DISCIPLINE OF PERSONAL MASTERY

Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”― Muhammad Ali

14203239_10205800962457331_7350841119475870421_n An organization is an intangible thing, an invisible repository of will and competence; organizations exist in the thin ether of our actions and values. But there is nothing abstract about the people who make them up. They dream, worry, attend meetings, call on customers, and phone home. You can weigh them, poll them, and clock them. It makes sense that when an organization learns, the locus of that learning is the individual and groups of individuals.

The term “personal mastery” may just be another way of saying “learning,” but I  must be clear about the kind of learning I  mean. It is not just the accumulation of technical and functional information, but the wise and beneficial use of that information. This is an important qualification, because it introduces the issues of self-knowledge and personal values. Here is where we find the answer to the riddle of the learning organization and the reason that the learning organization (as a whole, functioning entity) is so important.

Transcending Our Inherent and Learned Limitations

  “The last thing we learn about ourselves is our effect.”- Ben Kizer, one of the great civic leaders .  Personal mastery entails honing our effectiveness in the world through brave self-observation. It also involves creating a high-tension energy field in one’s life by facing the truth of current reality and boldly envisioning something different: a future of one’s choosing. The creative tension is where the juice of mastery comes from.

Through the ages, sages have testified to the virtues of the examined life and lamented a mind left untended. The following are the observations of three of them.

Those who know much about others may be smart, but those who understand themselves are even wiser.—Lao Tsu

You could drop a leaflet or a Hubbard squash on the head of any person in any land and you would almost certainly hit a brain that was whirling in small, conventional circles. There is something about the human mind that keeps it well within the confines of the parish, and only one outlook in a million is nonparochial.—E.B. Whit

I truly   believe that “personal mastery” is as good a name for the lesson as any. Liberating ourselves from the conditioned, automatic responses to life that endlessly loop us into the same frustrations is one of the hardest things that we can ever attempt. Accepting the need for this is a recognition of what it means to be human. Dealing with this reality is always worth the effort, because even the smallest successes are immediately rewarded with proportionally greater personal freedom. This, in turn, leads to greater creativity, productivity, satisfaction, joy, and expanded life possibilities.

Although the task is difficult, people regularly accomplish even greater goals. Changing one’s world view, says Livingston, is actually easier than overcoming chemical dependence, and people break such deadly habits all the time.

The Effect in Organizations

One person inside an organization ( a trainer) on the trail of personal mastery would be good news for that organization. Think of the ripple effect. Two people would be even better, and the implications of ten people struggling with the ways of personal mastery are even more exciting because of the dynamics of critical mass. The cumulative rate at which individuals within the organization change themselves in pursuit of personal mastery defines the rate at which the organization can change.

Personal mastery is very personal, revolving as it does around the unique mechanisms of the mind. It is challenging enough at the personal level. In the organization, the challenge is compounded not just by numbers but by the fact that no one can choose the pursuit of personal mastery for us; we must choose it for ourselves. Nevertheless, it is a challenge that people and organizations must face if they are to survive individually and collectively. Organizational leaders who have the courage to confront this issue will need all the help they can get from the training profession.

The challenge can be described as follows:

  1. Because of the rapidity of technological change and global competition, becoming a learning organization is now the real ante of doing business.
  2. The pursuit of personal mastery by individuals is the essence of the learning organization.

Unfortunately, the practice of personal mastery by an organization’s employees remains a taboo subject for management. A manager who addresses an employee with, “Excuse me, but I think you need to improve your personal mastery” will likely be as welcome as a religious pamphleteer at the door on Saturday morning. As Peter Drucker says, managers have no business messing with their employees’ minds. I must disagree with Drucker. Although I believe that organizations should not stick their noses into the private lives of their employees, I do not think that you can separate the person’s work from the person.

The notion that we have a work life and a personal life is a dangerous illusion. Each of us has one mind, one body, and one spirit, and we take them with us wherever we go. We do a lot of messing with one another’s minds; it may constitute the majority of human affairs. Every time a manager says “Thank you” or “You did it wrong again” to an employee, the manager is messing with the employee’s mind. Every bonus paid, every new team assembled, every reorganization effort is an exercise in messing with minds. The challenge, again, is to do it responsibly.

