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Understand your personality with the Identity Compass & Cognitive Intentions

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

One of the differences that makes the difference in Coaching with Evolve Lab, is the use of the Identity Compass (IDC). The IDC is an innovative personality profiling tool that identifies core thinking structures, outputting an individual's signature thinking styles.

So it's just another profiling tool? Well, what makes the IDC unique, is just that, its uniqueness. Many other profiling tools, including some of the 'classics', put people into boxes (or types) that assign several generic attributes to these 'types' of people. Helpful, but not unique or precise.

The creator of the IDC, H. Arne Maus explains the difference like the pixels on a smartphone. Other profiling systems that have 4, 8, or 16 'types' would be like using a smartphone with only 16 pixels. The IDC however, is like using a smartphone with millions of pixels that delivers an extremely crisp and sharp picture of a person. Arne believes that every person on this planet is different and deserves their own unique and personal profile.

So the IDC is extremely precise and unique to an individual, but what does it measure? The IDC primarily measures Cognitive Intentions (CIs). CIs show how we construct our thinking and are the shortcuts in our thinking. In Psychology they are called Heuristics, In Neuro Linguistic Programming they are called Meta-Programs. CIs are the perceptual filters that automatically influence what and how we see the world. When done over a period of time and operating from a prior intention, CIs become habituated drivers of our thinking. They become the strategies for how we problem-solve, make decisions, respond to events, and act in relationships, essentially governing our everyday thinking and feeling. The problem when this happens is we over-value certain ways of thinking and lose the flexibility of perception which holds back our potential.

In addition to measuring Cognitive Intentions, the IDC also links to an individual's stage of development. The IDC has had three doctorial theses written on it so far, with the most recent by Dr Darren Stevens in 2020 -

Where do CIs come from? CIs are created by thinking them into existence. We start with a thought that is often about something that has happened (an event) and we then think about that thought, and think about that thought, again, and again until we convince ourselves that something is 'right' or 'true' and we install them as our perceptual filters and thinking shortcuts. After years of habituation (if they have not been there from birth), these CIs make up our personality.

What is an example of CIs in action? There are 51 Cognitive Intentions that the IDC scores for each individual. The CIs are segmented into 4 categories or filters - Perception (how we perceive reality), Motivation Factors (what we value and therefore how we motivate ourselves), Motivation Processing (how we process information to use as motivation), and Information Processing (rules we use to process information).

Let's look at the Perspective CI which measures which perspective someone values - Their Own, the Other/Partner's perspective, or the neutral Observer perspective. Someone who preferences or overvalues their Own perspective may find themselves unable to take another person's point of view leading to ongoing relationship issues. They may also find looking at things objectively in a work situation challenging and continue to bring only their own biases to a situation, project, or negotiation because they are unable to detach themselves.

Another is the Motives CI which measures what drives someone and what they are mostly motivated by. Do they want to be liked? Affiliation, Do they want control and power? Influence, or do they strive to achieve things? Achievement. Every action of a human being can be ascribed to one of these 3 basic motives, and bringing conscious awareness to potential driver motives can help a person see how to best motivate themselves and how they can encourage others to motivate themselves. If a person has high scores for Influence and Achievement but low for Affiliation, they will probably struggle with power and influence and the acceptance of others will be far less important for them. There is a probability that they may have conflicts with colleagues. If in a Management position, they may not be seen as popular and may be labelled as cold or aloof.

You can see here from two examples, that strong driver CIs if running outside of conscious awareness, can have a significant day-to-day impact and be the cause of challenges, pain, and leashing of potential.

What can we do with the results of the IDC? In coaching, the IDC is extremely valuable as it takes what the client has been subject to, and makes it objective. The IDC deconstructs all of the CIs so we can look AT the profile objectively and work through the story the IDC is telling whilst identifying the leverage points for change for the client based on their coaching topic. The CIs can also form into 'clusters', meaning when grouped can tell a story within a story of how the client is continuing to have particular challenges in parts of their life (the mental strategies). Almost giving the client the answers to how their thinking is creating the problem, not the actual problem. So understanding why things are happening, also gives the client insight into what the solution may be. Which could be getting flexibility in their CIs and having the ability to choose how to respond in different contexts - which can be life-changing!!

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