UCD: Unyielding Conviction & Design

Personal Development

Because you have no problem standing alone, others may hold independence against you.  

It is easy for the UCD to fracture relationships by choosing to act on principle or ideology first. Choosing ideologies over relationships can lead to being critical and unforgiving, especially of oneself. Therefore, it is easy to fracture a relationship over principle. What very few (other than fellow UCDs) will understand is that no matter how critical you seem of others, there is absolutely no comparison to how harsh you are on yourself. But you must be careful not to project your criticisms onto others who do not share the same personal conviction.

You are intolerant of perceived rebellion, hypocrisy and denial, especially in leadership.

And this is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on how you react to it. Once again, your tendency will be to fracture the relationship and disregard the opportunity to take the higher road. It then becomes easy to persecute those on this path. But the danger is others may brand you as a hypocrite for perpetuating the very same issues that you are in judgment of.

Of all the gifts, you need the most alone time to recharge.

Again, this is neither a positive nor negative trait. Without the opportunity to recharge, de-synchronization becomes a greater possibility. The UCD prefers recreational time or vacations that do not necessarily involve people or social activities, which other gifts may not understand, Reading, traveling, puttering around the house, watching a movie, or just enjoying nature are some of the typical activities the UCD utilizes to recharge. Make space and time for it, and help others close to you understand what value it provides for you and, ultimately, for them.

Extremes Scale

This scale was created to rapidly and clearly illustrate the spectrum of extremes of an individual’s intrinsic motivations as a UCD. This scale can then be used for coaching or consulting.

+5 First-Class Synergy:

Understanding the culture and structure of an organization or group, demonstrating the leadership capacity to design and innovate.

+4 Organizational Transformation:

The ability to manage transformation and increase social capital across entire organizations.

+3 Acting as Change Agent:

Winning over those resistant to organizational change and improvement instead of rejecting.

+2 Acting as Culture Champion:

Helping those that seek help experience empowerment and resolve conflict.

+1 Being Harmless but Not Helpful:

Understanding when you need to work on yourself before trying to fix everybody else.

= 0 Having Professional Commitment:

Accepting challenge and investing into organizational culture using principles.

-1 Acting with Selective Professionalism:

Taking on challenges or work teams if convenient and when success is imminent and assured.

-2 Biting the Tongue:

Seeing and experiencing work problems, but being unwilling to participate in the solution.

-3 Taking the Backdoor:

Withdrawing from a team or organization without making an attempt at improvement. Fragmenting organizational social capital.

-4 Governed by Anger:

Allowing personal offense to impact professional performance, not just by being resistant but by actually being counterproductive to positive organizational change.

-5 Justifying Negative Culture:

Creating a framework of convictions that destroys social capital in both personal and professional circles.

Legitimacy Gap

The following statement represents the common thought pattern that triggers the Legitimacy Gap in a UCD. Believing this thought and acting on it leads to shortchanging the purpose, passions and potential of your MDNA.

‘‘I am only legitimate when fixing problems for others or myself. I can do this better than anybody.’’

Not everything (or everybody) is a problem to be fixed. No matter how quickly you recognize the issue, and know exactly how to solve it, sometimes it is just not your problem to fix. Yes, you are hard-wired to see liabilities in situations or people, but they may not be ready to hear the truth ever.

Nobody can cut as deep and precise with words as a UCD, which often leads to a devastating pattern of fractured relationships. Use restraint. Be humble. Learn the principles of relationships as much as you master the principles of your ideology that make the world work.

The key to avoiding a Legitimacy Gap is learning to celebrate progress, any progress. It does not matter if you advance an inch or take a big leap down the field, celebrate. Celebrate where you are going and where you have been. Celebrate despite your feelings of incompetence and inadequacies. Celebrate when you see the same in others. Allow others to celebrate you the same way. This will counteract the desire to see everything, and everybody, as a problem to be fixed, including yourself!

While you are celebrating, learn to extend favor to individuals who might not even deserve it. Step up and have a co-worker’s back despite their deficiencies. Be generous with your time and other resources. Make this a habit at the office and really wherever you go. Remember natural tendency for a person with the UCD gift is to focus on what is negative or inadequate. Do the opposite and show some favor where people are expecting judgment and criticism.

Personal Development Plan

The simplest and most highly recommended method to develop your gift is to find legitimacy, your personal sense of self-worth, outside of your professional status and performance. Remember, you are a human being and not a human doing.

