055: How Pattern-Aware Leadership Drives Change | with Sylvia Lafair, PhD

by Joe Sherwood on September 19, 2013

Don't Bring It to WorkDid you ever think “I wish my direct reports or co-workers would stop with their sob stories?” “I can’t listen to one more complaint,” or “Why can’t they just do their jobs and go home?”

Sylvia Lafair, PhD, is the President of Creative Energy Options (CEO). With a doctorate in clinical psychology, Sylvia has taught at Hahnemann University and has more than 30 years’ experience applying her expertise in human behavior and relationships to organizational environments. She is a highly regarded executive coach and leadership educator, having worked with all levels of organizational leadership with major global corporations, family firms, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and non-profit organizations. Her book Don’t Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success has won numerous awards including being a Top 20 Book for Emerging Leaders.

In this episode, Jesse and his guest get to the bottom of workplace behaviors that waste time and discuss effective ways to react to them.

“Think about it this way,” Sylvia says. “We learned about favoritism, back-biting, and compassion as little kids, and,” she pauses to make sure everyone is with her, “these are the same issues we deal with on a day-to-day basis at work.”

Sylvia and Jesse discuss:

  • What it means to be a pattern-aware leader
  • How behavior patterns that developed in our original organization (the family) impact our work
  • Examples of patterns that limit success … and how they can be transformed into assets
  • How pattern-awareness helps us respond better to the limiting patterns of others, too — including those we lead
  • The power of practicing “safe stress”
  • Four ground rules of pattern-aware leadership

Sylvia and Jesse also take a question from a listener:
Jorge asks, “I understand the point about becoming aware of your own patterns and working on them first. But if I recognize someone else has a pattern, how do I help them address it without causing defensiveness?”

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