(Hemi-Sync® Journal, Vol. XII, No. 3, Summer 1994)
Hemi-Sync® as Support for Style Flexibility
by James Akenhead, EdD, and Charlene Akenhead, EdD
As a licensed professional counselor, James Akenhead has been a public- and private-sector organizational consultant for fifteen years. A career educator for thirty years, with twenty-four years of service as a school superintendent, he holds five degrees and has published numerous articles on leadership, team building, management, and human relations. Dr. Akenhead has served as coordinator of a graduate administration degree program and has taught graduate courses in administration and counseling for eighteen years. He is presently Senior Management Consultant for The Ohio Network: Training and Assistance for Schools and Communities. Dr. Charlene Akenhead is senior human resource associate with the Stark County, Ohio, Board of Education, consulting and providing training to school districts and agencies. Drawing on their presentation at the 1993 Professional Seminar, Jim and Charlene explore how the Hemi- Sync technology may be used to manage style in task-, relationship-, and group-oriented situations. Seminar participants completed a personal style profile as part of this exploration.
Just as most people would like to find the fountain of youth, so most would also like to find the secrets of success for a satisfying personal and professional life. One of the big factors contributing to this kind of success is personal style. Style may be thought of as the way people present themselves when relating with other people in a social or professional context. A number of approaches may be used to identify a person’s style. One approach establishes four dimensions or categories based on preferred behavior tendencies. These preferred behavior tendencies amount to a favored comfort zone for day-to-day functioning.
With this understanding, one may begin to wonder whether there is a most successful or best liked personality style and how closely their own style matches up. Surprising as it may seem, the answer to that question is that there is no one style that best predicts success or is the best liked. Rather, success and satisfaction are more likely to be related to how well we understand our style—how our unconscious behavioral tendencies support us in some situations and detract from our desired ends in others. With the knowledge that there is no “best” style or personality, and an awareness of our preferred mode of operation, we are positioned to consciously use the natural strengths of our personal style in ways that best support the achievement of our individual goals. We can operate from the context that the flexibility we bring to our style is the true success factor.
So ... what does it mean to be flexible in the use of personal style and why is this important? Succinctly stated, flexibility is the ability to convey to other people that their needs are as important as ours. This facilitates a sense of comfort and the impression of a secure environment. An opening for a more effective communication process is created. Those with whom we are interacting see us as credible. Characteristics of flexibility include: willingness to change behavior; a desire for win-win solutions; the ability to adapt to surroundings; possession of adequate social skills; willingness to compromise; and the ability to function in a state of flux. Sounds simple enough! However, acting with this kind of flexibility sometimes requires us to behave, operate, or present ourselves in ways that do not exactly fit our natural, preferred, and most comfortable operating style. In such situations, employment of a support system is desirable.
Identification of Style Dimension
A first step in more effective style management is getting a clear picture of that style. One system for making this assessment is The Personal Profile System [Carelson Learning Company, Minneapolis, MN, 1993]. This self-report instrument provides information about behavioral tendencies within a particular environmental focus—at work, in teams, or within a specific relationship. Four general style dimensions are used: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Cautiousness. Respondents discover which dimension best describes their natural behavior preferences. This discovery is helpful in understanding why comfort levels shift from situation to situation.
Dominance—People whose natural style falls into this category want immediate results. They act decisively, they are outgoing, and they want to be in control of their environment.
Influence—Those who prefer this operating style love contact with people. They exhibit high energy, they love to interact, they are fun-loving, and they place high value on relationships.
Steadiness—Those who prefer the steadiness style want a stable environment with standard operating procedures and clear, consistent expectations. They are low-key, and they develop strong loyalties to others.
Cautiousness—People who are most comfortable with this style are analytical in most situations. They are naturally invested in quality control. They are cautious and controlled in their actions.
Although these are abbreviated descriptions, they give the flavor of each style and illustrate how style impacts what kinds of actions or situations make us comfortable or uncomfortable. If your preferred style is outgoing, sitting through a long fact-packed meeting may be frustrating. It may take a lot of energy for you to modify your style in this sort of situation. Likewise, a controlled or cautious style makes giving a speech with humor and spontaneous interaction a challenge. A lot of energy may be required to deliver on such expectations and overcome natural discomfort around performing in the situation.
Hemi-Sync as a Support System
It seems evident that awareness of the elements and preferences of style, combined with conscious effort, can contribute greatly to the ability to be flexible and enhance success and satisfaction. So it also seems valuable to consider using a support system as an aid. The Hemi-Sync® technology is such a support system. Hemi-Sync can help to focus attention and induce relaxation, as well as enhance the ability to empathize in situations that are personally uncomfortable.
METAMUSIC®, music with embedded Hemi-Sync, can be used at breaks and during discussion with groups. This specialized musical background enhances creativity in the process of searching for answers to challenging questions. METAMUSIC assists relaxation when there is anxiety about the need to complete a task. It can also ease a listener into sleep after a day in which maximum energy has been expended to modify style in order to accomplish goals.
Certain METAMUSIC audiotapes are frequently used in our workshops. Cloudscapes facilitates relaxation when there is anxiety or concern about completing a task. Listening to the tape while working on a project can help sustain a balanced or centered feeling. Inner Journey both relaxes and supports reflection when important issues are under consideration. Sleeping through the Rain eases the tension built up when the day’s activities require operating in less than comfortable modes and subtlyencourages restful sleep.
H-PLUS® (HUMAN PLUS) tapes allow individuals to implant personal anchors or signals. When activated, these cues elicit a predictable response for increasing personal effectiveness. The desired responses may be increased ability to empathize with another or better focus of attention. Relaxing in order to react or respond most appropriately could also be the primary desire. H-PLUS tapes we’ve found useful in managing style include De-Hab, to keep people from pushing your buttons; Attention, to block out distractions; Speak-Up, to converse easily; Empathizing, to increase sensitivity to others, and Relax, to lower mental or emotional tension.
In addition to METAMUSIC and H-PLUS, the MIND FOOD Concentration tape is helpful for individual or group study and when seminar participants are required to sit through a long series of lectures where focus may waver. Concentration is also a good support system when one must pay attention and function in a non-conducive (e.g., too hot or too cold) environment.
The Hemi-Sync tapes cited are a representative sample of those which are suitable adjuncts to the quest for personal effectiveness and satisfaction. As awareness of style, comfort, and performance elements increases, a search of the available Hemi-Sync technology reveals valuable tools to support both comfort and effectiveness in pursuit of practical, real-life goals.
Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 1994 The Monroe Institute