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Discover the Power of the Enneagram: Join Our May Celebration

Do you ever feel like you’re operating on autopilot, trapped in patterns and habits that hold you back from being your best self? What if you had a powerful tool to gain deep self-awareness and break free from those limitations?

In celebration of World Enneagram Day on May 25, Mary Stelletello, founder of Vista Global and certified Enneagram Coach is excited to partner with Jayson Morris, a certified Enneagram Coach and Founder of WITHINSIGHT Coaching. Together, we will explore the power of the Enneagram to help you learn more about who you are and how you can break free of patterns, to move toward a life that is more purposeful, effective, and fulfilling. 

The Enneagram is a rich framework for individuals, teams, and organizations, so just one day of celebration is not enough. Therefore, over the month of May 2024, we are offering a variety of opportunities to explore the Enneagram in depth, including blogs, podcasts, and a special Enneagram Personal Discovery Package that includes an individual assessment, live debrief session, and introductory workshop. For those who want to explore further, there will be more workshops offered later this summer. 

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram personality-type map offers an expansive journey into the nine core types of individuals and what internally motivates them. Discovering our type can provide realizations of the strengths we take for granted and the challenges that arise from over-utilizing particular strengths and strategies. It can provide insights into why people communicate differently and why they overemphasize thinking, feeling, or action at the expense of the other two types of intelligence. It offers understanding of different views of work/life success, how each type is activated, and the differing ways people react to tension and conflict.

This discovery offers opportunities for new ways of engaging with ourselves, our colleagues, and the world at large. We can break free from unconscious ways of doing things and can learn new, more effective alternatives. It creates the possibility that other people’s ways of working are not wrong, just different and perhaps more effective than our own. Exposure to other viewpoints can lead to a newfound curiosity and an openness to tapping into the innate strengths of others for the success of the team. The net result can be new ways of relating to self and others in the workplace, resulting in enhanced effectiveness.

Celebrating the Enneagram throughout May

To celebrate World Enneagram Day, we have created a line-up of activities to introduce this powerful framework:

May 8: Minutes with Mary & Jayson Episode 1: Our Enneagram Journey and an Introduction to the Framework

May 15: Minutes with Mary & Jayson Episode 2: The Enneagram and Communication

May 21: Minutes with Mary & Jayson Episode 3: The Enneagram and Navigating Conflict 

May 22 10am PT/1pm ET: 45-minute FREE Discover the Power of the Enneagram webinar

This free 45-minute session will provide a deep dive into the Enneagram framework. During the webinar, you will take a free micro test to identify your type and gain insight into all nine types. Learn how the Enneagram can help you move toward a life that is more purposeful, effective, and fulfilling.

We are also offering a World Enneagram Day Personal Discovery Package for those who want to take a deep dive in exploring your personal Enneagram type and what it can offer, including:

This package provides the opportunity to discover your Enneagram type along with its associated strengths, challenges, blind spots, and areas for development. Beyond just the assessment and a 20-page report, you will have the opportunity to work with a certified Enneagram coach to confirm your Enneagram type, address questions or aspects of the report that do not resonate, and begin charting your growth path. From there, you will join other Enneagram Explorers for an interactive workshop to deepen your understanding of the framework and learn about all 9 Enneagram Types.  

During the month of May, we will offer the package for $250, a 50% discount off the regular price!

We look forward to seeing you this month!

For more information about the Enneagram, check out the Vista Global Blog Series

Blog Series

The Enneagram: Connecting Ancient Wisdom to Global Transformation

The Enneagram: Nine Points of View and Core Motivation

The Enneagram and Neuroscience: Growing New Neural Pathways

Creating a Championship Team with the Enneagram

Building Resiliency Through the Pandemic

As “stay at home” orders extend across the country, and we begin to be more personally impacted by COVID-19, our ability to remain optimistic and hopeful becomes increasingly challenged.  We continue to experience expectations of productivity and effectiveness in “work from home” environments, managing virtual teams and meeting deliverables. 

One of humanity’s most powerful survival skills is our ability to build resilience.  Resilience means adapting well in the face of adversity and is associated with a mindset that recognizes our capacity to grow through life-altering and stressful events.

According to Dr. Arielle Schwartz, “Resilience is not a trait that you either have or do not have; it is a set of strategies that can be learned and practiced by anyone.”

