Dr. Mark Biddle – Working Through Assumptions That Hold You Back

Dr. Mark Biddle is a professional leadership trainer, coach, educator, and founder of Dalton Corner Coaching. Mark’s experience ranges from serving as a minister in Chicago, to leading experiential leadership in the MBA program at Babson College. He also completed the Immunity to Change Coaching Program from Minds at Work.

Past Experiences

Mark has been a leader in various ways. In college he organized nonviolent actions against army the vietnam war. In his early years, there was no set notion of what it meant to be a leader, but rather it was something imposed on the individual.

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) Articles Mentioned:

Petrie, Nick. Vertical Leadership Development-Part1 – Developing Leaders for a Complex World

Petrie, Nick. The How-To of Vertical Leadership Development – Part 2 – 30 Experts, 3 Conditions, and 15 Approaches

Vertical Development – Suggests a progression of ego development to broaden and deepen your understanding of yourself, your values, and your relational existence in the world you inhabit.

Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization Co-Authored with Lisa Lahey (2009)

Personal change identified in the realm of MTBI assessments having been  an individual who tended to move along Thinking and Judging (TJ) side than realized he needed to shift to an Extroversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving (ENFP) role for his position.

Meyers-Briggs Personality Types – Seeks to “make the insights of type theory accessible to individuals and groups.” Pulling from Jung’s Theory and working to identify “16 distinctive personality types that result from the interactions among the preferences.”

Take the Myers-Briggs Test

Kegan and Orders of Mind

There is a distinct difference between improving skills and meaning making. Learning to make sense with greater complexity deals with deepening your meaning making. Kegan’s work Orders of Mind can help you understand how people understand the world.

Mark described that there is an evolutionary process of further developing your ability to make meaning in the world. Kegan’s Orders of Mind can be more deeply understood via this Stanford Article and The Developmental Observer Blog.

Orders of Mind in a Religious Notion

Mark worked with congregation members who were head of law firms, hospitals, and small businesses. The main issue congregation members faced was where they stood as individuals in their faith. It was not uncommon for ministers coming out of seminaries who studied the bible to whole heartedly believe the dogma that was prescribed. These young ministers easily got into arguments regarding interpretations, as it sometimes differed from how they were told to interpret the texts. Understanding where someone is in their meaning making system (in the example of the ministers, in a socialized mind) can help you understand how they see the world.

Essential to Supporting Leaders’ Development

The most important thing to keep in mind in supporting another’s development, comes from understanding the context they are coming from. This paired with an understanding of their emotional and cognitive processes they are going through at their level of development.

You want to give them opportunity to cultivate opportunities to develop in their life real. Mark described one of his clients who imagined an imaginary scorecard. This scorecard identified what it meant to be a good minister. Some of Mark’s work with this client supported his ability to help him look deeply at his assumptions, and begin to test them.

How do assumptions hold people back from being more successful?

In terms of the pastor, the scorecard was unrealistic. It sustained a level of judging himself that made his work seem like a “hopeless task”. After a good amount of coaching, the pastor realized that , he couldn’t do everything that the parish wanted, but he could be helpful in his own way. The pastor developed an increasing level of self-compassionate, in the pastor’s words it allowed him to “see a bigger world”.

Does it get easier in facing up to deep seated assumptions/fears?

In some moments it does and in others not so much.

Jim Fowler was an American theologian who was Professor of Theology and Human Development at Emory University.

He is credited with developing Communities of Developmental Expectations and Stages of Faith.

You can find Mark at http://www.daltoncornercoaching.com/

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