08/2011 對話訊息:『反思式領導的實踐』工作坊摘要 |Reflective Leadership Practices


八月份的朝邦對話新訊息針對月初的工作坊「揭開無法改變」的真相,反思式領導的實踐:突破個人與團體「改變抗體」工作坊 做摘要分享。主要內容來自於陳穎堅講師(博念學習型組織顧問公司、香港首位推動『學習型組織』理念的顧問及培訓講師)的工作坊筆記及哈佛商業雜誌:2001年12月刊。

心智模式(Mental Model)是深植於管理人心底的各種圖象、假設和故事,就好像一塊玻璃微妙地過濾了我們的視野。被簡化的心智模式決定了我們對世界的看法。這項修練的核心任務,就是要幫助我們看清擋在眼前的玻璃,創造出更適合有效管理的心智模式。彼得‧聖吉曾說「心智模式的問題不在於它的對或錯,而在於不了解它是一種簡化了的假設,以及它常隱藏在人們的心中不易被察覺和檢視」

組織心理學家Robert Kegan博士和Lisa Lahey博士認為我們的一切變革計畫之所以經常落空,是因為組織中對即將面臨的變化,會自動產生「改變抗體」(Immunity to Change),就像人體遇到某些病菌會自動產生抗體一樣,就因為這個「改變抗體」已經在我們的心智模式中深根已久,且很聰明、巧妙的隱藏成為一種自我保護,阻擋了一切最精心計畫的前進。除非領導人或經理人能夠了解這些「改變抗體」是如何產生、如何運作、以及如何消滅,否則將無法帶領同仁或組織產生真正的改變。

「改變的四欄練習」(Four column exercise for change)是一個強而有力的工具,帶領我們深入認識自己及組織的發展階段,以及在不同階段可能產生的「改變抗體」。這個工具由哈佛大學組織心理學家 Robert Kegan & Lisa Lahey 所發展,其背後的框架是源自美國哈佛商學院及社會心理學院的多年研究,運用範圍極廣,是理解與締造「學習型組織」最核心且不可或缺的訓練。

在這個工作坊,我們先從自己開刀,透過四欄練習,借助夥伴的教練(coaching)讓深度反思很自然地發生。參與者帶著最低程度的防衛,而能自然地看到自己埋藏很深的心智模式。四欄活動的原理也很簡單,只需要一張紙便可以產生重要的學習。以下簡述「四欄練習」的步驟:

暖身:
(1)針對目前你面對的困難或是想要改善的議題,寫下清單。
(2)在清單中,找出一個問題,這個問題必須有下列條件:
我有內在承諾(internal commitment)
對我很重要,我可以改變的或有影響力或直接控制的
我是最重要的改變源頭

第一欄:你希望的改變目標/結果:公開言明的承諾,我致力於……
● 將這個抱怨似的問題轉化創造性正面的陳述(類似肯定式探詢的精神):你希望的改變結果(願景)
● 案例:下屬們刻意把我隔離在計畫的重要進展之外→傾聽下屬的聲音,使得流進我(湯姆)辦公室的資訊量極大化(此案例來源:哈佛商業雜誌,2001年12月刊)

第二欄:列舉你做了什麼/沒做什麼致使你的承諾無法完全實現?
● 描述行為,不是描述個性
● 清楚看到這些行為如何妨礙第一欄的承諾;這些行為的重複讓我們在不知不覺中陷入西斯彿思(Sisyphus)的困境中
● 案例: (湯姆)我從不提出問題或要求加入敏感,棘手的話題圈內(不做);我會遷怒為我捎來壞消息的員工(做)

第三欄 潛藏相衝的承諾/信念( Competing commitment)
● 先找出自己的擔憂worry Box (那些擔憂讓你不得不做第二欄的事情?)
● 案例: (湯姆)如果自己冷靜且開放地傾聽某項計畫的壞消息,會害怕聽到自己無法解決的問題

潛藏相衝的承諾:
● 對自我保護或是對個人有利的一種承諾,不該被視為弱點,因為它代表著某種形式的自我保護;它解釋了為什麼我們會有第二欄做/不做的行為
● 「人們最初的承諾總是反映出他們樂於登上屋頂高呼的高貴目標,但是相互衝突的承諾則似非常個人的,反映出人們脆弱的一面,擔心自己在別人和自己心目中的形象會遭到破毀,也難怪人們總會設法隱藏自己的脆弱,而且一但示弱之後,還會趕緊掩飾」。
● 這個相互衝突的承諾就像是我們的內在小孩,綁住我們無法往前行(我的目標)。不要責怪,要肯定他、欣賞他、跟他對話與談判;全然接受。
● 案例: (湯姆)我設法不去了解我無力處理的事情

