Essential Knowledge for Personal Coaches Dean Amory
Title: Essential Knowledge for Personal Coaches Compiled by: Dean Amory Dean_Amory@hotmail.com Publisher: Edgard Adriaens, Belgium firstname.lastname@example.org ISBN: 978-1-4716-6926-2 ÂŠ Copyright 2011, Edgard Adriaens, Belgium, - All Rights Reserved.
This book has been compiled based on the contents of trainings, information found in other books and using the internet. It contains a number of articles and coaching models indicated by TM or ÂŠ or containing a reference to the original author. Whenever you cite such an article or use a coaching model in a commercial situation, please credit the source or check with the IP -owner. If you are aware of a copyright ownership that I have not identified or credited, please contact me at: email@example.com
The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own. â€“ Benjamin Disrael
Cover picture: 70-ies commercial ad
TABLE OF CONTENTS 4/ INTRODUCTION.......ERROR: REFERENCE SOURCE NOT FOUND 4.1 PROBLEM SOLVING....................................................24 .................................................................................................26 THERE ARE SEVERAL STAGES TO SOLVING A PROBLEM:............26 QUESTIONS AND OBSERVERATIONS FOR PROBLEM SOLVING AND
1. DEFINITION OF THE PROBLEM................................................30 2. LOOK AT POTENTIAL CAUSES FOR THE PROBLEM..................31 3. IDENTIFY ALTERNATIVES FOR APPROACHES TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM....................................................................................32
4. SELECT AN APPROACH TO RESOLVE THE PROBLEM...............32 5. PLAN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BEST ALTERNATIVE (THIS IS YOUR ACTION PLAN)..............................................................32
6. MONITOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN............................33 7. VERIFY IF THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN RESOLVED OR NOT........33 RATIONAL VERSUS ORGANIC APPROACH TO PROBLEM SOLVING....................................................................................34 RATIONAL..................................................................................34 ORGANIC....................................................................................34 SOURCE:....................................................................................35 4.2 DEALING WITH OBSTACLES AND RESISTANCE 47
THE ART OF OBSTACLE REMOVAL............................. 49 ELIMINATE WASTE........................................................... 52 KURT LEWIN - CHANGE MANAGEMENT MODEL...70 UNFREEZE, CHANGE, FREEZE.................................................70 STAGE 1: UNFREEZING...............................................................70 STAGE 2: CHANGE - OR TRANSITION.........................................71 STAGE 3: FREEZING (OR REFREEZING)......................................72 FORCE FIELD ANALYSIS - KURT LEWIN.....................74 THE CONCEPT.............................................................................74 MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU, OR AGAINST YOU....................75 USING THE FORCE FIELD ANALYSIS..........................................77 4.3 EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING......................................80 FIVE EASY STEPS TO SMART
GOAL SETTING .........................81
USING MOTIVATION THEORIES TO HELP INFLUENCE BEHAVIOR.................................................... 95 MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS THEORY..........................95 ALFRED ALDERFER’S ERG THEORY......................................96
VICTOR VROOM’S EXPECTANCY THEORY.............................97 EQUITY THEORY.......................................................................98 REINFORCEMENT THEORY......................................................98 HERZBERG’S MOTIVATOR-HYGIENE THEORY.......................99 AS YOU READ IN THE PART ON CHALLENGING THE COACHEE, IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE COACHEE KNOWS HE IS IN TROUBLE AND HAS COME TO SEE YOU ABOUT IT, HE ISN'T ALWAYS MOTIVATED TO REALLY WORK ON HIS PROBLEMS.
CAN ALSO GET DISCOURAGED IN THE COURSE OF THE SESSIONS.
IT IS UP TO YOU THEN TO MOTIVATE HIM AGAIN BY ENCOURAGING HIM TO LOOK AT IT FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES.
.................................................................................................100 HERE ARE SOME MOTIVATING SENTENCES THAT YOU COULD USE:
SOURCE:..................................................................................101 SOURCE: THE ART OF COUNSELLING / DE KUNST VAN HET COUNSELEN.............................................................................101 © COPYRIGHT OWNER: ACADEMY FOR COUNSELLING AND COACHING - THE NETHERLANDS - PAUL VAN SCHAIK.......101 4.5 SURFING THE FLOW SPIRAL..................................102 COMPONENTS OF FLOW.........................................................102 ETYMOLOGY...........................................................................103 HISTORY/BACKGROUND.........................................................103 MECHANISM OF FLOW............................................................105
CONDITIONS FOR FLOW.........................................................106 THE AUTOTELIC PERSONALITY.................................................107 GROUP FLOW..........................................................................107 APPLICATIONS........................................................................108 APPLICATIONS SUGGESTED BY CSÍKSZENTMIHÁLYI VERSUS OTHER PRACTITIONERS.............................................................108
EDUCATION..............................................................................108 MUSIC......................................................................................109 SPORTS.....................................................................................110 RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY...................................................111 USING THE WEB.......................................................................112 PROFESSIONS AND WORK.......................................................118 FLOW IN THE WORKPLACE......................................................118 BENEFITS OF FLOW.................................................................121 4.6 INCREASING SELF ESTEEM....................................122 TIME TO DETOX.....................................................................123 REIGN OVER THE BRAIN........................................................124 ONE FLESH, ONE BONE . . . ONE VISION.............................125 RELAXATION AND SCRIPTS FOR SELF-HELP, PERSONAL CHANGE AND FULFILMENT.....................................................................134
I AM...................................................................................... 134 RELAXATION EXERCISE ...........................................................135
I AM ........................................................................................136 USING AND CHANGING SCRIPTS - WHAT THE 'I AM' WORDS MEAN.......................................................................................137
MAKING TAPES OR SCRIPT RECORDINGS..................................138 BE ASSURED............................................................................138 .................................................................................................139 IF - BY RUDYARD KIPLING (1865 – 1936)..........................140 4.7 RESOLVING CONFLICT............................................141 THE FIVE A'S TECHNIQUE ............................................150 ASSESSMENT. ......................................................................150 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. .....................................................150 ATTITUDE. ...........................................................................150 ACTION. ................................................................................151 ANALYSIS. ...........................................................................151 QUANTUM SKILLS ............................................................152 SOURCE:..................................................................................154 4.8 RECOGNIZING DYSFUNCTIONAL PERSONALITY TYPES....................................................................................155 HOW TO DEAL WITH A NEUROTIC PERSON............158 HOW TO DEAL WITH A NEUROTIC PERSON.........................159 4.9 DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE....................160 STEPS.......................................................................................160
WHY BOTHER CONTROLLING OUR RESPONSES?................166 1. HURTING OURSELVES..........................................................166 2. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT’S ABOUT THEM..........................166 3. BATTLE OF THE EGO............................................................166 4. ANGER FEEDS ANGER. NEGATIVITY FEEDS NEGATIVITY. . 166 5. WASTE OF ENERGY..............................................................167 6. NEGATIVITY SPREADS.........................................................167 7. FREEDOM OF SPEECH...........................................................167 15 TIPS FOR DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE.................168 1. FORGIVE...............................................................................168 2. WAIT IT OUT........................................................................168 3. “DOES IT REALLY MATTER IF I AM RIGHT?“........................169 4. DON’T RESPOND..................................................................169 5. STOP TALKING ABOUT IT....................................................169 6. BE IN THEIR SHOES.............................................................169 7. LOOK FOR THE LESSONS......................................................170 8. CHOOSE TO ELIMINATE NEGATIVE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE. 170 9. BECOME THE OBSERVER......................................................170 11. WORST CASE SCENARIO....................................................171 12. AVOID HEATED DISCUSSIONS............................................171 13. MOST IMPORTANT..............................................................171 14. POUR HONEY.....................................................................171 15. EXPRESS IT.........................................................................171 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:..............................................................172
TIPS:.........................................................................................175 .................................................................................................176 DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE......................................177 THERE ARE ALMOST AS MANY DEFINITIONS AS THERE DO THEORISTS IN THE AREA. FOR PEOPLE WORKING WITHIN AN ADUCATIONAL SETTING, WISHING TO UTILISE LEARNING STYLE TO PROMOTE MORE EFFECTIVE LEARNING, OR IDENTIFYING LEARNER PREFERENCES, OPERATIONALISING LEARNING STYLE IS A NECESSARY BUT HIGHLY PROBLEMATIC ENDEAVOUR. THE FAILURE TO IDENTIFY AND AGREE UPON STYLE CHARACTRISTICS IS A MAJOR CONCERN IN THE FIELD, AS ARE THE WEAKNESSES IN RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY AND THE CONFUSION SURROUNDING THE DEFINITIONS AND TERMINOLOGY. (SIMON CASSIDY, UNIVERSITY OF SALFORD, UK) .................................................................. 182 4.10.1 KOLB'S LEARNING STYLES................................182 PREFERENCE DIMENSIONS / PERCEPTION DIMENSION.........183 PROCESSING DIMENSION..........................................................183
FOUR LEARNING STYLES........................................................183 1. DIVERGERS (CONCRETE EXPERIENCER/REFLECTIVE OBSERVER)...............................................................................184
2. CONVERGERS (ABSTRACT CONCEPTUALIZATION/ACTIVE EXPERIMENTER).......................................................................184
3. ACCOMODATORS (CONCRETE EXPERIENCER/ACTIVE EXPERIMENTER).......................................................................184
4. ASSIMILATORS (ABSTRACT CONCEPTUALIZER/REFLECTIVE OBSERVER)...............................................................................185
SO WHAT?........................................................................... 185 SEE ALSO.................................................................................185 KOLB EXPERIENTAL LEARNING STYLES..............................191 KOLB LEARNING STYLES DEFINITIONS................................195 ASSIMILATING (WATCHING AND THINKING - AC/RO) ............196 CONVERGING (DOING AND THINKING - AC/AE) ....................196 ACCOMMODATING (DOING AND FEELING - CE/AE) ...............197 HONEY AND MUMFORD'S TYPOLOGY OF LEARNERS ..............197 4.11 CHANGE MANAGEMENT........................................200 THE TRANSITION CURVE.......................................................200 CHECKLIST FOR MANAGING ENDINGS.....................................202 CHECKLIST FOR MANAGING THE NEUTRAL ZONE..................204
CHECKLIST FOR MANAGING NEW BEGINNINGS .................................................................................................207 EMOTIONAL RESPONSES........................................................209 THE CHANGE CURVE, OR TRANSITION CURVE, HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND THE EMOTIONS THAT PEOPLE MAY GO THROUGH WHEN CHANGING..................................................211
.................................................................................................216 KILLING ATTITUDE KILLER ATTITUDE..................216 FEAR
REJECT OTHERS VALUE OTHERS........................................216 FEEL VICTIMIZED ADMIRE OTHERS....................................216 FEEL DEPENDENT COMPLIMENT OTHERS...........................216 EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTRIBUTION OF OTHERS .................................................................................................216 SURVIVE DISASTERS...........................................................216 BE COMMITTED...................................................................216 OVERCOMING INTERNAL RESISTANCE TO CHANGE: ............................................................................ 217 IN MANY WAYS, THE HALLMARK OF A GREAT LEADER IS HOW WELL HE OR SHE MANAGES CHANGE.............................................................................. 217
ROBERT A. SEVIER ..........................................................217
BREAK THROUGH INNER RESISTANCE TO YOUR SUCCESS.............................................................................. 222 THE HABIT CHANGE CHEATSHEET: ....................................225 29 WAYS TO SUCCESSFULLY INGRAIN A BEHAVIOR............225 THE EXTENDED GRIEF CYCLE..............................................232 STICKING AND CYCLING.........................................................234 GETTING STUCK.......................................................................234 GOING IN CYCLES.....................................................................234 RECOGNIZING GRIEF OVER THE LOSS OF INCOME ............................................................................................... 237 STAGE 1 - SHOCK AND DENIAL.............................................237 FIGURE 2. STAGES OF THE GRIEF CYCLE................................238 STAGE 2 - ANGER...................................................................239 STAGE 3 - DEPRESSION AND DETACHMENT..........................239 STAGE 4 - DIALOGUE AND BARGAINING...............................240 STAGE 5 - ACCEPTANCE.........................................................240 GETTING BACK TO "NORMAL".............................................240 4.13 KNOWING AND NOT KNOWING..........................241
KNOWING YOU DON'T KNOW...................................................246 KNOWING AND NOT KNOWING THAT YOU KNOW....................247 THE PROBLEMATIC EXPERT......................................................248 THE BOTTOM LINE...................................................................249 CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE LEARNING MODEL.....251 STAGES OF LEARNING
- UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE TO
- AND OTHER THEORIES AND
MODELS FOR LEARNING AND CHANGE.....................................251
HERE FIRST IS THE 'CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE' LEARNING MODEL AND MATRIX, AND BELOW OTHER OTHER THEORIES AND MODELS FOR LEARNING AND CHANGE.....................................251
SUGGESTED FIFTH STAGE OF CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE MODEL.....................................................................................256
ORIGINS AND OF CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE MODEL............270 HE WHO KNOWS NOT...............................................................279 PROCHASKA AND DI CLEMENTE'S STAGES OF CHANGE MODEL.....................................................................................280
SOLUTION-FOCUSED BRIEF THERAPY (SFT, OR BRIEF THERAPY, OR SOLUTION FOCUSED COACHING)....................282
STEPPPA (ALSO STEPPA)...................................................282 EGAN'S THREE-STAGE CHANGE MODEL................................283
ERIK ERIKSON'S EIGHT STAGES OF HUMAN (PSYCHOSOCIAL) DEVELOPMENT........................................................................283
ELISABETH KÜBLER-ROSS'S STAGES OF GRIEF.....................284 CHANGE EQUATION................................................................285 JOHN FISHER'S PROCESS OF PERSONAL CHANGE.................285 SEE ALSO..................................................................................286 PROCESS OF PERSONAL CHANGE.............................. 286 JOHN FISHER'S TRANSITION CURVE - THE STAGES OF PERSONAL TRANSITION
- AND INTRODUCTION TO PERSONAL CONSTRUCT
ANXIETY..................................................................................287 HAPPINESS...............................................................................287 FEAR........................................................................................288 THREAT ...................................................................................288 GUILT ......................................................................................288 DEPRESSION ............................................................................288 DISILLUSIONMENT ...................................................................289 HOSTILITY ...............................................................................289 DENIAL.....................................................................................289 JOHN FISHER'S PERSONAL CHANGE MODEL - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.................................................................................291
CONSTRUCTS IN USE ...............................................................299
TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES ........................................................301 PERSONAL CONSTRUCT PSYCHOLOGY THEORY REFERENCES .................................................................................................303 BRAINSTORMING............................................................. 308 THE BRAINSTORMING PROCESS............................................309 PLAN AND AGREE THE BRAINSTORMING AIM.......................310 MANAGE THE ACTUAL BRAINSTORMING ACTIVITY.............310 IMPLEMENT THE ACTIONS AGREED FROM THE BRAINSTORMING.....................................................................311
FOR CREATIVITY, PLANNING, PRESENTATIONS, DECISIONMAKING, AND ORGANIZING YOUR IDEAS.................................311
KALEIDOSCOPE BRAINSTORMING PROCESS.........315 ADVANCED BRAINSTORMING TECHNIQUE FOR PROBLEMSOLVING, TEAM-BUILDING AND CREATIVE PROCESS................315
KALEIDOSCOPE BRAINSTORMING TECHNIQUE.....................316 THE KALEIDOSCOPE BRAINSTORMING PROCESS..................317 1 - INITIAL IDEAS GENERATION BRAINSTORMING SESSION .317 2 - SILENT BRAINSTORMING SESSION ...................................317 3 - PRESENTATION OF BRAINSTORMING IDEAS SESSION .....318 4 - DISCUSSION OF BRAINSTORMING IDEAS SESSION ...........318
5 - FURTHER SILENT AND SPEAKING SESSIONS - THE KALEIDOSCOPE EFFECT..........................................................319
SOURCE: HTTP://WWW.1000ADVICES.COM/GURU/INNOVATIO N_BRAINSTORMING_10RULES_VK.HTML................322 SOME USEFUL LINES WITH CONNECTION TO BRAINSTORMING IN A COACHING PROCEDURE:..323 LET’S LIST ALL POSSIBLE OPTIONS, THEN LOOK AT THE BEST THREE AND FIND OUT WHAT WE CAN DO WITH THEM....................................................................... 323 USE THE BRAINSTORM TECHNIQUE CALLED 'WISHFUL THINKING' TO LET COACHEES THINK OF THE BEST AND EASIEST WAYS TO REACH THEIR GOAL.................................................................................... 323 THE KEY STEPS IN DECISION MAKING ARE:..........................332 1. CLARIFY THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM BEFORE DECIDING ACTION.....................................................................................332
2. COLLECT AND SUMMARISE THE DATA SYSTEMATICALLY.. .332
3. USE CREATIVITY/INITIATIVE IN THE GENERATION OF ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS TO THE PROBLEM............................332
4. PRODUCE A SHORT LIST OF THE BEST OPTIONS. ...............333 5. MAKE YOUR DECISION.........................................................333 6. IMPLEMENT YOUR DECISION ..............................................335 7. EVALUATE HOW WELL THINGS WENT..................................335 WHY USE TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS? ...............................337 WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED FOR EFFECTIVE TIME MANAGEMENT?
SETTING GOALS .....................................................................339 PRIORITISING .........................................................................339 AVOIDING PROCRASTINATION ..............................................339 BREAKING DOWN TASKS........................................................340 PERSEVERING .........................................................................340 ORGANISING YOUR TIME .......................................................341 SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF KENT (HTTP://WWW.KENT.AC.UK).........................................342 FIVE ESSENTIAL TIME MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES...........................................................................370 TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AND REDUCE STRESS...............370 FROM WIKIPEDIA, THE FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA..........................373 CONTENTS...............................................................................374
MISSION, VISION AND VALUES...............................................374 MISSION STATEMENTS AND VISION STATEMENTS................375 FOR MORE GREAT BOOKS ABOUT COACHING, COMMUNICATION, INFLUENCING, CONVINCING, MIND READING, NONVIOLENT COMMUNICATION, THE POWER OF WORDS, …............................................383 VISIT......................................................................................383 HTTP://WWW.LULU.COM/SPOTLIGHT/JAIMELAVIE...............383
.................................................................................................383 4.42 HOW TO INFLUENCE PEOPLE.ERROR: REFERENCE SOURCE NOT FOUND
4.43 THE MINTO PYRAMID PRINCIPLE..............ERROR: REFERENCE SOURCE NOT FOUND 5 EXAMPLES OF COACHING DOCUMENTS......ERROR: REFERENCE SOURCE NOT FOUND 5.1 EXAMPLE OF GENERAL INFORMATON FORM ..................................ERROR: REFERENCE SOURCE NOT FOUND 5.2 EXAMPLE OF COACHING AGREEMENT. . .ERROR: REFERENCE SOURCE NOT FOUND 5.3 EXAMPLE OF COACHING COMMITMENTSERROR: REFERENCE SOURCE NOT FOUND 5.4 EXAMPLE OF ASSESSMENT FORM..............ERROR: REFERENCE SOURCE NOT FOUND
INTRODUCTION This is the third part in a series of three books about Personal coaching. Part 1, “Personal Coaching” is about what Personal Coaching is and offers a surview of the most popular models for Personal Coaching (or “Life Coaching”) and Self Coaching. Part 2, “Techniques for Personal Coaching and Self Coaching” introduces you to the most powerful coaching techniques in use and describes the most successful questions and strategies for coaching. Part 3, “Essential Knowledge for Personal Coaches”, is a practical standard reference work highlighting the knowledge and skills that are indispensable for anybody who is considering life coaching as a career or as a serious self coaching process, Dean Amory's Complete Life Coaching and Personal Coaching Course is your best guide for coaching your coachees and yourself towards maximizing your life potential and achieving a happier and more fulfilled life. Personal Coaching is an invaluable training manual for anybody who takes life coaching seriously.
4/ Useful Skills 4.1 PROBLEM SOLVING The ability to respond effectively to problems is associated with improved treatment outcome. Supporting development of problem solving skills can be clinically useful and is best achieved through: - a combination of verbal and written information - demonstration (when possible) - learning through practice and feedback Developing problem solving skills can consist of identifying occasions when the coachee has solved other problems and noting the steps they took. Effective problem solving can be learned. It consists of five steps: 1. Orientation Stand back from the problem; view it as a challenge, not a catastrophe. How might someone else solve this? 2. Define the problem it is important to be specific Coachee: ‘My wife and I do not get on’ Clinician: ‘Give me an example of what you mean’ Coachee: ‘She doesn’t like me being out on Friday nights’ 3. Brainstorm solutions At this stage, anything goes. Identify as many solutions as possible — discourage evaluation and a search for quality.
4. Decision making The coachee (with your help, but not direction) reviews the positives and negatives of each of the options, and their ability to implement them, and makes an informed choice of the best option(s) to embrace. 5. Implementation A plan of action is developed and the option is implemented. Sometimes it is useful to rehearse the option (where possible) to test out the viability of the strategy and to increase self-efficacy (confidence). It is not the coach’s responsibility to solve the coachee’s problems, but to teach a skill that he or she can use in a variety of circumstances. IDEAL METHODE OF PROBLEM SOLVING
Whatever issue you are faced with, some steps are fundamental: • • • • •
Identify the problem Define the problem Examine the options Act on a plan Look at the consequences
There are several stages to solving a problem: 1) Evaluating the problem • Clarifying the nature of a problem • Formulating questions • Gathering information systematically • Collating and organising data • Condensing and summarising information • Defining the desired objective
2) Managing the problem • Using the information gathered effectively • Breaking down a problem into smaller, more manageable, parts • Using techniques such as brainstorming and lateral thinking to consider options • Analysing these options in greater depth • Identifying steps that can be taken to achieve the objective 3) Decision-making • deciding between the possible options for what action to take • deciding on further information to be gathered before taking action • deciding on resources (time, funding, staff etc) to be allocated to this problem 4) Resolving the problem • Implementing action • Providing information to other stakeholders; delegating tasks • Reviewing progress
5) Examining the results Monitoring the outcome of the action taken Reviewing the problem and problem-solving process to avoid similar situations in future
At any stage of this process, it may be necessary to return to an earlier stage – for example, if further problems arise or if a solution does not appear to be working as desired.
Source: university of Kent
B. Robert Holland set out a typical problem solving process in his manual â€œSequential analysisâ€? with the following steps:
Analytical problem solving
Scientific problem solving
What is the problem? What question do you want your analysis to answer? Where does the problem lie? How can be picture the current situation?
Visualise the difference between the results you get and the results you want. Visualise the structure elements of the present situation causing the result. Analyse each element whether it is the cause.
Define the discrepancy between the results you get and what you expect. State the traditional assumptions of the theory that give rise to the discrepancy.
Why does the problem exist? How can we isolate the problem? What can we do about it? What options do we have? What should we do about it? What recommendation can we give?
Formulate the logical alternative changes. Create a new structure incorporating the changes.
Create hypothesis that give alternative structures to eliminate the discrepancy. Devise experiments that will exclude false hypothesis. Reformulate the theory on the basis of the experimental results.
Questions and observerations for Problem Solving and Decision Making 1. Definition of the problem 1. What can you see that causes you to think there's a problem? 2. Where is it happening? 3. How is it happening? 4. When is it happening? 5. With whom is it happening? (HINT: Don't jump to "Who is causing the problem?" When we're stressed, blaming is often one of our first reactions. To be an effective manager, you need to address issues more than people.) 6. Why is it happening? 7. Write down a five-sentence description of the problem in terms of "The following should be happening, but isn't ..." or "The following is happening and should be: ..." As much as possible, be specific in your description, including what is happening, where, how, with whom and why. (It may be helpful at this point to use a variety of research methods. Defining complex problems: If the problem still seems overwhelming, break it down by repeating steps 1-7 until you have descriptions of several related problems. Verifying your understanding of the problems: It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else. Prioritize the problems: If you discover that you are looking at several related problems, then prioritize which ones you should address first.
Note the difference between "important" and "urgent" problems. Often, what we consider to be important problems to consider are really just urgent problems. Important problems deserve more attention. For example, if you're continually answering "urgent" phone calls, then you've probably got a more "important" problem and that's to design a system that screens and prioritizes your phone calls. Understand your role in the problem: Your role in the problem can greatly influence how you perceive the role of others. For example, if you're very stressed out, it'll probably look like others are, too, or, you may resort too quickly to blaming and reprimanding others. Or, you are feel very guilty about your role in the problem, you may ignore the accountabilities of others. 2. Look at potential causes for the problem • It's amazing how much you don't know about what you don't know. Therefore, in this phase, it's critical to get input from other people who notice the problem and who are effected by it. • It's often useful to collect input from other individuals one at a time (at least at first). Otherwise, people tend to be inhibited about offering their impressions of the real causes of problems. • Write down what your opinions and what you've heard from others. • Regarding what you think might be performance problems associated with an employee, it's often useful to seek advice from a peer or your supervisor in order to verify your impression of the problem. • Write down a description of the cause of the problem and in terms of what is happening, where, when, how, with whom and why.
3. Identify alternatives for approaches to resolve the problem At this point, it's useful to keep others involved (unless you're facing a personal and/or employee performance problem). Brainstorm for solutions to the problem. Very simply put, brainstorming is collecting as many ideas as possible, then screening them to find the best idea. It's critical when collecting the ideas to not pass any judgment on the ideas -- just write them down as you hear them. (A wonderful set of skills used to identify the underlying cause of issues is Systems Thinking.) 4. Select an approach to resolve the problem • When selecting the best approach, consider: • Which approach is the most likely to solve the problem for the long term? • Which approach is the most realistic to accomplish for now? Do you have the resources? Are they affordable? Do you have enough time to implement the approach? • What is the extent of risk associated with each alternative? (The nature of this step, in particular, in the problem solving process is why problem solving and decision making are highly integrated.) 5. Plan the implementation of the best alternative (this is your action plan) 1. Carefully consider "What will the situation look like when the problem is solved?" 2. What steps should be taken to implement the best alternative to solving the problem? What systems or processes should be changed in your organization, for example, a new policy or procedure? Don't resort to solutions where someone is "just going to try harder".
3. How will you know if the steps are being followed or not? (these are your indicators of the success of your plan) 4. What resources will you need in terms of people, money and facilities? 5. How much time will you need to implement the solution? Write a schedule that includes the start and stop times, and when you expect to see certain indicators of success. 6. Who will primarily be responsible for ensuring implementation of the plan? 7. Write down the answers to the above questions and consider this as your action plan. 8. Communicate the plan to those who will involved in implementing it and, at least, to your immediate supervisor. (An important aspect of this step in the problem-solving process is continually observation and feedback.) 6. Monitor implementation of the plan Monitor the indicators of success: 1. Are you seeing what you would expect from the indicators? 2. Will the plan be done according to schedule? 3. If the plan is not being followed as expected, then consider: Was the plan realistic? Are there sufficient resources to accomplish the plan on schedule? Should more priority be placed on various aspects of the plan? Should the plan be changed? 7. Verify if the problem has been resolved or not One of the best ways to verify if a problem has been solved or not is to resume normal operations in the organization. Still, you should consider: 1. What changes should be made to avoid this type of problem in the future? Consider changes to policies and procedures, training, etc.
2. Lastly, consider "What did you learn from this problem solving?" Consider new knowledge, understanding and/or skills. 3. Consider writing a brief memo that highlights the success of the problem solving effort, and what you learned as a result. Share it with your supervisor, peers and subordinates. Rational Versus Organic Approach to Problem Solving Rational A person with this preference often prefers using a comprehensive and logical approach similar to the guidelines in the above section. For example, the rational approach, described below, is often used when addressing large, complex matters in strategic planning. 1. Define the problem. 2. Examine all potential causes for the problem. 3. Identify all alternatives to resolve the problem. 4. Carefully select an alternative. 5. Develop an orderly implementation plan to implement that best alternative. 6. Carefully monitor implementation of the plan. 7. Verify if the problem has been resolved or not. A major advantage of this approach is that it gives a strong sense of order in an otherwise chaotic situation and provides a common frame of reference from which people can communicate in the situation. A major disadvantage of this approach is that it can take a long time to finish. Some people might argue, too, that the world is much too chaotic for the rational approach to be useful. Organic Some people assert that the dynamics of organizations and people are not nearly so mechanistic as to be improved by solving one problem after another. Often, the quality of an organization or life comes from how one handles being â€œon the roadâ€? itself, rather than
the “arriving at the destination.” The quality comes from the ongoing process of trying, rather than from having fixed a lot of problems. For many people it is an approach to organizational consulting. The following quote is often used when explaining the organic (or holistic) approach to problem solving. “All the greatest and most important problems in life are fundamentally insoluble … They can never be solved, but only outgrown. This “outgrowing” proves on further investigation to require a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest appeared on the horizon and through this broadening of outlook, the insoluble lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded when confronted with a new and stronger life urge.” From Jung, Carl, Psychological Types (Pantheon Books, 1923) A major advantage of the organic approach is that it is highly adaptable to understanding the chaotic changes that occur in projects and everyday life. It also suits the nature of people who shun linear and mechanistic approaches to projects. The major disadvantage is that the approach often provides no clear frame of reference around which people can communicate, feel comfortable and measure progress toward solutions to problems. Source: http://managementhelp.org/personalproductivity/problemsolving.htm
Problem Solving: Definition, terminology, and patterns by Hidetoshi Shibata Copy rights © H. Shibata all reserved, 1997, 1998
Problem Solving Terminology
Problem Solving is very important but problem solvers often misunderstand it. This report proposes the definition of problems, terminology for Problem Solving and useful Problem Solving patterns.