By practicing personal mastery as individuals, trainers and other HRD professionals will make their practice more forceful than any sermons they could ever preach on the subject. Happily, the discipline of it will almost inevitably confine one to constructive, ethical interaction with others.

The question is “How do you pursue personal mastery?”Components of the Discipline

The answer is that the biological and psychological force of habit is so great that you must have a discipline.

The personal-mastery technology I propose (O’Brien & Shook, 1995) rests on four adaptive skills:

Raising consciousness – means not just thinking, but thinking about thinking: noticing and managing the workings of your mind so that your mind will not run away with you like a startled horse.

 Imagining- When you “imagine,” you create a mental picture—the most vivid image you can—of an outcome you desire. It works, and you do it all the time. If you are typical, however, most of the imagining you do goes by the name “worry.” This most common form of imagining leads not to something you want but to something you do not want, and it works depressingly well.

Framing and reframing –  are the foundation of human experience and the essence of personal freedom. They mean interpreting the world, deriving meaning, and assigning significance to the events of life. When the Greek Stoic Epictetus noted two-thousand years ago that it is not the events of life that matter but our opinion of them, he was talking about framing and reframing. You do not have to think about anything in any particular way, but some ways of thinking about things are more helpful than others. Learning to frame and reframe means learning to see things in the most helpful light.

 Integrating new perspectives. –  What we see depends on where we stand. And where we stand—that is, the view of the world our senses present to us—is profoundly influenced by the biases of our families of origin and the hands that fate has dealt us. However, each of us is not stuck with just one world view. We can get new ones any time by learning to integrate the perspectives of others. In this sense, the points of view of other people rank among life’s most priceless gifts.

The Impact of Personal Mastery – It probably is not possible for someone to engage in these activities without impacting events around them, without creating powerful and effective relationships with others. But any words that someone who pursues personal mastery could speak about these things would be pale next to the things themselves. In the story of Pinocchio, it is the master’s love and the behavior of love that brings the puppet to life. It may be that way with personal mastery. Only to the extent that we are willing to step into these practices and give them life do they have the potential to shape our destinies and those of the organizations we form.

All this is a matter of considerable importance to organizational leaders, to trainers, and to organizations. Many organizations currently are trying to change themselves from the outside in, by reengineering new organizational forms into existence in the hope that structure alone equals performance. I  doubt that it does. The catalyst missing from such efforts is the inside-out change offered by personal mastery. I doubt that the best team players can be made by teaching the external strategies of teamwork alone. To be constructive members of a team, people must examine their attitudes about collaborating with others, resolving conflict, coping with mistakes (their own and others’), dealing with anger and fear, and so on. That comes from the never-ending pursuit of personal mastery.

When the leaders of an organization sincerely embrace personal mastery themselves, they will automatically begin shifting the parent-child relationship between management and workers to adult-adult relationships. Although the former is still the dominant organizational paradigm, it is the latter that holds the power to drive truly empowered workers and an organization that is capable of continuous learning and fluid response to a dynamic marketplace.

…Just a few thoughts

Greetings,

K.

What Does It Mean to Be People Smart?

Ask the person on the street what it means to be people smart, and you are bound to hear many who have this picture: “Oh, that’s a person who is really a smooth operator . . . a person who knows how to get others to join his side.” A different picture you might hear is someone who is “personable . . . friendly . . . fun to be with.”

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While few people would complain about having those attributes, they represent a very limited view of what it means to be gifted with people. Being people smart is a multi-faceted competence. It is not limited to our skills or our social graces but includes a wide range of abilities.

People smarts is about that aspect of emotional intelligence that is best called “interpersonal intelligence.”When you consider how important interpersonal effectiveness is, it also makes sense to build the PQ or “people quotient” of your workforce.

What makes up someone’s PQ (people quotient)? Consider these questions:

Are your employees good at. . .

•   Understanding people?

•   Expressing their thoughts and feelings clearly?

•   Speaking up when their needs are not being met?

•   Asking for feedback from others and giving them quality feedback in return?