Dr. Schwartz offers her framework of six pillars of resilience:

    1. Growth mindset: Cultivating an understanding that life experiences, whether positive or negative, provide ongoing opportunities for learning and development.
    2. Emotional Intelligence: Recognizing that you will experience feelings of fear, exhaustion, anger, sadness and a host of other emotions as a part of this global trauma we are living through.  This is normal and part of your innate resilience. Gaining tools to navigate through this process allows you to reclaim your balance.
    3. Community Connections:  This pillar has been the most dramatically altered during the pandemic as we have previously associated “connection” with in-person interaction. We now must be intentional at creating virtual connections.  We may be physically distancing but social solidarity is essential.
    4. Self-expression:  Activating the creative part of your brain, the prefrontal cortex through writing, art, dance, music increases access to the hormone oxytocin which helps you feel more social connection and relational resonance.
    5. Embodiment: Our bodies need to process stressful events through breath and movement. When these natural impulses are ignored the biological effects of stress persist.  Activities such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness breathing build resilience.
    6. Choice and Control: The belief and acceptance that there are events in our life that are completely outside our control.  Resilience comes with knowing that there are still things in your life that you do have control over.

Building resilience is a daily practice of small behaviors that support your physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health.  In taking microsteps every day, you will start to feel stronger, optimistic, capable and connected to others.

Finding our way in the New Normal…

As the month of March began, we were watching the Coronavirus spread across China and Europe but here across the pond, we continued to operate as business as usual.

I look back at notes I took at client meetings and coaching calls during the first week of March and it feels like it was a different reality.  Indeed it was… since then, our inboxes and feeds have been exploding with news of the spread of the virus across Europe, U.S. and North America. Restrictions are being put in place daily to flatten the curve. We are trying to find a new rhythm of life navigating COVID-19.  We are experiencing the metamorphosis of a new world order.

With this sudden dramatic shift in our daily routine, our brains revert to our most primitive state, the reptilian brain. “What is going on? How can this be happening? This isn’t real. This doesn’t make any sense? I need to protect myself”.

The reptilian brain is the oldest part of our brain, developed in primitive humans to make decisions to protect us from the lions, tigers and bears. When we are in our primitive brain we are reactive, we take a stance of fighting, fleeing, appeasing or freezing.  None of these stances can help us navigate this new normal.

If you have been reading my blog over the last few years, you have seen some posts about Conversational Intelligence® or C-IQ.  Conversational Intelligence is about moving from the “I-Centric” primitive brain to the “We-Centric” prefrontal cortex part of the brain. The capabilities that reside in the prefrontal cortex are empathy, creativity and innovation.  These are the skills we need to find our way in the new normal.

Photo source: Conversational Intelligence® for Coaches

What does it take to move from the primitive brain to the prefrontal cortex?

    1. Recognize you are in your primitive brain and take several breaths. This calms the nervous system and slows down the cortisol which is the hormone activated by this fear response.
    2. Reduce the amount of media you consume about the pandemic (don’t scroll your phone before bed or immediately when you wake up). This allows your brain to start and end the day with more optimism.
    3. Reach out to friends and family members who are finding their way in this new normal. We may have “stay at home” orders in place but humans are social beings. We need social solidarity to move to the prefrontal cortex.
    4. Take Microsteps of creating new habits. There are SO MANY resources out there but I really like what Thrive Global is curating in their new series, “Thriving in the New Normal” that offers Microsteps about sleep, nutrition, stress, and more to help us proactively strengthen our immune system and build resilience. 

During this time, our initial tendency is to go to that primitive brain and hunker down, hoping that it will pass.  We all know now that we are in this together for the long haul. We are co-creating our new normal.

If you are in your primitive brain, feeling lost, stuck, not knowing what steps to take, let’s chat. I am here for you and look forward to co-creating the new normal with empathy, creativity and innovation. A new normal that works for all of us.

Three Steps to Managing Your Energy This Season

As the year winds down and the days shorten, I find that my energy level starts to drop. The “Happy Lamp” that I have on my desk throughout the year is turned on more hours and I recognize that I need to be more mindful and intentional about managing the energy in my personal gas tank.

The article written by Tony Schwartz called “Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time” always comes to mind this time of year. No matter how many hours we work, if we have low levels of energy, our productivity will suffer.  Schwartz states that energy comes from four major wellsprings in human beings: the body, emotions, mind and spirit. In each of these areas, we can expand and renew energy, if we establish simple rituals that are intentional, scheduled and ultimately become automatic.

