Well defined, strong and clear…

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This defines what Edwin H. Friedman calls a well differentiated leader.  A well differentiated leader has the following key characteristics:

  • Capacity to take a stand in an intense emotional system
  • Saying “I” when others say “We”
  • Maintaining a low anxious presence when others are in an anxious state
  • Understanding where “I” ends and where “you” begins
  • Focus on strength of presence vs. reaction to others
This is a great challenge for today’s leaders.  I know in my various leadership roles staying well differentiated is difficult when consensus is the most valued outcome of meetings.  It takes knowing who you are and anticipating the potential triggers that may take you away from being differentiated. 
What practices do you utilize to stay well differentiated?