•   Influencing how others think and act?

•   Bringing conflicts to the surface and resolving them?

•   Collaborating with others as opposed to doing things by themselves?

How these questions are answered determines someone’s PQ. People with high PQ excel in the following eight areas. How do your people stack up?

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1. Understanding People

People with high PQs listen actively, empathize with another’s feelings, and acknowledge his or her viewpoint. That not only helps them to be appreciated but also works to draw out information they need to figure out what makes the other person tick. They ask questions to clarify what someone is saying when communication is unclear. They also realize that understanding others goes beyond the words they speak. They know how to interpret the unspoken. Finally, they are expert at reading other people’s style and motives.

2. Expressing Themselves Clearly

People with high PQs know how to get their message across so it’s understood. When people go on and on to make a point, they simply have no effect on other people. High PQers get to the point when brevity is required, yet give just enough detail so that other people are not confused. They can also sense when the other person has not understood them and can quickly rephrase what they are saying.

3. Asserting Their Needs

High PQers know that they have to be their own person. They have to have limits and establish those limits. If they try to be all things to all people, they’ll wind up disappointing others. They also are straightforward with their wishes. Hinting at what they need from others only leads to disappointment and frustration. Once that happens, they often become angry with others and lose the calm and confidence they need to be at their best. People with high PQs are able to remain calm and confident, even when others try to provoke them and push their emotional buttons.

4. Seeking and Giving Feedback

High PQ individuals are open about their reactions to others. They are able to give feedback easily and do it in such a way that the other people don’t become defensive. They also know that it is smart to get in the habit of asking for feedback themselves. If feedback is withheld, it’s as though the person has blinders on. Without feedback, they’re left wondering what the other person is thinking about them.

5. Influencing Others

A high PQ is evidence of someone’s ability to motivate others to action. High PQers are also people others come to for advice. They are able to connect with others, unearth their needs, reduce their resistance to new ideas, and persuade effectively.

6. Resolving Conflict

High PQers are exceptional conflict resolvers. They get the subject right out on the table. They figure out what’s bothering the other person. They are especially adept at negotiating differences and working out creative resolutions to problems.

7. Being a Team Player

High PQers are team players. They work more to advance the group’s goals rather than their own. They also know how to complement the styles of others, coordinate the efforts of team members without bossing them around, and build consensus.

8. Shifting Gears When Relationships Are Stuck

Finally, high PQers are flexible and resilient. While they have an inner core and a predominant style of dealing with people, they also understand that there are different strokes for different folks. They realize that one of the ways to get a stuck relationship to change is to change the way they behave in it. They know how to get out of old patterns and unfreeze situations that have previously been frozen shut.

KEEP IN MIND:All your employees need to be people smart. No matter what someone’s function is, everyone in today’s workforce is in the people business! It used to be said that some people were in the business of working with people and some of us were in the business of working with facts, figures, and machinery. But the people business is no longer the domain of the few. It now includes everyone.

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K.

 

Don”t you think that?

imagesA basic human tendency in our culture is to enumerate our experiences. Because people attempt to abstract those elements that they recognize as repeatable, they often end by describing their experiences in terms of “how much” or “how many.” This tendency to attach numbers to observations of everyday life, however, has some inherent dangers.

The tendency to oversimplify is one danger. Another is to imagine that experience can be accumulated, as if one experience is equal to another. Yet another danger occurs when we enumerate the characteristics and experiences of others. In other words, in describing other people numerically, we summarize their experiences, characteristics, and behaviors in terms of linear scales. A fourth danger is that we forget to look at human beings and look instead at quantities.

Numbers, best thought of as symbols or as abstract concepts, are a very useful device. When we assign a numerical value to some event, behavior, observation, or pattern of tick marks on an answer sheet, we are symbolically representing a human process. Counting may be done mechanically or electronically, but the schema is an extension of the thought process of some person or persons. Numbers can be talked about; manipulated statistically and arithmetically; and seen in an abstract, conceptual way. The primary value of numbers, then, is to extrapolate from and summarize
human experience.