I have found that I have varying levels of recharging to keep my energy tank full. Some rituals are micro-behaviors, some behaviors are moderate and then there are the deep dive recharging rituals. Here are some rituals that work for me:

  1. Disconnect from technology: We live in a connected world and technology is ever present. It is an energy drain so to reduce that drain, I charge my phone in the kitchen overnight and I don’t look at it until after breakfast. It allows me to shut down fully at night and ease into my day.
  2. Walk the dog: This is literal and figurative. I have had a dog for decades of my life and it forces me to get away from the computer and get outside for 20 minutes, a couple of times a day. If you don’t have a dog, you can create a meeting appointment called, “Walk the Dog” to get away from the desk.
  3. Go to your happy place: This is the deep dive.. Annually (this time of year).. I go to Hawaii for renewal to soak up the sunlight and watch the waves, turtles, dolphins, and rainbows. It reconnects me to the gifts of this planet and fills the wellsprings of mind, body and spirit.

As we launch into the next decade, I encourage you to explore new rituals and practice recharging your mind and body.

This blog was originally published on Thrive Global December 26, 2019.

The Decade of Action: Next Steps to Becoming a More Sustainable World

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly created a collection of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each designed to target a specific area of sustainability. These goals are intended to serve as a blueprint for all countries in order to create a sustainable future for all. The UN determined that in order to create a sustainable world, the SDGs must be achieved globally by 2030.

Although 15 years seems like a long period of time, five years into this, the world remains behind schedule on achieving these goals. As small business owners, we are responsible for incorporating the SDGs into our business models. By doing so, we are setting a precedent and example for other businesses to follow our lead. 

Since 2012, Vista Global has been a Certified B Corp, meaning that our business practices meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance. The B Corp certification was first created by the nonprofit B Lab in 2007, and since its establishment more than 3,000 businesses worldwide have become Certified B Corps. This certification can be rigorous and time consuming. Therefore, to broaden the reach to businesses interested in adopting sustainable practices, B Lab, in partnership with the UN Global Impact, developed a new solution, known as the SDG Action Manager. 

The SDG Action Manager is a free tool that was created in order to bring attention to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This tool allows businesses worldwide to create goals, monitor progress, and implement change in their business and community. The SDG Action Manager consists of 17 components, beginning with a baseline assessment, followed by an assessment relating to each of the SDGs:

Each category is designed to make businesses think about their impacts, both positive and negative. After completing the different assessments, businesses will be provided with a ranking, indicating how close they are to achieving a certain goal. The purpose of this tool is to provide businesses with a metric for monitoring their impacts and solutions for taking action. 

Vista Global is committed to working towards SDG Goal #5 “Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls.” As a woman leader of a certified B Corp, Mary Stelletello, Founder of Vista Global has signed the global WeTheChange declaration. Any woman business owner or ally can sign this declaration. This connects individual action to a global movement.

How does the SDG Action Manager Work?

Find your starting point

To begin, each business will complete an assessment of current business practices. This assessment will identify which SDGs matter most in your company. 

Understand your impact

After completing the assessment, businesses will have a clear understanding of which of their current business practices are creating a positive impact, as well as risk areas that need addressing. 

Set goals and track improvement

After you have a better understanding of your current impacts, it’s time to take action. Stay motivated by creating goals and track your progress on the dashboard. 

With only 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, the SDG Action Manager serves as an easy tool to assist businesses in adopting sustainability into their business strategy. We have the power to build a sustainable, inclusive and regenerative global economy. 

Get Started Today!

Three Ways We Can Reshape the Global Economy for Everyone

It’s been three months since the Business Roundtable released a revised statement of purpose signed by 181 of its 193 members, issuing a new commitment to move from shareholder primacy to creating “value for all of our stakeholders.” This declaration was met with the gamut of reactions including skepticism, “about time” sighs, and a challenge from the B Corp community to follow up with action and collaboration through its #LetsGetToWork open letter and campaign

With $7 trillion in revenue annually, these leading U.S. corporations are a powerful voice in the market and beyond. Their action – or failure to act – will have an undeniable impact on the sustainability and equitability of business and community in the coming decade. Three months later, the BRT Twitter account shares positive individual actions taken by its members almost daily but it remains to be seen if and what collective action will come next. 

But We’re Not Waiting to Take Action

As a certified B Corp, my coaching and consulting firm votes every day to prioritize people over profit and to build a regenerative economy. We do this by providing 95% of our services to customers that address social and economic problems. We also encourage our staff to donate more than 5% of their time to volunteer service.

Vista Global is a small business with a small economic engine. As we’ve discovered from many movements in the past few years – #TimesUp, #FridaysforFuture, and #BlackLivesMatter – there is power in numbers. That’s why I’ve been actively looking for ways to connect with and amplify the work that needs to be done. 

A clear way that we can ensure a more purpose-driven bottom line is to propel more women into leadership roles. As Fortune.com noted in the article, “Climate Change Is Everyone’s Problem. Women Are Ready to Solve It”: 

Women are more inclined to take a broader, more long-term view and are more willing to engage with difficult issues that have an everyday impact not only on a company’s bottom line but across our society as a whole.” 