We should define what is the problem as the first step of Problem Solving. Yet problem solvers often forget this first step. Further, we should recognize common terminology such as Purpose, Situation, Problem, Cause, Solvable Cause, Issue, and Solution. Even Consultants, who should be professional problem solvers, are often confused with the terminology of Problem Solving. For example, some consultants may think of issues as problems, or some of them think of problems as causes. But issues must be the proposal to solve problems and problems should be negative expressions while issues should be a positive expression. Some consultants do not mind this type of minute terminology, but clear terminology is helpful to increase the efficiency of Problem Solving. Third, there are several useful thinking patterns such as strategic thinking, emotional thinking, realistic thinking, empirical thinking and so on. The thinking pattern means how we think. So far, I recognized fourteen thinking patterns. If we choose an appropriate pattern at each step in Problem Solving, we can improve the efficiency of Problem Solving. This report will explain the above three points such as the definition of problems, the terminology of Problem Solving, and useful thinking patterns. Definition of problem A problem is decided by purposes. If someone wants money and when he or she has little money, he or she has a problem. But if someone does not want money, little money is not a problem. For example, manufacturing managers are usually evaluated with line-operation rate, which is shown as a percentage of operated hours to potential total operation hours. Therefore manufacturing managers sometimes operate lines without orders from their sales division. This operation may produce more than demand and make excessive inventories. The excessive inventories
may be a problem for general managers. But for the manufacturing managers, the excessive inventories may not be a problem. If a purpose is different between managers, they see the identical situation in different ways. One may see a problem but the others may not see the problem. Therefore, in order to identify a problem, problem solvers such as consultants must clarify the differences of purposes. But oftentimes, problem solvers frequently forget to clarify the differences of purposes and incur confusion among their problem solving projects. Therefore problem solvers should start their problem solving projects from the definition of purposes and problems Terminology of Problem Solving We should know the basic terminology for Problem Solving. This report proposes seven terms such as Purpose, Situation, Problem, Cause, Solvable Cause, Issue, and Solution. Purpose Purpose is what we want to do or what we want to be. Purpose is an easy term to understand. But problem solvers frequently forget to confirm Purpose, at the first step of Problem Solving. Without clear purposes, we can not think about problems. Situation Situation is just what a circumstance is. Situation is neither good nor bad. We should recognize situations objectively as much as we can. Usually almost all situations are not problems. But some problem solvers think of all situations as problems. Before we recognize a problem, we should capture situations clearly without recognizing them as problems or non-problems. Without recognizing situations objectively, Problem Solving is likely to be narrow sighted, because problem solvers recognize problems with
their prejudice. Problem Problem is some portions of a situation, which cannot realize purposes. Since problem solvers often neglect the differences of purposes, they cannot capture the true problems. If the purpose is different, the identical situation may be a problem or may not be a problem. Cause Cause is what brings about a problem. Some problem solvers do not distinguish causes from problems. But since problems are some portions of a situation, problems are more general than causes are. In other words causes are more specific facts, which bring about problems. Without distinguishing causes from problems, Problem Solving can not be specific. Finding specific facts which causes problems is the essential step in Problem Solving. Solvable Cause Solvable cause is some portions of causes. When we solve a problem, we should focus on solvable causes. Finding solvable causes is another essential step in Problem Solving. But problem solvers frequently do not extract solvable causes among causes. If we try to solve unsolvable causes, we waste time. Extracting solvable causes is a useful step to make Problem Solving efficient. Issue Issue is the opposite expression of a problem. If a problem is that we do not have money, the issue is that we get money. Some problem splvers do not know what Issue is. They may think of "we do not have money" as an issue. At the worst case, they may mix the problems, which should be negative expressions, and the
issues, which should be positive expressions. Solution Solution is a specific action to solve a problem, which is equal to a specific action to realize an issue. Some problem solvers do not break down issues into more specific actions. Issues are not solutions. Problem solvers must break down issues into specific action. Thinking patterns This report lists fourteen thinking patters. Problem solvers should choose appropriate patterns, responding to situations. This report categorized these fourteen patterns into three more general groups such as thinking patterns for judgements, thinking patterns for thinking processes and thinking patterns for efficient thinking. The following is the outlines of those thinking patterns. Thinking patterns for judgements In order to create a value through thinking we need to judge whether what we think is right or wrong. This report lists four judging patterns such as strategic thinking, emotional thinking, realistic thinking, and empirical thinking.
Strategic thinking Focus, or bias, is the criterion for strategic thinking. If you judge whether a situation is right or wrong based on whether the situation is focused or not, your judgement is strategic. A strategy is not necessarily strategic. Historically, many strategists such as Sonfucis in ancient China, Naplon, M. Porter proposed strategic thinking when they develop strategies. Emotional thinking
In organizations, an emotional aspect is essential. Tactical leaders judge whether a situation is right or wrong based on the participantsf emotional commitment. They think that if participants can be positive to a situation, the situation is right. Realistic thinking â€˘ â€˘
Start from what we can do Fix the essential problem first
These two criteria are very useful. "Starting" is very important, even if we do very little. We do not have to start from the essential part. Even if we start from an easier part, starting is a better judgement than a judgement of not-starting in terms of the first part of realistic thinking. Further, after we start, we should search key factors to make the Problem Solving more efficient. Usually, 80 % of the problems are caused by only 20 % of the causes. If we can find the essential 20 % of the causes, we can fix 80 % of problems very efficiently. Then if we try to find the essential problem, what we are doing is right in terms of the second part of realistic thinking. Empirical thinking When we use empirical thinking, we judge whether the situation is right or wrong based on our past experiences. Sometimes, this thinking pattern persists on the past criteria too much, even if a situation has changed. But when it comes to our daily lives, situations do not change frequently. Further, if we have the experience of the identical situation before, we can utilize the experience as a reliable knowledge data base. Thinking patterns for thinking processes If we can think systematically, we do not have to be frustrated when we think. In contrast, if we have no systematic method, Problem Solving frustrate us. This reports lists five systematic
thinking processes such as rational thinking, systems thinking, cause & effect thinking, contingent thinking, and the Toyotafs five times WHYs method . Rational thinking Rational thinking is one of the most common Problem Solving methods. This report will briefly show this Problem Solving method. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Set the ideal situation Identify a current situation Compare the ideal situation and the current situation, and identify the problem situation Break down the problem to its causes Conceive the solution alternatives to the causes Evaluate and choose the reasonable solution alternatives Implement the solutions
We can use rational thinking as a Problem Solving method for almost all problems. Systems thinking Systems thinking is a more scientific Problem Solving approach than the rational thinking approach. We set the system, which causes problems and analyze them based on systemsf functions. The following arre the system and how the system works. System • • • • • •
Purpose Input Output Function Inside cause (Solvable cause) Outside cause (Unsolvable cause)
Result In order to realize Purpose, we prepare Input and through Function we can get Output. But Output does not necessarily realize Purpose. Result of the Function may be different from Purpose. This difference is created by Outside Cause and Inside Cause. We can not solve Outside Cause but we can solve Inside Cause. For example, when we want to play golf, Purpose is to play golf. If we can not play golf, this situation is Output. If we can not play golf because of a bad weather, the bad weather is Outside Cause, because we can not change the weather. In contrast, if we cannot play golf because we left golf bags in our home, this cause is solvable. Then, that we left bags in our home is an Inside Cause. Systems thinking is a very clear and useful method to solve problems. Cause & effect thinking Traditionally, we like to clarify cause and effect relations. We usually think of finding causes as solving problems. Finding a cause and effect relation is a conventional basic Problem Solving method.
Contingent thinking Game Theory is a typical contingent thinking method. If we think about as many situations as possible, which may happen, and prepare solutions for each situation, this process is a contingent thinking approach. Toyota fs five times WHYs At Toyota, employees are taught to think WHY consecutively five times. This is an adaptation of cause and effect thinking. If employees think WHY and find a cause, they try to ask themselves
WHY again. They continue five times. Through these five WHYS, they can break down causes into a very specific level. This five times WHYs approach is very useful to solve problems. Thinking patterns for efficient thinking In order to think efficiently, there are several useful thinking patterns. This report lists five patterns for efficient thinking such as hypothesis thinking, conception thinking, structure thinking, convergence & divergence thinking, and time order thinking. Hypothesis thinking If we can collect all information quickly and easily, you can solve problems very efficiently. But actually, we can not collect every information. If we try to collect all information, we need so long time. Hypothesis thinking does not require collecting all information. We develop a hypothesis based on available information. After we developed a hypothesis, we collect minimum information to prove the hypothesis. If the first hypothesis is right, you do not have to collect any more information. If the first hypothesis is wrong, we will develop the next hypothesis based on available information. Hypothesis thinking is a very efficient problem-solving method, because we do not have to waste time to collect unnecessary information. Conception thinking Problem Solving is not necessarily logical or rational. Creativity and flexibility are other important aspects for Problem Solving. We can not recognize these aspects clearly. This report shows only what kinds of tips are useful for creative and flexible conception. Following are portions of tips. â€˘
To be visual.
To write down what we think.
Use cards to draw, write and arrange ideas in many ways.
Change positions, forms, and viewpoints, physically and mentally.
We can imagine without words and logic, but in order to communicate to others, we must explain by words and logic. Therefore after we create ideas, we must explain them literally. Creative conception must be translated into reasonable explanations. Without explanations, conception does not make sense. Structure thinking If we make a structure like a tree to grasp a complex situation, we can understand very clearly. Upper level should be more abstract and lower level should be more concrete. Dividing abstract situations from concrete situations is helpful to clarify the complex situations. Very frequently, problem solvers cannot arrange a situation clearly. A clear recognition of a complex situation increases efficiency of Problem Solving.
Convergence & divergence thinking When we should be creative we do not have to consider convergence of ideas. In contrast, when we should summarize ideas we must focus on convergence. If we do convergence and divergence simultaneously, Problem Solving becomes inefficient. Time order thinking Thinking based on a time order is very convenient, when we are confused with Problem Solving. We can think based on a time order from the past to the future and make a complex situation clear.
Source: Hidetoshi Shibata Copy rights ÂŠ H. Shibata all reserved, 1997, 1998 - http://www.mediafrontier.com/Article/PS/PS.htm
4.2 DEALING WITH OBSTACLES AND RESISTANCE 4.2.1HOWTOREMOVEOBSTACLESTOPERSONALGROWTH Do you know how to calculate the amount of fear holding you back in life? Take a pen and a piece of paper. On top of the page, write down your current age, for instance "34 years old." At the bottom, indicate how old you intend to grow before you die. "Death at 80" is a reasonable target. Now comes the mathematical part of the exercise. Draw a straight line connecting your current age with your death. That line represents the number of days that you have left on earth. In our example, the difference between 80 and 34 leaves you with 46 years, that is, almost 17.000 days. The last part of the game consists of deciding how you are going to use those 17.000 days. Now, draw a vertical line on your page, which divides your future in two areas. On the left side of the line, you can write down safe and commonplace goals. On the right side, difficult and disruptive ambitions. The rules of the exercise allow you to list as many activities as you wish, provided that you don't run out of time to live. Boring projects are easy to name and quantify. They include, amongst others, looking for better jobs, cleaning the house and going on holidays. Donâ€™t forget mundane tasks such as working five days a week, watching television, walking the dog, washing your car once per month and shopping for new clothes. When your remaining term of 46 years is up, you are dead.
You only need to worry about the opposite side of the line if you have unused time, which is unlikely. The truth is that most people will allocate their complete lifespan to left-side tasks. What about the right side of the line? Does anyone actually write down adventurous, risky goals? Are there people foolish enough to risk total failure in order to pursue their dreams? Is it not better to stick to attainable objectives? This is the type of activities that usually come up under the label "difficult and disruptive:" 1. Live in Paris for a year (500 days, including preparation and removals) 2. Start up and grow a global business (3000 days) 3. Write twenty great books (3000 days) 4. Save and invest until you are able to live from dividends (6000 days) 5. Learn to cook according to good nutrition principles (300 days) 6. Lose weight and acquire habits that allow you to stay in good shape (500 days) One could argue that this game is useless, since it has no winner and no loser. Since the same individual appears on both sides of the line, what is the point? What is the purpose of the exercise? The answer is that, paradoxically, the subjects on each side of the line are different persons. One of them is boring, the other fearless. One of them is aimless, the other determined. One of them is predictable, the other exciting. The lesson is that, one day, the 46 years will be consumed all the same. At the end, results will be trivial or spectacular, meaningless or irreplaceable. If you don't like the outcome of your calculations, take a blank piece of paper, draw a new vertical line, and start the exercise again. After a few times, you will get quite good at it. At one point,
you will begin to fear boring activities more than risky ones. If you are already there, congratulations, now you know how to win the game. The Art of Obstacle Removal One of the best ways to go faster is to remove the things that slow you down. This "obstacle removal" is an integral part of many agile methods including Scrum and Lean. Sometimes it is obvious where an obstacle is. There are a few small things that can be done easily to go faster. But to get going really fast, we need to have a deeper understanding of obstacles... and the Art of Obstacle Removal. What are Obstacles? An obstacle is any behavior, physical arrangement, procedure or checkpoint that makes getting work done slower without adding any actual contribution to the work. Activities that do add value to our work may be slowed down by obstacles, but are not obstacles in and of themselves. Obstacles and Waste Obstacles are the causes of waste in a process. There are many types of waste, and for every type of waste there are many possible sources (obstacles). Types of Obstacles Personal Personal obstacles are related to us as individuals. There are several levels at which these obstacles can show up. Outside factors in our lives such as illness or family obligations can become obstacles to our work at hand. These obstacles are hard to remove or avoid. Even if we would want to avoid an obstacle such as illness, it is hard to do anything about it in an immediate sense. However, as part of our commitment to the group we are working
with, we should consider doing things to generally improve our health. Good sleep, healthy and moderate eating, exercise and avoidance of illness-causing things and circumstances are all possible commitments we can make to the group. Likewise, we can make sure our personal affairs are in order so that unexpected events have the least impact possible. This topic is vast and there are many good sources of information. Physical Environment Obstacles in the physical environment can consist of barriers to movement or communication, or a lack of adequate physical resources. Sometimes these obstacles are easy to see because their effects are immediate. For example, if a team room lacks a whiteboard for diagrams, keeping notes, etc., then the team may not be able to communicate as effectively. Other physical obstacles are not so obvious. The effects of physical environment can be subtle and not well-understood. Poor ergonomics take weeks, months or years for their effects to be felt... but it is inevitable. A too-small team room can lead to a feeling of being cooped up and desperation to get out... and eventually to resentment. Again this can take weeks or months. Knowledge A lack of knowledge or the inability to access information are obstacles. A team composed of junior people who don't have diverse experience and who don't have a good knowledge of the work they are doing will have trouble working effectively. There may be barriers preventing the team from learning. Common barriers include over-work leading to a lack of time or mental energy for learning. With junior people in particular, there is a lot of pressure to be productive and that can often be at the expense of a solid foundation of learning.
Other times, knowledge-related barriers can be more immediate. If a critical piece of information is delayed or lost this can have a large impact on an Agile team that is working in short cycles. The team may be temporarily halted while they wait for information. Building effective information flow is critical to a team's performance. Organizational Bureaucratic procedures, organizational mis-alignment, conflicting goals, and inefficient organizational structures can all be significant obstacles. One of the best sources of information about this is the two books by Jim Collins: "Good to Great" (Review) and "Built to Last" Cultural Sometimes the beliefs we have about how to work can become obstacles to working more effectively. These beliefs are often in place because they have been part of what we think makes us successful. Cultural assumptions can come from our families, our communities, our religious affiliation and our national identity. In organizational culture, one thing I constantly see is a public espoused value of teamwork, but a conflicting behavior of individual performance reviews and ranking. This is cultural. It is also a barrier to the effective functioning of an Agile team. For corporate environments I highly recommend the Corporate Culture Survival Guide by Edgar Schein.
Dis-Unity Dis-unity is one of the most subtle and common forms of obstacle. Competition, legal and cultural assumption of the goodness of "opposition" and habits of interaction including gossip and backbiting all combine to make united action and thought very difficult. This is an extremely deep topic. There are many tools and techniques available to assist with team building. If you are interested in this topic, I highly recommend reading "The Prosperity of Humankind". Eliminate Waste Waste is the result of activities or environmental conditions that prevent a team from reaching its goal. The opposite of waste is something that adds value (more, faster or higher quality) to the desired result. The whole notion of eliminating waste comes from lean manufacturing. More recently, Mary and Tom Poppendieck applied this idea to software in their book "Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit for Software Development Managers". In this (excellent) book, the authors list the wastes of manufacturing and the wastes of software. As wastes are eliminated or reduced, a team will function faster and with higher quality. However, not all waste can be eliminated. Sometimes waste is legislated, sometimes waste is an unavoidable by-product of work, sometimes mistakes are made, and sometimes it takes a great deal of effort to eliminate a waste.
Here I have summarized and generalized these types of wastes so that they apply in any situation: The Seven Wastes 1. waiting - caused by delays, unreadiness, or simple procrastination 2. partially done work or inventory - caused by sub-optimal workflow 3. extra processing or processes - caused by poor organization or bureaucracy 4. defects and rework - caused by insufficient skill, tools, inspection or filtering 5. movement of people or work - caused by physical separation 6. overproduction or extra features - caused by working towards speculative goals 7. task switching - caused by multiple commitments In order to eliminate waste, first waste has to be detected and identified, then the underlying causes of the waste have to be identified, and finally changes to the work environment need to be made to both eliminate the cause of the waste and the waste itself. Many agile work practices help with this process. Value stream mapping is one particular tool that can be used by a team or organization to identify wasteful activities. The team describes the amount of time that work takes to go through each activity in their overall work process. Next, the team determines if each activity adds value or does not add value to the end goal. All activities are subject to speed improvements, and activities that do not add value are subject to elimination. In order to determine the causes of waste, special attention should be paid to incentives and motivations. Wasteful behavior often exists because there is some incentive for people to do it. Sometimes these incentives are explicit, but sometimes they are the
side-effects of other things going on in the team's environment. Changing the incentives can be an effective way of reducing waste. By eliminating waste, the team will find it has reduced frustrations, and enabled greater productivity and creativity. The team will also increase its speed and delivery of value, and at the same time reduce defects. Removing Obstacles The ability to identify obstacles and understand why they are causing problems is only the first step in removing obstacles. In Agile Work, the person primarily responsible for identifying and removing obstacles is the Process Facilitator. The Process Facilitator has several approaches available for the removal of obstacles. A process facilitator has similar responsibilities to a change agent. Direct Deal with the obstacle directly without involving other people. This can be as simple as getting up and moving an obstacle impairing vision, or as nuanced as running interviews and workshops throughout an organization to gradually change a cultural obstacle. Command and Control Identify the obstacle and give precise instructions for its removal to a person who will directly perform the removal. This can sometimes work if removing an obstacle takes a great deal of time, effort or specialized skills that you yourself do not possess. However, the overall approach of "command and control" is not recommended for Agile environments since it is disempowering.
Influence Identify the obstacle and suggest means to deal with it to a person who has the authority or influence to get others to deal with it. This indirect method of obstacle removal can be slow and frustrating. However it usually has better long-term effects than command and control. Support Offer to assist and encourage the removal of obstacles that have been identified by other people. In many respects this is a very effective method. It can assist with team-building and learning by example. People are usually grateful for assistance. Coaching Train others on the art of obstacle removal including obstacle identification, types of obstacles and strategies for dealing with obstacles. Observe people's attempts to remove obstacles and give them feedback on their actions. Creating a Culture of Obstacle Removal Encourage and measure obstacle removal at all organizational levels until it becomes habitual. In many ways this is the essence of the lean organization.
Strategies for Dealing with Obstacles Diagrams are a great way of communicating the essense of a concept. Feel free to share the following diagrams with anyone (but of course keep the copyright notice on them).
Remove Remove the obstacle altogether. This method of dealing with an obstacle is usually the most immediately effective, but is also one of the most difficult methods.
The best way to actually remove an obstacle is to get at the root cause of the obstacle and change that. This type of change results in the longest-lasting and most stable elimination of an obstacle. Move Aside Take the obstacle and put it in a place or situation where it is no longer in the path of the team.
In a team's physical environment, this may be as simple as changing the tools that the team is using. For example, if the team is all in a room together, move computer monitors that are blocking team member's views of each other. If there is a useless checkpoint that work results have to go through, get management to eliminate it. Shield Build a shield or barrier to hide the obstacle so that it's effects no longer touch your team.
If a team is distracted by noisy neighbors, put up a sound barrier. If a team is unable to see their computers due to late afternoon sunlight, put up window shades. If a manager is bothering the team with meetings or tasks unrelated to the work of the team, then put yourself between the team and the manager (or get someone in upper management to do that). Shielding is excellent for immediate relief, but remember that the obstacle is still there and may become a problem again if the shield cannot be maintained. Transform Change the structure or form of the obstacle so that it no longer affects effectiveness.
In general, this method requires a great deal of creativity and open-mindedness. This is one that works particularly well on people who are obstacles: convert them into friends of the team! For example if the team needs approval of an expert who is not part of the team, this can cause extra work preparing documentation for this person and long delays while the expert revies the documents. If the expert becomes part of the team, then they are well-informed of the work being done and can give approval with very little overhead. If done well, this can be a very long-lasting method of dealing with an obstacle. Make sure that the transformation is true and that it takes hold... and beware that the obstacle doesn't revert back to its old nature. Counteract Find an activity that negates the effects of the obstacle by boosting effectiveness in another area.
As a coach or Process Facilitator, this is what we spend our time in early in a team's adoption of Agile Work: we get them to work in the same room, use iterations and adaptive planning, we focus them on delivering work valued by the stakeholders as defined by
the Product Owner. All these things are enhancing the team's ability to get work done without actually directly dealing with any obstacles. Watch out for barriers avoided this way to come back and bite you later on. Removing Obstacles and Learning Organizational learning, as well as adult learning have a strong relationship to obstacle removal. Organizational learning can be either single-loop or double-loop learning. Adult learning can be either normal or transformative. We can approach obstacle removal from a surface level where we only deal with the immediate symptom, or we can work at a deeper level where we deal with the symptom and its chain of preceding causes. One effective method for examining the deeper causes is the 5-why's exercise Obstacles Inherent in Agile Agile methods do not perfectly eliminate all obstacles. Some obstacles that are inherent in agile methods include overhead due to planning meetings at the start of iterations, the use of a dedicated process facilitator. As well, the use of iterations can become a barrier to certain types of work items: repeating items, investment in infrastructure, one-off tasks that are not directly related to the work at hand. At some point, our teams will have matured to the point where agile methods are no longer necessary and we can pick and choose what parts of agile we use.
4.2.2 DEALING WITH RESISTANCE There's old wisdom that advises that we can only lean against that which resists. This suggests that there might just be something good, or at least useful, about resistance. Discovering what this is and learning to work with it is key to understanding reluctance to change. After all, change often occurs as a direct result of resistance. Great men, such as Nelson Mandela, are testimony to this. Resistance can be viewed as alternative, negative, or wrong. But we need to balance this with a healthy view of resistance which points to positive processes rather than placid acceptance. Benjamin Franklin valued this, telling us that questioning authority is the "first responsibility of every citizen". It helps to understand that resistance is a normal response and that trying to avoid any resistance is futile. Accepting this immediately allows a different response to resistance in which we anticipate it and work with it. Why people resist change: • • • • • • • • • •
Don’t see a need to change Needs are being met Invested in what they have now Don’t know how to change Poor communication regarding change Change comes from an external source and they haven’t embraced it Fears: losing control, failure Don’t know why they should do it No negative consequences New situation worse than existing one
There are in fact many reasons people resist change, most of these reasons however have a common source. Fear. Most of us hold a deep fear of change and our ability to adapt. Many of the reasons for people's reluctance or refusal to change are related to the fear of change. These fears can also be related to loss associated with the change. All change involves loss at some level and this can be difficult to contemplate. Loss associated with change can be very practical such as loss of work, colleagues, or office environment. Or it can be less obvious, relating to concerns about loss of status, self esteem, or ability to perform new work. Fear of change can leave us feeling lost, confused, and torn between the need to take action and doing nothing. How to recognise resistance There are a number of behaviours that are signs and symptoms of an adverse reaction to change. These include: • • • •
Aggression and anger Unusual flare-ups of emotion overt resistance Coachees portraying themselves as innocent victims of unreasonable expectations • Insensitive and disagreeable behaviour
• Not meeting key performance areas (missing meetings , failing assignments, not responding to emails, for example) • Late arrival • Not responding, not listening, seems disinterested • Active attempts to disrupt or undermine the project Of course, each of these do not necessarily mean that people are opposing change. They might be indicators, but could just as easily be indicators of other issues in the person's life. Real resistance usually occurs after people's uncertainties and questions regarding change have not been adequately answered. How to deal with it The best laid plans and systems fail if the people side of change management is ignored. Resistance to change is a normal response, so plan for it, expect it and accept it. Resistance does not mean that the change is bad, or that the management of change has failed. Nor does it mean that those resisting change are 'bad seeds' that need to be weeded out! Rather anticipate resistance and direct your energy to facilitating what Kurt Lewin would refer to as the Unfreezing and Change/Transition stages. Kurt Lewin's Force Field Analysis is a powerful strategic tool to help you analyse aspects of the change that may lead to resistance. Assessing resistance to change is an important part of a change impact assessment that should be conducted very early in the process. Even if you're introducing small changes don't assume that that these will be easier for people to accept - especially if they already feel threatened or have low trust in the process. If you're aware of any indicators of resistance to change then you'll need to take some time out to listen to people's concerns.
Yup, listen. Don't talk, just listen (or get someone else they trust to listen). The clue to overcoming resistance is understanding that you cannot avoid resistance, but you can manage it. Remember that people experience change in personal ways. Addressing people's values when you encounter resistance to change can reduce any negative impact of resistance. Changing your attitude towards resistance is what's needed to ensure successful change. Anticipating resistance to change is part of a successful change management strategy and will help to keep people motivated and positive about change. Here are some great tips: 1. Let your client speak his peace and/or vent if necessary. Give him space to express himself. If you react emotionally and try to stop him, argue, or immediately explain why he is off base, you will just fuel the fire. Sometimes letting off steam is the first step to opening to a healing path and moving in a more positive direction. 2. Reflect back to the client what you heard her say, so she knows that she has been listened to. “Wow, you are really angry at your boss, and you don’t see any other option but to retaliate.” Or “Your daughter won’t move out and support herself, and you are completely frustrated.” Or “I’m hearing that you are disappointed that you haven’t made more progress in coaching thus far.” When your client feels heard and acknowledged, he may lighten up and be willing to see and explore more healthy options. 3. Reflect back to the client behaviors that might be a sign of resistance, of which the client may be unaware. “You’ve been [late to your sessions] [cancelled] three times now. Is there anything going on that you are having a hard time with that may be uncomfortable to look at?” Or “You’ve had the same situation going on with your last three jobs. Do you see any connection
between what’s going on out there and what’s happening inside of you?” 4. Dealing with “Yes, but. . . ”s: “I’ve made three suggestions for reframes on your situation that could help you feel freer and move beyond what is troubling you, and you’ve answered “Yes, but. . . “ to each of them. Are you really ready or willing to get beyond this?” 5. Illuminate cost and payoff. “What do you think is the payoff for you continuing to feud with your ex-? What is the cost? What would be the payoff of harmonizing? What would be the cost?” 6. Direct approach: “I have been working with you on this for _______ length of time now, and it sounds to me like you have a pretty strong investment, for whatever reason, in this situation continuing. Is there any way you can see yourself shifting on this? I hope you will. If not, let’s not talk about this anymore, and let’s turn our attention to issues you’d rather make progress on.” You may even tell the client that you do not see anything more you can do for her at this point, and if she wants to continue coaching, you will need to see some movement. 7. Tune into your intuition. The above suggestions may all work in different situations, yet every coaching situation is unique. If you sincerely ask inside yourself, you will receive guidance as to how to deal with a particular form or moment of resistance. Sometimes you may need to be gentle and soft, and other situations may require a firmer stand or compassionate confrontation. Set your intention that your sessions will be resistance free, and if any instances of resistance come up, you will know how to deal with them and move on. 8. Check in with yourself as to what beliefs, feelings, attitudes, or expectations within yourself that your client may be reflecting. Are you worried about having a resistant client? Do you question your ability as a coach? Do you have judgments about something that the client is reflecting? Why have you attracted this person or this
moment with this person into your experience? The clearer you get about your intentions, your purpose, and your confidence, the clearer your clients will get about the situations and energies they bring to your practice. 9. Sometimes resistant clients can become your biggest success stories. At the first retreat I presented, a woman bucked me and the program at every turn. On the last day of the program something clicked for her and she came to me with a big smile and proclaimed “I finally got it!” Her healing and transformation were as powerful as her resistance had been. She ultimately came to many more programs and was a “star student.” Excuses the coach accomplished
Trying: “I implemented a numeracy strategy and it didn’t work, but I did what the consultant said to do.” Blame: “Manny said he’d have the data reports ready last Friday but he didn’t get them to me until yesterday.” Doubt: “Group projects never work in math classes. Students need to be held individually accountable.” Reacting: “You expect me to find time to add something else?” Delay: “It’s a good idea, and I’ll get to it as soon as I finish the work on next month’s science fair.”