第四欄 我的大假設( My Big Assumption)
● 我的大假設是有關於我自己和周圍世界的深刻信念;追根究抵,這個假設與「我是誰? 」「我代表什麼?」 有關。這個探索的過程可能不舒服,然而看清楚我有XX假設才能有突破性的轉化。以前的假設可能不完整或錯誤的,不用因此去苛責自己。看清楚「我有假設」 而不是「我就是我的假設」,才有轉變的力量。
● 「大假設」挖得越深越能有突破性的改變,類似『U理論』下探的歷程愈深愈能與自己的根源(source)連結。
● 揭示一個重要假設並不代表它會以荒謬形式被暴露出來。我們一旦有機會挑戰這個假設及其對於行為的支配,我們還是可以找到更有效的運作方法。
● 案例: (湯姆)我猜想,身為一名領導者,我應該要能夠解決所有問題;我假設如果我無法處理所有問題,我會被看作是能力不足。

付諸S.M.A. R.T行動

  1. Small &Safe小而安全,小兵立大功
  2. Mediocre中庸的;可以做到的
  3. Achievable可達成的
  4. Research用作研究的心態去收集小小的成功,累積很多小成功後跟自己的大假設談判
  5. Test測試如何可以持續多走一小步、有什麼風險、有哪些不同的事是自己可以接受也可以包容的。如何支持相互衝突的承諾同時又把放在公開承諾的行為減到最少。
    ● 重要的是行為,不是結果
    ● 改變的過程可用四個面向來檢視自己

改變大致可分為兩種:知性改變和行為改變。一直以來,知性改變是遠比行為改變來得容
易,因為行為改變是需要隱藏在腦中的心智模式伴隨改變的。不容易的原因是因為人類防
衛機制,會用盡方法來保衛我們「維持穩定」。四欄練習幫助我們探討潛藏相衝的承諾與大假設,這個歷程類似Theory U 的過程,由左方下探,經過懸掛.觀察,→尋找與感應→放開「大假設」到達「自然湧現」也就是彼得聖吉所講的自然湧現(Presencing)與自己的根源連結。四欄活動與「U型理論」所提出的「路徑」有某種非常相似的共鳴關係。這個工具有理性的精準並兼顧感性的反思歷程。如同U的歷程,可以運用在個人修練,教練工具以及組織改變。此次工作坊的參與者紛紛表示有滿載而歸的感覺,主要當然是講師JOEY無私熱情的傾囊相授;參與者的背景與經驗更豐富了彼此的學習。


Reflective Leadership Practices


This August 2011 the CP Yen Foundation hosted the workshop “Beyond Immunity to Change: reflective leadership practices for breaking through individual and group resistance to change”, delivered by Joey Chan, founder of Birdview Consulting and the first promoter and consultant of learning organization in Hong Kong. This month’s Dialogue Newsletter is based on the handbook of his workshop and an article on “Immunity to Change” published in the Harvard Business review December 2001 issue.

Mental models determine our view of the world. They are deeply rooted at the heart of our
assumptions, stories and images of the world and act like a delicate piece of glass subtly filtering our vision. According to Joey Chan, the core task of Reflective Leadership is to enable the practitioner to more clearly see this glass before one’s eyes; and to create a more appropriate and effective management of these mental models. Peter Senge comments in The Fifth Discipline that “the problems with mental models lie not in whether they are right or wrong – by definition, all models are simplifications. The problems with mental models arise when they become implicit – when they exist below the level of our awareness.”

Organizational psychologists Dr. Robert Kegan and Dr. Lisa Lahey observed an organizational mental model, which similarly acts to preserve the status quo through individual and groups behaviors that work against their own change goals; they call this model “immunity to change.” “Change immunity” is a clever self-protection deeply rooted in our mental models. Unless leaders understand how “change immunity” is generated, behaves, and how to transform them, real change in an organization will not be possible.

In this workshop “Beyond Immunity to Change”, Joey Chan introduced the “four column exercise for change” as a tool for leaders to recognize the kind of “change immunity” occurring the developmental levels of one’s self and our organizations. The framework behind this tool was developed following many years of research by the Harvard Business School and the School of Social Psychology and can be a useful tool for cultivating learning organizations.

