Increasing Your Courage Quotient Advantage

Within each section for a given act of courage, if your score is:

  • 18-21 Strength: a significant source of effectiveness
  • 13-17 Strength with some Improvement Needed: can lead to shortfalls
  • 9-12 Weakness: needs attention
  • 0-8 Significant Weakness: major stumbling block/opportunity for growth

Check your email for your personal results.

Haven’t taken the Courage Quotient Survey yet? Start here.

close up of 'courage' stone on textured stone background

The 7 Acts of Courage

Courage to Dream and Express the Dream:

If you score below 17, there are a few guidelines you can follow. First, identify a model of excellence in that Act of Courage and think of ways you can approximate the behavior of that person. Your greatest challenge here is to develop your Strategic Thinking, to look further out and ahead and outline not only a Core Purpose for your life as a whole, but also a Vision for the next eighteen months. This means not only taking the time to create an outline, it means sharing it with several others whom you trust. Tell them what you want to create. Take the time to put your Core Purpose and your goals in writing on several 2×3 cards and review these daily. Consider using pictures or images of your desired state. We suggest posting these on your bathroom mirror.

Courage to See Current Reality:

If you score below 17, take the time to sit down and do an inventory of your strengths, talents and abilities. Do not be shy: claim ALL of your talents and strengths. Then, do the same with all your areas of weakness and the perceived obstacles in your way. Honestly assess both strengths and liabilities and outline them. This is the foundation from which to move forward in service to your life’s Core Purpose and to your Vision for the next 18 months. Share all this information with trusted allies to help you stay grounded in an honest assessment of current reality.

Courage to Be Confronted:

if you score below 17, then identify someone who you respect who does a good job of listening non-defensively to criticism. Make that person your model on HOW you can listen without defending or deflecting or attacking. Make sure you use good ACTIVE LISTENING: reflect on what you hear being stated, ask for clarification of the Behaviors the other observed and of the Results they experienced. Learn to ask for the other person’s Intent in giving you the critical feedback. Reflect on their Intent and find a way to frame it in a positive light. Then keep listening and asking questions and clarifying until you feel calm and they know you have heard them. Practice this Act of Courage at home and at work.Keep at it until you become the model for listening non-defensively.

Courage to Learn and Grow:

If you score below 17, then think of someone in your life who is most willing to step into the unknown, to take a calculated risk and let go of any need to be “right”. That person is your model of excellence for the Courage to Learn and Grow. Learn to approach people as well as new or challenging situations with curiosity and openness as opposed to shutting down learning and growing by pre-conceived notions of what is right. Practice trying new things, starting with small and less threatening situations where you can test the waters of ambiguity and the unknown.

Courage to Be Vulnerable: 

If you score below 17, then ask yourself: “What is it I feel I need to defend? What is it I am not willing to feel or be open to in my life?” See if you can identify anyone you know who is more open, compassionate, present and available than most people. What is this person’s approach to life?  How does he or she see the world? Ask him or her and then make that person your model for excellence. Remember that you, like all of us, will someday die.  Do you want to live fully, completely and openly or bound up, throttled back and limited? What do you think you have to lose anyway? Consider reading the chapter on Vulnerability in The 7 Acts of Courage (by Robert “Dusty” Staub) and use some of the exercises in the chapter summary.

Courage to Act:

If you score below 17 here then you are holding yourself back from being as active in your life as is needed. How do you hold yourself back? What are you unwilling to do? What actions are you avoiding taking? Ask yourself: “If I knew I was going to die within the next month, what would I do that I have been avoiding? What actions would feed my soul?” Who do you know who is a model of excellence for taking intelligent action? Make that person your model to emulate. Focus on developing any of the first six Acts of Courage that are weak in order to ensure that your ensuing actions are in alignment with your life’s Core Purpose, take into account your strengths and growth edges, are based on open and honest dialogue with others, and are both wise and sound.

Courage to Confront:

If you score below 17, then identify your model of excellence for confronting others with respect and compassion. Who do you know who does a good job of confronting you and others in a positive and non-blaming manner? What is it they do? How do they do it? What is their thought process? Go and ask that person or simply imagine what has to go through his or her mind in order to tell their truth respectfully and effectively. Practice small daily Acts of Courage to Confront. At Staub Leadership, one of the most effective tools we teach is Intent-Behavior-Results (I-B-R). Share your INTENT about why you need to confront (in a positive, focused, brief statement of no more than 3 sentences). Next, describe the BEHAVIOR of the other person that was problematic for you (be descriptive, not evaluative or judgmental). Finally, share the RESULTS of that Behavior, how it has affected you or the team or the family, etc. Throughout, keep your tone as well as language respectful, clear, firm and compassionate.

Let us assist you in maximizing your strengths and in developing your unexercized acts of courage.
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Not ready to participate in a 2-day workshop? Order Dusty’s book on courage and learn about the 7 Acts of Courage. Place a secure order through Amazon:

Hardcopy: The 7 Acts of Courage: Bold Leadership for a Wholehearted Life.
Soft version: The 7 Acts of Courage: Bold Leadership for a Wholehearted Life [Kindle]