Positive Intelligence – Have You Got What It Takes To Be A Leader?

Photo by Tachina Lee on Unsplash

My book recommendation for the holidays – Positive Intelligence by Shirzard Chamine

The Irish have a phrase which makes me laugh: “Who does your woman think she is?” It’s breathtakingly judgemental and I suppose this is why I find it amusing in the context of understanding how we all judge each other at various times.

I’m particularly good at judging myself – in fact in the past I would have won competitions. Nothing anyone else said would ever be as fierce as my judgemental saboteur.

What’s a saboteur? Well another name for it is a limiting belief, self doubt or your inner critic. I like the term saboteur because it personifies the word and makes it more real and tangible.

In the dictionary a saboteur is “a person who deliberately damages or destroys machines, bridges etc in order to weaken or destroy”. In coaching terms, it is something you do to yourself which limits your potential in some way. And at first, saboteurs appear to be your friend either keeping you safe or spurring you on. They are clever and are often so well hidden you don’t realise they are there.

According to Shirzard Chamine, the author of Positive Intelligence, the ‘Judge’ is your master saboteur (there are nine others) and we all have one although how the ‘Judge’ shows up will vary from person to person. Do you judge yourself harshly or are you more likely to judge others as the irish putdown illustrated? Or perhaps you judge circumstances and events?

“Saboteurs become you but they are not you” says Chamine. He is at the vanguard of bringing neuroscience and coaching together to help liberate us from our saboteurs and be “truly brilliant leaders”

Chamine asked 100 CEOs to write down one fear they had that they had never shared with anyone. Their responses were illuminating from “I am terrified as failing as a business leader” to “My air of confidence is false”. As he illustrates in his book, saboteurs don’t discriminate. So regardless of your wealth, success, social standing, …, we all have them.

Chamine says “Current breakthrough research in neuroscience, organisational science, and positive psychology validates the principles of Positive Intelligence (PQ) and the relationship between PQ and both performance and happiness. PQ measures the percentage of time that your brain is working positively (serving you) versus negatively (sabotaging you)”.

So how do you begin to weaken your ‘Judge’? Well the first strategy is simply to start spotting how many times your ‘Judge’ pops up during a day.

You might find this scary to begin with if your ‘Judge’ has really got a hold but the more you are aware of your ‘Judge’ the more you can begin to weaken it. So when you begin to say “Oh look, there goes my ‘Judge’ again telling me …”, you are on the right path!

In my DNA coaching programme we take a look at saboteurs and bust their myths. When you realise that your saboteur’s thoughts and their accompanying feelings are commonplace and, what’s more, you can do something about them, it’s hugely liberating. So just click here and book an initial consultation to discuss your coaching needs.

In his book ‘Positive Intelligence’ Chamine describes what saboteurs are, what they do and gives a further two strategies to weaken them. Check out the TED talk where he summarises his thinking in his book and if this whets your appetite then pack the book for your vacation.

In the meantime. If you want to find out more about your own personal saboteurs then you can take the saboteur assessment which will give you your own personal report and some strategies for building your PQ. I’d love to hear how you get on and what you think of the book so leave your comments below.

PS for another take on judgement you can listen to yesterday’s ‘Pause for Thought’ from Diane Louise Jordon on Chris Evans Breakfast show yesterday on BBC radio 2. click here and scroll down to the end of the page. (It will only be there for six days.)

Enjoy your summer break.