Integral Leadership: the four quadrants
Wilber's quadrants explained
The four quadrants: Wilber's quadrants explained
Wilber's Quadrants is a powerful model that recognises four modes of general approach for human beings.
Two axes are used:
- on one axis people tend towards individuality OR collectivity
- and on the other, towards an interior view (subjectivity) OR an exterior view (objectivity).
The interaction of these two axes give us four personality types:
- Upper Left (UL): Subjective or Interior Individual. This person will value truthfulness and operates inside terms of reference based on sincerity, integrity and trustworthiness.
- Upper Right (UR): Objective or Exterior Individual. This person will value truth and operates inside terms of reference based on correspondance, representation and propositional communication.
- Lower Right (LR): Interobjective or Exterior-Social. This person will value functional fit and operates inside terms of reference based on systems theory web, structural-functionalism and social systems mesh.
- Lower Left (LL): Intersubjective or Interior Social (Cultural). This person will value justness and operates inside terms of reference based on cultural fit, mutual understanding and rightness.
An Example of the Quadrants in practice
"Health is all about fitness and diet - as long as I get those right I'll be OK." - Upper Right
"No, no. What you need to do is get rid of those unhealthy emotions and say your affirmations - feel and think healthy and you'll be healthy." - Upper Left
"Actually, all you need to do is to join a therapy group where you can share all of your problems and emotions and you'll be fine." - Lower Left
"The real way to good health is to join BUPA because they have all of the latest technology - that'll get you well." - Lower Right
Each of these perspectives has something to add to maintaining our Health but none of them will keep us healthy or get us well alone because each emphasises only one of the quadrants - in order, UR, UL, LL, LR.
You can exercise and diet as much as you like (UR) but if you break your leg you'll need a well-equipped surgery or hospital to help you (LR) but if as a society we don't believe in the value of healthcare for all (LL) then the hospital will be run down and there will be no individuals willing and able to have the motivation (UL) to train as doctors and nurses but it doesn't matter how much you believe in your own good health (UL) it won't work unless you do something about your physical health and watch what you eat (UR) but however healthy you are as an individual that won't make a difference if you live right in the centre of a polluted city (LR) ... and so we go round the quadrants.