Creating the Reflected Best-Self Portrait

RBSE Summary of Instructions The steps are outlined in detail in the pages after this one. However, here is a summary for each step. Follow these steps as you are creating the RBSE. Your submission should be neat and organized. Steps 1 and 2. These steps are fairly self-explanatory, but you need to create Table 1 (list of potential respondents) in your write-up. Be sure that you’ve received a sufficient number of responses. I don’t have a minimum but you’ll struggle to develop a portrait if you only have a few people providing feedback. Step 3. Write your own stories (three times in your life when you were at your best). You can find an example story in the RBSE PDF. Step 4. Create Table 2 by reading, analyzing, and synthesizing the stories (including your own) into one coherent item (one row for each person who responded). Then create Table 3 by taking all your stories and condensing them into 2-4 major themes/strengths. See examples of Table 2 and Table 3 below on Page 4 and Page 6. Step 5. Now you will construct a best-self portrait. Your portrait should be at least 2-3 paragraphs. Feel free to write more if you need to do so in order to capture the patterns/themes identified in Step 4. You must start your portrait with “When I am at my best…”, per the rubric below. NOTE: The only stories themselves that you need to include in the document are your own (i.e., Step 3). You should not include the actual stories from your respondents. In Table 2, you will analyze stories from all respondents, as well as your own. That is, you’ll have one row for each respondent, including yourself. There are five sections you need to have in your submitted document (i.e., Table 1, your own stories, Table 2, Table 3, and your best self portrait). RBSE grading Phase 1 Steps 1 and 2. Did the student include Table 1 correctly? Step 3. Did the student write three of their own stories? Step 4. Did the student include Tables 2 and 3 in the correct format? Step 5. Is it 2-3 paragraphs long? Does the student’s work accurately reflect the feedback that they received? Does the portrait start with “When I am at my best…”? Each underlined item above represents a section to be graded. 4 sections x 25 points each section = 100 points. Minor problems: -5 points Major problems: -15 points No section: -25 points REFLECTED BEST SELF EXERCISE ­­— Inspired by research at the Center for Positive Organizations. Applied by people and organizations worldwide. ROBERT E. QUINN JA NE E. DUTTON G RETCHEN M. S PRE I TZE R AND LAUR A MO RGAN RO BE RTS Revised by E MILY J. PLEWS AND JA NET M AX positiveorgs.bus.umich.edu PARTICIPANT INSTRUCTIONS Creating the Reflected Best-Self Portrait Step 1: Identify Potential Respondents Thoughtfully select 15-20 people whom you will ask to write stories about you at your best. Why 15 – 20? Over time, researchers of the RBSE™ have found that identifying 15-20 potential respondents from whom you wish to solicit best-self stories should help surface a sufficient number of stories. Realize that due to time and other constraints, not everyone will be able to respond. You will receive at least 21 stories, or three stories from 7 respondents, of you at your best. This number has provided past RBSE™ partici-pants with sufficient data in which patterns across those stories can be found. How should I create this list of potential respondents? Choose people who have seen you at your best and people who will give you their honest opinion. Research shows that the RBSE™ is most effective when your respondents come from a mix of colleagues (former or current), superiors or subordinates, friends (old or recent), family members, customers, and anyone who has had extended contact with you. Know that past participants have found that their respondents have been quite willing, even eager, to assist with this exercise. (And past participants have been happy to reciprocate the favor!) Note: You can use whatever categories make sense to you for Table 1. The point is to identify enough potential respondents that you’ll get at least several responses. TABLE 1: SAMPLE LIST OF POTENTIAL RESPONDENTS © 2003, 2011 REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN REFLECTED BEST SELF EXERCISE™ /// PAGE 1 YOUR TURN: Review the lists of contacts in your email account, address book, or social networking sites to refresh your memory. When you create a list of potential respondents, double-check to make sure a cross-section of people from your spheres of influence is represented. Shawn used a spreadsheet to organize the list. Step 2: Request Reflected Best-Self Stories Compose a story request (see example request below) and email it to the 15-20 potential respondents you identified in Step 1. NOTE: There are many ways to solicit and gather these stories. The below example is written for an individual user who is soliciting and compiling best-self stories as a class assignment. Shawn’s Sample Email Request for Stories Dear [name], I hope this message finds you well! I am writing to request your help with a class assignment. I would be grateful for your help with one of the required exercises for the course, the Reflected Best Self Exercise. I am asking people who know me well to provide me with three stories of when I was at my best in their