Monday, May 19, 2008

Working with individuals

I recently had the pleasure of working with a college student who had taken Foresight Styles Assessment and wanted to discuss her results. She was curious what the answers would reveal about her. She thought that it was hard to choose which response was most descriptive of how she felt about each question. This is not unusual as many times those who take FSA are not used to thinking of themselves in terms of foresight. We are rarely called upon to define our own behaviors in terms of how we respond to change.

She had her highest points on Futurist and Activist. This happens very often that Futurist and Activist styles are linked. "But", responded the assessment taker, "I don't see myself as much of an activist, I don't go out and demonstrate or plan actions against anything".

"Do you try to convince others to accept your view of things?" I countered. Well, it turned out that she did, all the time in fact! Activism is about convincing others to think and behave differently. Some of us try to change the minds of many at once and others of us try to change one mind at a time. They are just different activist strategies.

Another person I worked with, this time a man with a lot of business success behind him, said that he thought he was more of a Futurist than his scores showed. He was disappointed because he thought of himself as being ahead of his peers. He had a great score in opportunism which shortened the time frame in which he worked. He was, however, always ahead of his contemporaries even if it was just one or two jumps ahead. The fact is that many people would have loved his profile and would have liked to be less of a Futurist and more of an Opportunist in order to be a little more successful in the monetary sense. A Futurist with very high scores is often so far into the future than they are not able to be productive in everyday activities. They are interrupted by the big picture, linkages of one activity to another and possible consequences.

One of the interesting parts of working with individuals are the "aha" experiences they get. A well known futurist/consultant, with many years of experience and education in the field had the same experience. She felt that her Futurist style was lower than she had wished or expected. She realized that working with the business world as much as she had, her futurist inclinations had taken a back seat to the shorter term outlooks most companies have today. She had unconsciously prioritized one part of herself over another. That was her “aha” experience.

When starting out with Foresight Styles Assessments you might be unsure about how to help your clients with their understanding of the material. The good thing is that help is not far away. For ideas and inspiration contact Natalie Dian at the numbers and address listed in contact information at I will be happy to work with you.