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.

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.

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

 

My motto is : Grow Yourself—Grow Your Practice!

Imagine that you live in two realities. One is the “reality of ideas.” This is where your wants, desires, goals, dreams, and visions reside. This reality is flowing, fluid, and fun. The second reality is “physical reality.” This is where your dreams manifest. It is the dense, hard, in-your-face reality where you have what you want—the full schedule of excellent clients with their money deposits in the bank. Hooray!

         However, there is a line of demarcation between these two realities. Maria Nemeth (1999), in The Energy of Money, calls this barrier between ideas, desires, and physical manifestation “trouble at the border.” This is where all those juicy dreams dry up in the desert of life.

Let’s explore this line of demarcation – kind of midn catter;)
It is here that many people turn aside from truly “going for” what they want. It is here that our “mind chatter” gets in the way. It says things such as, “Who do you think you are?” “Do you really want this?” “It’s too uncomfortable,” “You’ll never make it,” “It’s not worth the struggle,” “This is too hard,” “Why bother, you’re OK already,” “This is scary!” “Sales is demeaning,” “I’m too good to have to sell,” “If only someone would bring me clients, I’d be a great coach,” “Maybe I can find someone else to do this for me.”

            This “mind chatter” is really a manifestation of your ego or your survival mind. The purpose of the mind is to keep you safe. It likes status quo and stability. It knows that, whatever you have done in the past, you have at least survived. It does not know whether you will survive with new patterns and new goals. New dreams do not have a track record. So it does everything in its clever and conniving way to keep you safe, keep you the same, and keep you from changing. Truly, that is the mind’s job. It is only doing its duty! This is why so many people have great ideas until they get to the “border.” They feel its resistance and turn back. They do not make it through.  In your mind, picture border guards lined up with guns, ready to blast away as you peek timidly over the top of the wall. The mind uses all the guns it can fire to keep you sidetracked. It calls on all the negative, limiting beliefs you have to keep you stuck—to maintain stasis. That is why it is so convincing. So thank your mind for doing its job, for helping you to survive until now, and move forward.

Is there Potential for Growth?
Are you willing to “reframe”  from being an obstacle to being a powerful and potent vehicle for your growth? Just know that, as you grow through your barriers, you will become “attractive”. You will become  increased confidence and experience, and you will have greater credibility from demonstrating your courage.

            Our limiting beliefs are like bricks that are used to build the wall of our “borders,” and they get in the way of building our coaching businesses. So let’s begin to identify some of those bricks that make up that wall. Imagine moving those bricks one-byone over to the solid foundation that will build your life.

   Focusing on positive aspects allows you to align your efforts.

 How could you rewrite the limiting beliefs you have so that you can begin to choose their opposite? Moving those bricks that form the wall at “trouble at the border” will create and leave a space through which you can begin to move into “physical reality” and manifest the busy that you desire. Imagine that brick wall “border” with a hole in it through which your energy can flow to create the reality that pleases you.

          Perhaps some of your experiences demonstrate pushing through the “border” successfully.

            One final hint: Express gratitude for what you already have. This begins to loosen the mortar between the bricks in your wall at the “border.” And be grateful for this opportunity to explore one more area to grow as an individual, as you grow your business!

Have a great day,

Kiki

How you will measure your life?

Exploring questions everyone needs to ask: How can I be happy in my career? How can I be sure that my relationship with my family is an enduring source of happiness? And how can I live my life with integrity?

What if I tell you just listen Seasons of love  from Rent).
Five hundrend twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundrend twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundrend twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year

In daylight, in sunsets, in midnights,
in cups of coffee, In inches, in miles
in laughter in strife,

In Five hundrend twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life

(chorus)
How about Love
how about love
how about love
measure in love
seasons of love
seasons of love

Five hundrend twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundrend twenty five thousand journeys to plan
Five hundrend twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
how do you measure the life of a woman or a man

In truth that she learned
or in times that he cried
In the bridges he burned
or the way that she died

Its time now to sing out
though the story never ends
lets celebrate remember a year
in the life of friends

(chorus) 
Remember the Love
remember the love
remember the love
measure in love
seasons of love
seasons of love

Why most people tend to forget what they hear?

Over 2400 years ago, Confucius declared:

What I hear, I forget.

What I see, I remember.

What I do, I understand.

These three simple statements speak volumes about the need for active learning.

I have modified and expanded the wisdom of Confucius into what I call the “Active-Learning Credo.”

What I hear, I forget.

What I hear and see, I remember a little.

What I hear, see, and ask questions about or discuss with someone else, I begin to understand.

What I hear, see, discuss, and do, I acquire knowledge and skill.

What I teach to another, I master.

            Several reasons exist for why most people tend to forget what they hear. One of the most interesting has to do with the rate at which an instructor speaks and the rate at which participants listen. Most instructors speak about 100 to 200 words per minute. How many of those words do participants hear? It depends on how they are listening. If the participants are really concentrating, they might be able to listen attentively to about 50 to 100 words per minute or half of what an instructor is saying. That is because participants are thinking a lot while they are listening, so it is hard to keep up with a talkative instructor. A more likely explanation is that participants are not concentrating because, even if the material is interesting, it is hard to concentrate for a sustained period of time. Studies show that students can hear (without thinking) at the rate of 400 to 500 words per minute. When listening for a sustained period of time to an instructor who is talking at only one fourth their capacity to hear, participants are likely to become bored and let their minds wander.

In fact, one study demonstrates that students in lecture-based college classrooms are not attentive about 40 percent of the time. Moreover, while students retain 70 percent of the first ten minutes of a lecture, they only retain 20 percent of the last ten minutes . No wonder, students in a lecture-based introductory psychology course knew only 8 percent more than a control group that had never taken the course at al.
What will happend if  teacher/instructor/trainer add visuals to a session?Actually learning process increases retention from 14 to 38 percent ?. Studies have also shown an improvement of up to 200 percent when vocabulary is taught using visual aids! Moreover, the time required to present a concept is reduced up to 40 percent when visuals are used to augment a verbal presentation. A picture may not be worth a thousand words, but it is three times more effective than words alone.

images

When teaching has both an audio and a visual dimension, the message is reinforced by two systems of delivery. By using both, there is a greater chance of meeting the needs of several types of learners. However, merely hearing something and seeing it is not enough to learn it.

When we are tolking about learning and teaching we should keep in mind that learning is an active experience of hearing, seeing, asking questions, discussing, doing, and teaching others.