Ironically, corporations who promote women will not only strengthen their commitment to purpose but will also increase their bottom line: 

“Firms with female CEOs and CFOs produce superior stock price performance, compared to the market average, and firms with a high gender diversity on their board of directors are more profitable and larger than firms with low gender diversity, according to a new study from S&P Global Market Intelligence.” — Korn Ferry Institute 

3 Ways to Close the Opportunity Gap

Unfortunately, finding women to fill these leadership roles isn’t as easy as it sounds due to the “broken rung” of opportunity. This phrase was recently introduced in a study from McKinsey and LeanIn.org. It represents the fact that many women aren’t being denied top management positions. Instead, they are missing out on the initial promotion opportunities to step up into management. Without this first step, there is no further opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. 

This year, as a founding signatory to the #WeTheChange declaration, I have committed to actively building a world where women are equally represented for a “radically inclusive and richly regenerative global economy.” Here are 3 ways that businesses – from a solopreneur to a billion-dollar corporation – can contribute to the conversation, close the opportunity gap for women, and be a positive force for change.

Pay Equity

In recent Congressional testimony provided by Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan CEO and Chair of the BRT, it was determined that Mr. Dimon received total compensation of $31.5 million in 2018 which is 1312 times the starting wage of a JP Morgan teller. Congresswoman Katie Porter attempted to create the tightest possible budget for a constituent living in her district and found it impossible to make this salary work with a monthly deficit of $567. This pay equity gap will add up to an average loss of $418,800 over a 40-year career for a 20-year-old woman starting to work full time this year according to the National Women’s Law Center. Closing the wage gap is about both leveling the playing field and a more robust economy with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research calculating that closing the wage gap would add $512.6 billion to the U.S. economy annually.

Sponsorship: Beyond Mentoring

I first experienced sponsorship when I started a new management position and soon realized that I was being paid 50% of one of my counterparts who had less experience. I rewrote my job description and advocated for myself, but it was the sponsorship of a male colleague in an executive management role that sealed the deal for my pay to be increased to equitable standings. 

Mentors provide encouragement and advice, using their own valuable experience to help their mentee discover opportunities, chart their own path, and avoid pitfalls. Sponsors go one step further and take action, helping to build social capital by introducing junior employees to their social network, going to bat for them in interviews, and creating opportunity for these leaders on the rise. Ellevate, another women-owned certified B Corp, is an excellent example of sponsorship in action with a powerful online network, peer group “squads,” and regional in-person events. Women and men in leadership must take on the responsibility for not only providing sage advice but championing the work and potential of women. 

Leadership Development: 70-20-10

Beyond actively seeking out sponsorship opportunities, businesses must invest in leadership development through coaching, ongoing education, and by simply giving women the reins to lead. Based on 30 years of research conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, Bridgespan Group has designed the 70-20-10 leadership development model that posits leadership is learned by doing. The model calls for 70 percent of development to consist of on-the-job learning, supported by 20 percent coaching and mentoring and 10 percent classroom training. If women know that their leadership development is valued and will be rewarded, that broken rung will practically repair itself.

What’s Next?

We commend Jamie Dimon and BRT CEOs in recognizing that the U.S. economy needs to work for everyone.. Next up? Let’s walk the walk. Taking action by closing the wage gap, fostering sponsorships, designing 70-20-10 leadership development, and implementing inclusive workplace policies is good for business and will reshape the U.S. economy to create a durable prosperity for everyone. 

This blog was originally published on Thrive Global December 4, 2019.

The Wisdom of the Brain is Expanding

This post originally published on December 4, 2017 has been updated.

In July 2017, Judith Glaser’s seven-month Conversational Intelligence® program culminated with an in-person graduation event in New York City. Vista Global Coaching & Consulting joined over 200 coaches in New York plus hundreds of other participants live-streaming from across the globe.

As a group, participants spent the majority of the day in a brain simulation exercise to help us synthesize all seven modules through experiential learning.

Each table explored five parts of the brain.

    1. Heart brain
    2. Primitive brain
    3. Limbic
    4. Neocortex
    5. Prefrontal Cortex

The simulation provided us a deeper understanding of the nuances and patterns of each part of the brain, how they interact, network and integrate.

The importance of communication beyond mere words is not a recent discovery. In 1967, Albert Mehrabian isolated three elements that play a role in effective communication. In terms of importance, people allocate 55% to nonverbal behavior; 38% to tone of voice and just 7% to words. In another study conducted by Professor Uri Hasson at Princeton University, he found that successful communication was noted when the speaker and listener brains showed the same patterns of activation. Their brains were synchronized.