In practice, however, there is a tendency to assign more value to our numbering than to the quality of human interaction needed to solve social problems. The logic of numbers is not the syntax of human experience, even though ample evidence exists that we treat people as though they were numbers. People who feel that they are being subjected to such inhumanity are almost uniformly offended by it. When a person feels that he or she has been treated with less dignity than that accorded to punched cards, that person usually feels helplessness and bitterness.

People are not numbers, but their experiences can, nevertheless, to a degree, be collected, accumulated, and used as a basis for prediction. The important humanistic consideration is that in using numbers we not violate the integrity of the people whose human experience we are abstracting.

Greetings,

K.

Millennial generations needs in the design and delivery of training.

14322523_10154650908715832_4391318693932779514_n:Training the Generation X and Millennial generation

 How the differences between the Baby Boomer generation and the Generation X and Millennial generations impact learning and training. What we can do to make training more interesting and effective for members of the younger generations.

Think of these five needs, or five factors, as antidotes

Boomer Habits                                            Millennial Needs

Use telling, text-oriented methods                 Involve to solve

Take a linear approach                                    Offer options

Use a leisurely, even pace                               Pick up the pace

Apply a trainer-focused style                          Link to the learner

Employ a prudent amount of fun                   Turn up the fun factor

Let’s take a look at each og these five differences and suggest ways of addressing Millennial generations needs in design and delivery of training.

10522562_10152946554170832_5806779337945096730_nInvolve to Solve

Interactivity is of the essence. Younger learners crave interaction—with each other, with the material, with problems and information, with experts and people who really know. They don’t want to be told; they want to find out! This is the one factor that always comes out at the top of the list when members of the younger generation describe their ideal learning situation. Discovery learning, engaged learning, collaborative learning, and other such approaches that have been popular in schools over the last two decades focus young learners on what they want to know and how to find out—often with the help and involvement of others. Discovering answers and obtaining information on their own is something younger learners do daily and have come to expect in a learning situation. Giving them a handout of the Top Ten Customer Complaints may not be nearly as effective as letting them sort through a hundred customer complaint forms and discover the top ten complaints for themselves.

            Baby Boomer culture is basically competitive. There were so many of us as we were growing up that we fell almost naturally into a competitive stance toward most situations. We competed for our parent’s attention with our brothers and sisters. We competed for our teacher’s attention in our crowded classrooms. We competed for scholarships, dorm rooms, and part-time jobs and then moved on to competing for real jobs, promotions, and attention from the boss. Many of us are still competing as to who can look younger than they really are!  The emerging generations are far less competitive in their general approach to things. They had fewer brothers and sisters growing up and were more involved in teamwork and group projects in their school years. That’s not to say there are no competitive individuals among the younger generations or that they love to work in groups, but their general approach to the world is not an immediately competitive one.

            Connected to their less-competitive nature is the younger person’s attitude toward risk and failure. In general, they are less risk-aversive than their Boomer elders. No one wins a video game without taking risks and learning from numerous failures.

            I suggest we design training that involves the learners in solving problems connected to the focus of the training and that we allow them to explore problems and discover ways to solve those problems. This can be done through absorbing, challenging, interactive games and structured activities. Let them risk; let them fail; and let them learn on their own terms as much as possible.

14196003_10205800943656861_8056031839396348260_oOffer Options

The younger generations live much of their lives in a hyper existence, above and beyond their immediate time and place. Connected globally, interacting simultaneously in a variety of media, they multi-task their way through each day—working, learning, communicating, and playing on many channels at the same time. They are accustomed to doing more than one thing at a time. They expect options and choices and free samples. They love to pop in and out as they like.

            While Boomer learning has more or less been dominated by text, the younger generations of learners have taken in as much of their learning from graphics, sound, and physical manipulation as they have from text. Interactivity is mandatory. Learners want to literally, physically interact—with things, with people, with ideas. And they want to choose which and when.

            To progress in a video game, you must coordinate the movements of your hands and thumbs with the changing visual images on the screen and respond to a variety of changing audio cues as well. A learning environment that offers little in the way of graphics and sound and that requires almost no tactile participation stands the chance of boring young people, even if those young people are interested in the subject matter and want to learn. They are not passive learners. Action, interaction, and choice are imperative.