eyes. What was my positive contribution in each story? Additional instructions and examples can be found below. Please e-mail your responses to me by [insert date]. Thank you very much for your cooperation. I will keep all responses anonymous and will be sure to tell you what I learn after the exercise. Kind Regards, Shawn ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS This will require you to think about your interactions with me and to identify those times when I was at my best in your eyes. In writing, please be sure to provide details so I can understand the context, what happened, and what my positive contribution was. Best-self sto- PAGE 2 /// REFLECTED BEST SELF EXERCISE™ © 2003, 2011 REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ries often capture things that people say or do in critical times or everyday routines that make a difference. These stories are often unacknowledged publicly. Best-self stories may describe someone’s approach to people, challenges, tasks, or even a work environment. I have included some examples of what these stories could look like. Please use this only as a guide. STORY EXAMPLES 1. From work colleague: You have the ability to get people to work together and give all they have to a task. For example, I think of the time that we were working on the Alpha project. We were getting behind and the stress was building. We started to close down and get very focused on just meeting our deadline. You noticed that we were not doing our best work and stopped the group to rethink our approach. You asked whether we wanted to just satisfy the requirements or whether we wanted to really do good and important work. You reminded us of what we were capable of doing and how each of us could contribute to a better outcome. No one else in that room would have thought to do that. As a result, we did meet the deadline and created a result we all feel proud of. 2. From a friend: You have capacity to persist in the face of adversity. For example, I think of the time that we were helping Lila empty her flooded basement. Her family lives far away and she was impossibly short-handed. Instead of getting overwhelmed with her, you became more focused than I have ever seen anyone get. I think you went 24 hours without sleep to help her remove the water. I was amazed that you could maintain a positive attitude and consistently helpful orientation to Lila under those conditions. 3. From a boss: You are great at building relationships critical to project success. For example, I think of the time that: We were working for a clothing company committed to using organically grown cotton, and to having fair labor practices. You were the liaison with the various agencies and individuals critical to sourcing the organic cotton, and to creating the worker-owned sewing cooperatives here and in Central America. Despite resistance, you crafted and co-created a vision for how the business could work to meet these radically different goals. You easily navigated cultural differences and built strong relationships that thrive to this day. YOUR TURN: Feel free to copy and edit Shawn’s letter to suit your situation and personal style. Consider the options for disseminating this request—hard copy letter, email, online form or survey— while keeping in mind instructions from your facilitator, speed of delivery and response, ease of compilation, and so on. Step 3: Write Your Own Best-Self Stories While you are awaiting your stories from respondents, we ask you to engage in deeper personal reflection about times when you believe you were at your best. You will analyze your own best-self stories, and the analysis will be part of your final reflected best-self portrait. Write your own best-self stories Think about three times in your life when you were at your best. Allow yourself to think of stories from all © 2003, 2011 REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN REFLECTED BEST SELF EXERCISE™ /// PAGE 3 contexts and time periods. For three of these memories, write the story of what happened. In the story you could describe the context, the role you played, the actions you took, the characteristics you displayed, the results, and the reasons behind your actions. The examples and explanation in the sample letter in Step 2 can be helpful also. Sample Best-Self Story I feel I was at my best helping my organization create and pursue a new vision. We had been in existence for ten years and had tried and learned so many things along the way. I believed in the organization’s mission but wanted to move us in a new direction to expand our impact. I reflected on what was possible and crafted a vision of our team at our best. I presented the vision to my team and was delighted to incorporate their ideas into mine, thus creating something entirely new in a way that united the team. YOUR TURN: Pretend you received the story request you sent in Step 2. Reflect about times when you were, and normally are, at your best and capture the stories that exemplify that time in the same space, document, or file that will eventually house the stories you receive from respondents. Step 4: Analyze All Best-Self Stories Collect and aggregate your stories and the stories from respondents. Read and reflect on each story Read each of your stories carefully. In a table like the