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Are you a social detective? Do you know how to use your superflexible powers for good?

Do you have any idea what I am talking about?

I didn’t either until my daughter Lali got invited to join a new program at her elementary school called The Superflex Superhero Training Academy (Social Smarts). The program teaches self-awareness, self-monitoring, self-control and social problem-solving. Through my lens, it’s leadership development for eight-year-olds! I smiled broadly realizing that Lali was about to learn the kid version of the work I do with adult leaders. Then I found myself wondering what I’d be like if I learned social smarts when I was eight.

Can you think of a few leaders around you who could use some social smarts?

  • Leaders who’d be more effective if they were more aware of their surroundings and the people in it?
  • Leaders who’d be more present if they tuned with their own and others’ thoughts and feelings?
  • Leaders who’d be more resourceful, influential and impactful if they looked a little deeper into the “why” behind their social behaviours?

Many of you know that we teach leaders “social smarts” by using The Leadership Circle Profile 360 and conscious leadership practices. The kid version is admittedly more fun! They start with a comic book story: Superflex Takes on Rock Brain and the Team of Unthinkables.  The story follows Aidan and his dog Bark as they get challenged by different characters in Social Town. Together, they learn that everyone has superflexible thinking powers and can become Superflex.

Superflex is present when Aidan/we are “above the line”. When we are superflexible, we are able to tune in to people’s wants and needs to help keep ourselves and others calm while also getting our turn “to play and speak”.

When Aidan/we slip “below the line”, which happens often, The Unthinkables appear! Let’s meet some of them:

The Unthinkables as drawn by Lali!
The Unthinkables, as drawn by Lali!

Firstly there is Rock Brain. He’s the opposite of flexible. This guy wants to do only what he wants to do. He tries one solution over and over, even though it is not working. He’s rule-bound and rigid.

Un-Wonderer doesn’t show interest in others. She doesn’t ask many questions about others and doesn’t add her ideas either.

Grump Grumpaniny thinks the worst and that people are unkind. He sees everything as negative. He’s blind to how his emotions spread and make others feel unhappy.

D.O.F. The Destroyer of Fun is very competitive. She insists on going first and playing only what she wants to play. She doesn’t compromise or sense how others feel when she dominates.

Worry Wall feels nervous about the people around him or the situation; when he is scared, he “hits a wall” which stops his ability to talk to people nearby or think clearly.

Other characters are Brain Eater, Body Snatcher, Space Invader, Glassman, Topic Twistmeister, WasFunnyOnce, Energy Hare-y, One-Sided Sid, and Mean Jean!  Perhaps you can have some fun figuring out what these characters get up to when they take over?

Lately, my own brain has been hijacked by some Unthinkables. Rock Brain, Grump Grumpaniny, Destroyer of Fun and Worry Wall have practically formed a committee in my brain and they are overstaying their welcome! I know they are there. And when I notice them (or someone else notices them for me and points them out…oh the “gift” of feedback…), I can sometimes shift back to being superflexible in that moment. And sometimes I cannot. And increasingly, I can have some compassion for myself and recognize I am feeling threatened somehow.

And this, my friends, IS the work. We all benefit when we get better at spotting where we are, accepting ourselves for being there and making an effort to shift IF we are willing.

Here’s the sequence:

  1. Where are you? Are you in the land of Superflex (above the line) or the Unthinkables (below the line)?
  2. Can you accept yourself for being where you are in this now moment? Maybe you are just scared and if you welcomed that in, you could make friends with your fear.
  3. Are you willing to shift? You may want to desperately but not be willing. And that is ok. You can learn about yourself and behave more like a leader even while some Unthinkables are taking up residence in your (rock) brain☺.
  4. And if you are actually willing to change the game, how will you shift?

And can you smile and be grateful?  Whatever is going on IS PERFECT for your learning, even if your life isn’t!


For the grown up version of Social Smarts, check out Where It Changes! Conscious Leadership Forum. Wouldn’t it be fun to create some Unthinkables and Thinkables for leaders as part of our journey? We have some spots left for this September. Reach out if you’d like to chat about joining us.

On March 7th, we took a leap of faith. We danced the dance of ‘purpose versus safety’ and we decided that purpose would win the day.