            As a trainer or facilitator of Millennial learners, you may need to go above and beyond what you’ve done before. You may need to rethink and redesign your approach to training to include more action and interaction, more options and choices, a variety of parallel processes, and random access to an assortment of learning alternatives. Let the learners choose the “how” of getting to the endpoint, or at least offer a variety of pathways that may be taken.

Pick Up the Pace
  Think for a moment about your own style. What is the pace or tempo of your training? At what speed do you move through the material? If you have mostly older participants, you may want to make just a few adjustments to the speed of your training. But if you have a majority of trainees under 30, you may definitely want to pick up the pace. Try to make it snappy. And there are a number of ways to do so.

            Try starting your training with a bang. Immediately begin with an involving, challenging activity—and I mean immediately. Introduce yourself and the course later. Get the learners up and doing before they can really settle in. Catch their attention and their imagination in the first 20 minutes of your program.

            Keep your delivery pace quick and lively. Do a lot less “telling” and lot more “showing.” Don’t read anything out loud. Cut back on those overhead transparencies and PowerPoint presentations or end them all together. Tighten up all group activities. Better that participants have less time to do things than more time.

Link15195989_1140922826006123_8790694217671068748_o to the Learner

If you’ve been teaching or training for a number of years, you probably have a good feel for your material and your audiences. You’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. You’ve come up with some especially good examples and illustrations. It can feel so good when you’re on a roll. You’re standing up there explaining something and you see the light bulbs go off. You make a comparison, you give an example, and they laugh, they nod, they get it!

            Then comes the day when you notice that a number of people are not laughing or nodding. They may be sitting politely waiting for you to continue or, good grief, they may be rolling their eyes and grimacing! What’s wrong with these people? Your clever analogy to Sgt. Pepper, or your pun on the famous Beach Boys song, they completely miss the target! Whoosh, over their heads and out the door. And there you stand. But most of all, talk with members of the emerging generations—your kids, your relatives, your neighbors, your students. Talk about generational differences. Ask them what they like and don’t like about Boomers. Get their input when you design training. Better yet, let them design their own training and you can facilitate them through it!

            As much as possible, customize your training programs. Be flexible and adaptable to the learners who are present at any given delivery, from any given generation. Have a variety of illustrations and examples ready so that you can pick and choose those that best fit the audience or use a variety of them for a mixed-generation group.

            Younger learners enjoy utilizing their senses. They want to see it, hear it, and get their hands on it if possible. For many years, proponents of accelerated learning have extolled the benefits of appealing to all of the senses in learning situations.The challenge is to do so in ways that engage all learners without coming across as unprofessional and cheesy.

Turn Up the Fun Factor
The more we can bring some of that level of enjoyment into the corporate classroom, the more we will have the attention and the commitment of not only our younger learners, but most likely, learners of all ages.

Have a great week,

Kirilka

Training the Generation X and Millennial generations

aaeaaqaaaaaaaalwaaaajgu3mzdjntfklwrkotqtndqxzc1inzk0ltbhy2iyywrhzdq3maThere is a growing generational culture gap appearing in today’s workforce, and it is becoming increasingly apparent in the world of education and training. 45 percent of today’s workforce is under the age of 40. And as these young “millennial workers” show up for corporate training programs, who do they find teaching the programs? Trainers from their parents’ generation?

            Now, there are younger trainers out there. But still, the chances are quite high that the majority of corporate training decision makers and senior trainers are from the Baby Boomer generation. And they certainly influence the design and, to a great extent, the delivery style of a major portion of corporate training.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaamiaaaajdzioddhzjy3lwu5mzytndrlnc05nzkylwi4ntawngyxnwrkmqDo Generational Differences Matter?

Your first response to this situation may be something like, “So what?” Is it really such a big deal that there is this generation gap between trainers and trainees? In fact, isn’t that the way it has always been? Those doing the teaching are older, and supposedly wiser, than those receiving the training? The answer of course is “yes, but.” Yes, in general, there has often been an age difference between those teaching and those being taught, especially when we are young. But, as adults, we often find ourselves in learning situations where the age differences lessenss doesn’t make any sense?

assessment-1

As the number of younger learners increases in the workplace classroom, designing and delivering training will have to be changed, updated, and, occasionally, overhauled entirely in order to be effective with the younger generations.