INQUIRY –A Best Practice Ask Questions that Promote Discovery for the Other Person Ask Questions that Focus on the Person Being Coached Powerful Questions Invite clarity, action, and discovery at a new level Create greater possibility for expanded learning and fresh perspective Powerful Requests Powerful requests are ways to cause change; to stir thought forward and cause action. “I request that you . . .” “I have a bold request for you.” The Power of Story Listening Stories make sense of experience in ways that integrate emotion and meaning –facilitating movement, direction, and purpose. Stories evoke power. FEED FORWARD instead of feedback. Is there a problem with feedback? Feedback focuses on a past, what has already occurred –not on opportunities in the future. Not fun. Feedforwardlooks at future actions, is fun as well as not negative. Some Powerful Coaching Questions (adapted from Co-Active Coaching by Whitworth, Kimsey-House & Sandahl) • • •
What do you think will happen? What’s you back-up plan? How does it look to you?
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
How do you feel about it? What do you mean? Can you say more? What do you want? How will you know that you have reached it? What will it look like? How does this fit with your plans/values? What do you think that means? May we explore that some more? What are your other options? Would you like to brainstorm this idea? Will you give an example? What would it look like? Will you tell me more about it? Is there more? How can you make it be fun? If you could do it over again, what would you do differently? If it were you, what would you have done? What have you tried so far? How is this working? What is the action plan? What support do you need to accomplish …? What will you take away from this? What are the possibilities? What’s moving you forward? What’s stopping you? What resources do you need to help you decide? What action will you take? And after that? Where do you go from here? When will you do that? What are your next steps? By when?
Powerful Coaching Inquiries (adapted from Co-Active Coaching by Whitworth, Kimsey-House & Sandahl) An inquiry is a type of powerful question that is not meant to be answered immediately, but instead, offers the “coachee” an opportunity for reflection, discovery and learning. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
What do I want? What am I tolerating? Where am I not being realistic/practical? What is the difference between a wish and a goal? Where is my attention? If my whole attention is focused on producing the result, what will I have to give up? What is working for me? What will it take to keep me on track? What am I willing/unwilling to change? What am I settling for? What is it to be creative/passionate/focused/a leader? What is it to speak/act from my heart? What does it mean to be proactive/centered/optimistic? What is present when I am at my best? What motivates me? What am I resisting? If I were at my best, what would I do right now? What are my assumptions? Where do I limit myself? Where do I hold back? What are my expectations? How can I have this be easy? Who can I get to play with me on this project? What have I learned about myself?
Kurt Lewin - Change Management Model Kurt Lewin emigrated from Germany to America during the 1930's. Lewin is recognised as the "founder of social psychology" which immediately points to his interest in the human aspect of change. His interest in groups led to research focusing on factors that influence people to change, and three stages needed to make change successful. Unfreeze, Change, Freeze Kurt Lewin proposed a three stage theory of change commonly referred to as Unfreeze, Change, Freeze (or Refreeze). It is possible to take these stages to quite complicated levels but I don't believe this is necessary to be able to work with the theory. But be aware that the theory has been criticised for being too simplistic. A lot has changed since the theory was originally presented in 1947, but the Kurt Lewin model is still extremely relevant. Many other more modern change models are actually based on the Kurt Lewin model. I'm going to head down a middle road and give you just enough information to make you dangerous...and perhaps a little more to whet your appetite! Let's look at each of the three stages: Stage 1: Unfreezing The Unfreezing stage is probably one of the more important stages to understand in the world of change we live in today. This stage is about getting ready to change. It involves getting to a point of understanding that change is necessary, and getting ready to move away from our current comfort zone. This first stage is about preparing ourselves, or others, before the change (and ideally creating a situation in which we want the change).
The more we feel that change is necessary, the more urgent it is, the more motivated we are to make the change. Right? Yes, of course! If you understand procrastination (like I do!) then you'd recognise that the closer the deadline, the more likely you are to snap into action and actually get the job started! With the deadline comes some sort of reward or punishment linked to the job. If there's no deadline, then the urge to change is lower than the need to change. There's much lower motivation to make a change and get on with it. Unfreezing and getting motivated for the change is all about weighing up the 'pro's' and 'con's' and deciding if the 'pro's' outnumber the 'con's' before you take any action. This is the basis of what Kurt Lewin called the Force Field Analysis. Force Field Analysis is a fancy way of saying that there are lots of different factors (forces) for and against making change that we need to be aware of (analysis). If the factors for change outweigh the factors against change we'll make the change. If not, then there's low motivation to change - and if we feel pushed to change we're likely to get grumpy and dig in our heels. This first 'Unfreezing' stage involves moving ourselves, or a department, or an entire business towards motivation for change. The Kurt Lewin Force Field Analysis is a useful way to understand this process and there are plenty of ideas of how this can be done. Stage 2: Change - or Transition Kurt Lewin was aware that change is not an event, but rather a process. He called that process a transition. Transition is the inner movement or journey we make in reaction to a change. This second stage occurs as we make the changes that are needed.
People are 'unfrozen' and moving towards a new way of being. That said this stage is often the hardest as people are unsure or even fearful. Imagine bungey jumping or parachuting. You may have convinced yourself that there is a great benefit for you to make the jump, but now you find yourself on the edge looking down. Scary stuff! But when you do it you may learn a lot about yourself. This is not an easy time as people are learning about the changes and need to be given time to understand and work with them. Support is really important here and can be in the form of training, coaching, and expecting mistakes as part of the process. Using role models and allowing people to develop their own solutions also help to make the changes. It's also really useful to keep communicating a clear picture of the desired change and the benefits to people so they don't lose sight of where they are heading. Stage 3: Freezing (or Refreezing) Kurt Lewin refers to this stage as freezing although a lot of people refer to it as 'refreezing'. As the name suggests this stage is about establishing stability once the changes have been made. The changes are accepted and become the new norm. People form new relationships and become comfortable with their routines. This can take time. It's often at this point that people laugh and tell me that practically there is never time for this 'freezing' stage. And it's just this that's drawn criticism to the Kurt Lewin model. In todays world of change the next new change could happen in weeks or less. There is just no time to settle into comfortable routines. This rigidity of freezing does not fit with modern thinking about change being a continuous, sometimes chaotic process in which great flexibility is demanded.
So popular thought has moved away from the concept of freezing. Instead, we should think about this final stage as being more flexible, something like a milkshake or soft serv icecream, in the current favourite flavour, rather than a rigid frozen block. This way 'Unfreezing' for the next change might be easier. Given today's pace of change this is a reasonable criticism. But it might help to get in touch with what Kurt Lewin was actually saying. In 1947 he wrote: A change towards a higher level of group performance is frequently short-lived, after a "shot in the arm", group life soon returns to the previous level. This indicates that it does not suffice to define the objective of planned change in group performance as the reaching of a different level. Permanency of the new level, or permanency for a desired period, should be included in the objective. (Kurt Lewin, "Frontiers of Group Dynamics", Human Relations, Volume 1, pp. 5-41) Lewin's concern is about reinforcing the change and ensuring that the desired change is accepted and maintained into the future. Without this people tend to go back to doing what they are used to doing. This is probably what Kurt Lewin meant by freezing supporting the desired change to make sure it continues and is not lost. More modern models of change, such as the ADKAR model, are more explicit about this step and include Reinforcement as one of their phases. I've also read this final step of freezing referred to as the lock-in effect. Establishing stability only happens when the new changes are locked-in. Thinking about change as a journey might make you think that a journey has a beginning , middle, and an end. While this is useful when thinking about the process of change the reality is that this journey doesn't have an end. Lots of rest stops maybe! Some opportunities for settling down for a while. But no end. So be
careful about thinking that a change process has a definite end, as the Lewin change management model might seem to suggest. In what ways do you think this model might be useful for you? I've found the Kurt Lewin model useful to frame a process of change for people that is quite easy to understand. Of course each stage can be expanded to aid better understanding of the process. Applying the concepts of Unfreezing, and especially the Force Field Analysis, at a personal level can give us insight and help us better understand how we deal with change.
Force Field Analysis - Kurt Lewin Kurt Lewin's Force Field Analysis is a powerful strategic tool used to understand what's needed for change in both corporate and personal environments. Best of all - it's easy to use and has complete credibility as a professional tool. We'll use a little basic science to introduce the concept, after which you'll find enough information to allow you to unleash your knowledge of force fields on colleagues! The concept Let's start with a simple science experiment (this really is relevant, so stay with me for a moment please). You'll need to sit down for this one. You're sitting? Good. Now, what's keeping you in the chair? Well, there are two answers really. One is gravity which is pushing you down into the chair. A driving force, if you like. The other is the chair itself, which provides an opposing force, pushing up against gravity, and stopping you falling to the ground. So it would seem that while you are sitting you're in an equilibrium of sorts.
Two forces keep you there. Gravity pushes down, keeping you in the chair, and the chair resists this, stopping you from falling to the ground. Two equal forces, a driving force and a resisting or restraining force, working to keep the equilibrium or status quo. Agreed? Okay, now let's play. Let's say we want to move away from this equilibrium and get you to fall to the floor. What could we do? Well, on the one hand we could increase the amount of gravity. The chair will give way eventually and you will fall. On the other hand, we could leave gravity alone and decide to weaken the chair to get the same result. If you've followed me this far then you've just completed a force field analysis and understood the basic concepts of the force field analysis. It also helps to explain why our science experiment is relevant. You see, Kurt Lewin applied exactly this thinking to his theory of change within social situations - to people. May the Force be with you, or against you. Kurt Lewin wrote that "An issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces - those seeking to promote change (driving forces) and those attempting to maintain the status quo (restraining forces)". This is much the same as the experiment we just did and is summarised in the diagram below.
So before change the force field is in equilibrium between forces favourable to change and those resisting it. Lewin spoke about the existence of a quasi-stationary social equilibrium. For change to happen the status quo, or equilibrium must be upset â€“ either by adding conditions favourable to the change or by reducing resisting forces. What Kurt Lewin proposes is that whenever driving forces are stronger than restraining forces, the status quo or equilibrium will change. Now that's useful. Especially if we apply this to understanding how people move through change and why they resist change. There will always be driving forces that make change attractive to people, and restraining forces that work to keep things as they are. Successful change is achieved by either strengthening the driving forces or weakening the restraining forces.
The force field analysis integrates with Lewinâ€™s three stage theory of change as you work towards unfreezing the existing equilibrium, moving towards the desired change, and then freezing the change at the new level so that a new equilibrum exists that resists further change. Using the Force Field Analysis Lewin's force field analysis is used to distinguish which factors within a situation or organisation drive a person towards or away from a desired state, and which oppose the driving forces. These can be analysed in order to inform decisions that will make change more acceptable. 'Forces' are more than attitudes to change. Kurt Lewin was aware that there is a lot of emotion underlying people's attitude to change. To understand what makes people resist or accept change we need to understand the values and experiences of that person or group. Developing self awareness and emotional intelligence can help to understand these forces that work within us and others. Itâ€™s the behaviour of others that will alert you to the presence of driving and restraining forces at work. The following steps are a guide to using the force field analysis. You might find it useful to follow the process using the Force Field Analysis Application Tool available . 1. Define the change you want to see. Write down the goal or vision of a future desired state. Or you might prefer to understand the present status quo or equilibrium. 2. Brainstorm or Mind Map the Driving Forces - those that are favourable to change. Record these on a force field diagram.
3. Brainstorm or Mind Map the Restraining Forces - those that are unfavourable to, or oppose change. Record these on the force field diagram. 4. Evaluate the Driving and Restraining forces. You can do this by rating each force, from 1 (weak) to 5 (strong), and total each side. Or you can leave the numbers out completely and focus holistically on the impact each has. 5. Review the forces. Decide which of the forces have some flexibility for change or which can be influenced. 6. Strategise! Create a strategy to strengthen the driving forces or weaken the restraining forces, or both. If you've rated each force how can you raise the scores of the Driving Forces or lower the scores of the Restraining Forces, or both? 7. Prioritise action steps. What action steps can you take that will achieve the greatest impact? Identify the resources you will need and decide how to implement the action steps. Hint: Sometimes it's easier to reduce the impact of restraining forces than it is to strengthen driving forces. Criticism of the force field analysis usually focuses on the subjectivity of attributing scores to the driving or restraining forces. Some writers suggest the model applies within limited settings and that there are situations outside of these settings in which Lewinâ€™s theory may be less applicable. At the end of the day the force field analysis is a tool that may or may not be useful in your situation. You can decide this or allow others to make a decision.
The force field analysis is backed by the Lewin change management model and has, over time, developed credibility as a professional change management tool Sources: http://www.alancohen.com/coachtraining/life-coach-traininglesson-18/ "Unleashing Potential â€“ The Promise of Coaching" Yvonne Freitas McGookin & Matt Aspin http://www.change-management-coach.com/resistance-tochange.html http://www.change-management-coach.com/kurt_lewin.html
4.3 EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING A study revealed that amongst people with the same background, the top three percent outperform the next twenty-seven percent by a factor of ten. One of very few differences between these two groups was their attitude to goal setting. The top three percent have clear, written goals. For the twentyseven percent group to join the top group would only take a shift in some attitudes and a realization that the art of goal setting would make them more successful to an amazing degree. In order to be effective, goal setting should be : -
consistent with the coachee’s stage of change’ (e.g. a ‘precontemplator’ may resist a goal of total abstinence, but mayembrace reducing the risk of infection)
negotiated. Negotiation is not bestowed on a coachee . It is a strategy to influence behaviour. Negotiated goals are more likely to generate patient commitment and adherence.
specific and achievable. A broad goal may be broken down into several component parts
short-term; so that progress can be monitored and success quickly realised
solution-focused and defined in positive terms. Changing behaviour will be more successful if couched in positive terms of acquisition, rather than reduction; presence, not absence (e.g. increasing the number of days without smoking as opposed to decreasing the number of smoking days)
FIVE EASY STEPS TO SMART GOAL SETTING In order to have a good chance of being accomplished, a goal has to be specific. The point is, you need to know HOW TO SET SMART GOALS if you want to make SMART decisions in your life. Developing the skill of smart goal setting has the potential to make a significant difference in your life - it provides a solid platform for: • • •
Starting personal and business projects Making strategic decisions Creating excellent action plans which incorporate your short and long term development goals
If you don't know how to set SMART GOALS, then you may well not be realizing your full potential. Any SMART person will tell you the same thing: “if you don't know where it is you want to go, you are going to wind up somewhere else!” This would be so sorry, because you don't want to invest your precious time into any adventures without knowing exactly what it is you want to achieve, both in the short and long term. A lot of people go into a venture, having some vague idea about what they want to achieve and where they want to be in 6 months, 1 year, 5 and 10 years down the track. Well, I'm here to tell you that unless those ideas can be translated into specific and
measurable SMART GOALS, they are wasting their time - they just ain't gonna get there………sorry! WRITE YOUR GOALS DOWN - Think about your DREAMS and aspirations - where do you see yourself down the track, what are you doing, who are you doing it with, who do you want to help, do you own the house of your dreams, the car of your dreams, are you traveling the world, etc, - You get the picture………! The problem is that the words GOALS and DREAMS all too often become synonymous and that is where confusion sets in! Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a vision for your business and your life,. In fact it is absolutely a key ingredient for success. However, if you think a goal looks like this: "I would like to be financially free, able to give up my JOB, stay at home and look after my kids, take them on world trips and live in a million dollar house" Then think again!!! That's a dream alright, the kind you have in your pillow at night! But it's NOT a Goal! Sure, it could be your vision and it could become your reality, but in order to achieve this wildly inspiring picture you need to immerse yourself in some "real" goal setting activity, not just dreams!
So let's cut to the chase! What is SMART goal setting? S M A R T is a mnemonic used in management. S M A R T is a way to evaluate that the objectives for a particular project are relevant and appropriate for that project. S M A R T Objectives are an integral part of Management By Objectives (MBO). Management by objectives has been used extensively by managers as a planning tool. It is a process by which managers and employees work together and agree on specific and defined objectives for a particular project. This process ensures that both managers and employees agree on and are committed to the project outcomes. The origin of the term S M A R T objectives is unknown, however, Peter Drucker in his 1954 book "The Practice of Management" outlined a system that was very similar to S M A R T objectives as part of his discussion on Management by Objectives (MBO). The process of writing S M A R T objectives or smart goal setting has become a business management tool used extensively for project management and also for performance appraisal purposes.
Learning how to write and use SMART goal setting is a skill you definitely want to master if you want to be successful in YOUR life and in YOUR business!
Success does not just happen to the lucky, nor is working hard sufficient. It is all about developing skills for success and those skills are many and varied. If you really want to make your life hum, you'll develop the skill of SMART goal setting and include this process as an integral part of your action plan. Smart goal setting adds clarity, focus and purpose to every action plan. Without objectives, planning is often non existent or at best done at the same time that you are about to take action! This is problematic and not good practice. Plans can often change as a result of either a lack of time to consider all options or because there was no predetermined outcome in the first place. In other words, you are flying by the seat of your pants instead of having a well thought through plan of attack. So what do you do if you've got NO IDEA how to set goals for your life and you need some goal setting tips - some simple techniques to get started? Well, I've got GREAT NEWS for you! It is really not that complex if you follow……… The 5 Easy Steps to SMART goal setting! Before we get started on those 5 Easy Steps, I want to make sure you are 100% clear on the following:
Firstly, what is an objective or goal? An objective or goal is a specific statement describing a RESULT. Secondly, why set goals? Setting and clarifying goals is an essential part of the path to success. Thirdly - what do objectives or goals provide for YOU? • Direction for activities • A clear process for defining expected results • The criteria against which actual accomplishments can be measured • Targets to motivate performance improvements • A common sense of purpose, which enhances teamwork SMART goal setting is one of the most positive and rewarding habits you can develop in your personal life, as it is in any business. It is a process by which you can evaluate the current situation and develop strategies to move forward. Moving forward is what gives you the growth and success that most people aspire too. If it is your desire to be successful in your life, then you most certainly don't want to accept the "status quo". The only way to make sure you are not sitting in exactly the same place you are sitting in today, in 6 months, 1 year or 10 years time is to implement smart goal setting as one of your primary practices. SMART Goal Setting assists YOU to PLAN AHEAD and develop a STRATEGIC APPROACH to creating SUCCESS inYOUR life!
Here is how you do it:
OK, so that's the goal setting theory - how would you apply this S M A R T model to your life? If a goal or objective is going to be an effective success building tool it needs to be S M A R T. In other words you need to write your goals so that they measure up against the S M A R T criteria from the 5 Easy Steps chart above.
Let's take a look at a real life example. How about this: ** "I want to save enough in order to be able to buy a new car by the end of next year.â€? ** Is this a SMART Goal - does it measure up? Let's break up this goal and see if it's SMART using the goal setting form below.
Can we can tick all the boxes right? It doesnâ€™t really look like this could be an excellent example of smart goal setting, does it?
Let's look at this more closely by evaluating this objective in terms of each of the 5 Easy Steps: STEP ONE - SPECIFIC - is this objective specific? Do we know WHAT we are looking at here? NO, we do not - our objective is too vague: we do not know how much we will have to save, nor what car we want to buy. Vague objectives are not inspiring. We have to be able to visualize our goal: see ourselves enjoying the success when the goal will be met. STEP TWO - MEASURABLE - Do we know HOW MUCH or HOW MANY? You may have a perfectly clear idea about the price of the car you want to buy and the amount of money you will have to save, but you omitted to write the numbers down. In three months from now, how will you know that you are on the good track? How will you know when an extra effort is required? STEP THREE - ACTION ORIENTATED - Does it describe a result? Again, the words "save" and “buy a car” are too vague I'm afraid. What do they really represent? How would you measure this? How could you know that you are actually saving enough? Can you find a better way to describe the result you are looking for? STEP FOUR - REALISTIC - Is this goal realistic and relevant to the business owner? Again, it doesn’t show from the description of your goal. How much are you earning? How much can you save? How will you spread your saving effort? How will you anticipate possible changes in earnings, expenses, price of the car, unexpected costs, …? In a smart goal you will have taken these elements into account,
The key to remember here is this: smart goal setting is about setting goals that are challenging but realistically achievable - no point setting a goal for the sake of it and knowing there isn't a hope that you'll ever achieve it - that would be pretty demoralizing, not to mention slightly stupid! STEP FIVE - TIME-BASED - BY WHEN should this be done? In this case do we have a deadline by which this goal should be achieved in order that we might measure the outcome? The short answer is YES, we do. So, in this example, out of the 5 steps, only one has been correctly defined. How helpful would it be to you if your goals are this vague? - Is this SMART goal setting? ----- Well, NO! The solution to better planning is to define challenging, but realistic goals, then think ahead about what, how and by when exactly you want to achieve, be very specific about your data ... and to plan regular evaluations. The "5 EASY STEPS TO SMART GOAL SETTING". Smart Goal Setting is a very important part of your skill development and overall success in life. Don't ever underestimate the power of this skill to make your life hum! LEARN it, PRACTICE it and APPLY it to YOUR life. You'll be very glad you did! Source: http://www.network-marketing-mlm-success-
Goals and Goal-Setting Goal-setting is the one activity that sets apart self-developers from those who survive or just get by. Goal-setting enables us to create the future we want to happen rather than live the future that others want to happen. In goal-setting, we take charge. Here are 7 ways to set reachable goals. 1. Start With Your Strengths Although you can base your goals on anything you want, your chances of success are greater if, first, you base them on your strengths and second, on the current opportunities in your field. To find out your strengths, do some self-research, such as a personal SWOT: your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 2. Put Your Goals In Writing Written goals have a way of transforming wishes into wants, can'ts into cans, dreams into plans and plans into reality. The act of writing clarifies your goals and provides you with a way to check your progress. You can even add reasons to give you more motivation. So don't just think it - ink it! 3. Dream Big One of the factors that restricts the realisation of our full potential is the belief that we shouldn't go for big goals. Yet all the evidence of those who realize big goals is that we can always achieve far more than we think. David Schwartz says in his book "The Magic of Thinking Big": "Big goals attract big resources like a magnet." 4. Pitch Each Goal Once you have set your ultimate goal, you then need to set the intermediate goals that will get you where you want. Don't pitch these too easily or too ambitiously or they will drop into the Drop Zone. Aim to make them challenging: out of reach, but not out of sight.
5. Express Them Right It's important to express your goals in the right way. • never express your goal in terms of what you don't want; always in terms of what you do want • express your goals in performance terms not reward terms • express your goals in terms of how others benefit • express your goals according to the principles which matter. 6. Set Goals In Terms of Behaviour When we set goals for ourselves, they should be expressed in behavioural terms, rather than in terms of status, rewards or position. That’s because behaviour is something within our power, while status, rewards and position are not. Formulating goals in behavioural terms also means we present a strong positive image of ourselves to our brains. The brain, not knowing the difference between a real or imagined experience, then seeks to act in accordance with the presented image. 7. Pursue Your Goals With Passion The driving force behind your goal-achievement is Desire. You must desire your goals constantly, vividly and with a burning passion, knowing that you have already achieved them and now only need to realise them. If you do, you cannot fail to achieve them. It was said of Michaelangelo that, such was his focus and desire, he could blot out every distraction while working on a project such as the statue of David, until it was completed. Goal-setting is central to maximising our potential because it enables us to create something unique and new in our lives. Goalsetting allows us to feed our goal-oriented brain and puts us in control of our futures.
Programming Your Goals
Programming is a computer term that aptly describes what happens when we feed a goal into the network of our minds. We give it the goal and then programme it to achieve it. It then works like a locked-on missile seeking out its target. The following are 7 proven programming techniques that will ensure you land right on target. 1. Affirm What You Want Affirming what you want means stating your goal in the present tense as if you'd already achieved it. The brain takes whatever action needed to comply with the affirmation. Affirmations should be positive, realistic and expressed in emotive words such as “I love…” and “I enjoy…”. All of life’s outstanding achievers use affirmations. World champion boxer Muhammed Ali said, "I am the greatest". Composer Ludwig van Beethoven said, "I know that I am an artist". 2. Visualise It Visualisation means seeing yourself in your mind's eye having achieved your goal. The secret of visualisation is to do it in such rich detail, and with all your senses, that you are fully there. Ray Kroc, founder of restaurant chain McDonalds, had a regular bedtime routine, in which he would imagine all the day’s problems written on a blackboard. One by one, he would visualise them being solved. As a result, he managed to sleep like a log. 3. Associate Your Goal With Rewards Associate your goal with something you desire such as money, a desired object, or simply the feeling of pleasure and you will be motivated towards it. Alternatively, associate not getting your goal with something you don't want, such as loss of money or physical pain and you will remind yourself of what to avoid. These two feelings, pleasure and pain, are powerful programming forces. 4. Act As If
The more you act as if you've already achieved what you want, the more likely you are to achieve it. It's what cricketers do in the nets. Or teams that rehearse fire drills each week. Or entrepreneurs who visit their dream home each day as if they already owned it. The brain cannot tell the difference between actual reality and imagined reality and so will simply believe you have already achieved your goals. 5. De-Bug With Positive Self-Talk Just as a computer programme occasionally gets infected with viruses and bugs, so your own goal-setting programming can get infected with setbacks, doubts, and feelings of failure. That’s when you need an anti-virus mental programme to get rid of the bugs. One such programming is Positive Suggestion which is activated whenever you have thoughts of fear, panic or doom. Simply replace your negative thoughts with positive ones and remind yourself of your progress: “Every day in every way I am getting nearer and nearer my goals.” 6. Leave It Alone Once we feed our goals into our subconscious brains, it’s very important that we let our brains get on with the job without interference. The conscious brain is like the machine operator while the sub-conscious is the machine itself. This means that you have to let go and resist the temptation to analyse or check how it’s doing. When you let go, you let God or, if you like, let good into your life. 7. Pray With Heartfelt Gratitude Prayers are a form of programming that people have practised for centuries. But with one important difference from other kinds of programming. As well as verbalizing or internalizing something you want, you give thanks as if you already possessed it. Such gratitude connects you to a mightier power than you possess and unleashes great forces that work on your behalf.
When you practise these 7 programming techniques to achieve your goals, you will achieve with scientific certainty whatever you desire.
