Relearning how to Think Act Relate

23 February 2015

Change direction by Phil Whitehouse (Creative Commons)

Change direction by Phil Whitehouse (Creative Commons)

Through my participation in the She Leads Diploma of Management, I was fortunate to be selected to take part in Jude Burger’s Think Act Relate program.

The program uses Q12 Maps which, based on principles of developmental psychology, unearth the root causes of patterns of behaviour and character traits. By presenting these through a series of maps, graphs and detailed descriptions, it facilitates greater personal understanding and opportunities for sustainable change.

Jude offered two opportunities to Diploma of Management participants as part of her support for the She Leads program. It was a wonderful opportunity; I was keen to apply and was thrilled to be chosen.

In our first session, Jude asked me to sum up in a couple of sentences what I would like to change. I came up with: ‘Develop a stronger sense of self, to improve contentment and resilience’; and ‘Have a stronger sense of purpose’.

I was presented with what I refer to as ‘The Book of Me’. It explained the Q12 model, but then related it all to me based on my answers to an earlier questionnaire. It was amazingly accurate! I felt like it described my childhood, my adolescence and the major life events that had shaped me and my responses to the world. It also told me what I was naturally good at, of which it was nice to be reminded.

I found my personal ‘treadmills’ particularly revelatory; I discovered that I had both ‘success’ and ‘failure’ treadmills. While I was achieving a certain level of success, I was treating each project as make or break and looking for short term success and recognition. This meant I was stuck in a continuous cycle, rather than taking a longer-term view.

Understanding this has meant I can now stand a little bit apart, catch myself doing this, and look at things from a different perspective.

The Q12 maps also pointed me towards abilities I have of which I wasn’t fully taking advantage. Thanks to that knowledge, I’m now considering a new area of study that will enhance my current role and open up further opportunities.

In our second session, we looked at my ‘Achilles heels’ and related them to specific, current situations. From that, I came up with a list of issues to tackle in both my personal and work life. The things on that list are not easy, but as I gradually work through them I am breaking down my old ways of thinking, acting and relating and developing a better, stronger me.

I’m grateful to Jude and Think Act Relate for the opportunity to take part in this program. It’s been a huge boost to my personal growth on my leadership journey.


The next She Leads Diploma of Management begins in April and is currently taking enrolments.

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