            And I’m not talking about changing generational reference points and outdated examples, although these are important. I’m talking about addressing generational differences in learning styles and overall approaches to learning—perhaps even generational differences in cognitive development. Although I am Millennial generation (born 1982)   our learning came through lectures and texts with an occasional opportunity to do something.  We looked to gurus and subject-matter experts to tell us the answers—or at least to provide insights.
Teaching methods have changed dramatically over the past  years also. If the last time you were in a public school classroom was well before 1980, or even 1990, check things out. The look, style, and approaches to learning have changed. Many young people from the emerging generations grew up with learning approaches that used teamwork and collaboration. They took part in engaged learning projects. They learned to use critical thinking skills. They thrived in classrooms with learning pods and subject corners and individualized options… the Millennial Generation, born between 1981 and 2000, grew up learning to learn …Their learning encounters were reinforced with sound and color and humor.      .

So what’s next?

14322523_10154650908715832_4391318693932779514_nSome trainers and designers of training settled into a very organized, linear approach to training and training design—structured, step-by-step, lecture-dominated, text-oriented, criterion-referenced, and often more focused on the trainer than on the learner. What if all your group is under 30 years ? Are you going to use the same approach? Me personally, I am changing the styles always. And really the core of my design is with who i am going to work 🙂
Here are few tips and taps

         Take the “set up” of a training program, for example. If you’ve been doing training as I have for the past ten years, the first 30 minutes of your program may be carefully devoted to establishing a good training climate—welcoming participants, making introductory remarks, presenting an overview of the class and its purpose and goals, covering housekeeping issues, and, of course, introducing yourself and then having the participants meet one another (preferably in a short, clever activity). All of this is done at an energetic, but evenly paced tempo—accompanied by the appropriate distribution of three-ring binders and a sprinkling of overhead transparencies or colorful slides.

            This approach to setting a good learning climate was established years ago, probably to deal with reluctant participants, many of whom were not happy about attending training. The idea behind the approach may have been to allay participant fears, establish the credentials of the presenter, reassure participants of the value of the course content, and put class members at ease with one another. These are important to do, and the way in which we do them may be very reassuring to older participants; but to many younger participants, it is frustratingly slow and seems quite unnecessary.

            I do not want to suggest that any one way of conducting a program is better than any other, nor am I suggesting that participants will only respond to one type and not another. I am suggesting, however, that trainers of a certain age may want to consider using different types of design and delivery techniques now and then, particularly in programs that contain a large number of younger learners.

Five Key Millennial Generation  Needs

After reading and researching what has been written about the different generations, after conducting a number of focus groups and brainstorming sessions with younger learners, and after numerous fact-finding junkets into Millennial culture, I would like to propose five key Millennial needs that can be easily addressed in the design and delivery of almost any training program to make it more appealing to younger learners. Think of these five needs, or five factors, as antidotes to five unfortunate habits of well-meaning Boomer trainers:

Boomer Habits                                        Millennial Needs

Use telling, text-oriented methods                 Involve to solve

Take a linear approach                                    Offer options

Use a leisurely, even pace                               Pick up the pace

Apply a trainer-focused style                          Link to the learner

Employ a prudent amount of fun                   Turn up the fun factor

proper-preparation-prevents-poor-performanceSo How TO Do It?

Start your training with a bang. Decrease the amount of telling and increase the amount of doing. Make the learning environment pleasant and attractive. Use rewards and incentives. Use fast, action-based games and competitive activities. But most importantly, have lots of interaction and involvement.

            Design and use games that address the five factors presented in this article. Make your games fast-paced. Offer options and choices throughout games and activities. Involve your players in finding solutions and solving problems. Try to use great graphics and include sound and movement. Whenever possible, make use of technology. Include lots of rewards and punishments. And don’t be afraid to make use of fantasy and imagination.

Where to Begin?

