do you have a favourite outfit, pair of shoes, lucky pants. A go to anchor?
SG: Not a specific item. But shoes are very important. Always wear heels, my feet wish that I wouldn’t! Statement shoes make a huge difference. And my favourite perfume.
LS: What are you certain about?
SG: That by working together with like minded people, I believe we can create change in the way organisations work. Fundamentally I believe that is possible and a radical change is needed so that we have conscious organisations and conscious leaders.
It’s taken me my entire career up to this point and 8 years of self employment to realise what I’m passionate about and this is it. I absolutely believe it’s possible to change the world. Eventually.
Conscious leadership – I love this terminology and really got me thinking about how many organisations are sleeping or ‘working offline’.
Meditating daily – I am a big believer in mediation but actually I have really lapsed in my practice recently. So, ensuring this is a daily ritual.
The plasticity of the brain – I adore the idea of mapping the brain changes in people using this tool. I am going to use this as a practice myself to see what differences are happening in my brain as we launch into pastures new!
Want to see what Kirsty’s brain had to say for itself? Let's find out >
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