Friday, January 23, 2009

The telling of your time

As those of you who have used Foresight Styles Assessment with your clients know, there is a temporal perspective attached to each of the six styles.

Foresight Styles Assessment and Temporal Orientation

Futurist - Future
Activist - Present/Future
Opportunist - Present
Flexist (Leading group) -Present/Future
Flexist (Later group) - Present/Past
Equilibrist - Present
Reactionist - Past

From resent research we are just beginning to understand just how important temporal perspectives are in the way we respond to life's various changes. Each of us put a lot of time into thinking about the past, the present or the future. You can check your own time orientation by drawing three circles representing past, present and future on a piece of paper in relation to one another as you see them in your life. They can be different sizes, near, far or overlapping where you find it appropriate. Label the circles past, present and future in the way that you feel is the best representation of your life. Do not read further until you have completed the task. Look to the bottom of this blog. Thanks to Peg Thoms' Driven by Time for the exercize.

If your clients are managers or CEO's they will want to know "is better for the boss to be future oriented?" Each of the time orientations have their positive and negative sides. Naturally, a CEO who is out to change their organization has an advantage with a future orientation. If getting the organization in order after crisis, it is good to have someone who is oriented to the present. What ever your orientation, one should have compliment orientations in their near circle to add balance. After consulting with them you get valuable information that reflects how others might respond. Use that information to help you in making the kind of changes you feel are important to your business.

Analyzing your drawing:

There are two points of interpretation in this task. One has to do with impact and the other has to do with size. The larger circle is that upon which you focus the dominate amount of energy. The nearness, touching or overlapping indicate the amount of influence one time orientation has upon another.

Our thoughts tend to dwell in one temporal orientation or another. Of course, our temporal orientation isn't simply that, it is colored by negative, positive, hedonistic, fatalistic or transcendental impulses say researchers Boyd and Zimbaro.