Take a quick look at the various classes you are teaching. Which ones have the largest enrollments of younger learners? Choose one or two and begin making a few alterations. Or choose a program that needs a real shot in the arm and design a new “<Millennial-friendly” game or activity to use at the very beginning of the program.

            Find a couple of Millennial colleagues and discuss some of the ideas and suggestions in this article. See what they think. Audit each other’s programs and exchange feedback and ideas. Make some changes. Try out some new approaches. See what happens.

            As one younger learner I know suggested, “Don’t make learning so serious. Make it fun. Make it comfortable. Have lots of food and drinks. And if I have to sit there for a long time, how about a sofa?”

Have a great Monday.

Greetings,

Kirilka

The tiger who wished to be a king

indexOne morning the tiger woke up in the jungle and told his wife that he was King of the beasts.
“Leo the Lion, is King of the beasts”.- she said.
“We need a change”- said the tiger. I will be King od beasts by the time the moon rises. It will be a yellow moon with black stripes, in my honour.”
Öh, yes”, said the tigeress and went to look after her young.
The tiger walked throught the jungle till he came to the lion’s den. “Come out,  he roared, and greet the King of Beasts!”Inside the den the lioness woke her husband. “The King is here to see you”- she said. “What King?”the lion asked sleepily. “The King od Veasts, “the lioness answered.
“I am the King of the Beasts”- roared the lion and ran out to defend the crown.
It was a terrible fight and it lasted untill the setting of the sun. All animals of the jungle joined in, some taking the side of the tiger, the others  the side of the lion. Some animals did not know which they were fighting for, and some fought for nearest, and some fought for the sake of fighting.
“What are you fighting for?”- someone asked one of the animals.
“The old order.”- he said.
“What are you dying for?”someone asked another animal.
“The new order”- he said.

…When the moon rose, all the beasts of the jungle were dead except for the tiger and his days were numbered.

Moral: You can’t very well be king of beasts if there aren’t any!

P.S  This story is alegory

Greetings,

Kirilka

 

ENCOURAGEMENT: GIVING POSITIVE INVITATIONS

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soft skills trainer

Parents, teachers, and managers – “helping persons” frequently ask how to motivate others more effectively. The philosophy and skill of encouragement are a means both of increasing motivation and of combating feelings of inadequacy.

Encouragement communicates trust, respect, and belief. Many psychologists contend that there are only two basic human emotions: love and fear. Encouragement communicates caring and movement toward others—love, whereas discouragement results in lowered self-esteem and alienation from others—fear. Yet, despite the intention to be encouraging, all too often helping persons are, in fact, discouraging in their communications with others. An example is the manager or parent who “lets things go” as long as they are going well and who comments only when things go wrong.

A crucial beginning to being a more encouraging person is to become more aware of and to eliminate discouraging messages. The five telltale signs that a message is discouraging are these:

  1. The “Red-Pencil” Effect, Circling the Mistakes of Others. A frequent consequence of such “constructive criticism” is that the recipient of the message becomes preoccupied with his or her mistakes.
  2. The Vertical Plane of Interaction. The vertical plane is characterized by “oneupmanship.” The horizontal plane, in contrast, is characterized by equality and a mutual respect for all; classification of people as superior or inferior and sexual, racial, and religious prejudice do not exist on this level.
  3. Overperfectionism. The unrealistic notion that people should not make mistakes leads them to become overly critical of themselves and to want to discover that others are worse. If people cannot make peace with themselves, they never will make peace with others.
  4. Clinging to Old Patterns. A primary principle of child psychology is that children are good observers but poor interpreters. When they observe death, many children, being egocentric at the time, conclude that they killed the person. Many such irrational decisions and conclusions are habits that are held over from the past. By means of a systematic lifestyle assessment, a counselor often gently confronts a client by noting, “Now that you are not a child anymore, perhaps you would like to look at some things differently.” Reinforcing a static philosophy (“You’ve always been that way; you’re not going to change”) can actually inhibit change or growth.
  5. Misused Psychological Tests. For people who doubt their own abilities, an “objective, scientific” test can be the ultimate discourager. Such tests often “label” people and the people then act in accordance with the labels. Although all tests obviously are not harmful, it is wise to remember that we build on strengths, not weaknesses. Thus, it is important to focus on people’s assets whenever possible.

