Psychologically healthy conversations | S5 E14

First published: 18 June, 2024

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Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
Engaging Internal Comms Series 5
Psychologically healthy conversations | S5 E14

Navigating the Eye of Power: A Journey to Empowerment and Trust

We speak with Tom Dardick, an interpersonal communication coach and consultant. Tom is not only an experienced public speaker and writer but also a facilitator who has dedicated his career to helping leaders foster environments of mutual respect and trust. In this these notes, I’ll share the insights and lessons from our discussion, focusing on Tom’s innovative model, the Eye of Power, and its transformative impact on individuals and organisations.

Understanding the Human Condition and the Eye of Power

Tom introduced us to his Eye of Power model, a conceptual framework designed to guide people in making and sustaining psychologically positive changes within a team. The model serves as both a map and a flashlight, illuminating the often-hidden parts of ourselves that can either hinder or enhance our interactions with others.

The Eye of Power is depicted as an eye-shaped structure with a power grid at its core. This grid is defined by two axes: thinking and acting, and whether these are self-directed or society-directed. The intersection of these axis creates four quadrants, each representing different aspects of our psyche, complete with their own corruptions, quests, traps, and capacities.

For instance, Tom detailed the ‘pain quadrant’, where the corruption is typically fear and discomfort. The quest in this quadrant involves taking steps forward despite the fear, a challenge that many of us can relate to in both our personal and professional lives.

The Role of Emotion and the Need for Healthy Conversations

During our conversation, Tom stressed that intellect alone is insufficient for driving meaningful change. Emotions play a crucial role, and the need for healthy, ongoing conversations is paramount. Leaders, in particular, must cultivate an organisational culture that encourages psychologically healthy dialogue, especially in today’s rapidly evolving work environment, heavily influenced by technology.

Courage, Honesty, and the Communication Gym

Courage and honesty emerged as foundational virtues in interpersonal communication. Tom eloquently explained that courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to act in spite of it. He likened courage to a muscle that strengthens with practice, advocating for pushing oneself into areas of fear to build this vital capacity.

Tom also introduced the concept of the “communication gym”, a metaphor for the sustained incremental actions necessary for personal growth. Unlike traditional training, this approach is about connecting to one’s purpose and engaging in honest, courageous conversations. It includes a guide system, where individuals receive support and accountability from a designated guide as they navigate the model.

Accountability and the Impact on Fulfillment

The practical application of the Eye of Power within organisations was a significant part of our discussion. Tom highlighted the importance of accountability and the role of guides in monitoring progress. The model’s focus on time efficiency and action-oriented steps, coupled with the accountability function, enables individuals to track and celebrate their progress.

Tom shared a touching personal story about his brother’s retirement, which underscored the importance of recognising and acknowledging one’s positive contributions before it’s too late. This anecdote brought home the model’s impact on an individual’s sense of fulfillment and the recognition of their positive influence on others.

A Model for Leaders Who Value Respect and Trust

As we wrapped up our conversation, it became clear that the Eye of Power model is particularly well-suited for leaders and organisations that hold respect, trust, and merit-based contributions in high regard. Tom described the model as a flashlight that reveals reality and truth, ideal for those eager to step into the light of reality and acknowledge their power.

Tom also shared details about his website and the “Eye of Power” podcast, which features intellectual and heart-centered conversations similar to the one we had. Our episode concluded with mutual expressions of gratitude for the insightful exchange.

Final Thoughts

The insights from my conversation with Tom Dardick are a testament to the transformative power of the Eye of Power model in interpersonal communication and leadership. The importance of courage, honesty, accountability, and the recognition of one’s positive impact cannot be overstated. For those interested in exploring these concepts further, I highly recommend visiting Tom’s website and tuning into his podcast for more enriching discussions.

Guest profile

Tom Dardick is an experienced public speaker, facilitator, writer, and inter-personal communication coach and consultant. For over twenty years, Tom’s full-time focus has been on helping leaders with their People Strategy. Over the past three years, he has been developing an innovative approach to helping leaders create a culture characterised by mutual respect and trust. His model, which is also the name of his company and podcast, is called The Eye of Power. It’s a way for people to make and sustain psychologically healthy positive changes, and do so as a team. The net effect is less resistance to change, higher quality relationships, greater alignment, and an enhanced sense of purpose.

LinkedIn profile: linkedin.com/in/tomdardick

Other useful links:

Podcast Website: https://www.eyeofpower.com/eye-of-power-podcast

Website: https://www.eyeofpower.com

Episode links:

Link to a relevant episode of the podcast: https://thebigpicturepeople.co.uk/blog/podcast/the-roi-of-psychological-safety-s4-e25/

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