QUIZ: The UpSide of DownGrid

Hi, Everyone!

Take a look at this ChangeGrid  — then answer my three quiz questions:


The UpSide of DownGrid (CLICK to view full-size)

At first glance, what was your reaction? Be honest here … was your initial response that this ChangeGrid is negative? Positive? Neither? Both?

Certainly, this ChangeGrid reflects a tremendous level of untapped potential — and there’s definitely a long conversation about meaningful challenges waiting to be had — but what about the positive aspects of this pattern?  It’s a very important question to consider since debriefing this profile in such a way that the client responds favorably requires considerable sensitivity, diplomacy and a gentle, non-judgmental approach.

So here’s the quiz:

1) What would you say makes this ChangeGrid a wonderful cause for celebration?

2) If this was your client (it IS the ChangeGrid of a REAL client, after all), what would you point out as possible manifestations of the UP side of being in Apathy?

3) What insights, advice and/or warnings would you offer the ChangeWorks Professional as they prepare to meet with this client?



6 Responses to QUIZ: The UpSide of DownGrid

  1. Pamela Skyrme says:

    The cause for celebration is that this is a talented leader who has many skills. He/she has the ability to engage in substantive leadership tasks and to be successful in his/her job. This may allow the individual to perform these activities well while focusing energy/passion on other things of value to the organization or his/her personal goals. Success in these areas is likely to result in positive organizational outcomes. I would suspect that this individual is highly experienced – perhaps a mature individual. The ChangeWorks professional should not make assumptions about this Grid, but should use it to explore the clients interests. I would be curious about what really ‘floats his boat’ in terms of productive tension levels.

  2. I’d be exploring what this person’s passion is — and what’s the next big thing for them. Maybe dig in to learn if they are in a position to — or interested in — imparting their wisdom to others through teaching, mentoring or something like that. I would not limit the exploration to work topics — I have a new client who WANTS to be in apathy at work, she wants things to be easy and non-challenging there because in her off hours she is super passionate about a nonprofit she is developing. She wants her tension and energy there, not at work (where she does a good job and is valued, but she’s not bucking for a promotion.)


  3. Veronica says:

    My first response when seeing the grid was a quiet, “Oh…” (add accompanying pitiful sound effect of your choice).

    When digging deeper into the grid, I see a very confident and capable leader emerging on the page. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a grid that exudes this much confidence! The cause for celebration is that s/he is so ready to show up as a leader in an even bigger and more challenging arena! If s/he leads a corporate department, they are ready for several departments; if they already lead several departments, then they are ready for a division, etc.

    As my client, I would ask what’s next? What’s in the queue? What would light their lights? (Maybe their lights are being lit in another area of their life…)

    To the fellow practitioner, I would caution against entering into a conversation while holding any pre-conceived, negative assumption about this client. I would ask that they hold the door open for unique possibilities to reveal themselves during conversation.



  4. Carol Champagne says:

    True confession: My first reaction on seeing everything so far downgrid was uh oh. But agree with Veronica, holding pre-conceived notions without inquiry is dangerous. The good news: there’s lots of ability/mastery here. But not much passion/juice regarding these activities. Since this is a tool for conversation, this could spark a great conversation about where the juice really is for this person.

  5. You’ve all identified some very positive aspects of being DownGrid — and I hope more of your colleagues will take a moment to share some of their own insights!

  6. We can celebrate the client’s interest and willingness to exam a healthy number of mission critical activities they are engaged in. The door is cracked open for work in many areas over a period time.

    Concerning apathy, “it is the unvoidable side effect of mastery.” The message to give the client is that opportunities appear to be many for someone with such strong abilities.

    Clients who are so capable may feel put off by use of the term apathy. Also it is important to point out no judgments are made. The grid reflects the level tension around each activity.

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