4.4 MOTIVATING OTHERS Using Motivation Theories to Help Influence Behavior Written by: N Nayab • Edited by: Ginny Edwards Research has established a relationship between motivation theories and organizational behavior. Read on for an explanation of how employees behave in an organization and how to motivate them to work to their potential. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory The Need Hierarchy theory of Abraham Maslow, first expounded in 1943, ranks amongst the earliest studies linking motivational theory and organizational behavior. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory lists a hierarchy of five need levels: 1. Physiological needs, or the need for basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter 2. Safety needs, or the need for security in both home and work 3. Social needs, or the need for loving, acceptance, and group affiliation 4. Esteem needs, or the need for recognition and acknowledgment, and self-respect 5. Self-actualization needs, or the need to develop to one's fullest potential An employee works his way up the need hierarchy, and on fulfilling a need level, aspires for the next level. For instance, an employee
already having attained recognition and acknowledgment no longer remains motivated by rewards such as recognition and acknowledgment, and would instead require opportunities for selfactualization to remain motivated. Conversely, an employee frustrated by the inability to fulfill higher-level needs may strive to fulfill lower level needs. Organizations can motivate employees by identifying the individual employee’s position in the need hierarchy and creating conditions that make it possible for him or her to achieve such needs through efforts in the workplace. For example, good leadership can facilitate better group communications. Alfred Alderfer’s ERG Theory Alderfer’s ERG theory is a modification of Maslow’s need hierarchy theory, and holds motivation dependent on three need dimensions: Existence, Relatedness, and Growth. Existence refers to desire for physiological and materialistic well-being, Relatedness refers to the desire to have significant positive relationships with other people of consequence, and growth refers to the desire to grow and use one’s innate abilities to the fullest potential. The theory holds that an individual remains motivated to any of these three need categories: •
Need for achievement (nAch), such as the desire to do things in a better or efficient way, to solve complex problems, and the like
Need for affiliation (nAff) such as the desire to establish and maintain good relations with others, to become part of a group, and the like
Need for power (nPower), such as the desire to assume leadership, become a decision making authority, and the like
The order of importance of these three needs varies among individuals. Organizations looking to motivate an employee need to focus on individual thought processes to identify the dominant need category, and establish performance rewards that fulfill such needs. Victor Vroomâ€™s Expectancy Theory Victor Vroomâ€™s Expectancy theory holds that employees perform to the level that they believe maximize their overall best interests. The prospects of desirable rewards that satisfy needs and a strong desire to satisfy needs motivate employees to perform to their potential. The Expectancy Theory holds motivation as a function of Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence. Expectancy refers to the expectations and confidence of employees regarding their ability to perform a task, and depends on factors such as basic skills required for the task, support expected from superiors and subordinates, availability of required tools and equipment, and the like. Instrumentality refers to the perception of whether accomplishment of the task leads to the desired results. This depends on factors such as rules of performance and reward, transparency and trust in the process, and the like. Valence refers to the emotional orientations of people regarding the outcomes or rewards, or the level of satisfaction they expect to get from the rewards. A reward motivates only if employees have a positive valence, or a preference to have the specified reward to not having it. For instance, some employees may prefer having time off, whereas other employees might not have the need for time off and might prefer money or achievement. Organizations looking to motivating employees in the workplace need to ensure that all the three factors: Expectancy,
Instrumentality, and Valence remain positive or high. Even achieving two out of these three factors does not motivate the employee. Equity Theory John Adam’s equity theory of motivation holds that people gauge the fairness of their work outcomes not based on the rewards they get in return for their work, but the extent of their rewards for the work put in relative to what others get. Individuals who perceive that they receive relatively less than others in proportion to their work inputs experience negative equity, and individuals who perceive that they receive relatively more than others in proportion to their work inputs experience positive equity. Organizations looking to motivate employees in the workplace need to ensure positive equity and avoid negative equity. Factors that trigger positive or negative equity are changes in work inputs, changes in outcomes, changes in the comparison person, and the like. The key to redress negative equity includes effective communication of reliable evaluation standards and comparison points to the employees. Reinforcement Theory B. F. Skinner’s reinforcement theory states that the individual’s behavior is a function of its reinforcement, which in turn bases itself on the “law of effect.” Reinforcement is the administration of a behavior resultant consequence, and proper management of reinforcement helps change the direction, level, and persistence of an individual’s behavior. The law of effect holds people repeat behavior that results in a pleasant outcome and avoid behavior that results in unpleasant outcomes. Organizations looking to motivate employees need to indulge in the systematic reinforcement of desirable work behavior.
The strategies to reinforce desirable work behaviors include 1.
using positive reinforcement through immediate rewards and encouragement whenever positive behavior occurs
withdrawal of negative consequences to increase the likelihood of repeating the desired behavior in a similar setting
inflicting punishment or the administration of negative consequences to reduce the likelihood of repeating an undesired behavior in similar settings
extinction, or withdrawal of the reinforcing consequences for a given behavior to discourage repetition
Herzbergâ€™s Motivator-Hygiene Theory Herzbergâ€™s Motivator-Hygiene theory ranks among the earliest studies of motivational theories and organizational behavior. This theory approaches motivation through job satisfaction, and hold that jobs that do not offer achievement, recognition, stimulating work, responsibility and advancement do not provide satisfaction whereas jobs that offer achievement, recognition, stimulating work, responsibility and advancement provide satisfaction, and hence motivation. Poor company policies, administration, supervision, pay, interpersonal relationships with supervisors, and working conditions cause dissatisfaction and demotivate employees whereas good policies, efficient administration, effective supervision, good pay, and good interpersonal relationships and working conditions create job satisfaction that motivates employees to work to their potential. Source: http://www.brighthub.com/office/humanresources/articles/95269.aspx
Motivating the coachee As you read in the part on challenging the coachee, in spite of the fact that the coachee knows he is in trouble and has come to see you about it, he isn't always motivated to really work on his problems. He can also get discouraged in the course of the sessions. It is up to you then to motivate him again by encouraging him to look at it from different angles. Here are some motivating sentences that you could use: • • • • • • • • •
What would encourage you? What would swing you into action? What inner resources could possibly strengthen your will to succeed? How could you speed things up? How much time do you allocate yourself? The sooner you start, the quicker you can reach your goal. We could go over everything again, but how about 'starting' today? Every journey starts with the first step. Sometimes you need to just grin and bear it, and go on.
Examples: Despite the counselling I give up. I just can't make it through the month. I think you've come a long way, hold on. Let's look at what we can come up with to make it through the coming week. What do you think you need for that? I really think I should cancel the evaluation with my boss. It's no use. Look, once you've had the evaluation with your boss, at least you'll know where you stand. It might not go as you wish, but things will be clearer then. And then you can make new plans
and put your energy in them. Let's see how you can prepare for the interview. Nice plans we've made, but I just don't seem to be able to carry them out. What's holding you back? I keep forgetting! How can you stop yourself from forgetting? Write things on a piece of paper and put it on the back of the door, so I see it before I leave the house. That's a good idea. Here's a piece of paper... I want to quit school because I don't think I will ever graduate. Maybe, but you've studied hard for four years. You only have a few more months to go. Actually you are virtually there and now you want to throw away four years, just like that? Bit of a waste, eh? It's your choice to throw away four years of effort. I'm scared to death I will flunk. So it's very important to you that you make it. Yes, I didn't put in four years for nothing. What would motivate you to go for it those last few months? Source: Source: The Art of Counselling / De Kunst van het Counselen ÂŠ Copyright Owner: Academy for Counselling and Coaching The Netherlands - Paul van Schaik
4.5 SURFING THE FLOW SPIRAL Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields. According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task,. although flow is also described (below) as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one's emotions. Colloquial terms for this or similar mental states include: to be on the ball, in the moment, present, in the zone, wired in, in the groove, or owning. Components of flow Csíkszentmihályi identifies the following accompanying an experience of flow
1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skill set and abilities). Moreover, the challenge level and skill level should both be high. 2. Concentrating, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
3. A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness. 4. Distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered. 5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed). 6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult). 7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity. 8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action. 9. A lack of awareness of bodily needs (to the extent that one can reach a point of great hunger or fatigue without realizing it) 10. Absorption into the activity, narrowing of the focus of awareness down to the activity itself, action awareness merging. Not all are needed for flow to be experienced. Etymology Flow is so named because during CsĂkszentmihĂĄlyi's 1975 interviews several people described their "flow" experiences using the metaphor of a water current carrying them along. The psychological concept of flow as becoming absorbed in an activity is thus unrelated to the older phrase go with the flow.
History/background The study of the concept of flow came about in the 1960s. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who is considered to be the founder of flow, and his fellow researchers began researching flow after
Csikszentmihalyi became fascinated by artists who would essentially get lost in their work. Artists, especially painters, got so immersed in their work that they would disregard their need for food, water and even sleep. Thus, the origin of research on the theory of flow came about when Csikszentmihalyi tried to understand this phenomenon experienced by these artists. Flow research became prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s, still with Csikszentmihalyi and his colleagues in Italy at the forefront. Researchers interested in optimal experiences and emphasizing positive experiences, especially in places such as schools and the business world, also began studying the theory of flow in this time period. The theory of flow was greatly used in the theories of Maslow and Rogers in their development of the humanistic tradition of psychology. Flow has been experienced throughout history and across cultures. The teachings of Buddhism and Taoism speak of a state of mind known as the "action of inaction" or "doing without doing" that greatly resembles the idea of flow. Also, Indian texts on Advaita philosophy such as Ashtavakra Gita and the Yoga of Knowledge such as Bhagavad-Gita refer to this similar state. Historical sources hint that Michelangelo may have painted the ceiling of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel while in a flow state. It is reported that he painted for days at a time, and he was so absorbed in his work that he did not stop for food or sleep until he reached the point of passing out. He would wake up refreshed and, upon starting to paint again, re-entered a state of complete absorption.
Bruce Lee also spoke of a psychological state similar to flow in his book the Tao of Jeet Kune Do.
Mechanism of flow In every given moment, there is a great deal of information made available to each individual. Psychologists have found that one's mind can attend to only a certain amount of information at a time. According to Miller's 1956 study, that number is about 126 bits of information per second. That may seem like a large number (and a lot of information), but simple daily tasks take quite a lot of information. Just having a conversation takes about 40 bits of information per second; that's 1/3 of one's capacity. That is why when one is having a conversation he or she cannot focus as much of his or her attention on other things. For the most part (except for basic bodily feelings like hunger and pain, which are innate), people are able to decide what they want to focus their attention on. However, when one is in the flow state, he or she is completely engrossed with the one task at hand and, without making the conscious decision to do so, loses awareness of all other things: time, people, distractions, and even basic bodily needs. This occurs because all of the attention of the person in the flow state is on the task at hand; there is no more attention to be allocated. One cannot force oneself to enter flow. It just happens. A flow state can be entered while performing any activity, although it is most likely to occur when one is wholeheartedly performing a task or activity for intrinsic purposes. Mental state in terms of challenge level and skill level, according to Csikszentmihalyi.
Conditions for flow
There are three conditions that are necessary to achieve the flow state: 1.
One must be involved in an activity with a clear set of goals. This adds direction and structure to the task.
One must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and his or her own perceived skills. One must have confidence that he or she is capable to do the task at hand.
The task at hand must have clear and immediate feedback. This helps the person negotiate any changing demands and allows him or her to adjust his or her performance to maintain the flow state.
In 1997, Csíkszentmihályi published the graph to the right. This graph depicts the relationship between the perceived challenges of a task and one's perceived skills. This graph illustrates one further aspect of flow: it can only occur when the activity at hand is a higher-than-average challenge (above the center point) and requires above-average skills (to the right of the center point). The center of this graph (where the sectors meet) represents one's average levels of challenge and skill. The further from the center an experience is, the greater the intensity of that state of being (whether it is flow or anxiety or boredom or relaxation). The autotelic personality Csíkszentmihályi hypothesized that people with several very specific personality traits may be better able to achieve flow more often than the average person. These personality traits include curiosity, persistence, low self-centeredness, and a high rate of performing activities for intrinsic reasons only. People with most of these personality traits are said to have an autotelic personality. It has not yet been documented whether people with an autotelic personality are truly more likely to achieve a flow state. One researcher (Abuhamdeh, 2000) did find that people with an autotelic personality have a greater preference for "high-actionopportunity, high-skills situations that stimulate them and encourage growth" than those without an autotelic personality. It is in such high-challenge, high-skills situations that people are most likely to enter the flow state. Group flow Csíkszentmihályi suggests several ways a group can work together so that each individual member achieves flow. The characteristics of such a group include:
Creative spatial arrangements: Chairs, pin walls, charts, but no tables; thus work primarily standing and moving
Playground design: Charts for information inputs, flow graphs, project summary, craziness (here also craziness has a place), safe place (here all may say what is otherwise only thought), result wall, open topics
Parallel, organized working
Target group focus
Advancement of existing one (prototyping)
Increase in efficiency through visualization
Using differences among participants as an opportunity, rather than an obstacle
Applications Applications suggested by Csíkszentmihályi versus other practitioners Only Csíkszentmihályi seems to have published suggestions for extrinsic applications of the flow concept, such as design methods for playgrounds to elicit the flow experience. Other practitioners of Csíkszentmihályi's flow concept focus on intrinsic applications, such as spirituality, performance improvement, or self-help. Reinterpretations of Csíkszentmihályi's flow process exist to improve performance in areas as diverse as business, piano improvisation, sport psychology, computer programming, and standup comedy. Education In education, there is the concept of overlearning, which seems to be an important factor in this technique, in that Csíkszentmihályi states that overlearning enables the mind to concentrate on visualizing the desired performance as a singular, integrated action instead of a set of actions. Challenging assignments that (slightly) stretch one's skills lead to flow.
Around 2000, it came to the attention of Csíkszentmihályi that the principles and practices of the Montessori Method of education seemed to purposefully set up continuous flow opportunities and experiences for students. Csíkszentmihályi and psychologist Kevin Rathunde embarked on a multi-year study of student experiences in Montessori settings and traditional educational settings. The research supported observations that students achieved flow experiences more frequently in Montessori settings. Music Musicians, especially improvisational soloists may experience a similar state of mind while playing their instrument. Research has shown that performers in a flow state have a heightened quality of performance as opposed to when they are not in a flow state. In a study performed with professional classical pianists who played piano pieces several times to induce a flow state, a significant relationship was found between the flow state of the pianist and the pianist’s heart rate, blood pressure, and major facial muscles. As the pianist entered the flow state, heart rate and blood pressure decreased and the major facial muscles relaxed. This study further emphasized that flow is a state of effortless attention. In spite of the effortless attention and overall relaxation of the body, the performance of the pianist during the flow state improved. Groups of drummers experience a state of flow when they sense a collective energy that drives the beat, something they refer to as getting into the groove. Bass guitarists often describe a state of flow when properly playing between the percussion and melody as being in the pocket.
Sports Flow may occur in challenging sports such as Eventing. The concept of being in the zone during an athletic performance fits within Csíkszentmihályi's description of the flow experience, and theories and applications of being in the zone and its relationship with athletic competitive advantage are topics studied in the field of sport psychology. Timothy Gallwey’s influential works on the "inner game" of sports such as golf and tennis described the mental coaching and attitudes required to "get in the zone" and fully internalize mastery of the sport. Roy Palmer suggests that "being in the zone" may also influence movement patterns as better integration of the conscious and subconscious reflex functions improves coordination. Many athletes describe the effortless nature of their performance while achieving personal bests – see references. The Formula One driver Ayrton Senna, who during qualifying for the 1988 Monaco Grand Prix explained: "I was already on pole, [...] and I just kept going. Suddenly I was nearly two seconds faster than anybody else, including my team mate with the same car. And suddenly I realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously. I was driving it by a kind of instinct, only I was in a different dimension. It was like I was in a tunnel." When challenges and skills are simultaneously above average, a broadly positive experience emerges. Also vital to the flow state is a sense of control, which nevertheless seems simultaneously effortless and masterful. Control and concentration manifest with a transcendence of normal awareness; one aspect of this transcendence is the loss of self-consciousness.
Religion and spirituality Csíkszentmihályi may have been the first to describe this concept in Western psychology, but as he himself readily acknowledges he was most certainly not the first to quantify the concept of flow or develop applications based on the concept. For millennia, practitioners of Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism have honed the discipline of overcoming the duality of self and object as a central feature of spiritual development. Eastern spiritual practitioners have developed a very thorough and holistic set of theories around overcoming duality of self and object, tested and refined through spiritual practice instead of the systematic rigor and controls of modern science. The phrase being at one with things is a metaphor of Csíkszentmihályi's flow concept. Practitioners of the varied schools of Zen Buddhism apply concepts similar to flow to aid their mastery of art forms, including, in the case of Japanese Zen Buddhism, Aikido, Cheng Hsin, Judo, Honkyoku, Kendo and Ikebana. In yogic traditions such as Raja Yoga reference is made to a state of flow in the practice of Samyama, a psychological absorption in the object of meditation. Theravada Buddhism refers to "access concentration," which is a state of flow achieved through meditation and used to further strengthen concentration into jhana, and/or to develop insight. In Islam the first mental state that precedes human action is known as al-khatir. In this state an image or thought is born in the mind. When in this mental state and contemplating upon an ayat or an imprint of God, one may experience a profound state of Oneness or flow whereby the phenomena of nature, the macrocosmic world and the souls of people are understood as a sign of God. Also, the teaching in the Qu'ran of different nations of people existing so that they may come to know each other is an example of Oneness. All members of society and the world are considered to be in flow of Oneness, one family, one body.
GamingThis is especially true since the primary goal of games is to create entertainment through intrinsic motivation. The use of flow in games helps foster an enjoyable experience which increases motivation and draws players to continue playing. Game designers, in particular, benefit from integration of flow principles into game design. Games facilitate flow as either an individual or group activity. Flow in games has been linked to the Laws of Learning as part of the explanation for why learning games (the use of games to introduce material, improve understanding, or increase retention) can show such incredible results. In particular, flow is intrinsically motivating, which is part of the Law of Readiness. The condition of feedback, required for flow, is associated with the feedback aspects of the Law of Exercise. The positive emotions associated with flow are associated with the Law of Effect. The intense experiences of being in a state of flow are directly associated with the Law of Intensity. Using the Web Researchers suggest that using the internet can cause a flow state for users. If individuals are going through a flow state, which is a pleasurable experience, web users eventually improve their subjective well-being through accumulated ephemeral moments. Many web users report certain descriptions of flow when using the web, for example, absorbed interest, a feeling of discovery, immersed pleasure, and time going very fast. Flow Activities on the Web Web users state that activities in the web atmosphere lead to a flow state. There are four common activities that promote flow, searching, surfing, reading and writing, and chatting.
The first and the most common activity to reach the flow state on the web is searching on the web. An example of searching is solving a problem such as the following responses from participants in a study of web flow: "I was very involved in several projects and used the net resources to look up items to supplement/back-up/provide information on those projects." "Doing research into emotional intelligence theory Âą following links and leads to more information." "Trying to find some scientific references for my research." "Anytime I get involved in a new research project on the Web, I get so excited and into it, I can have someone talking to me right next to my desk . . . and I won't even hear them talking." Surfing or Navigating The second activity to reach flow state on the web is surfing or navigating. An example of surfing or navigating is going through hyperlinks such as the following responses from participants in a study of web flow: "Going from site to site, following links that were related." "Doing some Web searches for information on a hobby of mine." "I was going to a Web site which had a new song by my favorite punk band. I was surprised and enmeshed in it." "Looking for information on a specific book, and got off on some links that were interesting and related [sort of] to what I started out looking for."
Reading and Writing The third activity to reach flow state on the web are reading and writing. Reading consists of reading incoming emails, news, articles, etc. on web pages. In addition, writing consists of composing letters, articles, speeches, etc. on web pages. The activity of reading e-mail and articles is one of the routes to experience flow because the text usually contains some new or relatively unfamiliar aspects, providing the challenges to sustain flow, which in turn usually caused growth and perceived benefits from increased knowledge and/or personal development. Furthermore, writing articles, speeches, or emails corresponds with the flow model due to the fact that an individual is arranging his or her thoughts positively. Chatting online The fourth activity to reach flow state on the web is chatting online. An example of chatting online is communicating with other individuals such as the following responses from participants in a study of web flow: "I was simply engaged in a running series of conversations with friends . . ." "Chatroom outside normal business hours." "Involved in a nine-way chat session with some friends I've made on the alt.fan.sailor-moon newsgroup." Other Activities There are many other activities people can partake in while using the web. Some individuals statethat they achieve flow by coding a program, hacking into a small business, building their own web page, watching a movie preview, troubleshooting computer problems, and many more.
Components/Symptoms of flow on the Web Merging of action and awareness When an individual is in flow, they are concentrating and narrowing down their activity. Therefore, an individual’s inner experience may reveal the phenomenon of merging action and awareness. The mind and action merge when individuals experience high concentration in the flow state. An example of high concentration in the flow state is a tennis player focusing only on his or her opponent and tennis ball, disregarding all external and internal activities, such as losing or yelling from an audience. In the web environment, the merging of action and awareness is realized when a user becomes the issue he or she is debating, the words he or she is typing, the sentences he or she is reading, or the machine he or she is working on. As a result, people “just sit here and keep clicking and reading away”. Examples of merging action and awareness are responses from participants in a study of web flow: "Connected to the material, like I had several books open at the same time and was moving between them without pause." "I feel [am!] totally concentrated on my task. There is nothing but the keyboard, the screen and my thought. If someone talks to me I will answer and I am still on ``stand by awareness with my environment, but I wouldn't think of doing or saying anything." "When I was unemployed and desperately searching for work, a task that seemed increasingly worthless, I began reading newsgroups and involving myself in discussions and disagreements there. The more involved I became in the *issues* that I was discussing and arguing, the less important my own petty problems became." "Just that my whole concentration is focused in what I'm doing ± I become the words I'm typing or reading. It's not that the outside world doesn't exist ± if one of my roommates knocks on my door, I
notice them and it's not a shock to return to the outside world. But until that happens I'm totally engrossed." "In chat sessions Âą I chat often enough that ``talking through the keyboard has become second nature." "Relaxed . . . I guess just . . . well . . . nothing. I wasn't feeling anything until I'd sit back and relax my eyes a bit . . . then I'd realize that I had more stuff that I should be doing, but I'd just sit here and keep clicking and reading away." "I was in a heated discussion on a chat network for the better part of two hours. I cannot remember what the subject was about, but all I knew was I was totally blind to the world." A Loss of Self-Consciousness People tend to lose awareness of self, due to the experiencing of flow state. In addition, people tend to lose the function of defending and protecting themselves because of flow. This is a common experience from web users, such as the following responses below from participants in a study of web flow: "Whether it is reading newsgroups or doing a search for a particular thing I tend to concentrate and ``lose myself." "I become the persona I present in the newsgroup, not my ``real self. It's my other identity." "I am a smoker, I can't smoke in my office, and sometimes I won't even want a cigarette for several hours [when in the flow state]." "How do I feel? I tend to shut out my feelings too Âą if I'm reading/interacting with good content, I put off my feeling that I need to go to the bathroom, that I am hungry, etc." "I feel like there is no ``Me; I feel there has been a merging of man and machine."
"I feel agitated and compelled to get the job done to the point of ignoring hunger, thirst or the need to go to the bathroom." "I get so disconnected from the world that someone else has to pull me out. Like they were there with me to keep my mind off of the ``real world. Oblivious. The physical world and its demands cease to exist. My own mind and intelligence are the only limitations I encounter." "I heard the radio, drank beer, and smoked cigarettes. I was aware of my surroundings, but yes I was less aware of my problems." "I don't know. I was working not looking at me working . . ." Sense of Time Distortion When a person is experiencing flow, their internal clock slows down or speeds up, but the external clock is constant. Furthermore, people state that hours seem to change into minutes and vice versa. The sense of time distortion is frequent in the web environment, such as the following responses from web users: "Even though I have a program that audibly announces the time in a female voice every 15 minutes on my computer, I don't hear it . . . When I leave my computer from the newsgroup I have a slightly dazed, disassociated feeling. While in the newsgroup I have lost all sense of time. What subjectively seems like 20 minutes turns out to have actually been 2 and 1/2 hours." "Time went by extremely fast. Two hours had passed before I had ever realized it. I was quite shocked that so much time had passed without me being aware of it." "Just that feeling of being totally absorbed in what you're doing, looking at the clock and saying ``Dang, how can it be 4 a.m., I just started this project! "I felt involved and like the time was a half-hour but it was more like three hours."
"Finding content material for a series of class presentations. I began putting the material together at 10 a.m. and floundered for a few minutes, when I began finding detailed information I kept working of what seemed like an hour Âą it was actually 3 p.m." "I don't remember specifics, but I have several memories of head jerking (as in when you fall asleep and your head falls forward and jerks back) that caused me to realize that my perception of what time it should be was several hours behind the time it actually was." Professions and work Developers of computer software reference getting into a flow state, sometimes referred to as The Zone or hack mode,[ when developing in an undistracted state. Stock market operators often use the term "in the pipe" to describe the psychological state of flow when trading during high volume days and market corrections. Professional poker players use the term "playing the A-game" when referring to the state of highest concentration and strategical awareness. Flow in the Workplace Conditions of flow, defined as a state in which challenges and skills are equally matched, play an extremely important role in the workplace. Because flow is associated with achievement, its development could have concrete implications in increasing workplace satisfaction and accomplishment. Flow researchers, such as Csikszentmihalyi, believe that certain interventions may be performed to enhance and increase flow in the workplace, through which people would gain â€˜intrinsic rewards that encourage persistenceâ€? and provide benefits. In his consultation work, Csikszentmihalyi emphasizes finding activities and environments that are conducive to flow, and then identifying and developing personal characteristics to increase experiences of flow. Applying these methods in the workplace, such as Csikszentmihalyi did with
Swedish police officers, can improve morale by fostering a sense of greater happiness and accomplishment, and in correlated to increased performance. In his review of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book “Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning,” Coert Vissar introduces the ideas presented by Csikszentmihalyi, including “good work” in which one “enjoys doing your best while at the same time contributing to something beyond yourself.” He then provides tools by which managers and employees can create an atmosphere that encourages good work. First, Csikszentmihalyi explains that experiencing flow, in which a task requires full involvement, and the challenge of a task matches one’s ability. In order to achieve flow, Csikszentmihalyi lays out the following eight conditions: 1. goals are clear 2. feedback is immediate 3. a balance between opportunity and capacity 4. concentration deepens 5. the present is what matters 6. control is no problem 7. the sense of time is altered 8. the loss of ego Csikszentmihalyi argues that with increased experiences of flow, people experience “growth towards complexity,” in which people flourish as their achievements grow and with that comes development of increasing “emotional, cognitive, and social complexity” (Vissar). By creating a workplace atmosphere that allows for flow and growth, Csikszentmihalyi argues, can increase the happiness and achievement of employees. There are, however, barriers to achieving flow in the workplace. In his chapter “Why Flow Doesn’t Happen on the Job,” Csikszentmihalyi argues the first reason that flow does not occur is that the goals of one’s job are not clear. He explains that while some tasks at work may fit into a
larger, organization plan, the individual worker may not see where their individual task fits it. Second, limited feedback about one’s work can reduce motivation and leaves the employee unaware of whether or not they did a good job. When there is little communication of feedback, an employee may not be assigned tasks that challenge them or seem important, which could potentially prevent an opportunity for flow. In the study “Predicting flow at work: Investigating the activities and job characteristics that predict flow states at work” Karina Nielsen and Bryan Clean used a 9- item flow scale to examine predictors of flow at two levels: activity level (such as brainstorming, problem solving, and evaluation) and at a more stable level (such as role clarity, influence, and cognitive demands). They found that activities such as planning, problem solving, and evaluation predicted transient flow states, but that more stable job characteristics were not found to predict flow at work. This study can help us identify which task at work can be cultivated and emphasized in order to help employees experience flow on the job. In her article in Positive Psychology News Daily, Kathryn Britton examines the importance of experiencing flow in the workplace beyond the individual benefits it creates. She writes, “Flow isn’t just valuable to individuals; it also contributes to organizational goals. For example, frequent experiences of flow at work lead to higher productivity, innovation, and employee development (Csikszentmihalyi, 1991, 2004). So finding ways to increase the frequency of flow experiences can be one way for people to work together to increase the effectiveness of their workplaces.”
Benefits of flow Flow is an innately positive experience; it is known to "produce intense feelings of enjoyment and its improvement of performance results in satisfying achievement. Flow has a strong, documented correlation with performance enhancement. Researchers have found that achieving a flow state is positively correlated with optimal performance in the fields of artistic and scientific creativity (Perry, 1999; Sawyer, 1992), teaching (Csíkszentmihályi, 1996), learning (Csíkszentmihályi et al., 1993), and sports (Jackson, Thomas, Marsh, & Smethurst, 2002; Stein, Kimiecik, Daniels, & Jackson, 1995) Flow also has a strong correlation with the further development of skills and personal growth. When one is in a flow state, he or she is working to master the activity at hand. To maintain that flow state, one must seek increasingly greater challenges. Attempting these new, difficult challenges stretches one's skills. One emerges from such a flow experience with a bit of personal growth and great "feelings of competence and efficacy". Further, flow is positively correlated with a higher subsequent motivation to perform and to perform well. Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
4.6 INCREASING SELF ESTEEM 4.6.1 What You See is What You Get! How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as someone who’s successful, healthy and attractive? Are you surrounded by positive influences and great relationships? Or, do you see yourself struggling with negativity or bad habits and questionable behavior? What do YOU see? What you see is essential because what you see is what you get! We often have a distorted view of ourselves. For instance when people look in the mirror it’s like a fun house, they see this completely ridiculous image, only in this case it’s not fun and it’s not always reality. It’s very often not as bad as they perceive it to be. How you see yourself is critical to your life because your thoughts dictate your feelings and your actions. The person we believe ourselves to be will always act in a manner consistent with our self-image. ~Brian Tracy
Time to Detox
If you always see yourself as average, dumb or overweight then you certainly will remain that way. If you change the image that you see inside your mind, then it will change that image outside of your mind. It cannot happen any other way. You are what your thoughts are. First a thought, then an action. Think about it. Is it better to see yourself failing or succeeding? What if you think youâ€™ll fail an exam, or ruin a relationship? If a thought is followed by an action, how can negative thoughts be beneficial to anything? Negative thoughts can only have a negative impact on the outcome of the event youâ€™re thinking about, and
then you will act on that negativity. People do it in their relationships all the time, they don’t ask, they just assume the worst and then act as if it’s true. It alters their mood and their relationship, all because of a negative thought or visualization. Even though you may not be where you want to be in your life, what’s stopping you from doing something about it? If you’re not happy with your career or relationship, how will it change? It can only change if you change. The “self-image” is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self image and you change the personality and the behavior. ~Maxwell Maltz Reign over the Brain If you’re not familiar with how powerful thoughts truly are then this should interest you. A study conducted by Dr. Blaslotto at the University of Chicago was done where he split people into three groups and tested each group on how many free throws they could make shooting a basketball. It went like so. • • •
The first group practiced free throws every day for an hour. The second group did nothing. The third group just visualized themselves making free throws.