“Co-creating Conversations have the power to literally rewire our brains.” — Judith Glaser

The Five Brains

HEART BRAIN

The heart brain is the most basic of our wiring. It syncs like Wi-Fi. The heart brain has 89 nodes that blood goes through and it reads chemistry and other components necessary for health. It sends messages all over the body and brain. When the rhythm and timing of the heart is a smooth wave it sends calm messages. When it is erratic, you can’t send messages beyond what is immediately demanding your attention. If you slow down, breathe intentionally in and out, not only through your lungs but your heart, you are able to connect with other hearts neurochemically that are within 10 feet of you.

To connect to the heart brain in a positive way, as soon as you come in contact with someone, prime them for trust by saying hello, shaking their hand, send positive intentions their direction. This opens the brain up to the other person to synch with this positivity.

PRIMITIVE BRAIN

The primitive brain is the oldest brain, it is hardwired to sensor threats and protect us from harm to our body or ego. In .07 seconds our brain determines if someone is a friend or foe and acts accordingly. Whether you go into fight, flight,  freeze or appease mode, the primitive brain is only concerned about protection. You will not have access to any higher functioning thought when the primitive brain is activated.

Using the skill of “double clicking” supports the shift from the primitive brain. Words create worlds and if the primitive brain is activated in a conversation, there was a trigger word or nonverbal message. Use “double clicking” to ask, “what does that mean to you? Or “what was the meaning of that nonverbal expression?” It allows the primitive brain to move from fear and distrust to a place of curiosity, understanding to establish safety.

LIMBIC BRAIN

The limbic brain stores all of your emotional experiences. It is the part of the brain that deciphers, “where do I fit in”. It reads social context and scans for exclusion and inclusion in a community. It provides the emotional continuum for moving toward or away from others.

Using the skill of “listening to connect” is to not judge, confirm or reject but listen with a focus on the other person, not you. It is more than listening to understand, which is often to confirm what you already believe. By connecting to their emotional world, you will foster greater inclusion and exploration of a co-created path.

 © Benchmark Communications, Inc. and The CreatingWE® Institute. All rights reserved. 

NEOCORTEX

The neocortex is hardwired for language, storing information, basic thinking, reasoning and cognitive skills.  It holds our working memory and our stored memory. The brain has the capability for simultaneity, being in steady state and change at the same time.

To activate the neocortex, use the conversational skill of “asking questions for which you have no answers”. When you ask these types of questions, you are in a discovery mindset and the other person feels the curiosity. It puts the person in a more trusting and receptive state of mind. Together you create a conversational space for a completely new reality to emerge.

PREFRONTAL CORTEX

The youngest brain is the prefrontal cortex and often is called the “executive brain.” It is hardwired for the higher-level coordination of the whole brain. It provides us with mastery of more complex functions such as the ability to envision the future, create scenarios, step into someone else’s shoes, experience empathy, think strategically and make decisions.

The skill of “conversational agility” activates the prefrontal cortex.  If a conflict is brewing, the prefrontal cortex recognizes patterns. By using “reframe, refocus and redirect” it enables people to interrupt patterns, accessing new energy, for insight and wisdom to emerge.

In 2018, CreatingWe Institute, identified the sixth brain, the Gut-Brain that verifies the relationship in the intuitive saying of “go with your gut”.

GUT-BRAIN

The gut brain is revolutionizing medicine’s understanding of the links between digestion, mood, health and how we think.  Scientists call this little brain the enteric nervous system (ENS). It is a bidirectional relationship between your brain and your stomach. Stress is related to the lack of biodiversity in the gut flora. Ninety percent of the body’s serotonin is located in the EC [enterochromaffin] cells of the GI tract, where they regulate intestinal movements. Serotonin plays a key role in cognition, specifically in learning and memory.

Whole Brain Access

How often do you experience or witness your team being stuck in the primitive or limbic brain, not able to access the more expansive, creative and innovative areas of your neocortex and prefrontal cortex?

With just a few minor shifts in using Conversational Intelligence® tools, you can transform the level of trust and quality of your conversations which in turn can move you to the next level of greatness in your organization.

Interested in how C-IQ can help improve your leadership skills or your organization’s team? Contact Mary to set up a  customized workshop session and more.

Stay tuned for more C-IQ tips! This is part of a blog series on Conversational Intelligence® course by Judith E. Glaser. Check out related blogs such as “Asking Questions for Which You Have No Answers” and “Moving from Distrust to Trust.