Putting Your Inner Team to Work

Consultants and solopreneurs are, by nature, pretty self-sufficient people.  But we don’t always call on all of our resources when we need them.  When faced with tough decisions, new opportunities or potential conflict, we often fall back on behavior patterns that can limit our success.

This is the topic of Erica Ariel Fox’s Winning from Within: A Breakthrough Method for Leading, Living and Lasting Change.  Although she frames the discussion around business negotiations, it’s relevant to many aspects of a consultant’s work life.

Fox’s premise is that multiple facets of our personalities come into play in different parts of our lives.  She describes the “Big Four” using the archetypes of Dreamer, Thinker, Lover and Warrior.  When they are out of balance, you’re likely to act in a way that might not serve your long-term best interest.

It’s easy to recognize familiar behavior patterns in the examples.  For example, if your Lover personality takes in a problem situation with a client, then satisfying the client will take precedence over all else, even if client demands are unreasonable.  If the Thinker is in control, you might present a workable solution but fail to get client buy-in.  When the Warrior takes charge, conflict can escalate.  Beyond the Big Four are other archetypes, including the Captain who sets your course.

In the rush to be responsive to clients, it’s easy to make decisions without giving due consideration to all parts of our inner team.  As consultants, we need to be sure to make sure we consult with ourselves – and especially our Captains, who keep the business on course.

The book is an interesting read that may help you recognize self-limiting behaviors.

If you’re in the Bay Area, join the July 17 WIC meeting, where Betty Joe Waxman covers a related theme: Does Your Thinking Limit Your Success?  You can register here.

About Anne Janzer

Anne Janzer is a professional writer who has worked with more than one hundred technology companies. She is author of the books The Writer’s Process and Subscription Marketing.

She enjoys working with writers to improve their processes and help them bring new books into the world. Follow her posts at annejanzer.com.

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