We welcomed 29 leaders from several sectors to an introduction of PEI’s first Where It Changes!™ (WIC) Conscious Leadership Forum1 at the beautiful Beaconsfield Carriage House at the water’s edge. The sun was shining both inside and out.

The Magic that Happens When We Trust and Surrender | Chandler Coaches Inc

In the week’s leading up to our intro session as well as the day of, we were guided by the mantra suggested to us by our conscious leadership mentor coach Annmarie Chereso: ‘trust and surrender’.

Trust and surrender that the right people would show up. And they did.

Trust and surrender that we would create a profound and playful experience. And, judging by the laughter and animated conversations, we did.

The Magic that Happens When We Trust and Surrender | Chandler Coaches Inc

Trust and surrender that people would be interested in our year-long program. And they are.

As we move forward to launch the Forum, our team will continue to trust and surrender that life will serve up what we need for our own ongoing leadership growth. We are now joyfully creating a profound and playful Forum experience for the 12 PEI leaders who will make up the founding WIC cohort. These leaders know that if nothing changes, nothing changes… and the Forum is Where It Changes!™

Imagine the magic you could create if you could shift from…

  • Controlling to empowering
  • Withholding to revealing
  • Safety to courage
  • Avoiding to embracing conflict
  • Drama to purpose
  • Striving to serving
  • Stress to ease
  • Solo to community
The Magic that Happens When We Trust and Surrender | Chandler Coaches Inc

And what would be possible for you, your organization, our Island and the world if you lived and led with more trust and surrender?

To learn more, please reach out to us at lisa@chandlercoaches.com or monica@oncorpcoaching.com.

We trust that the right people will.



1 At Where It Changes! we exist to elevate individuals, businesses, communities and our world. We do this by creating profound and playful experiences that transform leaders. WIC is a joint venture between Oncorp Coaching and Chandler Coaches.

In any given moment, we’re either in a state of THREAT or TRUST.

In this now moment, where are you? Really check in before you keep reading.

Pause.

Pause.

Pause.

Where are you?1

If you are truly in TRUST, in THIS now moment, you feel there is enough of everything: time, money, safety, control, approval, and love.  When you are in TRUST, you HAVE enough and you ARE enough.

Check again…still in TRUST? Or did my prompts make you a little nervous or wobbly?

Maybe you slipped into THREAT? You feel a little confronted. You’re realizing that you do feel tight for time while you scan this post, or worried whether your team will embrace your new short-term incentive program or scared that your wife is going to be pissed when you tell her you’re going skiing with the guys for 5 days instead of 3.

Welcome to the (human) club!  Most of us are in some form of THREAT 98% of the time. From our cave man days, we are hard wired to continually scan our environment for threats.  These days we aren’t running from woolly mammoths. Instead we (our egos) worry: Does this client like me? Do my partners think I am smart? Will I have enough time? Is my daughter going to fight me this morning? Will my cash flow support a kitchen reno? Is something bad going to happen if I ‘take my foot off the gas’?

And like the TRUST bottom-line, it comes down to whether we have enough security, control and approval to feel ok.

The leaders I coach tell me they would like to be in TRUST all the time. After all, it feels great. But it’s an unattainable expectation.

Here’s the rub: Wanting to be in TRUST and being willing to shift into it are two different things.  

The first step is knowing where you are.  

In this now moment, are you in TRUST or THREAT?

The second step is acceptance.

Can you accept yourself for being exactly where you are? Can you appreciate, with the compassion you’d have for a small child, that in this moment you might feel scared, uncertain, and maybe even unloved?  And how human is that? After all, we cannot shift what we cannot accept. And you may not be ready to stop blaming yourself or someone else for your current state of THREAT. And that is ok.

The very cool thing is that we can learn and grow from either TRUST or THREAT.

Simply ask yourself: From this place of TRUST or THREAT, what am I noticing? What am I feeling? What do I want? What can I learn?

And for goodness sake, wherever you are, give yourself a little hug and smile at how very human you are.

For other posts on this topic, check out:
The Four Questions Conscious Leaders Ask Themselves
Blame or Shift
Location, Location, Location
If you really knew me…

1 For those of you who follow this work: TRUST=Above the line and THREAT=Below the line.

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