Home COPA Session 6

Community of Practice in Assessment (COPA) Session 6

COPA Town Hall Meeting on 14th May 2012
"LIFE ORIENTATION - LIFO" by Mr David Glowatzke

CBLD’s 7th Community of Practice in Assessment (COPA) event was held on Mon 14 May 2012, 7pm at its Headquarters and Training Center at Bestway Building.

Nearly 50 people, mostly from the HR and Training industry, attended the event to hear about Life Orientations®, or LIFO® , and how identifying the strengths and preferred behavioural orientation of each learner can help a trainer increase his/her facilitation effectiveness.

The speaker of the evening was Mr David Glowatzke, a Senior Master Trainer of the LIFO® Method. Having been personally mentored for the past two decades by Dr Stuart Atkins, creator of the LIFO®  Method, David has been a master and senior master trainer in LIFO for over 20 years, and has trained educators and other professionals from more than 500 organisations in different countries during this time. He is described by his mentor as “the leading student of LIFO® Theory and Practice”.

At the beginning of the session, David explained that the LIFO® Method is an applied behavioural science system that fosters individual and organisational productivity.

The start point he added was to identify each person’s basic orientation to life and work through a LIFO® Personal Survey. We learn to behave in ways which seem best to satisfy our needs for self fulfilment. This behaviour pattern becomes our natural or ‘preferred’ orientation in work or life. Our preferred orientation represents the source of strengths which when we are able to understand and develop them, can be even more productive. When our strengths are carried out to excess, they can become counterproductive. The LIFO® Personal Survey reveals our behaviour pattern in both normal circumstances and under stress or conflict conditions.

Based on this information, it offers powerful learning strategies for greater personal productivity, increased influence with key people, and more effective teamwork.

David distinguished the LIFO® Method from other personality tests, contrasting them as completely different tools – one measuring a person’s personality (which essentially does not change), and one measuring a person’s strengths and behaviours (which can be changed).

He pointed out that some of the strengths of the LIFO® Method are that it:
-- is not a test with right or wrong answers, but the objective of the survey is to recognise why people approach tasks and people in different ways
-- does not compare each person to a statistical average – each person’s survey findings are unique.
-- focuses on actual behaviour
-- provides concrete strategies to modify/shape behaviours, use strengths and work on blind sides/blind spots.

As such, the LIFO® Method is a dynamic tool which a person can revisit time and again to measure progress and form new strategies to move forward.

David went on to explain that in the LIFO® Method, behaviours generally fall into 4 windows of productive orientations—the Supporting-Giving, Adapting-Dealing, Conserving-Holding, and Controlling-Taking. These are manifested by whether the preferred behaviours are people- or task-oriented; and reflective, or active.

Any person taking the LIFO® Personal Survey will have 18 statements posed to them for which they will need to rank the four possible endings provided with a 1 to 4 ranking; 1 being least like, and 4, most like.
David went on to ask participants to choose their 15 strengths/behaviours in favourable and unfavourable conditions
Following the activity, David shared the strategies of Confirming, Moderating and Extending to improve performance and productivity.

He explained that there are six strategies, but that these three are the more commonly used. These strategies do not require a person to change him/herself, but when used correctly, they enable a person to use strengths more or less to achieve greater versatility and productivity.

Participants were then asked to identify one behaviour they would like to use less of, or moderate; and two behaviours they would like to increase, or extend use of. Once selected, participants were asked to share the behaviours identified within the group, and how they could use these strategies to increase their effectiveness as trainers and educators.

In her closing address, Elizabeth, Managing Director of CBLD Center, stressed that as practitioners, all of us need to constantly be on the look-out to continually seek out new ways to understand learners’ behaviours and to increase our training effectiveness.

This session enabled participants to see their learners’ typical behaviours through “different lenses” using the LIFO® Method. It also served to hone their awareness of the different types of strategies that they could use to increase their effectiveness as trainers and educators by learning to manage different behaviours so as to maximise learning and teaching productivity and performance.

Participants gave feedback that they found the workshop practical and useful. In particular, they enjoyed the session as they had the opportunity for self-discovery and insights on how to use the strategies shared to maximise their strengths.