Freedom through Diversity

The title is rather strange but I do think that diversity can lead to freedom. Internally, when we have a cast of characters competing for their way, it is hard to think that inviting diversity will lead to anything but a cacophony of voices. What I've found is that by inviting each character to speak, the cacophony quiets and I can actually hear each voice.

Years ago, I had difficulty making decisions. The simplest decision would get very complex rapidly as I imagined all the repercussions, who would be affected, how they would feel, how I would feel, what it might lead to, and on and on. As you might imagine, I became stuck and cycled through all the possible iterations. Endlessly. It was not fun.

Now, decision making isn't torturous. In fact, even difficult decisions feel easy. That doesn't mean they are, but the feeling is much more one of ease rather than struggle. I pose a question internally, listen for the responses from the internal characters, weigh the input, and come to a decision. Bottom line, there is a character at the round table who knows I can handle it even if it turns out that the decision is not good. Developing a character inside who trusts that you can cope with whatever happens is definitely worth cultivating.

An engineer who learned this approach during the Authentic Leadership 1 course shifted the round table into her own board of directors. She imagined herself as a company who had a board directing it and maintaining its health. Like she did, feel free to let this idea morph into anything that works for you and helps you listen to all your internal voices to make decisions.

The diversity of your inner voices is vital to your health and well being. If you welcome them all and listen to them deeply, you will be able to move through life more easily and gracefully. The pushes and pulls that we humans experience internally create terrible dilemmas and feelings of tension and stress. Learning how to use the vast resources you have inside is a way to enjoy the richness of who you are rather than feel plagued by the differences you have inside.

Check out this week's activity to support yourself in using the round table to make decisions more easily.

Judith Bell, M.S., Master LHEP™

Judith Bell, M.S., Master LHEP™

Judith is the founder and president of Rewire Leadership Institute®. A master facilitator, consultant, teacher, and coach, she has created and facilitated personal growth, team development and organizational change seminars, coached executives and teams, facilitated strategic planning and high visibility meetings, and supported culture change for over four decades. Judith works with a diverse range of companies from government agencies, non-profit, Fortune Global 500, to small and mid-sized family owned businesses including such organizations as NASA, Seaflow, Total Oil, Restoration Hardware, San Antonio Water System, and Culver Company.

Superb at supporting individuals, pairs, and teams in developing the skills necessary to realize their full potential, Judith helps executives, managers, and staff gain the ability to respond flexibly and rapidly to their changing environment. Through extensive experience and research, she utilizes a number of different approaches including the FIRO theory, systems theory, cybernetics, neuroscience, cognitive, positive, and success psychology.

As one of the world’s leading experts on the FIRO theory, she trains consultants internationally. A consultant’s consultant, Judith mentors facilitators, coaches, therapists and other professionals in the integration of the FIRO theory in their work. From 1981 until 2004, she worked closely with Dr. Will Schutz, the creator of FIRO theory. Independently, Judith developed FIRO Theory Profiling, which has been lauded as the first innovation in the FIRO theory instruments aside from Dr. Schutz’ own developments. She continues to develop courses that synthesize her studies and experience and are based in FIRO theory.

Starting in her teenage years, Judith has been a pioneer in her passion for authenticity, clear communication, and positive change. She is lauded for her ability to see others’ potential and help them realize it—be they individuals, pairs, teams, or organizations. Judith’s zest for life, appreciation for others, and generosity of spirit inspires those with whom she works.

An honor’s student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Judith’s desire and passion to learn about authenticity motivated her to move her studies to The Institute for Creative and Artistic Development (ICAD) in Oakland, California. As the youngest student in their teacher training program, she created and graduated with an undergraduate degree that focused on authenticity through California State University, Sonoma. Continuing on her quest to study authenticity and creativity, Judith began taking courses at California State University, Hayward where she also created and graduated with a unique Master’s degree that focused on communication, transformation, and the creative arts.

Interested in systems and change, Judith began experimenting with her innovative action-oriented approach to assess and intervene with families, groups, and organizations. Through this work, she became a much sought-after instructor, training masters and doctoral students in her seminal work. As chair of a psychology program focused on Creative Arts Therapies at Antioch University, San Francisco, she developed curriculum and continued to serve as guest faculty and lecturer at universities nationwide.

In addition to leading Rewire Leadership, Judith and her husband, Daniel Ellenberg, co-founded Relationships That Work®, where she serves as Vice President. She and Daniel co-authored Lovers for Life: Creating Lasting Passion, Trust, and True Partnership, which applies the principles of Rewire Leadership Institute® to romantic relationships. Recently, they co-authored a chapter in Mastering the Art of Success: Volume 8. With Matt White, Judith recently co-authored Leading with Courage.

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