one below, note key insights into who you are and what you do when you are at your best. You’ll have an opportunity to analyze the context of the story. Please focus on your actions, contributions, attitudes, etc. Reading these stories can stir up a great deal of (positive) emotions for you. It is normal to find yourself surprised by how people saw you positively. We recommend you find a quiet time and space where you can be free from interruptions and you can reflect on what you are learning. NOTE: We have analyzed the stories provided in the line sample email in Step 2 as an example below. TABLE 2: SAMPLE INDIVIDUAL STORY REFLECTION PAGE 4 /// REFLECTED BEST SELF EXERCISE™ Unlike this table, in yours you should list the respondent’s name in the first column. One row for each respondent. © 2003, 2011 REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN YOUR TURN: Collect the stories you receive in a spreadsheet or other document, using the column headings shown in the example for the analysis. Analyze the stories in aggregate After you have thought deeply about each of the stories, look for patterns and themes that emerge from considering the stories and analysis together. These patterns or themes will help you write declarative statements about you at your best. These declarative statements will represent anchoring “truths” about you at your best and can later be woven into your reflected best-self portrait. PATTERNS: Recurring behaviors, contributions, etc., across all of the stories and analysis. If you are unsure about how to find patterns, try looking for verbs, adjectives, and nouns that you see repeated in the stories or in your analysis of each story. For example, repeated verbs could lend insight into some of your best skills and strengths, and repeated adjectives may lend insight into some of your values and aptitudes, your approaches to problem solving, and the nature of your relationships. THEMES: Underlying truths about your values and beliefs and the essence of you at your best, inferred from the collection of stories and analysis. Identify themes and patterns and list several examples from your stories that exemplify that theme. TABLE 3: SAMPLE AGGREGATED STORY REFLECTION © 2003, 2011 REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN REFLECTED BEST SELF EXERCISE™ /// PAGE 5 YOUR TURN: Use a spreadsheet or other document to create a table like the one in Table 3. Step 5: Compose the Reflected Best-Self Portrait Create a portrait of your best-self that captures the wisdom in your personal and reflected best-self analy-sis. The portrait is meant to be an aggregated articulation of your personal and reflected best self which you can refer to and revise well into the future. It should synthesize the themes and declarations you identified in the tables above. However, be sure that the themes are authentic to you—not necessarily just things you do well, but that reflect your identity as a human being. Reflected best-self portraits are often represented in the form of written narratives (see below for an exam-ple). We have also seen participants employ a variety of media to create their reflected best-self portraits. For example, you might represent your portrait in a pictorial collage or montage, a video, a song, or a poem. You may even choose to use multiple formats. Shawn’s Sample Reflected Best-Self Portrait When I am at my best, I tend to be creative. I am enthusiastic about ideas and I craft bold visions. I am an innovative builder who perseveres in the pursuit of the new. I do not waste energy thinking about missed opportunities or past failures nor do I take on the negative energy of the insecure or worry about critics. I stay centered and focused on what is possible and important. I use frameworks to help me make sense of complex issues. I can see disparate ideas and integrate them through “yes and” thinking. So I make points others do not readily see. In doing so, I frame experiences in compelling and engaging ways. I paint visions and provide new ways for people to see. I use metaphors and stories to do this. I find the stories in everyday experiences, and people find it easy to understand them. The new images that follow help people to take action. In helping others, I try to empathize with them and understand their needs. I give them my attention and energy but I allow them to be in charge. In exercising influence, I try to enroll people, not force them, in new directions. I invite people to work with me. I use dialog to help people surface their ideas, and then I weave them together with others until we create knowledge in real time. I ignore symptoms and focus on the deep causes. I help people and groups surface the darkest realities and the most painful conflicts. From these emergent tensions comes the energy for transformation. I liberate people from their fears and help them embrace new paths. In all of this I try to model the message of integrity, growth and transformation. PAGE 6 /// REFLECTED BEST SELF EXERCISE™ © 2003, 2011 REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Creating the Reflected Best-Self Portrait

We offer the best custom writing paper services. We have answered this question before and we can also do it for you.

GET STARTED TODAY AND GET A 20% DISCOUNT coupon code DISC20

Leave a Comment