After 30 days, he tested them again and the results were quite amazing. • • •
The first group improved by 24%. The second group did not improve which was expected The third group improved by 23% without ever touching a basketball!!!!
Imagine the improvement if they implemented both physical practice along with the mental rehearsal through positive thoughts and successful visualization. They were only instructed to harness the power of thought and that alone had a positive outcome. You become what you think about. ~Earl Nightingale One Flesh, One Bone . . . One Vision
You have one life, one body and one mind so use it to the best of your abilities! Do not believe what others think of you, even if they’re right, right now. You can prove them wrong from this day
forward. You can turn your life around. You can learn and grow because creative visualization doesn’t just pertain to sports, it’s equally effective in all aspects of life. Will visualization work every time? No, but it will always create a better outcome than if you focus on negative thoughts. Before I was a sales trainer and success coach, I was a salesperson, and I always assumed the best. I never thought “why would this person be interested?” or “maybe I’m bothering them,” instead I felt that every person I spoke to was going to want my product, and coincidentally I was the top producer in my company. All because I acted on the thought that they were going to do business with me. I didn’t let them think it over nor did I send/leave information for them, and why would I? As far as I was concerned, they were buying! And they did more often than not. Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. ~Henry Ford Change your mind, change your thoughts and change your life, it’s all up to you, no one else can do it for you. You have the power to decide exactly how you want your life to go, so take it back and make it a fun house!! Source: Rob Liano - Rock Star Success Coach & Sales Trainer www.rockstarsalestraining.com - 1.888.379.8315
1.6.2 Beyond Encouragement.
Validating Self-Worth and Character Through the Use of “Directed Reflections” Introduction Encouragement is a basic element in our work as coachs and therapists. Through the use of a new strategy, “directed reflections,” we can go beyond encouragement, focusing on the 36 core components of character, and truly validate self-worth and character. The results of this technique are profound and all coachs/therapists can benefit from its application. In this article, the strategy of directed reflections is defined and demonstrated. Suggestions for use, such as in debriefing “homework” and in character education, are offered. Although Alfred Adler, the creator of Individual Psychology, did not focus directly on character education, he did offer one of the more important concepts to be found in the counseling literature. For Adler, the single criterion for “success” in life was embodied in the extent to which the individual possesses “social interest.” It is this concept that describes the ideal state of the individual’s mental health or what we might term today as “character.” Adler described social interest as being an aptitude or innate potentiality for living cooperatively and contributing to the good of others. However, according to Adler, social interest or character had to be consciously developed (Milliren, Evans, & Newbauer, 2003). If we are to draw out and help develop social interest or character in others, it is important that we validate it when we see (or hear about) it happening. Our coachees report the changes they are making all the time, yet we rarely see these reports as opportunities for developing character. A chance remark from a coachee “My wife and I were able to have a long talk together last night”—presents a tremendous opportunity to draw out character
traits that are already there. We have an opportunity to reflect the underlying character components and thereby reinforce the life choices that our coachees are making. Thus, character education can become an everyday opportunity. Messer (2001) related character to the concept of self-respect. He quoted Rudolf Dreikurs, a student of Alfred Adler, as defining selfrespect as “the feeling that one is a worthwhile human being in spite of one’s faults and imperfections” (Messer,2001,p. 265). This represents the “courage to be imperfect” that Dreikurs discussed on numerous occasions (Terner & Pew, 1978) and is the key to the development of character. Messer went on to say that self-respect (or character) “is not expressed in terms of ‘knowing,’ but of ‘feeling.’ It is not based on objective conditions. It is a subjective experience” (p. 265). Table 1 lists 36 “characteristics” or components that help to define one’s character. These serve as the traits or qualities that can be directly reflected to a coachee in response to his/her “success” report.
The intention of a directed reflection is to draw out the elements of character that already exist for the person. The purpose is to “tag” that inner core where belief in self lies. Try to “hear” the following responses and note the differences. (1) “How did you feel about that?” (2) “You must feel good about how that turned out for you.” (3) “It feels really good inside when you realize that you are capable of handling things for yourself.” The third example is a directed reflection. It is focused on the feeling component of the experience (which is similar to the skill of reflective listening, as in the second response above) as well as on the character component that is being evidenced by the person. It is this latter element that is so critical to identify in and for the person. We need to draw that component out in our responses and demonstrate to the individual that he/she already is acting in positive, useful, and constructive ways. In the example that follows, the various components of character, noted in Table 1, are deliberately reflected back to the person. Each response is designed to capture a different character component. In the example, these components are noted in parentheses. We have discovered that it is best to use a five-step response sequence that includes a variation of five different components of character. This system seems to provide a broader range of validation and is most reinforcing for the coachee. At a minimum, a three-step system will suffice; at a maximum, anything that exceeds five different responses becomes overkill and begins to lose effectiveness. In this example, a young woman is reporting what might be termed a “negative” success. However, even in some of the sadness about losing a relationship there are opportunities to directly
reflect the underlying positive elements of character that made it possible for her to end the relationship. YW: “I finally broke up with my boyfriend last night. You know, he was pretty abusive to me.” CO: “As much as that may hurt right now, you sound pretty confident about what you did.” (Confidence) YW: “I was kind of scared for a long time but I made up my mind to do it and now it’s done.” CO: “So, you overcame your fear and took a big step.” (Freedom from Fear/Anxiety) YW: “It was—especially for me—I don’t like to cause trouble.” CO: “You’d rather keep the peace if you can but now you know you can take charge like this yourself!” (Power and Control) YW: “I deserve better—he always put me down and told me I was stupid.” CO: “And you have more worth and value than that.” (Equality) YW: “Duhhhhh! Of course I do!” CO: “And now you are feeling really in control of the situation.” (Independence) YW: “Yeah. He wants to make up but I’m not interested any more.” You will note that the preceding example includes five different directed reflections. This is important because we want the person to really “hear” what we are saying. In the event that one reflection of a character component does not quite take, we increase the odds by adding the other four. The general outcome, however, is that each of the directed reflections connects in some way with the core of a person’s being and serves to reinforce some aspect of the individual’s “inner self.”
Directed reflections require the skill of intelligent or “educated” guessing. Guessing, whether right or wrong, allows the coach to arrive at the core of the situation much more quickly than endless fact-gathering and questioning. As we debrief the “homework” our coachees have participated in, we can listen for the components of character and use the directed reflections to respond to the successful elements. However, as seen in the example dialogue, we do not have to limit our responses to positive experiences. If we do not get reports of successes spontaneously, we might wish to open our individual (and even group) contacts with coachees with the following statements or questions: “Tell me about one of your ‘wins’ or successes.” “Tell me what you accomplished lately.” “Have you done something new that you’ve never done before?” “What kind of positive risks have you taken?” Then, get set to listen and focus on the character component. If the person’s first response does not seem to lead anywhere, then an appropriate response might be: “And how was that for you?” In classroom groups, we can select a story with a theme or character issue. These stories can serve as a stimulus to our discussions and directed reflections. We can ask, “Have you ever had to make a similar choice?” “Tell me about it.” As the student(s) relate their stories, respond to their telling with appropriate directed reflections from the 36 components of character.
Summary The directed reflection is a new technique for validating the selfworth and character of others. A directed reflection is a response to another person that consists of a reflection of feeling coupled with a statement of one (or more) of the 36 components of character. For example, we might say: “You’re feeling really pumped (a reflection of feeling) when you are in control of yourself and can make positive things happen for you (two of the components of character).” Responses such as this provide an excellent means for debriefing a coachee’s “success” experience. For the greatest impact, three to five directed reflections should be used at any one time. Conclusion This strategy should only be used to “catch” character when it is occurring. We cannot force the issue of character development. We can only reinforce the appropriate components of character when we have an opportunity to “observe” them in action. The observations can be in “real” time or in the success stories others tell us—but they must exist. This is not a technique that serves as a subtle means of imparting values when they are not there, even though such action may be tempting. Moreover, it is not intended as a technique for influencing behavior change, although this is also a tempting alternative. When used inappropriately, genuineness disappears and the words sound hollow and mechanical. When used with appropriate timing and sincerity, directed reflections usually catch just a little piece of the person’s core beliefs. It is at that core where character and social interest reside. The directed reflections go beyond merely encouraging another person. As Messer (2001) explains, we are helping the individual
discover the he/she is a worthwhile human being in spite of his/her faults and imperfections.
Source: Al Milliren and Linda Maier Messer, M. (2001). Managing anger. Chicago, IL: Anger Institute. Messer, m. (1995). The Components of Our Character. Chicago, IL: Anger Institute. Milliren, A. P., Evans, T. D., & Newbauer, J. F. (2003). Adlerian counseling and psychotherapy. In D. Capuzzi, & D. R. Gross, (Eds.), Counseling and psychotherapy: Theories and interventions. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill â€“ Prentice Hall. Terner, J. & Pew, W. L. (1978). The courage to be imperfect: The lifeand work of Rudolf Dreikurs. New York: Hawthorn Books
Relaxation and scripts for self-help, personal change and fulfilment I am I deserve to be, - I want to be, - I can be, - I will be, - I am If you want to change your life you need to change how you think and change what you do. Self-help, personal change, being happy: it's up to you. No-one else. You decide. This is the first step. Self-help starts with you. Self-help and personal change starts with your realisation that it really is in your own hands, and your decision to do something about it. Your own self-belief is the key to successful life-change, achievement, contentment, and happiness.
Your own mind, particularly positive suggestion and visualisation, will develop your self-belief, and your determination to make successful change to your life. This page will help you begin to change the way you think, feel and act. Visit it any time you want to boost your self-belief, to relax, and to regain control of your life and direction. Print this page and put it above your mirror, above your bed, above your desk, anywhere you'll see it every day. Make time - actually schedule some time in your planner or diary to do this. It will dramatically improve your mood, attitude, and approach to life, and therefore what you get from life. Positive suggestion and visualisation, combined with deep relaxation, is an easy way to make powerful positive personal change. Just going through this relaxation exercise alone will help to change and improve the way you feel. If you combine the relaxation techniques with a repeated script of positive statements, such as the 'I am' script below, you will begin change the way you think, and feel, and act, and all that life offers as a result. The more you use the relaxation exercise and say or hear the script, then the greater and more sustainable will be the effect. The time it takes to change depends on different people. Stick with it and it will become easier, more natural, more enjoyable, and it will work. Relaxation exercise 1.
Sit or lie down comfortably. Properly comfortably. Straighten your back, put your shoulders back to open your rib-cage.
Relax your shoulder muscles particularly. Relax your whole body, and empty your mind.
Close your eyes (obviously open them when you need to read the next stage).
Take ten deep, slow breaths. Breathe from the pit of your stomach and feel your lungs filling.
Focus on your breathing. Feel it getting deeper and slower. Feel yourself relaxing and any tension drifting away.
Relax your shoulders and neck again.
Visualise yourself being happy, succeeding, winning, being loved, laughing, feeling good.
Relax your forehead, your mouth and your eyes.
Allow a gentle smile to appear on your face as you feel a calmness enter your mind.
10. Then say (out load ideally) the words below (a script for personal change) to yourself: I am I am good person. I have integrity. I do what is ethically right and good. Whatever life puts before me will be useful experience that will make me stronger, wiser, and more tolerant. I am strong enough to understand and make allowances for other people's weaknesses, and their behaviour towards me. Other people's behaviour is about them, not me. I focus on the joy of living my life and helping others where and when I can. I am what I eat and drink, so I eat and drink good things. I am what I watch and play and listen, so I watch and play and listen to good positive things. I take exercise which I enjoy. I walk when I don't need to drive or take the bus or train.
I smile and laugh whenever I can - life is good - getting caught in the rain reminds me that it is good to be alive to feel it. I forgive other people. Deep down everyone is a good person, just like me. I am a compassionate and loving, caring person. I am a good person. I am. Using and changing scripts - what the 'i am' words mean The 'I am' element alone is a powerful one because it embodies the sense of self-determination, which nobody and nothing can ever take away from you, and it emphasises the value of simply 'being'. We each exist as a person of value and worth in our own right, irrespective of possessions and achievements. Accepting and reinforcing this concept is good for each of us. This, at its simplest level, is what 'I am' means. "There is wisdom in accepting what you are. It is difficult to be what you are not. Being what you are doesn't require any effort. When you become wise, you accept yourself the way you are, and the complete acceptance of yourself becomes the complete acceptance of everyone else." (From 'The Mastery of Love' by Don Miguel Ruiz, with thanks to Allspirit.co.uk) You can use the relaxation exercise, combined with a script, to change many aspects of your life and feelings. You do this by adding, removing, or replacing statements in the script. Keep the statements positive and in the present tense. For example, if you want to be more confident, use a statement such as 'I am a confident person' rather than 'I will be a more confident person' or 'I will try to be a more confident person'.
If you want to stop smoking, use a statement such as 'I am a nonsmoker, because I value my life and body' rather than 'I will try to give up smoking'. If you do not want to give up smoking, merely to cut down, adjust the script accordingly, for example: 'I smoke only five/ten/fifteen cigarettes a day, because this is improving my health and my life' (better than smoking twenty or thirty day). If you keep telling your sub-conscious that you 'are', then in time you will 'be'. Use script statements that describe yourself as you want to be. Repeating positive scripts, combined with deep relaxation, will change your behaviour from deep within. Making tapes or script recordings You can increase the ease of using scripts if you make a tape or CD recording of yourself reading your script. You can then use the recording any time you want. Using a recording also means you can relax completely while listening to the words, with no need to open your eyes to read. You can also listen to your recorded script at bed-time, before you go to sleep every night, which is also an effective way to reach and change your sub-conscious feelings. Be assured... Most people judge themselves against entirely artificial criteria. Material success is not what life is about. You can change your frame of reference. You do not have to accept a frame of reference that others have given you. Many of the most materially 'successful' people are deeply unhappy, yet they strive and search (unsuccessfully) even harder for more material success.
Most ordinary good, honest 'being' people are fooled into believing that what they have is not worth anything. Don't be fooled. The answer to happiness and fulfilment is usually found in achieving a simple acceptance of, and joy of living, a good life. Enjoy 'being' and living a good life. Next time you get caught in the rain, or bump the car, or get a headache - enjoy being alive to feel it and experience it. (With acknowledgements to Carole Byrd and Buddha Maitreya.) Source: http://www.businessballs.com/selfbelief.htm
IF - by Rudyard Kipling (1865 â€“ 1936) If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream - and not make dreams your master, If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
4.7 RESOLVING CONFLICT Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann PUBLISHED BY CONSULTING PSYCHOLOGISTS PRESS, INC. Copyright 1974, 2001 by Xicom, Incorporated. Xicom, Incorporated is a subsidiary of Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. All rights reserved. The Five Conflict-Handling Modes The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) is designed to assess an individual’s behavior in conflict situations - that is, situations in which the concerns of two people appear to be incompatible. In such situations, we can describe a person’s behavior along two basic dimensions: (1) assertiveness, the extent to which the individual attempts to satisfy his or her own concerns, and (2) cooperativeness, the extent to which the individual attempts to satisfy the other person’s concerns. These two basic dimensions of behavior can be used to define five specific methods of dealing with conflicts. These five "conflict-handling modes" are shown below.
1. Competing is assertive and uncooperative, a power-oriented mode. When competing, an individual pursues his or her own concerns at the other personâ€™s expense, using whatever power seems appropriate to win his or her position. Competing might mean standing up for your rights, defending a position you believe is correct, or simply trying to win. 2. Accommodating is unassertive and cooperative - the opposite of competing. When accommodating, an individual neglects his or her own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other person; there is an element of self-sacrifice in this mode. Accommodating might take the form of selfless generosity or charity, obeying another personâ€™s order when you would prefer not to, or yielding to anotherâ€™s point of view. 3. Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative. When avoiding, an individual does not immediately pursue either his or her own concerns or those of the other person. He or she does not address the conflict. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue until a better time, or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation.
4. Collaborating is both assertive and cooperative - the opposite of avoiding. When collaborating, an individual attempts to work with the other person to find a solution that fully satisfies the concerns of both. It involves digging into an issue to identify the underlying concerns of the two individuals and to find an alternative that meets both sets of concerns. Collaborating between two persons might take the form of exploring a disagreement to learn from each otherâ€™s insights, with the goal of resolving some condition that would otherwise have them competing for resources, or confronting and trying to find a creative solution to an interpersonal problem. 5. Compromising is intermediate in both assertiveness and cooperativeness. When compromising, the objective is to find an expedient, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties. Compromising falls on a middle ground between competing and accommodating, giving up more than competing but less than accommodating. Likewise, it addresses an issue more directly than avoiding, but doesnâ€™t explore it in as much depth as collaborating. Compromising might mean splitting the difference, exchanging concessions, or seeking a quick middle-ground position. "What is the correct handling mode?" In the case of conflict-handling behavior, there are no right or wrong handling modes. All five modes are useful in some situations: each represents a set of useful social skills. Our conventional wisdom recognizes, for example, that often "Two heads are better than one" (Collaborating). But it also says, "Kill your enemies with kindness" (Accommodating), "Split the difference" (Compromising), "Leave well enough alone" (Avoiding), and "Might makes right" (Competing). The effectiveness of a given conflict-handling mode depends upon the requirements of the specific conflict situation and the skill with which you use that mode.
You are capable of using all five conflict-handling modes: you cannot be characterized as having a single, rigid style of dealing with conflict. However, it may be possible that you use some modes more readily than others and therefore tend to rely upon those modes more heavily. The conflict behaviors you use are the result of both your personal predispositions and the requirements of the situations in which you find yourself. Also, your social skills may lead you to rely upon some conflict behaviors more or less than others.
Competing Uses • When quick, decisive action is vital - for example, in an emergency • On important issues where unpopular courses of action need implementing - for example, cost cutting, enforcing unpopular rules, discipline • On issues vital to company welfare when you know you're right • To protect yourself against people who take advantage of noncompetitive behavior Questions to Ask In some situations, you may wish to ask yourself: • Do you sometimes feel powerless in situations? You may be unaware of the power you do have, unskilled in its use, or uncomfortable with the idea of using it. This may hinder your effectiveness by restricting your influence. • Do you sometimes have trouble taking a firm stand, even when you see the need? Sometimes concerns for others' feelings or anxieties about the use of power causes us to vacillate, which may mean postponing the decision and adding to the suffering and/or resentment of others. Accommodating Uses • When you realize that you are wrong - to allow a better solution to be considered, to learn from others, and to show that you are reasonable • When the issue is much more important to the other person than to yourself - to satisfy the needs of others, and as a goodwill gesture to help maintain a cooperative relationship
• To build up social credits for later issues that are important to you • When continued competition would only damage your cause when you are outmatched and losing • When preserving harmony and avoiding disruption are especially important • To aid in the development of your employees by allowing them to experiment and learn from their own mistakes Questions to Ask You may wish to ask yourself: • Do you feel that your ideas and concerns sometimes do not get the attention they deserve? Deferring too much to the concerns of others can deprive you of influence, respect, and recognition. It can also deprive the organization of your potential contributions. • Is discipline lax? Although discipline for its own sake may be of little value, there are often rules, procedures, and assignments whose implementation is crucial for you or the organization. Avoiding Uses • When an issue is trivial or of only passing importance, or when other, more important issues are pressing • When you perceive no chance of satisfying your concerns - for example, when you have low power or you are frustrated by something that would be very difficult to change (national policies, someone's personality structure, and so on) • When the potential costs of confronting a conflict outweigh the benefits of its resolution • To let people cool down - to reduce tensions to a productive level and to regain perspective and composure • When gathering more information outweighs the advantages of an immediate decision
• When others can resolve the conflict more effectively • When the issue seems tangential or symptomatic of another, more basic issue Questions to Ask You may wish to ask yourself: • Do you sometimes find yourself hurting others' feelings or stirring up hostilities? You may need to exercise more discretion and tact in framing issues in non-threatening ways. • Do you sometimes feel harried or overwhelmed by a number of issues? You may need to devote more time to setting priorities-that is, deciding which issues are relatively unimportant, and perhaps delegating them to others. Collaborating Uses • To find an integrative solution when the concerns of both parties are too important to be compromised • When your objective is to learn - for example, testing your own assumptions, understanding the views of others • To merge insights from people with different perspectives on a problem • To gain commitment by incorporating others' concerns into a consensual decision • To work through hard feelings that have been interfering with an interpersonal relationship Questions to Ask You may wish to ask yourself: • Is it difficult for you to see differences as opportunities for joint gain - that is, as opportunities to learn or solve problems? Although conflict situations often involve threatening or
unproductive aspects, approaching all such situations with pessimism can prevent you from seeing collaborative possibilities and thus deprive you of the mutual gains and satisfactions that accompany successful collaboration. • Are your employees uncommitted to your decisions or policies? Perhaps their concerns are not being incorporated into those decisions or policies. Compromising Uses • When goals are moderately important but not worth the effort or the potential disruption involved in using more assertive modes • When two opponents with equal power are strongly committed to mutually exclusive goals - as in labor-management bargaining • To achieve temporary settlement of complex issues • To arrive at an expedient solution under time pressure • As a backup mode when collaboration or competition fails Questions to Ask You may wish to ask yourself: • Do you find yourself too sensitive or embarrassed to be effective in some bargaining situations? • Do you sometimes find it difficult to make concessions? Without this safety valve, you may have trouble gracefully getting out of mutually destructive arguments, power struggles, and so on. Of the five modes described in the matrix, only the strategy employing collaboration as a mode of conflict management breaks free of the win-lose paradigm. It has become almost habitual to fall back on the win-win alternative, but this was not the authors' original intention. They did not reject win-lose configurations out of hand. Instead, strategic considerations for managing conflict according to varied circumstances were identified. For instance, in a
conflict centered on bids by two alternative suppliers, the best choice might well be a competing strategy with a winner and loser. After all, the objective in such a situation is to win the contract for one's own company. In most cases, winning the contract can be accomplished only at the expense of the competing supplier, who by definition becomes the loser. In contrast, a competing approach almost never works well in the interpersonal conflict of people working in the same office. Unlike the case of competing suppliers, coworkersâ€”both the winner and the loserâ€”must go on working together. Indeed, in many conflicts revolving around office politics, an accommodating strategy may actually enable individuals to strengthen their future negotiating position through allowing themselves to lose in conflicts over issues they do not feel particularly strongly about. In such situations, accommodating can be seen as a form of winning through losing. Source: http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/CompDe/Conflict-Management-and-Negotiation.html
THE FIVE A'S TECHNIQUE Borisoff and Victor identify five steps in the conflict management process that they call the "five A's" of conflict management: assessment, acknowledgement, attitude, action, and analysis. They assert that these five steps allow for a sustained, ongoing process of problem-solving-oriented conflict management. ASSESSMENT. In the assessment step, the parties involved collect appropriate information regarding the problem. The parties involved also choose which of the conflict-handling modes is most appropriate for the situation. The parties collectively decide what is and what is not central to the problem. The parties involved also indicate areas in which they may be willing to compromise, and what each party actually wants. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. The acknowledgement step is one in which each party attempts to hear out the other. Acknowledgement allows both parties to build the empathy needed for the motivation of a synergistic solution to the problem. The acknowledgement acts as feedback to the other party and it demonstrates that one understands (without necessarily agreeing with) the other party's position. Acknowledgement goes beyond merely responding to what is said, however; it involves actively encouraging the other party to openly communicate its concerns. This is aided by the use of active listening techniques and overt, nonverbal encouragement. ATTITUDE. The attitude step tries to remove the foundation for pseudoconflict. Stereotypical assumptions about different, culturallybased behaviors are uncovered. For example, a member of a highcontext culture may misinterpret what a member of a low-context culture says as being needlessly blunt or even rude. Conversely, a
member of a low-context culture may misinterpret what a person from a high-context culture says as being needlessly indirect or even outright deceptive. Such communication variations (as the works of Edward Hall have explained) have little to do with the actual intent or content of the messages, but represent instead culturally learned approaches to using implicit versus explicit communication styles. Similarly, in the attitude step, one acknowledges differences in the way that men and women are generally conditioned to communicate. Experts such as Borisoff and Merrill, for example, have delineated clearly differentiated communication styles between men and women, which are compounded by sex-trait stereotyping regarding issues of assertiveness, interruptive behavior, and perceptions of politeness. Finally, in the attitude step, one analyzes potentially problematic variations in styles of writing, speaking, and nonverbal mannerisms. Such differences may blur meanings. It is the role of the effective conflict participant to maintain an open mind toward all parties involved. ACTION. The action step begins to actively implement the chosen conflicthandling mode. If the selected mode is the problem-solving approach, the manager conveys the opportunity for a conflict resolution based on trust and ongoing feedback on those points on which the parties have already agreed. Simultaneously, each individual evaluates the behavior of the other parties (often, little more than subtle hints) to ascertain where potential trouble spots might arise. Also, each individual must remain aware of his or her own communication style and general behavior. Finally, all parties must stay alert to new issues that are raised and look for productive solutions. ANALYSIS. In this last step participants decide on what they will do, and then summarize and review what they have agreed upon. Part of the
analysis step is to ascertain whether every participant's requirements have been addressed (and met, if possible). Finally, the analysis step initiates the impetus for approaching conflict management as an ongoing process. Analysis enables participants to monitor both the short-term and long-term results of the conflict resolution. QUANTUM SKILLS Shelton and Darling suggest a new set of management skills, more appropriate for the ever-changing, conflict-ridden contemporary organization. They refer to these skills as the quantum skills. The suggested managerial skills are derived from the field of quantum physics. They are as follows: 1.
Quantum seeing. This skill is defined as the ability to see intentionally. When conflict occurs, managers must explore their own assumptions about the parties and search for the underlying intentions that are creating the conflict. Each party must then come to recognize the relationship between individual thought processes and perceptions, and set clear intentions for positively resolving the situation.
Quantum thinking. This skill involves the ability to think paradoxically. Effective conflict resolution is a paradoxical process. "Win-win solutions require paradoxical thinking. They require the ability to find a fully acceptable solution to divergent points of view" (Shelton and Darling 2004, p. 30). In other words, collaborative solutions to conflicts that involve diametricallyopposed positions are unlikely to be achieved through linear problem-solving processes and thus require more unorthodox thinking.
Quantum feeling. This skill is defined as the ability to feel vitally alive. It is based on the premise that the level of organizational conflict is influenced by the negative emotions pervasive throughout the business world. As schedules have become more
fast-paced and jobs have become more stressful, the level of organizational conflict has increased. Managers committed to the quantum feeling technique of conflict management must train themselves to view even negative events positively. They must challenge all parties in conflict to utilize creative, brain-storming techniques in an effort to construct "impossible" win-win solutions. 4.
Quantum knowing. This skill is the ability to know intuitively. Managers wishing to develop this skill must integrate times of relaxation and reflection into their work routines. This skill focuses on staying mindful or aware of the organizational environment. Managers involved in conflict situations must guide all parties towards a more centered response to the negative emotions.
Quantum acting. This skill is based on the ability to act responsibly. Quantum acting is predicated on the belief that everything in the universe is a part of a complex whole in which each part is influenced by every other part. Therefore, a manager's thoughts affect the entire organizational unit. Thus, if managers want to encourage more creative responses to conflict, they must begin by modeling this behavior themselves.
Quantum trusting. This skill is the ability to trust life's process. It is derived from chaos theory. This theory suggests that without chaos organizations will become stagnant and, if left alone, they will return to a nonchaotic state. This skill may be appealing to managers experiencing conflict. It suggests that managers must simply "ride the rapids of conflict, fully participating in the dance without attempting to actively manage the course of resolution" (Shelton and Darling 2004, p. 37). The organizational unit will eventually self-organize.
Quantum being. This skill is the ability to be in a relationship, specifically, "the ability to literally become so connected to another that one can see the world through the other's eyes" (Shelton and Darling 2004, p.38). This skill provides the foundation for all
parties to learn from and understand each other. It is a relationship of continuous learning. This set of skills is grounded in a new science: worldview. These skills provide a whole-brained alternative for managing people and conflict. Conflict management is an ongoing procedure. It entails continual communication and supervision. "Conflict-handling behavior is not a static procedure; rather it is a process that requires flexibility and constant evaluation to truly be productive and effective" (Borisoff and Victor 1998).
Source: David A. Victor - Revised by Patricia A. Lanier http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/CompDe/Conflict-Management-and-Negotiation.html
RECOGNIZING DYSFUNCTIONAL PERSONALITY TYPES
Signs that Indicate You are Dealing with Dysfunctional People *After spending time with them, you feel “fogged” -- like you aren’t thinking clearly. *You thought you were thinking correctly about a situation, but after being with them, you now feel your approach to life is being questioned. *You feel blamed for another person’s situation. *You feel responsible to “fix” a situation that is a result of another person’s (repetitive) choices. *You feel if you were a “good person” you maybe should help them out. *You are concerned about how innocent people (e.g. children) will suffer from the poor choices made by another person. *Other people are mad at you because you won’t “help them out” (just this once!). *You are being blamed for being unreasonable and insensitive to their situation. *You have been in this situation before (or one very similar to it) with this person. Probably previously you “helped them out” and they are in the same predicament again. *You are concerned that if you don’t rescue them from their current situation, the consequences are so significant that it may ruin their life in the future.
