Emergenetics International is thrilled to have Chris Cox as part of our great speaker lineup for the 2017 Brain Summit in Vancouver, Canada! As a Partner and Vice President of Training and Development for Emergenetics International, Chris has been working with Emergenetics since the early 90’s. She is an Emergenetics Master Trainer as well as the owner and Chief Learning Officer of AMPLITUDE, a company focused on amplifying the results of leaders and teams.
Emergenetics is an active ingredient in everything that Chris does, whether it be at work or in her personal life. With so much experience under her belt, she definitely has lots to share with our Emergenetics associates.
Let’s get to know Chris better in advance of the 2017 Emergenetics Brain Summit.
Q: How did you get involved with Emergenetics?
A: I was a participant in Influence, a 12-month intensive women’s leadership group in Omaha, Nebraska [USA], in 1985. Geil Browning was one of the facilitators. She was working on the Emergenetics Profile at the time. We remained connected and I have been a part of the Emergenetics team ever since she began certifying associates.
Q: You have facilitated more than 250 workshops and led countless certifications since you joined Emergenetics in the early 1990s. Has this given you any interesting Emergenetics “a-ha” moments?
A: I find I integrate Emergenetics into everything I do, and see everything in my world through an Emergenetics lens – from the questions I ask myself about my world, to how I communicate and work with others, to how I understand and have empathy for others, and how I facilitate any workshop – Emergenetics based or other.
Q: You’re the only Master Trainer that has developed and taught the Advanced Certification course. What is the number one thing Associates who participate take away from this training?
A: I believe it is a confidence to move beyond the MOTM workshop into meeting advanced needs of their clients. There is an entire manual aimed at bringing new exercises, new levels of depth and understanding and new models that can stand alongside the Emergenetics model to meet client needs. Associates leave armed with all the tools they need to customize work for most any client request.
In addition, Associates come to Advanced Certification with a broad range of skill, background and experience. They learn from each other as well.
Q: Do you have a favorite Emergenetics activity or exercise?
A: After all these years of facilitating Emergenetics, I still like seeing the lights come on in participants’ eyes when they see the MPA activity (Vacation, Shopping, or customized topic) results hung on the wall for the first time. It is a new way of viewing the world that sticks with them for the rest of their lives.
My other favorite is the Where Shall We Go to Lunch activity – for the same reason.
And my third favorite is The Amazing Maze – an advanced activity where all the things we have talked about within a team come to light. At times, this is where teams see the brilliance of Emergenetics beyond an individual insight level.
(Of course I could go on – these are my top three of many favorites!)
Q: How do perceptions, negative or positive, affect a team’s performance?
A: Once a perception has been attained, people rarely go back and check it for accuracy. Thus, perceptions can inappropriately influence team performance. When this happens, teams and their leaders frequently look for “actual” issues, when in reality, the (sometimes inaccurate) perception may be causing the issue. When this happens between levels, perhaps an inaccurately positive perception about a direct report, leaders may tend to be seen as having blinders on regarding performance issues. It is always good to ensure the perception one has about a person or situation is accurate.
Q: A person with third-third Expressive and Assertive behaviors might intimidate or overwhelm a person with first-third behaviors just as a first-third might underwhelm a third-third. How does Emergenetics increase mutual respect on a team?
A: This happens only when people don’t understand the brilliance that the opposite ends of a behavioral continuum bring to the team. In my history with Emergenetics, the insights offered to teams and individuals by the Behavioral Attribute descriptions have been game changers. Folks who were thought to be “checked out, aloof, disengaged” are now understood to be 1/3rd Expressives – internal processors, energized by working in a quiet environment, wired with fewer words. Those who were initially thought to be “overbearing, long winded,” are now understood to be 3/3rd Expressives. This distinction, focusing on the strengths of an individual rather than the weakness, is key to gaining respect for the different style and finding ways to put it to good use within the team. The same can be said about the different ends of the Assertive and Flexibility Continuums.
Q: You have so many outdoor hobbies, including riding motorcycles! What’s that experience like and is it any different for a woman? What kind of bike do you ride?
A: I have worked to stretch myself out of my comfort zone in my adult life. I was a racecar driver – 3% of drivers are women. I have ridden motorcycles (mine was a souped-up Harley Screaming Eagle Fatboy) for many years – about 10-15% of riders are women. I teach a personal power class where participants complete board breaks and bend steel in their hands. I also do less extreme activities like fly-fish, kayak, ride bikes, hike and golf. The motorcycle and racecar driving were the only two where folks were surprised to see a woman take off the helmet. For me, I was so focused on learning the skill, staying wheels down, and improving that I didn’t think much about it. It did help my credibility when I work with males, and when I’m pushing someone to do something outside their comfort zone!
Q: You are raising two Labrador puppies. If your dogs could take the Emergenetics Profile, what would theirs be?
A: This is my favorite question. Shadow is a one-year-old special needs dog with a congenital birth defect that was caught after we got him. We call him the Buddha pup. He is definitely a Concrete Thinker, 2/3rd Expressive, 2/3rd Assertive and 1/3rd Flexible. Very easy going until there is a perceived robber at the door. Beau is 5 months old and is s Tri-Modal (Analytic, Conceptual, Social), 3/3rd Expressive, 3/3rd Assertive, 2/3rd Flexible. He is full-on all the time, and pays little attention to the details. If Assertiveness had a 4/3rd, he’d be in it.
Q: How would you describe the term Emergineering? What is an Emergineer?
A: I believe Emergineering is a great term for integrating Emergenetics into the fiber of an organization’s culture. Every communication, interaction, transaction is completed with Emergenetics in the background. An Emergineer doesn’t just walk the walk, talk the talk or even walk the talk – they live their life through an Emergenetics lens.
This concept allows an individual, a team, or an organization to deeply benefit from the investment in the Emergenetics-based tools, knowledge and understanding. Stronger results, more respectful culture, effective communication at every level, the right person in the right seat led in the right way, the list is endless.
About Chris Cox
Chris is the Vice President for Training and Development at Emergenetics International, where she leads efforts in continuing education, new product development and facilitation of Emergenetics training, workshops and classes. Chris is also an Emergenetics Master Trainer.
Additionally, Chris is the owner and Chief Learning Officer of AMPLITUDE, a company focused on amplifying the results of leaders and teams.
Chris also holds certifications in a number of other leadership and team training areas. She is a Master Trainer with Rapport Leadership International. Chris facilitates leadership and team sessions on local, state, national and international levels. She also keynotes on the topics of communication, conflict resolution, and personal power.
Up next: Emergenetics Associates can hear Chris Cox speak at the 2017 Emergenetics Brain Summit September 27 – 29, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada.