Jan 11, 2023 | Leadership

As the CEO of a training, coaching, and consulting team, I believe strongly in taking my own medicine. What I mean by this is that, wherever possible, I take the same assessments and participate in the same training that we recommend to our clients.

Because of this, I know that my my Top 5 Strengths, based on the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment, are Strategic, Input, Learner, Maximizer, and Relator. My Myers-Briggs type is INTJ, which stands for Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Judging. I show up as a Di (Dominance/influence) at work based on the DiSC assessment.

Last year, I participated in the first cohort of a 12-month DEI Executive Training program that we launched in partnership with Blue Ocean Brain. The program consisted of four progressive levels of DEI lessons curated from the Blue Ocean Brain platform. For each level, our cohort completed six 15-minute microlessons and met in live online group conversations to unpack the material with DEI master facilitator, Casey Tonnelly.

In addition to the 12-month 2022 DEI Executive Training program, we offered condensed summer and fall versions to give learners options that suited their schedules. Regardless of the length of the training, every participant gained confidence in how to break down the complexities of DEI and demystify things like how to put allyship into action. More importantly, we built strong connections with our cohort that we came to rely on for building best practices and encouragement as we applied our training on the job.

My fellow cohort member Nyra Botley, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program Manager, with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, posted these thoughts on LinkedIn along with her DEI Executive credential after completing the program:

[W]e came together at the beginning of this year as strangers, willing to talk and have BOLD conversations for 90 minutes every Friday on topics that may have made us feel uncomfortable. What I loved about our conversations was our willingness to be vulnerable, empathetic, to lean into the conversations, and listen and learn from one another, giving each other a space to feel psychologically safe. What a joy it is to know that while our journey in the program has come to an end, we built a FRIENDSHIP!

Taking my own medicine has helped me experience what our clients experience and empathize with what it feels like when I ask clients to reflect on their assumptions, perspectives, and experiences. Completing the DEI course in addition to knowing my Top 5 Strengths, my Myers-Briggs type, and my DiSC style has helped me to unlearn as much as learn what makes me who I am and what I take for granted.

Whether you’re leading a team, a project, or an organization, taking your own medicine – or not asking anyone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself (even if you’re a D on the DiSC assessment!) – is a powerful way to understand how your decisions impact others.

Question: How do you plan take your own medicine as a leader this year?

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