*You feel pressured to make an immediate decision to “help out”, even though the problem has been developing for quite a while. *You feel “smothered”; the other person wants to get too close too soon or they cut off the relationship totally for seemingly little slights. How to Deal with Dysfunctional People *Understand that you will feel blamed or responsible for whatever the problem is. *Accept that you cannot change the other person (their thoughts, viewpoint, ways of behaving or their choices.) *Set boundaries: what you are and are not willing to do. *Talk with and get support from others whom you believe are functional. *Do not accept false guilt from the dysfunctional person. The whole problem is not your fault and it is not your responsibility to fix the problem. *When necessary, minimize ongoing contact and interaction with the dysfunctional party. *Realize that the current “crisis” is probably not a crisis and they can live through it. *Remember that if you “help them out” this time, you will be expected to help them out again.
© 2011 Paul E. White, Ph.D. http://www.birminghamepc.org/BirminghamAL/Library/Dysfunctional%20people%20.pdf Estate Planning Council of Birmingham, Inc.
Key Differences between Functional & Dysfunctional Individuals Functional
Deceit, Not telling the whole story
Indirect Communication (talking “through” others)
Privileges Sense of Entitlement
Blame others, Make excuses
For choices & results Delay gratification
Have to meet desires now
Live in reality
Escape from reality (TV, movies,
on day to day basis
videogames, drugs, alcohol, sleep)
Save, do without Spend, go into debt Learn from mistakes
Expect to be rescued from choices
Hold on to grudges, Revenge
let go of past hurts Keep commitments
Make verbal commitments with no follow-through
Say what they mean
Focus on image & appearance
Can disagree without
Disagreement leads to anger,
personal attacks & hatred
Appropriate personal boundaries
“Smother” others, try to be too close too soon
They let you be “you”.
Use guilt to manipulate.
How to Deal With a Neurotic Person By Bridgett Michele Lawrence, eHow Contributor Understanding neurosis is essential to dealing with a neurotic individual. Most people are accused of displaying neurotic behavior at one time or another. But some people exhibit neurotic disorders that impact normal, everyday life. "Neurotic disorder" is a term used to describe a wide range of circumstances that cause a person to have an inability to adapt to a certain situation or environment. People with neurotic disorders exhibit symptoms such as anxiety, depression, extreme phobias and insecurity. Understanding these neurotic disorders is key to learning how to deal with a neurotic person.
How to Deal With a Neurotic Person 1. Be tolerant and patient. Remember that the neurotic behavior is most likely a coping mechanism that the person uses to deal with a much larger issue. Being impatient with a neurotic person will only cause strife and make the situation worse. 2. Don't be overly critical. In many cases, a neurotic person knows when she is being neurotic but is unable to change her behavior. Many neurotic people are extremely self-critical already, so you don't need to be. 3. Give him space. If you find yourself in an argument with a neurotic person, it is futile to argue with him in the heat of the moment. In many cases, the argument stems from a larger issue about which you may know nothing. Wait until he has calmed down before approaching him about the situation. Discuss the issue in a calm tone, using language that is not offensive. For example, avoid calling him names or pointing out his personal flaws that lead to the conflict. Instead, seek to find a compromise that will satisfy both parties. 4. Encourage her to seek help. Many people with neurotic personalities don't seek help because of embarrassment, pride, fear or the belief that no one will understand or be able to help. This could not be further from the truth. Help exists for those who seek it. Psychotherapy is the form of treatment used to help people overcome neurosis. Therapists encourage patients to discuss the situation that brings on neurotic behavior. With therapy, she can find the source of her problem and develop strategies to help her cope.
http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Impossible-People Most people with personality disorders have what is sometimes referred to as "disorders of the self," because they often don’t believe that there is anything wrong with them. They think, “This is me,” or “This is the way I have always been,” and self-preservation makes them want to stay that way. Personality disordered people are the ones who usually come to mind when we think of the term, “toxic person.” Here are some insights and steps for dealing with these highly difficult - even, impossible - people Steps 1. Recognize that impossible people exist; there isn't a thing you can do about it. The first step is all about facing reality: if you think you might be dealing with an impossible person, you're probably right. When in doubt, proceed as instructed below. The headaches you save will be your own. 2. Do not call them out because it will frustrate them. They could become more difficult, but just stand your ground and be confident. 3. Be aware that some people simply aren't compatible. Sometimes, a person who gets along with everybody else quite well is an impossible person for you personally. Most relationships between people contain many shades of gray, but some people simply mix as well as oil and water. It is common to hear your impossible person proclaim that "Everyone else likes me." This is an attempt to shift the blame to you, so don't buy it. It doesn't matter how this person interacts with others. The fact is, the way the two of you interact together is terrible. Remember that blame never changes the facts.
4. Understand that it's not you, it's them. This can be surprisingly difficult, considering that impossible people have complete mastery of blaming skills. Chances are, the more often they blame you, the more they themselves are actually at fault. Keep in mind that this is not to be used as a way to blame them. Blaming is what impossible people do, and they do it well. Instead, you are only facing the facts, for your own sake. That being said, here's a simple way to tell: if you accept responsibility for your own faults and resolve to improve yourself, it's probably not you. Remember, impossible people "can do no wrong." 5. Defuse them. Stay calm, don't spit angry words at them, and whatever you do don't cry - this will only stimulate them to do more of the difficult behavior. Try ignoring them. Do not, under any circumstances, join them in bashing, blaming or complaining. Do not bad talk to their face or to anyone else because then you are sinking down to their level. Add something positive. Redirect by focusing on something, anything, positive in the situation or in the conversation. Whatever you do just stay calm! 6. It can help to realize that the side of a conversation that contains the most truth will always win out, and it's best to "name the game" that an impossible person is playing, usually by asking them or the group a question that starts "Why...," (rephrasing their "impossible" position to illuminate the consequences). You will move the conversation to a higher level, and the group, or even just the impossible individual, in a one-on-one, will respond to this "higher truth," although the individual will usually respond by (more) obfuscating.
Avoid one-on-ones with this type of person, actively; in other words, when you see them coming to corner you, suggest, and then demand that at least a third party be brought in. This will
often thwart the impossible person's plans, and a typical response from them will be to unilaterally decide that "we don't need anyone else." You are perfectly free to claim your need for a third party to help your understanding, and insist upon it. Bullies never stand up to a crowd. 7. Realize that you cannot deal with impossible people the same way you deal with everyone else. In some ways, they need to be treated like children. Give up all hope of engaging these folks in any kind of reasonable conversation. It will never happen, at least with you. Remember what happened the last fifty times you tried to have a civilized discussion about the status of your relationship with this person. Chances are, every such attempt ended in you being blamed for everything. Decide now to quit banging your head against a brick wall. 8. Protect your self-esteem. If you have regular dealings with someone who tries to portray you as the source of all evil, you need to take active steps to maintain a positive self-image. Remind yourself that this person's opinion is not necessarily the truth. Understand that oftentimes, impossible people are particularly "fact-challenged." If the attacks have little basis in raw fact, dismiss them. You can't possibly be as bad as this person would like you to believe you are. Do not defend yourself out loud, however. It will only provoke the impossible person into another tirade. 9. Guard against anger. If it helps, consider the fact that your anger is actually a precious gift to the impossible person. Anything you do or say while angry will be used against you over and over again. Impossible people tend to have amazing memories, and they will not hesitate to use a nearly endless laundry list of complaints from the past against you. Five years from now, you could be hearing about the angry remark you made today (which you didn't even mean in the first place).
Impossible people will seize anything that provides them the opportunity to lay blame like it was gold. 10. Give up self-defense. Understand very clearly that you cannot beat these kinds of people; they're called "impossible" for a reason. In their minds, you are the source of all wrongdoing, and nothing you can say is going to make them consider your side of the story. Your opinion is of no consequence, because you are already guilty, no matter what. 11. Understand that eventually, you and the impossible person will have to part ways. Whether they are a friend, a family member, a parent, even a spouse, the time to leave will eventually manifest. Maintaining a relationship with an impossible person is, literally, impossible. If you can't (or won't) make a physical departure immediately, make a mental one. In your mind, you've already left the relationship. The only thing left to do is wait for physical reality to reflect that fact. 12. Avoid letting the impossible person make you into a "clone" of them. If you aren't careful, you could find yourself adopting much of the offender's own behavior, even if you aren't voluntarily trying. Eschew blame entirely by understanding that this is just the way the other person is. These things define the impossible person's actions, and nothing you do can change any part of their past. 13. Be a manager. Until it is over, your task in the relationship is to manage the impossible person, so that he or she deals less damage to you. As a manager, your best resources are silence (it really is golden in some cases such as this), humoring the other, and abandoning all hope of "fixing" the impossible person. Impossible people do not listen to reason. They can't (and even if they could, they wouldn't). You can't convince them that they have any responsibility for the problems between you. They don't recognize (or if they did, wouldn't try to improve) their flaws for a very logical reason; they don't
have any flaws. You must understand and manage this mindset without casting blame and without giving in to anger. It's far easier said than done, and you will slip from time to time, but as time goes on, you'll become a better manager. 14. Realize that impossible people engage in projection. Understand that you are going to be accused of much (or all) of this behavior yourself. If your impossible person gets a look at this text, to them it will look like a page about you. Prepare yourself for the fact that the impossible person's flaws and failings will always be attributed to you. Remember, in their minds, you are at fault for everything! They will have an endless supply of arguments to support this, and if you make the mistake of encouraging them, they will be more than happy to tell you why you are the impossible person, and how ironic it is that you are under the mistaken impression that it is them. 15. Be the opposite of them: a possible person. Live as an example of tolerance, patience, humility, and even some kindness (as difficult as that may be). We are all influenced by the people in our environment--they don't have to be perfect all the time and neither do you. Give respect because you are human. If you don't receive respect, that's -sadly- their problem. Give understanding, and you get understanding. Ultimately this sort of behavior is probably the only thing that might get through to them. They may not change in everything, but you can safely expect a change. 16. Don't try to fight back and spit anger back to them.
Photo: Stock Photo Can you recall the last time you had to deal with a negative or difficult person? Or the last time someone said something with the intention of hurting you? How did you handle it? What was the result? What can you do in the future to get through these situations with peace and grace? No matter where we go, we will face people who are negative, people who oppose our ideas, people who piss us off or people who simply do not like us. There are 6.4 billion people out there and conflict is a fact of life. This fact isn’t the cause of conflict but it is the trigger to our emotions and our emotions are what drive us back to our most basic survival instinct; react and attack back to defend ourselves. In these instinctual moments, we may lose track of our higher selves and become the human animal with an urge to protect ourselves when attacked. This too is natural. However, we are the only animal blessed with intelligence and having the ability to control our responses. So how can we do that? I regularly get asked “How do you deal with the negative comments about your articles? They are brutal. I don’t think I could handle them.” My answer is simple, “I don’t let it bother me to begin with.” It wasn’t always this simple, and took me some time before overcoming this natural urgency to protect myself and attack back.
I know it’s not easy, if it was easy, there wouldn’t be difficult or negative people to begin with. Why Bother Controlling Our Responses? 1. Hurting Ourselves One of my favorite sayings is “Holding a grudge against someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” The only person we hurt is ourselves. When we react to negativity, we are disturbing our inner space and mentally creating pain within ourselves. 2. It’s Not About You, It’s About Them I’ve learned that when people initiate negativity, it is a reflection of their inner state expressed externally and you just happen to be in front of that expression. It’s not personal, so why do we take it personally? In short: Because our ego likes problems and conflict. People are often so bored and unhappy with their own lives that they want to take others down with them. 3. Battle of the Ego When we respond impulsively, it is a natural and honest response. However, is it the smart thing to do? What can be resolved by doing so? The answer: Nothing. It does however feed our ego’s need for conflict. Have you noticed that when we fight back, it feels really satisfying in our heads? But it doesn’t feel very good in our soul? Our stomach becomes tight, and we start having violent thoughts? When we do respond irrationally, it turns the conversation from a one-sided negative expression into a battle of two egos. It becomes an unnecessary and unproductive battle for Who is Right? 4. Anger Feeds Anger. Negativity Feeds Negativity. Rarely can any good come out of reacting against someone who is in a negative state. It will only trigger anger and an additional
reactive response from that person. If we do respond impulsively, we’ll have invested energy in the defending of ourselves and we’ll feel more psychologically compelled to defend ourselves going forward. Have you noticed that the angrier our thoughts become, the angrier we become? It’s a negative downward spiral. 5. Waste of Energy Where attention goes, energy flows. What we focus on tends to expand itself. Since we can only focus on one thing at a time, energy spent on negativity is energy that could have been spent on our personal wellbeing. 6. Negativity Spreads I’ve found that once I allow negativity in one area of my life, it starts to subtly bleed into other areas as well. When we are in a negative state or holding a grudge against someone, we don’t feel very good. We carry that energy with us as we go about our day. When we don’t feel very good, we lose sight of clarity and may react unconsciously to matters in other areas of our lives, unnecessarily. 7. Freedom of Speech People are as entitled to their opinions as you are. Allow them to express how they feel and let it be. Remember that it’s all relative and a matter of perspective. What we consider positive can be perceived by another as negative. When we react, it becomes meversus-you, who is right? Some people may have a less than eloquent way of expressing themselves – it may even be offensive, but they are still entitled to do so. They have the right to express their own opinions and we have the right and will power to choose our responses. We can choose peace or we can choose conflict.
15 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People While I’ve had a lot of practice dealing with negativity, it is something I find myself having to actively work on. When I’m caught off guard and end up resorting to a defensive position, the result rarely turns out well. The point is, we are humans after all, and we have emotions and egos. However, by keeping our egos in-check and inserting emotional intelligence, we’ll not only be doing a favor for our health and mental space, but we’ll also have intercepted a situation that would have gone bad, unnecessarily.
Photo by Kara Pecknold Here are some tips for dealing with a difficult person or negative message: 1. Forgive What would the Dali Lama do if he was in the situation? He would most likely forgive. Remember that at our very core, we are good, but our judgment becomes clouded and we may say hurtful things. Ask yourself, “What is it about this situation or person that I can seek to understand and forgive?“ 2. Wait it Out Sometimes I feel compelled to instantly send an email defending myself. I’ve learned that emotionally charged emails never get us the result we want; they only add oil to the fire. What is helpful is inserting time to allow ourselves to cool off. You can write the
emotionally charged email to the person, just don’t send it off. Wait until you’ve cooled off before responding, if you choose to respond at all. 3. “Does it really matter if I am right?“ Sometimes we respond with the intention of defending the side we took a position on. If you find yourself arguing for the sake of being right, ask “Does it matter if I am right?” If yes, then ask “Why do I need to be right? What will I gain?“ 4. Don’t Respond Many times when a person initiates a negative message or difficult attitude, they are trying to trigger a response from you. When we react, we are actually giving them what they want. Let’s stop the cycle of negative snowballing and sell them short on what they’re looking for; don’t bother responding. 5. Stop Talking About It When you have a problem or a conflict in your life, don’t you find that people just love talking about it? We end up repeating the story to anyone who’ll listen. We express how much we hate the situation or person. What we fail to recognize in these moments is that the more we talk about something, the more of that thing we’ll notice. Example, the more we talk about how much we dislike a person, the more hate we will feel towards them and the more we’ll notice things about them that we dislike. Stop giving it energy, stop thinking about it, and stop talking about it. Do your best to not repeat the story to others. 6. Be In Their Shoes As cliché as this may sound, we tend to forget that we become blind-sided in the situation. Try putting yourself in their position and consider how you may have hurt their feelings. This understanding will give you a new perspective on becoming
rational again, and may help you develop compassion for the other person. 7. Look for the Lessons No situation is ever lost if we can take away from it some lessons that will help us grow and become a better person. Regardless of how negative a scenario may appear, there is always a hidden gift in the form of a lesson. Find the lesson(s). 8. Choose to Eliminate Negative People In Your Life Negative people can be a source of energy drain. And deeply unhappy people will want to bring you down emotionally, so that they are not down there alone. Be aware of this. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands and do not mind the energy drain, I recommend that you cut them off from your life. Cut them out by avoiding interactions with them as much as possible. Remember that you have the choice to commit to being surrounded by people who have the qualities you admire: optimistic, positive, peaceful and encouraging people. As Kathy Sierra said, “Be around the change you want to see in the world.” 9. Become the Observer When we practice becoming the observer of our feelings, our thoughts and the situation, we separate ourselves away from the emotions. Instead of identifying with the emotions and letting them consume us, we observe them with clarity and detachment. When you find yourself identifying with emotions and thoughts, bring your focus on your breathe. 10. Go for a Run … or a swim, or some other workout. Physical exercise can help to release the negative and excess energy in us. Use exercise as a tool to clear your mind and release built up negative energy.
11. Worst Case Scenario Ask yourself two questions, 1. “If I do not respond, what is the worst thing that can result from it?“ 2. “If I do respond, what is the worst thing that can result from it?“ Answering these questions often adds perspectives to the situation, and you’ll realize that nothing good will come out of reacting. Your energy will be wasted, and your inner space disturbed. 12. Avoid Heated Discussions When we’re emotionally charged, we are so much in our heads that we argue out of an impulse to be right, to defend ourselves, for the sake of our egos. Rationality and resolution can rarely arise out of these discussions. If a discussion is necessary, wait until everyone has cooled off before diving into one. 13. Most Important List out things in your life most important to you. Then ask yourself, “Will a reaction to this person contribute to the things that matter most to me?“ 14. Pour Honey This doesn’t always work, but sometimes catches people off guard when they’re trying to “Pour Poison” on you. Compliment the other person for something they did well, tell them you’ve learned something new through interacting with them, and maybe offer to become friends. Remember to be genuine. You might have to dig deep to find something that you appreciate about this person. 15. Express It Take out some scrap paper and dump all the random and negative thoughts out of you by writing freely without editing. Continue to
do so until you have nothing else to say. Now, roll the paper up into a ball, close your eyes and visualize that all the negative energy is now inside that paper ball. Toss the paper ball in the trash. Let it go! http://thinksimplenow.com/happiness/dealing-with-difficultpeople/ About the Author: Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives.
The following are tips for dealing with difficult people who are in your life, for better or for worse: 1.
Keep Conversations Neutral Avoid discussing divisive and personal issues, like religion and politics, or other issues that tend to cause conflict. If the other person tries to engage you in a discussion that will probably become an argument, change the subject or leave the room.
Accept The Reality of Who They Are In dealing with difficult people, don’t try to change the other person; you will only get into a power struggle, cause defensiveness, invite criticism, or otherwise make things worse. It also makes you a more difficult person to deal with.
Know What's Under Your Control Change your response to the other person; this is all you have the power to change. For example, don’t feel you need to accept abusive behavior. You can use assertive communication to draw boundaries when the other person chooses to treat you in an unacceptable way.
Create Healthier Patterns Remember that most relationship difficulties are due to a dynamic between two people rather than one person being unilaterally "bad." Chances are good that you're repeating the same patterns of interaction over and over; changing your response could get you out of this rut, and responding in a healthy way can improve your chances of a healthier pattern forming. Here’s a list of things to avoid in dealing with conflict. Do you do any of them? Also, here are some healthy communication skills to remember.
See The Best In People Try to look for the positive aspects of others, especially when dealing with family, and focus on them. (Developing your optimism and reframin skills can help here!) The other person will feel more appreciated, and you will likely enjoy your time together more.
Remember Who You're Dealing With Seeing the best in someone is important; however, don’t pretend the other person’s negative traits don’t exist. Don’t tell your secrets to a gossip, rely on a flake, or look for affection from someone who isn’t able to give it. This is part of accepting them for who they are.
Get Support Where You Can Find It Get your needs met from others who are able to meet your needs. Tell your secrets to a trustworthy friend who's a good listener, or process your feelings through journaling, for example. Rely on people who have proven themselves to be trustworthy and supportive, or find a good therapist if you need one. This will help you and the other person by taking pressure off the relationship and removing a source of conflict.
Let Go Or Get Space If You Need It Know when it’s time to distance yourself, and do so. If the other person can’t be around you without antagonizing you, minimizing contact may be key. If they’re continually abusive, it's best to cut ties and let them know why. Explain what needs to happen if there ever is to be a relationship, and let it go. (If the offending party is a boss or co-worker, you may consider switching jobs.)
Tips: 1. Try not to place blame on yourself or the other person for the negative interactions. It may just be a case of your two personalities fitting poorly. 2. Remember that you don't have to be close with everyone; just being polite goes a long way toward getting along and appropriately dealing with difficult people. 3. Work to maintain a sense of humor -- difficulties will roll off your back much more easily. Shows like "Modern Family and
books like David Sedaris' Naked can help you see the humor in dealing with difficult people. 4. Be sure to cultivate other more positive relationships in your life to offset the negativity of dealing with difficult people. Elizabeth Scott, M.S. Stress Management Guide
Dealing with Difficult People November 20th, 2004 by Steve Pavlina http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2004/11/dealing-withdifficult-people/ How do you deal with difficult, irrational, or abusive people, especially those in positions of authority who have some degree of control over your life? I’ve never met a totally rational human being. Our ability to store and process information is far too imperfect for that. But our emotions are a shortcut. The book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman describes people diagnosed with alexathemia, the condition whereby people either don’t feel emotions or are completely out of touch with their emotions. You’d think such people would be hyper-rational, but they aren’t. They can’t even function in society. They have no emotional context for deciding what’s important to them, so earning a dime is just as important as earning a million dollars. They’ll spend hours on tasks others would consider trivialities, like deciding what time to schedule a dentist appointment. Our emotions are a logical shortcut — we “feel” the difference between the relevant and the irrelevant. On to dealing with difficult or irrational people… I certainly haven’t been sheltered from such people, even though I’ve only been an “employee” for a total of six months of my life when I was in college. They’re everywhere! I’ve still had to deal with irrational/abusive people in business deals, landlords, etc. But such people rarely get to me because of how I deal with them on two levels: 1) There was a story about the Buddha where a verbally abusive man came to see him and starting hurling insults. But the Buddha just sat there calmly. Finally the man asked the Buddha why he failed to respond to the insults and abuse. The Buddha replied, “If
someone offers you a gift, and you decline to accept it, to whom does the gift belong?” If someone is irrational, abusive, etc., you can mentally decline to accept “the gift.” Let that person keep their anger and insanity, and don’t let it affect you. This takes practice, but there are many mental imagery techniques that can help. I usually visualize the anger as a red energy that bounces off me or passes through me and simply returns to the source. This is a message to my subconscious mind to acknowledge that the anger belongs completely to the other person. So this part tackles the other person’s effect on my emotional state. And it works very well. I never lose my cool unless I’m doing it on purpose for some specific reason. Sometimes it’s better to respond to an angry person with some shouting of your own and then slowly bring them back down. I also mentally acknowledge that it’s probably a lack of love and happiness in their life that causes them to behave as they do. 2) Now that you’ve gotten your emotions handled, you still have to deal with the practicalities of this person and their effect on your life. Sometimes it’s enough to just manage your emotions, but other times that isn’t enough — you need to take action to address the situation. In this case I use my logic and intelligence to decide what to do, depending on the specifics of the situation. It’s like playing a game of chess — if I do this, then how will this person react? Even with irrational and hurtful people, their behavior is often predictable to some degree if you know a little about them. Human behavior is purposeful, but it can be hard to figure out the other person’s intentions. Use what you do know to anticipate their responses to various possible actions you might take. Your information may be imperfect, but do the best you can. Think of it as an exercise in risk management. Here are some possible actions: • Remove the person from your life. This is a bit extreme, but sometimes it’s the best option. If your landlord is really bad, consider moving. If your boss or coworkers are terrible, leave. Many years ago I once told a friend I could no longer continue to
have him in my life because he was deeply into software piracy, and I just didn’t want that kind of influence in my life. • Confront the person about his/her behavior directly . Raise your standards for what you’re willing to accept in your life, and enforce them. This strategy is my personal favorite, but some people aren’t comfortable with it. The advantage of this approach is that you stop playing games, and you find out exactly where you stand with the other person. This is what I’d use if I had a difficult boss or coworker — I’d just lay everything out on the table with that person, explain why certain things were no longer tolerable for me, and detail what I wanted to see happen. Now the other person may decline your “demands,” but then at least you know where you stand and can decide based on that. Paint a line, and if the other person crosses it, you now know the abuse is willful. • Use behavioral conditioning on the other person . I know of a team that did this with their verbally abusive boss. They conditioned their boss to be encouraging and supportive. Going to their boss and confronting him just didn’t work, so they got together and worked out a behavioral conditioning strategy. They stopped rewarding his negative behavior and began rewarding his positive behavior. Whenever he was abusive, he would either be ignored, or his employee(s) would say, “Are you intending to manipulate me through verbal abuse?” They would constantly point out to their boss when he was being abusive. But whenever he was the least bit encouraging, like if he said, “good work” or “thank you,” they’d thank him for his kindness and encouragement. Within a few weeks, this boss had completely turned around. I wrote a previous entry on behavioral conditioning techniques, so there are other ways to gently change another person. But this assumes you have enough leverage on the person.
• Get leverage, and use that leverage to force action. This can be risky, but sometimes it’s the best option. You might need to see if you can get another person fired if they really are hurting productivity. In software companies it isn’t uncommon for a team to petition management to fire a weak member that’s holding them back. I use this a lot myself when dealing with difficult people in business in cases of willful misconduct. You contact everyone who does business with that person to let them know what’s happening. And if it’s a big enough deal, throw in local govt reps and members of the press too. You might think of this as the whistleblower strategy. • Let it go. Sometimes this is the best option if someone injures you in some way. Just let it go and move on. There’s a deeper issue here too… Are the reasons you’re allowing this difficult person to remain in your life valid? For example, if you make money a higher priority than quality of life, then how can you complain when you get the former but sacrifice the latter? I think people often have a hard time making quality of life a high enough priority — we’re taught to just suck it up and tolerate it if we have a difficult boss (and then die of a heart attack or stroke). The one time I was an employee, I didn’t particularly like my boss; he behaved like a jerk and didn’t seem too bright either. But I also figured that if I was a lifelong employee, I might have other bosses like this too, and it wouldn’t always be convenient to quit. So I decided not to be an employee. Then when I worked with retail game publishers, I encountered dishonesty and incompetence, and this was so common that I felt it would be hard to run that kind of business and not have to deal with such people, so I decided not to work with those people either. When I switched to doing game development independently, I loved the people and really enjoyed it, so I stuck with that for years. I chose not to base my career around working with difficult people. And now that I’m getting
into speaking, I’m having a great time at that too, and I get along great with the people, so I’m happy on this path too. It seems that different kinds of careers attract different kinds of people, and some industries seem to attract more jerks than others. You don’t have to work in a slaughterhouse (which reportedly has the highest turnover rate for any kind of job), but you don’t have to work in a tech sweathouse either. You might think that dealing with a difficult boss is a “have to,” but it isn’t. You can’t control everything, but in most cases you have enough control over your life to avoid having to deal with such people. Just because everyone else around you tolerates an abusive boss doesn’t mean you have to.
4.10 LEARNING STYLES There are almost as many definitions as there do theorists in the area. For people working within an aducational setting, wishing to utilise learning style to promote more effective learning, or identifying learner preferences, operationalising learning style is a necessary but highly problematic endeavour. The failure to identify and agree upon style charactristics is a major concern in the field, as are the weaknesses in reliability and validity and the confusion surrounding the definitions and terminology. (Simon Cassidy, University of Salford, UK) 4.10.1 Kolb's learning styles David Kolb has defined one of the most commonly used models of learning. As in the diagram below, it is based on two preference dimensions, giving four different styles of learning. Concrete Experience
^ Perception Active Experimentation
Preference dimensions / Perception dimension In the vertical Perception dimension, people will have a preference along the continuum between: • Concrete experience: Looking at things as they are, without any change, in raw detail. • Abstract conceptualization: Looking at things as concepts and ideas, after a degree of processing that turns the raw detail into an internal model. People who prefer concrete experience will argue that thinking about something changes it, and that direct empirical data is essential. Those who prefer abstraction will argue that meaning is created only after internal processing and that idealism is a more real approach. This spectrum is very similar to the Jungian scale of Sensing vs. Intuiting. Processing dimension In the horizontal Processing dimension, people will take the results of their Perception and process it in preferred ways along the continuum between: • Active experimentation: Taking what they have concluded and trying it out to prove that it works. • Reflective observation: Taking what they have concluded and watching to see if it works. Four learning styles The experimenter, like the concrete experiencer, takes a hands-on route to see if their ideas will work, whilst the reflective observers prefer to watch and think to work things out.