The goal is not to cease all discouragement completely; indeed, all helping persons at times need to confront others. The goal is to combine such confrontation with encouragement as a means of maximizing the ability to impact others positively.  The proper use of encouragement involves the following:

  1. Valuing individuals as they are, not as their reputations indicate or as one hopes they will be. Believing in individuals as good and worthwhile will facilitate acting toward them in this manner.
  2. Having faith in the abilities of others. This enables the helper to win confidence while building the self-respect of the other person.
  3. Showing faith in others. This will help them to believe in themselves.
  4. Giving recognition for effort as well as for a job well done.
  5. Using a group to help the person to develop. This makes practical use of the assumption that, for social beings, the need to belong is basic.
  6. Integrating the group so that the individual can discover his or her place and begin working positively from that point.
  7. Planning for success and assisting in the development of skills that are sequentially and psychologically paced.
  8. Identifying and focusing on strengths and assets rather than on mistakes.
  9. Using the interests of the individual in order to motivate learning and instruction.

In addition here are  ten specific “words of encouragement”:

  1. “You do a good job of . . . .” People should be encouraged when they do not expect encouragement, when they are not asking for it. It is possible to point out some useful act or contribution of everyone. Even a comment about something that may seem small and insignificant could have an important positive impact.
  2. “You have improved in.  . . .” Growth and improvement are things we should expect from all. If any progress is noted, there is less chance of discouragement and individuals usually will continue to try.
  3. “We like (enjoy) you, but we don’t like what you do.” People frequently feel disliked after having made mistakes or after misbehaving. A person, especially a child, should never think that he or she is not liked. Rather, it is important to distinguish between the individual and his or her behavior, between the act and the actor.
  4. “You can help me (us, the others) by . . . .” To feel useful and helpful is important to everyone. Most people need only to be given the opportunity.
  5. “Let’s try it together.” People who think that they have to do things perfectly often are afraid to attempt something new for fear of making mistakes or failing.
  6. “So you made a mistake; now what can you learn from it?” There is nothing that can be done about what has happened, but a person always can do something about the future. Mistakes can teach a great deal, especially if people do not feel embarrassed for erring.
  7. “You would like us to think that you can’t do it, but we think that you can.” This approach can be used when people say (or convey the impression) that something is too difficult for them and they hesitate even to try. A person who tries and fails can be complimented for having the courage to try. One’s expectations should be consistent with his or her ability and maturity.
  8. “Keep trying; don’t give up.” When someone is trying but not meeting with much success, a comment like this can be helpful.
  9. “I am sure that you can straighten this out (solve this problem); but if you need any help, you know where you can find me.” Express confidence that others are able to and will resolve their own conflicts, if given a chance.
  10. “I can understand how you feel, but I’m sure that you will be able to handle it.” Sympathizing with the other person seldom helps because it suggests that life has been unfair. Empathizing (understanding the situation) and believing in the person’s ability to adjust to the situation are of much greater help.

Giving positive invitations” is another way to describe the process of encouragement. Such invitations help to increase people’s self-confidence by at least four different methods:

  1. Self-affirmation—a renewed appreciation of one’s personal strengths, motivators, values, and peak experiences;
  2. Self-determination—being able to take responsibility for one’s life without blaming others;
  3. Self-motivation—setting goals and taking the action necessary to reach those goals by integrating one’s emotions and intellect with one’s body; and
  4. Increased empathic regard for others.

Many people’s feelings of inadequacy can be overcome by prolonged exposure to positive affirmation. Of course, the process of encouragement may take longer with some people than with others. One may be tempted to admit defeat and discouragement much too soon. An optimistic rather than a pessimistic attitude and a proactive rather than a reactive affirmation of the basic worth of all people can help anyone to be a more effective “helper.” Encouragement can assist people in rediscovering their values and joys, in identifying their strengths instead of dwelling on their mistakes, in challenging and changing old patterns, and in having the courage to be imperfect!

Best regards,

Kirilka