256: Embrace ‘Both-And’ Thinking to Optimize Polarities with Ronni Hendel

Each person brings their values and perspectives to group decision-making. But what happens when those perspectives seem to be conflicting? We need to be cost conscious, and we also need high quality. We need honesty, and we also need kindness and grace. We need structure, and we also need flexibility. When we feel like we’re stuck between conflicting options or mindsets, it might be a moment for both/and thinking. Having a better understanding of polarities can help us leverage the best of both worlds.

Today’s guest is Ronni Hendel. Ronni works as a coach and facilitator with individual leaders, teams, and organizations. She supports her clients in building their capacity to achieve results through others and to navigate through increased complexity. She helps them move beyond self-awareness into being able to consistently respond with grace and clarity under pressure.

Ronni and I talk about what polarities are, how they show up in the workplace and create tension or conflict, and how to embrace them using a both-and mindset. We get into the polarities map and how it can be a tool to help your team find a better path forward.

Members of the Modern Manager community get a guide to leveraging polarities including how to identify when a polarity is at play. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community.

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Read the related blog article: The Magic of Both/And Thinking and Exploring Polarities


Website: www.insightoutleadership.com


  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:01 What are polarities?
  • 07:56 How to collaborate instead of choose sides
  • 12:37 Introducing the idea of polarities to colleagues
  • 14:56 Understanding the polarity map
  • 18:46 The vulnerability of letting go
  • 22:59 How to find a middle ground
  • 25:12 A great manager Ronni has worked for
  • 26:49 Keeping up with Ronni
  • 27:30 [Extended episode only] The difference between ‘complex’ and ‘complicated’
  • 32:55 [Extended episode only] Common situations that managers mislabel
  • 35:25 [Extended episode only] How polarities show up in complex versus complicated situations

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