1. Divergers (Concrete experiencer/Reflective observer) Divergers take experiences and think deeply about them, thus diverging from a single experience to multiple possibilities in terms of what this might mean. They like to ask 'why', and will start from detail to constructively work up to the big picture. They enjoy participating and working with others but they like a calm ship and fret over conflicts. They are generally influenced by other people and like to receive constructive feedback. They like to learn via logical instruction or hands-one exploration with conversations that lead to discovery. 2. Convergers experimenter)
Convergers think about things and then try out their ideas to see if they work in practice. They like to ask 'how' about a situation, understanding how things work in practice. They like facts and will seek to make things efficient by making small and careful changes. They prefer to work by themselves, thinking carefully and acting independently. They learn through interaction and computerbased learning is more effective with them than other methods. 3. Accomodators (Concrete experiencer/Active experimenter) Accommodators have the most hands-on approach, with a strong preference for doing rather than thinking. They like to ask 'what if?' and 'why not?' to support their action-first approach. They do not like routine and will take creative risks to see what happens. They like to explore complexity by direct interaction and learn better by themselves than with other people. As might be expected, they like hands-on and practical learning rather than lectures.
4. Assimilators (Abstract conceptualizer/Reflective observer) Assimilators have the most cognitive approach, preferring to think than to act. The ask 'What is there I can know?' and like organized and structured understanding. They prefer lectures for learning, with demonstrations where possible, and will respect the knowledge of experts. They will also learn through conversation that takes a logical and thoughtful approach. They often have a strong control need and prefer the clean and simple predictability of internal models to external messiness. The best way to teach an assimilator is with lectures that start from high-level concepts and work down to the detail. Give them reading material, especially academic stuff and they'll gobble it down. Do not teach through play with them as they like to stay serious. So what? So design learning for the people you are working with. If you cannot customize the design for specific people, use varied styles of delivery to help everyone learn. It can also be useful to describe this model to people, both to help them understand how they learn and also so they can appreciate that some of your delivery will for others more than them (and vice versa). See also Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential Learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
Kolb's Model of Learning Styles Kolb (1981) developed the Learning Style Inventory (LSI) to evaluate the way people learn and work with ideas in day-to-day life. He used the LSI to help people understand how they make career choices, solve problems, set goals, manage others, and deal with new situations. The instrument consists of twelve questions in which the subject selects one of four possible responses. The four columns in the instrument relate to the four stages Kolb identified as a cycle of learning: Concrete Experience (CE), Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC), and Active Experimentation (AE). He paired AE and RO as polar opposites (doing vs. watching), and CE and AC as polar opposites (feeling vs. thinking). According to Kolb (1981), 1. Concrete Experience (CE) emphasizes active involvement, relating with other people, and learning by experience. Learners in the CE phase of learning are open-minded and adaptable, and are sensitive to the feelings of themselves and others. 2. Reflective Observation (RO) is the stage in which the learner watches and listens, views issues from different points of view, and discovers meaning in the learning material. 3. Abstract Conceptualization (AC) is the application of thought and logic, as opposed to feelings, to the learning situation. Planning, developing theories, and analysis are part of this stage. 4. The last stage is Active Experimentation (AE) and involves testing theories, carrying out plans, and influencing people and events through activity. Kolb believed that a complete cycle of learning involved each of these stages. Since people use all four stages in many learning situations, Kolb (1981) used combined scores to determine which of four learning styles an individual preferred. He encouraged learners to become
familiar with their own learning style, including its strengths and weaknesses, as a means to getting more out of each learning experience. The combined scores are derived from the polar pairs (AC minus CE) and (AE minus RO). The results are then plotted on a two axis grid, and finding the point of interception in one of the four quadrants. Hashaway (1998) described Kolb's four learning styles. Divergers combine Reflective Observation (RO) and Concrete Experience (CE); they can see situations from many perspectives, and chunk up to forma a "gestalt". They do well in idea-generating processes such as brain-storming; they are imaginative and emotional. They tend to develop broad cultural interests, and specialize in the arts, humanities and liberal arts. Convergers combine Abstract Conceptualization and Active Experimentation. They have the opposite style to the Diverger. These learners do well in conventional testing situations and other contexts where there is a single correct answer or solution. They use hypotheticaldeductive reasoning, and can focus on specific problems. They are relatively unemotional, are highly procedural and prefer to work with inanimate objects than people. They may have narrow interests and often choose to specialize in science, engineering, and other exact fields. Figure 1 illustrates the quadrants for the Diverger and the Converger. According to Hashaway (1998), Assimilators combine Reflective Observation and Abstract Conceptualization. They excel at creating theoretical models. They have a tendency toward inductive reasoning (chunking up), and are more interested in abstract concepts than in application or in people. Basic sciences and mathematics attract Assimilators, who excel in these fields of study.
The Accomodator's strength is doing things, carrying out plans and performing experiments. They like novel experiences and adapt to change easily. Of the four types, Accomodators are highest in risk-taking and most easily adapt to immediate circumstances. They solve problems in an intuitive, trial-and-error manner. They rely on other people for information more than their own analytical ability. They can appear impatient or pushy. Kolb (1981) believed that the most effective problem solving and learning occurred when people used the skills of all four types of learners. Nearly every problem requires (1) Identifying a problem, (2) Selecting which problem to solve, (3) Considering a variety of possible solutions, (4) Evaluating possible results of the solutions, and (5) Implementing the solution of choice. Figure 3, which is adapted from Kolb, shows how this cycle of learning and problem solving moves through all four of the learning styles, and utilizes all four stages of learning. McCarthy (1987) developed the 4Mat system based on Kolb's learning types, and recommended teaching in a cyclical process that addresses each phase in the cycle of learning, and each of the learning styles in the instruction of any subject matter. Her method of teaching started with the Diverger (values and meanings), then Assimilator (conceptual connections), then Converger (problem solving skills), and finally Accommodator (new creations). Movement around the circle includes all learners in their natural preferences, and encourages them to develop skills in the other three styles. It respects the natural cycle of learning suggested by Kolb. (1981). McCarthy's system was to teach to each style in sequence for each lesson or content chunk. For each lesson or content chunk the teacher was to answer the question most relevant for each quadrant: “Why?” (relevance), “What?” (facts
and descriptive material),” How?” (methods and procedures), and “What If?” (exceptions, applications, creative combination with other material). McCarthy offered additional insights into the four leaning styles, as summarized below. Characteristics of the Four Learning Types (McCarthy, 1987) Learning Style
Characteristics as Learners
Characteristics as Teachers
Perceive information concretely, process reflectively, are imaginative, believe in their own experience, are insight thinkers, thrive on harmony and personal involvement, seek commitment, meaning, and clarity, and have high interest in people and culture.
Have interest in facilitating personal growth, help people become more selfaware, exhibit authenticity, encourage discussions, group work, feelings, and cooperation, and help students find meaningful goals. They may be fearful under pressure and may lack risk-taking.
Perceive abstractly, process reflectively, devise theories, seek continuity, need to know what experts think, love ideas, and are detail oriented. They exhibit intellectual competence in
Transmit knowledge, facts, and details; use organized sequential thinking, demonstrate love of knowledge, but can have a dominating attitude that can discourage creativity.
traditional classrooms. Converger
Perceive abstractly, process actively, integrate theory and practice, are pragmatic, dislike fuzzy ideas, value strategic thinking, are skill oriented, like to experiment, and seek results and applications.
Encourage productivity and competence, promote high values, teach skills for adult life, believe knowledge makes learners independent. They tend to be inflexible and may lack team skills
Perceive concretely and process actively, learn by trial and error, are interested in self-discovery, are enthusiastic about new things, are adaptable and flexible, like change, are risk takers, people are important to them, and they seek to influence.
Enable student selfdiscovery, help people act on their own visions, believe curricula should be geared to learner interests, see knowledge as a tool for improving society, encourage experiential learning, and are dramatic, energizing, stimulating, novel
David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984 from which he developed his learning style inventory. Kolb's learning theory works on two levels: a four stage cycle of learning and four separate learning styles. Much of Kolbâ€™s learning theory is concerned with the learnerâ€™s internal cognitive processes.
Kolb states that learning involves the acquisition of abstract concepts that can be applied flexibly in a range of situations. In Kolb’s theory, the impetus for the development of new concepts is provided by new experiences. “Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (David A. Kolb, 1984). Kolb's experiental learning style theory is typically represented by a four stage learning cycle in which the learner 'touches all the bases': 1. Concrete Experience - (a new experience of situation is encountered, or a reinterpretation of existing experience) 2. Reflective Observation (of the new experience. Of particular importance are any inconsistencies between experience and understanding) 3. Abstract Conceptualisation (Reflection gives rise to a new idea, or a modification of an existing abstract concept) 4. Active Experimentation (the learner applies them to the world around them to see what results) Kolb Experiental Learning Styles Kolb's learning theory sets out four distinct learning styles, which are based on a four-stage learning cycle. Kolb explains that different people naturally prefer a certain single different learning style. Various factors influence a person's preferred style. For example, social environment, educational experiences, or the basic cognitive structure of the individual.
Whatever influences the choice of style, the learning style preference itself is actually the product of two pairs of variables, or two separate 'choices' that we make, which Kolb presented as lines of axis, each with 'conflicting' modes at either end: Concrete Experience - CE (feeling) ----V----Abstract Conceptualization AC (thinking) Active Experimentation - AE (doing)--V---Reflective Observation - RO (watching) A typical presentation of Kolb's two continuums is that the eastwest axis is called the Processing Continuum (how we approach a task), and the north-south axis is called the Perception Continuum (our emotional response, or how we think or feel about it). Kolb believed that we cannot perform both variables on a single axis at the same time (e.g. think and feel). Our learning style is a product of these two choice decisions. It's often easier to see the construction of Kolb's learning styles in terms of a two-by-two matrix. Each learning style represents a combination of two preferred styles. The diagram also highlights Kolb's terminology for the four learning styles; diverging, assimilating, and converging, accommodating: Watching Doing (Active (Reflective Experimentation - AE) Observation - RO) Feeling (Concrete Accommodating Diverging Experience - CE) (CE/AE) (CE/RO) Thinking (Abstract Assimilating Converging (AC/AE) Conceptualization - AC) (AC/RO)
Kolb Learning Styles Definitions Knowing a person's (and your own) learning style enables learning to be orientated according to the preferred method. That said, everyone responds to and needs the stimulus of all types of learning styles to one extent or another - it's a matter of using emphasis that fits best with the given situation and a person's learning style preferences. Here are brief descriptions of the four Kolb learning styles:
Diverging (feeling and watching â€“ CE/RO) These people are able to look at things from different perspectives. They are sensitive. They prefer to watch rather than do, tending to gather information and use imagination to solve problems.
They are best at viewing concrete situations several different viewpoints. Kolb called this style 'Diverging' because these people perform better in situations that require ideas-generation, for example, brainstorming. People with a Diverging learning style have broad cultural interests and like to gather information. They are interested in people, tend to be imaginative and emotional, and tend to be strong in the arts. People with the Diverging style prefer to work in groups, to listen with an open mind and to receive personal feedback. Assimilating (watching and thinking - AC/RO) The Assimilating learning preference is for a concise, logical approach. Ideas and concepts are more important than people. These people require good clear explanation rather than practical opportunity. They excel at understanding wide-ranging information and organising it a clear logical format. People with an Assimilating learning style are less focused on people and more interested in ideas and abstract concepts. People with this style are more attracted to logically sound theories than approaches based on practical value. These learning style people is important for effectiveness in information and science careers. In formal learning situations, people with this style prefer readings, lectures, exploring analytical models, and having time to think things through. Converging (doing and thinking - AC/AE) People with a Converging learning style can solve problems and will use their learning to find solutions to practical issues. They prefer technical tasks, and are less concerned with people and interpersonal aspects. People with a Converging learning style are best at finding practical uses for ideas and theories. They can solve problems and make decisions by finding solutions to questions and problems.
People with a Converging learning style are more attracted to technical tasks and problems than social or interpersonal issues. A Converging learning style enables specialist and technology abilities. People with a Converging style like to experiment with new ideas, to simulate, and to work with practical applications. Accommodating (doing and feeling - CE/AE) The Accommodating learning style is 'hands-on', and relies on intuition rather than logic. These people use other people's analysis, and prefer to take a practical, experiential approach. They are attracted to new challenges and experiences, and to carrying out plans. They commonly act on 'gut' instinct rather than logical analysis. People with an Accommodating learning style will tend to rely on others for information than carry out their own analysis. This learning style is prevalent. Honey and Mumford's Typology of Learners Based on Kolb's (1982) experiential learning model, Honey and Mumford proposed a similar categorization of individual learning styles and which seems to be popular in management education: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Activists, prefer to act and are well equipped to experiment (experiencing) Reflectors, prefer to study data and are well equipped to review (reviewing) Theorists, need to tidy up and have answers, are well equipped for concluding (concluding) Pragmatists, like things practical, are well equipped for planning (planning)
According to various practionners' websites (e.g. there are important consequences for instructional designers:
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Activists: learn best when: they can immediately do something, when they are exposed to new experiences and problems, work with others in task teams learn least when: they have to listen to long explanations, absorb a lot of data, follow precise instructions, read, write and think a lot on their own, ... Pedagogical activities: brainstorms, problem solving, group discussions, role plays, competitions, etc. Reflectors: learn best when: they can observe, review and think about what is happening learn least when: they are rushed, have to act as leaders, Pedagogical activities: observing activities, paired discussions, coached activities, questionnaires, interviews, ... Theorists: learn best when: they can study theories, models, concepts, stories etc. behind, they can ask questions and engage in analysis and synthesis. learn least when: the activity is ill structured, no principles are taught, ... Pedagogical activities: Provide models, background information, ... Pragmatists learn best when: they can apply new information to a real world problem, etc. learn least when: "everything is theory", the isn't an immediate benefit, etc. Pedagogical activities: Case studies, discussion, problem solving
4.10.2 Myers-Briggs (MBTI) According to Felder (1996), this model classifies students according to their preferences on scales derived from psychologist Carl Jung's theory of psychological types. Students may be: 1. Extraverts (try things out, focus on the outer world of people) or introverts (think things through, focus on the inner world of ideas); 2. Sensors (practical, detail-oriented, focus on facts and procedures) or intuitors (imaginative, concept-oriented, focus on meanings and possibilities); 3. Thinkers (skeptical, tend to make decisions based on logic and rules) or feelers (appreciative, tend to make decisions based on personal and humanistic considerations); 4. Judgers (set and follow agendas, seek closure even with incomplete data) or perceivers (adapt to changing circumstances, resist closure to obtain more data). The MBTI type preferences can be combined to form 16 different learning style types. For example, one student may be an ESTJ (extravert, sensor, thinker, perceiver) and another may be an INFJ (introvert, intuitor, feeler, judger). Myer-Briggs types do have similar practical implications for education to the Honey-Mumford approach. Sources : Mcleod, S. A. (2010). Simply Psychology; , from http://www.simplypsychology.org/learning-kolb.html http://www.lifecirclesinc.com/Learningtheories/constructivism/kolb.html http://changingminds.org/explanations/learning/kolb_learning.h tm http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Learning_style
4.11 CHANGE MANAGEMENT "Change occurs when one becomes what one is, not when one tries to become what one is not." * Arnold R. Beisser The Transition Curve The three stages of transition are shown in a Transition Curve and whilst this curve is over simplified, it is a useful tool for understanding the sorts of issues people might be facing during a change.
Here are some points to bear in mind when assessing where people are on the transition curve. •
Some people repeat sections of the curve to best handle transition (there's no right or wrong sequence).
People will exhibit different emotions depending upon the nature and number of changes occurring to them at the same time and their 'emotional intelligence'. This is normal.
Realising where you and the people around you are on the curve will help you initiate appropriate actions and respond effectively.
Teams may travel the curve together but individuals will arrive at 'beginnings' at their own personal rate.
It's OK to be slow so long as you're moving and not stuck somewhere.
It's OK to be slow so long as you're planning on arriving sometime.
It's OK to be fast so long as you're tolerant and supportive of slower travellers.
It's OK to be fast so long as you honestly acknowledge your own 'endings'.
1. Understanding Endings In the 'Endings' stage, staff may want to deny the existence of the initiative and other related change events. Their denial can move them to fear and uncertainty about the future. This diminishes their level of activity and readiness to deal with the accelerating pace of change as the process starts to impact on the organization. Staff may acutely feel the loss of the familiarity and security they felt in the organization before this and other changes occurred. They are likely to be trying to reconcile or accept the fact that
things will now be different from the way they have been. They will be trying to accept that they will have to let go of their current sense of identity in the organization. Follow this link for a checklist of actions to consider in the Endings Zone Checklist for Managing Endings Have I studied the change carefully and identified who is likely to lose what including what I myself am likely to lose?
Do I understand the subjective realities of these losses to the people who experience them, even when they seem like over-reaction to me?
Have I acknowledged these losses with sympathy?
Have I permitted people to grieve and publicly expressed my own sense of loss?
Have I found ways to compensate people for their losses?
Am I giving people accurate information and doing it again and again?
Have I defined clearly what is over and what
Have I found ways to 'mark the ending'?
Am I being careful not to denigrate the past but, when possible, to find ways to honour it?
Have I made a plan for giving people a piece of the past to take with them?
Have I made it clear how the ending we are making is necessary to protect the continuity of the organization or conditions on which the organization depends?
Is the ending we are making big enough to get the job done in one step?
2. Understanding the Neutral Zone The Neutral Zone or exploration stage is the time between the current and the desired state. Staff will be attempting to orient themselves to the new requirements and behaviours. During this time, they will be confused about the future and will feel overloaded with competing demands. This can have a negative impact on activities. Because things can be chaotic at this stage, staff may question the status quo or the accepted way of doing things. It is important to note that with
encouragement this stage can be a time of exploration that is ripe with creative opportunity. Follow this link for a checklist of actions to consider in the Neutral Zone. Checklist for Managing the Neutral Zone Have I done my best to normalise the neutral zone by explaining it is an uncomfortable time which, with careful attention, can be turned to everyone's advantage?
Have I redefined it by choosing a new and more affirmative metaphor with which to describe it?
Have I reinforced that metaphor with training programmes, policy changes, and financial rewards for people to keep doing their jobs during the neutral zone
Am I protecting people adequately from further changes?
If I can't protect them, am I clustering those changes meaningfully?
Have I created the temporary policies and procedures that we need to get us through the neutral zone?
Have I set short-range goals and checkpoints?
Have I set realistic output objectives?
Have I found what special training programs we need to deal successfully with the neutral zone?
Have I found ways to keep people feeling that they still belong to the organisation and are valued by our part of it? And have I taken care that perks and other forms of 'privilege' are not undermining the solidarity of the group?
Do I have a means of gathering feedback during the time in the neutral zone?
Are my people willing to experiment and take risks in intelligently conceived ventures - or are we punishing all failures?
Have I stepped back and taken stock of how things are being done in my part of the organisation? (This is worth doing both for its own sake and as a visible model for others similar behaviour)
Have I provided others with opportunities to do
the same thing? Have I provided them with the resources - facilitators, survey instruments and so on - that will help them do that?
Have I seen to it that people build their skills in creative thinking and innovation?
Have I encouraged experiment and seen to it that people are not punished for failing in intelligent efforts that did not pan out?
Have I set an example by brainstorming many answers to my old problems - the ones that people say you just have to live with? Am I encouraging others to do the same?
Am I regularly checking to see that I am not pushing for certainty and closure where it would be more conducive to creativity to live a little longer with - uncertainty and questions?
Am I using my time in the neutral zone as an opportunity to replace old systems with integrated systems?
3. Understanding New Beginnings The New Beginnings stage of the Transition Curve is that time when people are ready to commit to the new direction and the change. They feel secure in the new organization and are ready to function as a significant contributor. This typically occurs as the initiative starts to achieve some of its desired goals. Checklist for Managing New Beginnings
Am I distinguishing in my own mind and in my expectations of others, between the start, which can happen on a planned schedule, and the beginning, which will not?
Do I accept the fact that people are going to be ambivalent towards the beginning I am trying to bring about?
Have I taken care of the ending(s) and the neutral zone, or am I trying to make a beginning happen before it possibly can?
Have I clarified and communicated the purpose of (the idea behind) the change?
Have I created an effective picture of the change and found ways to communicate it effectively?
Have I created a plan for bringing people through the three phases of transition - and distinguished it in my own mind from the change management?
Have I helped people to discover as soon as possible the part that they will play in the new system - or how the new system will affect the part they play within the organisation?
Have I ensured that everyone has a part to play in the transition management process and that they understand that part?
Have I checked to see that policies, procedures and priorities are consistent with the new beginning I am trying to make so that inconsistencies are not sending a mixed message?
Am I watching my own actions carefully to be sure that I am effectively modelling the attitudes and behaviours I am asking others to develop?
Have I found ways, financial and non financial, to reward people for becoming the new people I am calling upon them to become?
Have I built into my plans some occasions for
quick success to help people rebuild their selfconfidence and to build the image of the transition as successful?
Have I found ways to symbolise the new identity organisational and personal - that is emerging from this period of transition?
Have I given people a piece of the transition to keep as a reminder of the difficult and rewarding journey we all took together?
Emotional Responses 'It can be a bit scary... I think managers should come clean on it and say it will be a bit scary and if they don't and say 'Oh no it will be fine' there will be people who will be sitting there and thinking 'Oh no they are saying it should be fine and I am scared to death so there must be something wrong with me' and there will be managers who are scared too.' Head of Support Department, Pre '92 University.
'I thought it sounded exciting but was also filled with horror at the thought of it becoming part of my working life. I had so many questions about how it would work and not do me out of a job.' Hair & Beauty Therapy Tutor, FE College, on implementation of a VLE
In a transition there are emotional responses to the losses that people experience because of the changes. This is normal but often these responses are taken by others as signs that the change is being resisted. Those leading change need to recognise these emotions in others and themselves, and develop ways to manage their own emotions and assist others to manage theirs. Unmanaged, these responses may undermine the changes and have personal consequences. This process has been likened, psychologically, to the grieving process. 'I think you can follow it back if you want to bereavement and all sorts of things like that. Saying that you cannot move through bereavement and become creative at the other end till you have got hold of what the loss means’ Head of Support Department, Pre '92 University. Everyone deals with such major changes in their own way but we can identify a number of stages that staff might go through. • Shock and Denial • Distrust • Anger and Guilt • Depression, Anxiety and Stress • Regret For a discussion of each of the stages together with some typical views from those who have experienced such a process follow the link to Emotional Responses to Change and Transition. Each of the stages in the process needs to be recognised and responded to accordingly. For example, it's no good expecting grudging acceptance when staff are still in shock. You are more likely to get anger and no argument, no matter how reasonable to you, is likely to win staff around. For those, managing the change, the challenge is to get staff through from shock to grudging acceptance in as fast a time as
possible whilst minimising stress and limiting the effect on other areas of the organisation. The Change Curve, or transition curve, helps us to understand the emotions that people may go through when changing This page explains the change curve which is one of the change management tools that would be on every change management checklist. It is a change management model that is essential in understanding how to be in control when going through the change management process.
What's in it for me to understand the transition curve? Why should I bother? The change curve above illustrates typical emotions and reactions when people are going through transition. Knowing that the emotions involved are temporary and "normal" will prevent you:
* from becoming swamped by them or * from being stuck in negative emotions or * from being overcome by fear or * from becoming a victim. It will empower you to be proactive and take control so that you can experience the change process positively with a sense of achievement and enhanced self esteem. Ok, so what is the change curve? Let's go through it stage by stage. Each specific situation, and each person involved, may vary somewhat from this, of course, depending on the scale of the change they are facing and the stakes involved. The change curve model above shows how you may react when involved in managing personal change that you may not have created, may not agree with, think you have (and may have) something to lose, and feel that you canâ€™t do anything about it that is, you are not in control of the change management process. Typically, as shown on the change curve, the first reactions involve the red negative emotions (on the left hand side of the curve) as you feel to be a victim. You may initially feel shock and be overwhelmed, depending on the significance and scale of the changes. This may be followed by denial, a refusal to accept or even recognise that change is happening. This may be followed by blame, sometimes of others or of self. All the while, the change is not going away - it keeps on coming, like the tide coming in, you canâ€™t stop it. This may cause confusion or resistance and sabotage, especially if there is significant uncertainty.
As these emotions unfold, you may (or may not) suffer a deterioration of performance, including your relationships with others or a decline in your self-esteem. Typically, what then happens is that, as the change is still coming, you may come to accept the fact and let go of your negative emotions. If so, you will have reached the bottom of the transition curve and will then begin the process of moving up the right hand side of the curve (with the green positive emotions). You may, for example, begin to explore options in dealing with the change or options that the change itself creates. This will often be followed by testing out new behaviours in the changed situation, searching for meaning and how to make it work. As experience with the new situation builds, you may move into problem solving and decision making mode - now contributing to the changes and, maybe, beginning to experience the benefits of change management. Finally, you integrate and internalise the changes into new habits. At this point, your behaviour (and performance) is at a higher level than when the change management process began. In other words, the change curve shows a typical situation where the outcome is success (ie the change has been implemented and you have developed as a result). Whilst going through the change experience may have been uncomfortable (especially in the first stages), this positive outcome is likely to boost your personal development self confidence, self help and determination
How long will it take? Depending on the significance of the change, it could take hours or days or weeks or months or years or, maybe, you might get stuck somewhere on the curve and never reach integration. In addition, how people have encountered change is important. If change is being done TO them, their emotions are likely to run higher and be more negative than if change is being done BY them. A key learning point is that the very same people who have been proactive in extending their property, investing in the latest hi-fi or high definition home cinema, acquiring the most up-to-date mobile â€˜phone or computer, setting up their own website, holidaying in exotic places with very different cultures and food, trading in their car for the latest model every two years etc. - those very same people can, and do, go through the change curve when change is done TO them (rather than BY them). So, two key points: 1. the change curve above summarises typical reactions when you have change thrust or forced upon you 2. however, when change is owned and initiated by you it is a different kettle of fish (e.g. you will avoid the negative red emotions shown on the change curve and enjoy the green emotions and a great sense of achievement). Therefore, the best way to manage change is to help create it. This is undoubtedly the best change management model of all. How do I use the change curve? Firstly, use it to understand that negative emotions during change are "normal" and, most of the time, are transient (i.e. they will pass).
This is very helpful in supporting yourself or others during change, especially if you or they are well outside your comfort zone. Secondly, use it to show empathy and to communicate to people going through change that getting stuck in the negative red emotions on the change curve (or in feeling a victim) will, in the longer run, be self-hurting. This can help people's motivation to take control and be proactive in moving quickly to the green states shown on the change curve. Thirdly, use it for feedback and learning by checking periodically where people are on the change curve and how they are moving along it (or not). This can help people develop or maintain their perspective and, to some extent, de-personalise the process they are going through and thus reduce the intensity of any negative emotions they are feeling. It will also facilitate the planning of positive actions to accelerate progress to integation of new behaviours and habits. The Change Curve shows us that whilst there can be no formula for change management, we can achieve self improvement by being proactive to boost our self esteem and control our emotions..
KILLING ATTITUDE Fear E nvy Reject others Feel victimized Feel dependent
KILLER ATTITUDE Try, Experiment Cultivate Diversity Value others Admire others Compliment others Emphasize the importance of contribution of others Survive disasters Be committed
Overcoming internal resistance to change: in many ways, the hallmark of a great leader is how well he or she manages change by Robert A. Sevier People, and the organizations they create and inhabit, seldom welcome change. For the most part, they are resistant and reluctant, believing that there is great comfort in the familiar and greater security in the status qua. As a result, they tend to resist new ideas and new ways to think about old ideas. They suffer, as one wag reminded me, from hardening of the categories. Unfortunately, our present, and certainly our future, is all about change. In fact, there is a wonderful adage that describes the issue succinctly: The only constant is change. Ultimately, both individual and organizational success may well depend not on how well we resist change, but how well we embrace it. After all, at its most basic, leadership is all about managing change. It is about anticipating it; framing it in ways the organization understands; finding a path through it In many ways, the hallmark of a great leader is how well he or she manages change. But why are people on campus so darn change-averse? CHANGE AND FEAR What is it about change that people in general--and faculty and staff in particular--most fear? Based on the work I have done with strategic planning and organizational change, it appears that members of the campus community are often concerned about: * Loss of power and prestige * Reallocation or loss of resources * Loss of autonomy * Intrusion into personal and professional domains * Changing definitions of success * Altered reward systems
* Fear of technology * Fear of having to relearn On campus, times of change are usually seen as times of angst (True to that tendency, Lily Tomlin once quipped, "Why walk boldly when I can be driven by leaf?") Now that we have a basic understanding of the reasons behind change resistance, let's look at a handful of strategies for overcoming internal resistance to change to do that, we need to first understand the physics of change. THE PHYSICS OF CHANGE There is a saying among Newtonians that a body at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by a (greater) outside force. In other words, if the pressure to change is not greater than the resistance to change, little will happen. Stasis has been achieved. Understanding and sometimes applying these outside forces is critical to understanding and bringing about change, especially transformational change. For colleges and universities, these outside forces typically involve: A major threat or pressure from the external environment. In the mid '90s, following a series of lawsuits and mounting public pressure, The Citadel (SC) was forced to become coeducational. This was a major pressure from the external environment. An unanticipated opportunity. In 1981, Macalester College (MN) received a significant gift of stock from DeWitt and Lila Wallace. The gift, coupled with other gifts, keen leadership, and careful management, not only allowed the school to control its own destiny, but challenged the college to think about the larger responsibility it had to serve society. An internal crisis or setback.