Ask yourself this question:"If my professional status and ability to perform were abruptly stripped from me, how would I account for my self-worth?"

If you do not have a solid answer to this question, you may need to make a serious investment of time to figure it out. However, most will be able to at least reference family or personal endeavors to account for their sense of self-worth. If that is true for you, the question to ask yourself then becomes one of priorities. Do you have your priorities in order?

Ask yourself this: "Outside of my professional status and performance, is my personal character truly reflective of where I know it should be?"

And this is where we must ultimately arrive before true development can begin. We must become honest about our true character outside of work. Are you the same person with every social circle? If your professional accolades did not count, would the people around you still celebrate your character?

It may sound counter-intuitive to approach this as a professional by starting with Life outside of work, but again, this is the launch point to get where we all desire to be. If you are a UCD and base your self-worth on your performance at work, here is a very simple four-step process for re-synchronization.

1. Recognize

Become aware of the areas in which you are feeling insecure professionally. What are your fears? Where is the anxiety? Write down whatever comes to mind. Do not judge what you write. Simply explore what may be there.

How busy are you fixing problems at work? Sure, you may be known for this, and even great at this, but have you become so busy, it is all you do?

Do you find yourself constantly being critical of people----especially leadership? Are you completely intolerant of colleagues that are in denial or refuse to take responsibility? Has this resulted in broken relationships at work? Or have you already disassociated yourself completely from any sort of social engagement?

Do you find yourself ‘‘burning bridges’’ over ideologies? Are you spending the majority of your time trying to have your opinions heard out of constant frustration?

More than anything else, are you the most critical of yourself? Are you constantly trying to fix yourself and your personal problems? Do you have a hard time forgiving yourself for the professional mistakes you have made?

Are co-workers (even family and friends) coming to know you as a bitter person? Are you losing relationships because of your emotional intensity? This may require someone brave enough to be completely honest with you.

2. Reframe

Start being mindful of whether you are speaking negatively and critically about your current professional status and path. In other words, stop taking yourself so seriously.

Celebrate the positive in the areas of your incompetence. This may sound strange but most people focus on their inadequacies and weaknesses within an organization. Choose to focus on the opposite. Wherever you feel like a failure, step back, take inventory and celebrate the positive. Wherever you feel you have let people down, consider the people who accept you as part of the team regardless. Do this in every area.

3. Respond

Receive acknowledgment where people want to give it to you. Your first reaction may be that you do not deserve it. Avoid the temptation of dismissing or discrediting yourself.

Every day, extend favor to a co-worker or associate who may not be expecting it-----especially to those who have not necessarily earned it or can repay it. Make this a professional habit.

Choose to foster social engagement in your professional relationships instead of focusing on your performance.

Accept yourself as a professional work-in-progress. Do the same for others.

Learn when to say, ‘‘Not my problem.’’ Not every problem needs to be fixed, especially by you. Acceptance should never be mistaken for agreement. So learn to accept people and their problems, whether you agree with them or not.

Find an individual, preferably a mentor, or a group, to stay accountable to during this process. Ask yourself three questions and share your plans:

  • What should I START doing?
  • What should I STOP doing?
  • What should I CONTINUE doing?

4. Reflect

Spend some regular time every week considering the following about being a UCD.

Imagine you are standing in a pitch-black room that is to be exquisitely furnished by a world-renowned interior designer. But in the complete darkness, nobody can be sure exactly which room they are in or where to start figuring things out. What's the first thing you should do?

Turn on the lights, of course!

This is precisely how you are uniquely gifted to live your design. The gift of design, the way you are wired, leads to the ability to turn on the lights and reveal purpose, truth and life! As you walk this path, your light will shine and illuminate a path for others. They too, will recognize and embrace their callings and designs.

Your gift provides vision and inspires others. But remember, the path of life can be filled with challenges and pain associated with taking absolute responsibility. Not everybody, from family to co-workers, is as prepared as you to embark on such a journey. You must learn to embrace all colleagues regardless of any ideological differences or convictions. This may not be easy, but relational principles are just as true as all other universal principles that govern both the visible and invisible world we live in. Master these insights and all principles will come together for you to walk in the authority and abundance of life.

A note of caution: This gift can be much costlier in the arena of emotional, physical and even spiritual hardships. Do not be surprised if your convictions are constantly challenged to further refine your character for the sake of becoming a greater influence in the world around you. You won’t always be popular, especially when convicted to take a stand. That is OK. If you are called to follow a conviction, just accept that although it may be costly, in the end, it is always worth it.

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