[In contrast to] the ‘either/or’, ‘right/wrong’ mindset where there’s nothing in between – paradoxical thinking would say, ‘What if it’s both? What if there’s value in understanding the first path, and value in equally understanding the other path, and even the third?’ … It’s about being able to hold that tension between paths.” – Renee Moorefield

Finding comfort in the contradiction

When we experience a paradox, we feel pulled in separate directions, without a clear or simple solution.

Most of us find sitting with that paradox uncomfortable, which is why we tend to look for a quick and easy solution – something we can rally around as well as defend. Our brains to do not like open loops, which makes tolerating paradox uncomfortable and why we avoid the feeling of being stuck in the middle!

Renee Moorefield’s Be Well Lead Well Pulse assessment measures the wellbeing of leaders across 19 dimensions. Research conducted by external experts shows that when leaders have a strong sense of wellbeing, they’re more able to thrive amidst paradoxical situations. They can more easily navigate opposing ideas, extract important elements from each, and propose integrated solutions.

So when we expand our minds beyond the binary, we can avoid oversimplification and transcend it to create new, richer and more sustainable paths.

Be Well Lead Well Pulse overview

[04:12] “The Be Well Lead Well Pulse assessment is built on a framework of thriving, and the framework of thriving has 19 dimensions of wellbeing and stress resilience [that] feed into six dimensions…the framework was built to support leaders and all of us in having a sense of internal resourcefulness, and meet our complex demands.”

Wellbeing and paradoxical leadership

[24:06] “[You have] the ability to transcend the situation, because you’re looking for other perspectives, so you’re not stuck in the conflict. You’re really looking at it like, ‘I wonder how this could be true,’ almost with a sense of play and experimentation and looking for value – and then looking for another perspective that transcends what you feel you’re in.”

[23:25] “We found that leaders reporting high levels of well-being were 38% (so close to 40%) more apt to report scoring high in their ability to lead paradoxes.”

Our brainstorm of practices

[27:22] “A paradox is not a problem that can be solved easily…To understand, usually have to slow down and start asking questions and start seeking a new perspective that maybe you weren’t taking on the situation.”

[43:29] “As a daily routine, [start] a very basic mindfulness practice…the heart of mindfulness is about being present in the moment without judging it as good or bad, right or wrong, either/or…that alone can create insight, and possibly some movement, just becoming aware without judgment.”

Previous episodes with Renee Moorefield:

Episode 6: An Essential Link: Wellbeing and Leader Effectiveness


Episode 24: Leadership, Ethnicity + Wellbeing | Renee Moorefield & Jane Cocking




Be Well Lead Well Pulse Insights: Effectively Leading Through Paradox: A Pivotal Role for Wellbeing https://www.bewellleadwell.com/effectively-leading-through-paradox/

Renee Moorefield https://www.linkedin.com/in/reneemoorefield/

Be Well Lead Well Pulse https://www.bewellleadwell.com/

Be Well Lead Well Pulse certification program in May 2022: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/be-well-lead-well-pulse-certification-a-remote-learning-experience-registration-258172730587

Thinking Hats – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Thinking_Hats

EDS: Electronic Data Systems: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Data_Systems

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