I’m always looking to share tools that have been created by experienced coaches to help other coaches in their work. I recently met two knowledgeable coaches at an ICF luncheon and am thrilled to share their latest work and the new book they have written.

Dr. Robert Schaefer is Vice President of Client Services at Steinbrecher and Associates. He’s been working with Susan Steinbrecher since 2005 as a consultant, executive coach, leadership development expert, and statistical analyst. Susan and Robert have written a new book, Meaningful Alignment: Mastering Emotionally Intelligent Interactions at Work and in Life. The concept of dialogue is a key part of their work, so in this interview, we discuss “the inside game” of how we regulate our emotions and show up in conversations with difficult people. We’ll discuss the book, our motivation in our interactions with others, the assessment that Robert and Susan have created that you can take for free (see the link below). Next week, we’ll be joined by Susan Steinbrecher to talk about “the outside game,” including how their program can be integrated into organizations.

Show Highlights:

  • The motivation to write the book: what Robert and Susan saw in the world
  • Why people aren’t good at emotional confrontations
  • “Meaningful alignment:” composure, emotional regulation, and the ability to appreciate the needs, emotions, and motivation of the other person
  • The inside game of voice, body language, agendas, and regulatory habits that we bring to our interactions with others
  • The Interpersonal Dialogue Profile (IDP) that Robert and Susan have developed, and how it highlights dialogue avoidance and dialogue engagement as precursors to conflict
  • How the IDP (take it for free–see the link below!) reveals behaviors in the workplace and explains how and why they show up
  • How the IDP uses a combination of forced-choice response items along with self-reported items of agreement and disagreement
  • The client response about the IDP has been powerful and positive
  • Factors involved in the inside game:
    • Control–shown by many leaders; sometimes unintentional
    • Achievement–all about results, progress, and drive
    • Affiliation–a “What have you done for me lately?” approach
    • Security–we invent highly protective mechanisms for interactions
  • How these mental models translate from the workplace to personal life
  • How mindfulness practice helps with emotional regulation in managing stress and handling emotions in work interactions
  • How mindfulness work harnesses equanimity
  • Dealing with difficult people with gratitude and mindfulness
  • How to use the techniques of breathing, deflection, and note-taking
  • Why this skill-building resonates with clients


Meaningful Alignment: Mastering Emotionally Intelligent Interactions at Work and in Life by Susan Steinbrecher and Robert Schaefer

Link to take the free assessment: Meaningful Alignment

Mentor Coaching Link

Email: robert@steinbrecher.com

Website: Meaningful Alignment and Stenbrecher

Twitter: @SteinbrecherInc