We began the workshop by applying the framework to oneself. With the help of peer coaching, we gradually revealed the deeply rooted mental models which intervene in the changes we desire. Only a sheet of paper is needed for the four steps of this reflective journey, noted below:

Warm-up:

  1. Write down a list of difficult issues you are currently facing on which you’d like to make
    improvements.
  2. Select one issue item with the following characteristics:
    a. This issue is very important to me and I have internal commitment to it.
    b. I can affect change, influence or directly control it,.
    c. I am the most important source of change in this issue.

First Column: The goal/result you want to change: Publicly declare your commitment, “I am committed to….”
● Shift statements of complaint into positive statements of creativity (in the spirit of Appreciative
Inquiry): name the change you want to see (your vision).
● Case: Tom’s issue: “Subordinates deliberately isolate me from important progress” (case source: Harvard Business Review, December, 2001 issue)

Second Column: List what you do (or not do) which prevents your commitment from being realized.
● Describe your behavior objectively (don’t personalize it).
● Clearly see your behaviors that undermine your commitment which you named in column one.
● Case: (Tom) “I never raise questions nor ask to get involved in sensitive matters (not do); I get angry at my employees when they give me bad news (do).”

Column Three: Potential clash of commitments/beliefs (competing commitment)
● First find out your own concerns through a “worry box” (Which concerns cause you to do what you have listed in Column two)
● Case: (Tom) “if I were tranquil and listened openly and evenly to all types of information, I’m afraid I’d hear a problem which I can’t resolve.”

Competing commitments
● For self-protection or for personal benefit, a commitment should not be regarded as a weakness, because it simply represents a form of self-protection. This explains why we have the second column – the behavior of not doing.
● “In the beginning, people will shout their commitments from roof tops that they are happy to step up to this noble goal, but the conflicting commitments are quite personal and reflect one’s competing commitments. For example, one may be committed to presenting a certain image of oneself to others, however this commitment may counter the one goals one to act otherwise.”
● This competing commitment is analogous to our inner child: tied up so that we cannot move forward toward our goals. Don’t blame the child, just affirm him, appreciate him and have a dialogue with him to accept him unconditionally.
● Case: (Tom) “I try not to understand things that I cannot control.”

Column Four: My Big Assumption
● My big assumption is about my profound conviction in myself and the world around me; it leads to the questions “who am I?” and “What do I stand for?” The process of exploring these questions is not always comfortable, yet breakthrough shifts are achieved by looking closely at the assumptions you hold. Previous assumptions may have been incomplete or incorrect, yet don’t blame yourself harshly for them. Simply recognizing that “I have assumptions” and not “I simply AM my assumptions” can be transformative.
● With “big assumptions” the deeper you dig the greater the groundbreaking change. Such is the case with the “U Theory” where the “bottom of the U” nexus of change occurs at one’s deepest “source” level.
● Revealing an important assumption may not be immediately obvious. As soon as we have the opportunity to challenge an assumption and adjust our behavior, we can still find even more effective ways of doing it differently.
● Case: “I guess I (Tom) am a leader, I should be able to solve all problems, and that if I cannot handle the problems I would be perceived as incompetent.”

Take S.M.A.R.T. Actions

  1. Small & Safe: small and safe, David and Goliath grace.
  2. Mediocre: moderate, can be done.
  3. Achievable
  4. Research: Apply an inquiring mind to accumulate small successes. After accumulating many small successes have a good conversation with your own assumptions.
  5. Test how to continue taking small steps, what are the risks, what different things can you accept?
    How to support conflicting commitments while minimizing public commitments to act.
    ● Your behavior is important, not only the outcomes.
    ● When you view yourself from four dimensions, a change process occurs.

Change can be divided into two categories: intellectual change and behavior change.

Intellectual change is easier than behavior change because behavior requires changes in our mental models. This is not easy because humans have defense mechanisms which try to maintain stability by defending our status quo. The Four Column Practice helps one to discuss latent conflicting commitments and big assumptions. This process is similar to Theory U where the left side of the U involves suspending our old mental models, observing a new world around us, letting go of our “big assumptions” and finally connecting with our authentic self (presencing). The Four column and
Theory U change processes are tools for individual and organizational change. The workshop participants expressed satisfaction and appreciation for the instructor, Mr. Joey Chan’s, selfless passion. The participants generous sharing created an environment of mutual learning and contribution.

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