In the mid '90s, following disclosure that the New Era Foundation was bankrupt, a number of colleges and universities that had invested heavily in the fund found themselves without the necessary cash flow to finance some short-term obligations. These kinds of catalysts, either singularly or in tandem, can serve as the genesis for change. 7 STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME RESISTANCE Now that we understand both the fear and physics of change, let's take a look at seven strategies designed to help you overcome resistance to change. 1--Clarify the change "event." First and foremost, always clarify the change event. In other words, what's the itch? If you cannot clarify the specific threat or opportunity in real, concrete a terms, you can't advance. What's more, the change event must be identifiable not only to senior administrators, but also to the faculty and staff actually in the trenches. 2--Create a sense of urgency. Next, you must create a sense of urgency. A college or university might suffer declining enrollment for a number of years with little real concern. However, showing that this decline will affect faculty salaries or might cause a loss of accreditation is more likely to generate a sense that something must be done. To create a sense of urgency, key audiences must understand in real and concrete terms how the change event will affect them. Either show them how their lives will be diminished if the threat is not dealt with, or how their lives will be improved if the opportunity is accommodated. 3--Develop a course of action. Once you have identified a threat or opportunity, you must develop a course of action that is clear and simple. If it is not dear, people won't understand how it will deal with the issue. If it is not simple, people will get bogged down. A simple decision to freeze tuition increases, for example, is a lot easier to understand than a complex financial aid leveraging
scheme that takes a raft of Ph.D.s in Economics to understand and implement. As you think about your course of action, however, keep in mind two important fundamentals: First, a good response created and acted upon quickly is much better than a perfect response that takes forever to Formulate. Second, don't get too focused on a need for consensus. Consensus sounds great, and change-management literature is chock-full of strategies for achieving it. But the fact is, total consensus almost never occurs. So, rather than consensus, seek just enough consensus. Get enough people on board, especially the right people. Don't worry about the vocal 10 percent who seem to oppose your every move. Let their peers work on them; you work with the go percent who are willing to be led. 4--Establish a guiding coalition. While the vision for a change may originate with one person, the actual change process must be accomplished through a coalition of believers who, in response to a threat or opportunity, developed a unified response. This guiding coalition must be large enough to have an impact on the organization, but small enough to act in a truly coordinated fashion. Furthermore, this coalition must include major and minor players and be as cross-functional as possible, drawing from all segments of the campus. A coalition that includes people from Admissions, Advancement, and senior faculty will likely be more credible than a team comprising people only from Advancement. 5--Communicate your course of action widely. With the key elements in place, you must communicate your course of action widely and continually. Not only must people understand in general the institutional response, but they must understand specifically their role in the change process. What is the role that the people in Parking or the Registrar's office have in the change process? If they don't understand their role, they will not be wedded to the change event. Furthermore, they might unintentionally undermine what you are trying to accomplish.
6--Generate and celebrate near-term wins. While significant change is typically a long-term undertaking, people need to know immediately that their efforts are having some impact. This is much like the overweight person who decides to lose 50 pounds over the next year. After a week of struggling with a new food plan, a dieter wants to know that she's dropped a few pounds Without that near-term win, she'll become discouraged and drop out before the long haul. So, celebrate your near-term wins. If you decide to open an off-campus center for adult students, people on the main campus need to be aware that the center is successful and that adults are enrolling. And if you are smart, you'll also tell them how the revenue from that new center is going to help them in their day-to-day activities. 7--Anchor change in the organization. Change begins with people, but it is institutionalized through artfully developed policies and procedures, realistic budgets, measures of success, and ongoing training. You simply cannot ask people to change without giving them the tools to change. This support must be real, obvious, and given freely. At the same time, people who opt not to change must be dealt with or their recalcitrance will spread. One of the quickest ways to undermine change is to ignore people who will not embrace--and even sabotage--the change initiative. IN A NUTSHELL ... Educator and philosopher Clarke Kerr once wrote, "The major test of a modern U.S. university is how wisely and how quickly it is able to adjust to important new possibilities." Bottom Line? It's all about change. TWO TOMES ON CHANGE There Ore a great number of books on change, but my two favorites are: Kotter, John. Leading Change [Boston; Harvard Business School Press, 1996]
Kouzes, James M, and Barry Z. Posner. Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It [San Francisco, JosseyBass, 1995]
Break Through Inner Resistance To Your Success By Suzanne Zacharia So many people feel stuck in the same old problem. Maybe they have been trying to make more money and somehow there is always a limit stopping them from moving further. Or perhaps they keep repeating the same unhappy patterns in love and relationships. Some people contact me with an emotional or physical condition that just would not shift. They may have seen excellent practitioners, therapists, and coaches, but still, they have the challenge to deal with. It often seems like there is no hope and can be very frustrating. The biggest source of frustration is that the person would be doing everything they can to get over this hurdle and totally committed, so they cannot understand why there is this internal block stopping them. With EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques, this block is called Psychological Reversal. It is a state where you want to move forward, but your energy is holding you back. Usually, this psychological reversal is easy to treat with every time you do the EFT procedure. However, in some cases, this simple treatment is not enough. With trial and error, I have found three solutions to this kind of stubborn block. 1.
The Sentinel negotiation. Most stubborn blocks is because part of you sees harm in moving forward and blocks you from doing so. As strange as it may seem, this is because part of you is protecting you. The idea of the Sentinel is one derived from NLP, and I find that once the negotiation is complete, then that block is no longer needed and your Sentinel protector simply removes it and lets you move on to your success. For
example, you may want to have more money, but your Sentinel thinks that if you does, you will be taken advantage of by someone and treated badly by them, so it stops you dead in your tracks every time you come near to realizing that goal. Or maybe you want to meet a love partner, but your Sentinel is afraid that if you do, you will have children and treat them as badly as your mother or father treated you; so your Sentinel will do anything to stop you from having a stable relationship. Also, resistant phobias and addictions are notorious for having an element of protection stopping you from moving forward. If you have a fear or anxiety that simply will not go away, ask your Sentinel for help; that is my advice. Most people will try to push their way past their Sentinel and try to force the change, only to be thwarted again at some point. The answer lies with talking to your Sentinel and negotiating a way forward together. As strange as it may seem, what is in the way is actually your way forward. 2.
The Mountains of Self Worth program. I found that one reason why some people gets stuck in a negative way of thinking is that they are always comparing themselves unfavourably to others. For example, if you think your colleague is better than you, when it comes to promotion, you will somehow block yourself from taking that position instead of him/her. Or if you think you are unattractive or unworthy as a partner or lover compared to most of your friends or family, this belief may hold you back from having a happy relationship. Or you may feel anxious in social situations or when doing a presentation, comparing yourself unfavourably with others whom you see as better than you. By releasing this constant comparison, you can see yourself as you really are rather as a lesser-than kind of person. Then the lesser-than block will melt away and you can simply move forward to your success. After all, it is your path to success that you are treading, not the other people you
compare yourself to. You are the only one that matters on this path, regardless of what they do on theirs. It is your path. 3.
The third block is a very low level of self-love or selfacceptance, and sometimes a very low level of love and acceptance for others. I have found that when this is about 20% or lower, the person is thwarted in any effort of selfimprovement, or that they get extremely slow progress. For example, someone who wants to lose weight but hates themselves often would overeat to fill the emotional void from lack of self-love. Or someone who wants to get the most out of their staff but finds them uncooperative may at a subconscious level not accept their staff, and they sense that and react accordingly. Someone who has bitterness in their heart to certain people may be subconsciously concentrating so much on this bitterness that they may have no energy left to propel themselves to their own success. The solution is to learn how to accept and/or send unconditional love healing energy. You can train yourself to channel love healing from the Universe all around you. This love is unconditional love, and by its definition it has no conditions. The only person blocking it would be you. But the good news is that you can train in how to let it in and how to channel it, or let it flow through you. Once you do, you will find it much easier to move forward to the success that your heart truly desires.
I hope this gives you ideas on the way forward. By removing these inner resistance blocks, you can find the success that you truly desire.
The Habit Change Cheatsheet: 29 Ways to Successfully Ingrain a Behavior We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle Our daily lives are often a series of habits played out through the day, a trammeled existence fettered by the slow accretion of our previous actions. But habits can be changed, as difficult as that may seem sometimes. There are so many examples around us: people do quit smoking, stop impulse spending, get out of debt, begin running and waking early and eating healthier, become frugal and simplify their lifes, become organized and focused and productive, … you get the picture. Keep it simple Habit change is not that complicated. While the tips below will seem overwhelming, there’s really only a few things you need to know. Everything else is just helping these to become reality.
The simple steps of habit change: 1. Write down your plan. 2. Identify your triggers and replacement habits. 3. Focus on doing the replacement habits every single time the triggers happen, for about 30 days. That’s it. We’ll talk more about each of these steps, and much more, in the cheatsheet below.
The Habit Change Cheatsheet The following is a compilation of tips to help you change a habit. Don’t be overwhelmed — always remember the simple steps above. The rest are different ways to help you become more successful in your habit change. 1. Do just one habit at a time. Extremely important. Habit change is difficult, even with just one habit. If you do more than one habit at a time, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Keep it simple, allow yourself to focus, and give yourself the best chance for success. Btw, this is why New Year’s resolutions often fail — people try to tackle more than one change at a time. 2. Start small. The smaller the better, because habit change is difficult, and trying to take on too much is a recipe for disaster. Want to exercise? Start with just 5-10 minutes. Want to wake up earlier? Try just 10 minutes earlier for now. Or consider half habits. 3. Do a 30-day Challenge. In my experience, it takes about 30 days to change a habit, if you’re focused and consistent. This is a round number and will vary from person to person and habit to habit. Often you’ll read a magical “21 days” to change a habit, but this is a myth with no evidence. Seriously — try to find the evidence from a scientific study for this. A more recent study shows that 66 days is a better number. But 30 days is a good number to get you started. Your challenge: stick with a habit every day for 30 days, and post your daily progress updates to a forum. 4. Write it down. Just saying you’re going to change the habit is not enough of a commitment. You need to actually write it down, on paper. Write what habit you’re going to change. 5. Make a plan. While you’re writing, also write down a plan. This will ensure you’re really prepared. The plan should include your reasons (motivations) for changing, obstacles, triggers, support buddies, and other ways you’re going to make this a success. More on each of these below.
6. Know your motivations, and be sure they’re strong. Write them down in your plan. You have to be very clear why you’re doing this, and the benefits of doing it need to be clear in your head. If you’re just doing it for vanity, while that can be a good motivator, it’s not usually enough. We need something stronger. For me, I quit smoking for my wife and kids. I made a promise to them. I knew if I didn’t smoke, not only would they be without a husband and father, but they’d be more likely to smoke themselves (my wife was a smoker and quit with me). 7. Don’t start right away. In your plan, write down a start date. Maybe a week or two from the date you start writing out the plan. When you start right away (like today), you are not giving the plan the seriousness it deserves. When you have a “Quit Date” or “Start Date”, it gives that date an air of significance. Tell everyone about your quit date (or start date). Put it up on your wall or computer desktop. Make this a Big Day. It builds up anticipation and excitement, and helps you to prepare. 8. Write down all your obstacles. If you’ve tried this habit change before (odds are you have), you’ve likely failed. Reflect on those failures, and figure out what stopped you from succeeding. Write down every obstacle that’s happened to you, and others that are likely to happen. Then write down how you plan to overcome them. That’s the key: write down your solution before the obstacles arrive, so you’re prepared. 9. Identify your triggers. What situations trigger your current habit? For the smoking habit, for example, triggers might include waking in the morning, having coffee, drinking alcohol, stressful meetings, going out with friends, driving, etc. Most habits have multiple triggers. Identify all of them and write them in your plan. 10. For every single trigger, identify a positive habit you’re going to do instead. When you first wake in the morning, instead of smoking, what will you do? What about when you get stressed? When you go out with friends? Some positive habits could include:
exercise, meditation, deep breathing, organizing, decluttering, and more. “Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.” - Mark Twain 11. Plan a support system. Who will you turn to when you have a strong urge? Write these people into your plan. Support forums online are a great tool as well — I used a smoking cessation forum on about.com when I quit smoking, and it really helped. Don’t underestimate the power of support — it’s really important. 12. Ask for help. Get your family and friends and co-workers to support you. Ask them for their help, and let them know how important this is. Find an AA group in your area. Join online forums where people are trying to quit. When you have really strong urges or a really difficult time, call on your support network for help. Don’t smoke a cigarette, for example, without posting to your online quit forum. Don’t have a drop of alcohol before calling your AA buddy. 13. Become aware of self-talk. You talk to yourself, in your head, all the time — but often we’re not aware of these thoughts. Start listening. These thoughts can derail any habit change, any goal. Often they’re negative: “I can’t do this. This is too difficult. Why am I putting myself through this? How bad is this for me anyway? I’m not strong enough. I don’t have enough discipline. I suck.” It’s important to know you’re doing this. 14. Stay positive. You will have negative thoughts — the important thing is to realize when you’re having them, and push them out of your head. Squash them like a bug! Then replace them with a positive thought. “I can do this! If Leo can do it, so can I!” :) 15. Have strategies to defeat the urge. Urges are going to come — they’re inevitable, and they’re strong. But they’re also temporary, and beatable. Urges usually last about a minute or two, and they come in waves of varying strength. You just need to ride
out the wave, and the urge will go away. Some strategies for making it through the urge: deep breathing, self-massage, eat some frozen grapes, take a walk, exercise, drink a glass of water, call a support buddy, post on a support forum. 16. Prepare for the sabotagers. There will always be people who are negative, who try to get you to do your old habit. Be ready for them. Confront them, and be direct: you don’t need them to try to sabotage you, you need their support, and if they can’t support you then you don’t want to be around them. 17. Talk to yourself. Be your own cheerleader, give yourself pep talks, repeat your mantra (below), and don’t be afraid to seem crazy to others. We’ll see who’s crazy when you’ve changed your habit and they’re still lazy, unhealthy slobs! 18. Have a mantra. For quitting smoking, mine was “Not One Puff Ever” (I didn’t make this up, but it worked — more on this below). When I wanted to quit my day job, it was “Liberate Yourself”. This is just a way to remind yourself of what you’re trying to do. 19. Use visualization. This is powerful. Vividly picture, in your head, successfully changing your habit. Visualize doing your new habit after each trigger, overcoming urges, and what it will look like when you’re done. This seems new-agey, but it really works. 20. Have rewards. Regular ones. You might see these as bribes, but actually they’re just positive feedback. Put these into your plan, along with the milestones at which you’ll receive them. 21. Take it one urge at a time. Often we’re told to take it one day at a time — which is good advice — but really it’s one urge at a time. Just make it through this urge. 22. Not One Puff Ever (in other words, no exceptions). This seems harsh, but it’s a necessity: when you’re trying to break the bonds between an old habit and a trigger, and form a new bond between the trigger and a new habit, you need to be really consistent. You
can’t do it sometimes, or there will be no new bond, or at least it will take a really really long time to form. So, at least for the first 30 days (and preferably 60), you need to have no exceptions. Each time a trigger happens, you need to do the new habit and not the old one. No exceptions, or you’ll have a backslide. If you do mess up, regroup, learn from your mistake, plan for your success, and try again (see the last item on this list). 23. Get rest. Being tired leaves us vulnerable to relapse. Get a lot of rest so you can have the energy to overcome urges. 24. Drink lots of water. Similar to the item above, being dehydrated leaves us open to failure. Stay hydrated! 25. Renew your commitment often. Remind yourself of your commitment hourly, and at the beginning and end of each day. Read your plan. Celebrate your success. Prepare yourself for obstacles and urges. 26. Set up public accountability. Blog about it, post on a forum, email your commitment and daily progress to friend and family, post a chart up at your office, write a column for your local newspaper (I did this when I ran my first marathon). When we make it public — not just the commitment but the progress updates — we don’t want to fail. 27. Engineer it so it’s hard to fail. Create a groove that’s harder to get out of than to stay in: increase positive feedback for sticking with the habit, and increase negative feedback for not doing the habit. 28. Avoid some situations where you normally do your old habit, at least for awhile, to make it a bit easier on yourself. If you normally drink when you go out with friends, consider not going out for a little while. If you normally go outside your office with coworkers to smoke, avoid going out with them. This applies to any bad habit — whether it be eating junk food or doing drugs, there are some situations you can avoid that are especially difficult for
someone trying to change a bad habit. Realize, though, that when you go back to those situations, you will still get the old urges, and when that happens you should be prepared. 29. If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again. Donâ€™t let failure and guilt stop you. Theyâ€™re just obstacles, but they can be overcome. In fact, if you learn from each failure, they become stepping stones to your success. Regroup. Let go of guilt. Learn. Plan. And get back on that horse.
Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones. Benjamin Franklin
4.22 THE KĂœBLER-ROSS GRIEF CYCLE For many years, people with terminal illnesses were an embarrassment for doctors. Someone who could not be cured was evidence of the doctors' fallibility, and as a result the doctors regularly shunned the dying with the excuse that there was nothing more that could be done (and that there was plenty of other demand on the doctors' time). Elizabeth KĂźbler-Ross was a doctor in Switzerland who railed against this unkindness and spent a lot of time with dying people, both comforting and studying them. She wrote a book, called 'On Death and Dying' which included a cycle of emotional states that is often referred to (but not exclusively called) the Grief Cycle. In the ensuing years, it was noticed that this emotional cycle was not exclusive just to the terminally ill, but also other people who were affected by bad news, such as losing their jobs or otherwise being negatively affected by change. The important factor is not that the change is good or bad, but that they perceive it as a significantly negative event. The Extended Grief Cycle The Extended Grief Cycle can be shown as in the chart below, indicating the roller-coaster ride of activity and passivity as the person wriggles and turns in their desperate efforts to avoid the change. The initial state before the cycle is received is stable, at least in terms of the subsequent reaction on hearing the bad news. Compared with the ups and downs to come, even if there is some variation, this is indeed a stable state.
And then, into the calm of this relative paradise, a bombshell bursts... •
Shock stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.
Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.
Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions.
Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.
This model is extended slightly from the original Kubler-Ross model, which does not explicitly include the Shock and Testing stages. These stages however are often useful to understand and facilitating change.
Sticking and cycling Getting stuck A common problem with the above cycle is that people get stuck in one phase. Thus a person may become stuck in denial, never moving on from the position of not accepting the inevitable future. When it happens, they still keep on denying it, such as the person who has lost their job still going into the city only to sit on a park bench all day. Getting stuck in denial is common in 'cool' cultures (such as in Britain, particularly Southern England) where expressing anger is not acceptable. The person may feel that anger, but may then repress it, bottling it up inside. Likewise, a person may be stuck in permanent anger (which is itself a form of flight from reality) or repeated bargaining. It is more difficult to get stuck in active states than in passivity, and getting stuck in depression is perhaps a more common ailment. Going in cycles Another trap is that when a person moves on to the next phase, they have not completed an earlier phase and so move backwards in cyclic loops that repeat previous emotion and actions. Thus, for example, a person that finds bargaining not to be working, may go back into anger or denial. Cycling is itself a form of avoidance of the inevitable, and going backwards in time may seem to be a way of extending the time before the perceived bad thing happens. Source: Elisabeth K端bler-Ross, On Death and Dying, Macmillan, NY, 1969 http://changingminds.org/disciplines/change_management/kubl er_ross/kubler_ross.htm
Examples. Shock and Denial. "This can't be happening, not to me."; "I don't have true infertility since I've already had a child." â€˘ Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, reality, etc., relating to the situation concerned. It's a defence mechanism and perfectly natural. Some people can become locked in this stage when dealing with a traumatic change that can be ignored. Anger. "Why me? After all I've been through. It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; '"Who is to blame?" â€˘ Anger can manifest in different ways. People dealing with emotional upset can be angry with themselves, and/or with others, especially those close to them. Knowing this helps keep detached and non-judgemental when experiencing the anger of someone who is very upset.
Bargaining. "Please God. I would give anything."; "If I don't get pregnant we will just adopt, either way it will happen."; "I know there must be a reason this is happening." â€˘ Traditionally the bargaining stage for people facing death can involve attempting to bargain with whatever God the person believes in. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek to negotiate a compromise. For example "Can we still be friends?.." when facing a break-up. Bargaining rarely provides a sustainable solution, especially if it's a matter of life or death.
Depression. "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "No matter what I do it's just not going to happen."; "Why try anymore?"; "Everyone is moving on without me." â€˘ During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.
Acceptance. "It's going to be okay."; "There's nothing I can do to change it so why stay bitter?"; "It will happen eventually." â€˘ In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their mortality, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event.
Not everyone even that has gone through infertility, loss of a loved one, or a preemie may experience these stages. Some are strong enough to be in acceptance for most of the time...oh gosh how I wish I could be that strong. Some will deny it until those two lines appear or until their baby comes home. But I can guarantee that I have felt each stage and most do. Some days its easy to accept and other days I just refuse to accept this. Either way I will be real about those feelings be that good, bad or ugly. And I refuse to apologize for that.
Recognizing Grief Over the Loss of Income Shock and denial are the first reactions of people experiencing unplanned changes. When people experience a major income loss they go through certain stages of grief. Figure 2 shows these and what happens at each stage. People often move back and forth between the stages and sometimes get stuck at a particular stage for a while. To express anger in a positive way, people need to change how they view the situation. Stage 1 - Shock and Denial Shock and denial are the first reactions of people experiencing unplanned changes. At this stage in the loss cycle, it is normal for people to feel confused and afraid, and to want to place blame. However, many people are just numb when facing an unplanned change as if they were on automatic pilot. It is very common for people to avoid making decisions or taking action at this point.
Figure 2. Stages of the Grief Cycle People are often unable to function or perform simple, routine tasks during this stage. Denial can occasionally be healthy for a short time, but prolonged denial can have devastating consequences for the person and for the situation. Denial of something that has happened or of the pain and fear being experienced is a way in which people protect themselves when faced with a painful situation. Continued denial of the pain and fear, however, will block them from doing something about it.
Stage 2 - Anger Anger is a feeling that is often intensely felt during this time. Anger is identified by feelings of second-guessing, hate, self-doubt, embarrassment, irritation, shame, hurt, frustration, and anxiety. People usually understand more clearly what is happening, but they may look for someone to blame at this stage. If there is no one on whom to focus the anger or blame, a feeling of helplessness may take over and the anger may be turned inside. Some people take it out on themselves by taking responsibility for a situation over which they have had little control. People are often afraid that if they let themselves acknowledge the anger they feel, they will immediately need to express it and act on it in a way that they will regret later. However, by not admitting to themselves and others close to them the loss and pain they feel, they will be blocked from doing something about the situation. It will also prevent them from moving on. Some people get stuck at this stage. To express anger in a positive way, people need to change how they view the situation. It is also helpful to talk to others about it or write down their feelings in order to figure out what they need to do to make the feelings less intense. Another option is to turn the anger into energy through an active sport or brisk physical activity or to express it through playing a musical instrument. Stage 3 - Depression and Detachment The third stage of the loss cycle, depression and detachment, is characterized by feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being overwhelmed. People often feel down, lack energy, and have no desire to do anything. Withdrawal from activities and other people is common. Because it is also hard to make decisions at this stage, ask a family member, friend, or professional to help you if important decisions need to be made.
Stage 4 - Dialogue and Bargaining The fourth stage, dialogue and bargaining, is a time when people struggle to find meaning in what has happened. They begin to reach out to others and want to tell their story. People become more willing to explore alternatives after expressing their feelings. They may, however, still be angry or depressed. People do not move neatly from one stage to another. Rather, the stages overlap and people often slip back to earlier stages. Stage 5 - Acceptance At this stage, people are ready to explore and consider options. As the acceptance stage progresses, a new plan begins to take shape or, at the very least, people are open to new options. Getting Back to "Normal" A person's "normal" state of functioning becomes disrupted by a sudden income loss. It is possible to return to a purposeful state of functioning after going through the stages described above and after exploring options and setting a plan. People then begin to feel secure and in control and have a more positive self-esteem. People get renewed energy to tackle life again but in different ways than before the sudden income change. It is perhaps better to think of the end of the grief cycle as returning to a meaningful life rather than returning to a "normal" life. "Normal" at this stage will not be the same as "normal" before the loss. Source: University of Minnesota http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/businessmanagemen t/components/06499c.html
4.13 Knowing and Not Knowing If I don't know I don't know I think I know If I don't know I know I think I don't know Laing R D (1970) Knots Harmondsworth; Penguin (p.55) "He that knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool. Shun him He that knows not, Teach him.
and knows that he knows not is a pupil.
He that knows, and knows not that he knows is asleep Wake him. He that knows, and knows that he knows is a teacher. Follow him." (Arabic proverb) NEIGHBOUR R (1992) The Inner Apprentice London; Kluwer Academic Publishers. p.xvii "We know what we know, we know that there are things we do not know, and we know that there are things we don't know we don't know" Donald Rumsfeld (4 Sept 2002) (Woodward, 2004: 171) It is ironic, perhaps, that the initial insight is allegedly Arabic. This paper is playing around with a conceit: two senses of the term "know". However, it is all in a professional cause.
The two senses are those of: ď‚§
awareness of self, (represented by the vertical red line in the diagram below) and
knowledge of the world (the horizontal blue line)
There are of course four possible combinations, which are explored below. You may find parallels with the witting and willing practice model, and also with the familiar "unconscious incompetence" to "unconscious competence" model. which relates primarily to practical skills: here we are exploring knowledge. Laing's poetic exploration of its interpersonal convolutions cited above (it goes on for another 21 pages), and the citation of the idea by Neighbour (1992) credited as an Arabic proverb demonstrate that it has a considerable provenance.
Not knowing you don't know The first possibility is that of being unaware that you don't know something. This is the "ignorance is bliss" state, enjoyed by everyone who pontificates about politics in pubs. It is also the position of many people on "soft" occupations (such as teaching, or social work) which look from the outside as if "any fool could do it". (Some do.) And it is engendered by consummate professionals who make what they do look easy (such as plasterers and chefs and popular novelists and...). Many students start from this position, and although the Neighbour proverb calls them "fools", it is not really fair. Let's go on â€” So the first move is often to make learners aware of their ignorance. This is tricky, in practice. Unless they are a captive audience it is quite easy to frighten them off. (It is also quite seductive, because it is a chance to show off your own level of knowledge or competence.) On the other hand, it is a crucial step in developing motivation to learn.
There are various ways of doing it. In my first German lesson, a young teacher recited a poem to us in German: it sounded great, but we couldn't understand a word of it, of course. He didn't really need to do it, because we already knew we didn't know any of it apart from a couple of phrases picked up from war films. He was trying to show what we might aspire to, and went on to explain that. (It must have made an impact because I can remember the lesson fifty years later.)
You can ask a student (usually either one who is a bit full of himself and needs to be "taken down a peg", or one who is mature enough not to be humiliated) to do something practical in the certainty that he will fail. Only do this if you are confident that when you do it, as you will be challenged to, you can manage it yourself.
You can pose a problem which has a seemingly simple answer (political, economic, legal—or in Neighbour's case, medical), and then show the problems in reaching
that simple solution, which stem from ignorance of the context. The trick is to show something which is (so far) beyond the students' reach, but not so far beyond it that they will despair. The second trick is to make it interesting. I have deliberately not mentioned strategies for doing this in accountancy. More significantly:
In continuing professional development courses in particular, you may be challenging survival-oriented practice in which people have a substantial vested interest: this is the key to the whole un-learning/learning process.
Unless you have to do it, don't. Many learners (particularly those who have signed up for your course of their own free will) are only too aware of what they don't know. The last thing they need is for you to rub it in.
Skill in this area is of course a core competence for charlatans. Whether self-help gurus who must convince you of your personal inadequacy or potential ill-health, religious proselytisers who must convict you of sins only they believe are sinful, or salespeople who have to create a "need" for their product, they all have to manage this stage. Study and learn from them—just don't believe them.
Knowing you don't know
This move, from "knowing that you don't know" to "knowing that you know" is what most learning and hence teaching is all about.
Knowing and not knowing that you know The interaction between knowing and not knowing that you know is however more complex and much neglected. There are two kinds of knowledge (in a third sense) or practice involved here.
The first is that for which the move to "not knowing that you know" or "unconscious competence" is the highest stage of development. This applies to the basic skills of driving, or knitting; the kind of thing you can "do without thinking".
The second is where people who have informally learned a great deal mistakenly put themelves in the "knowing that they don't know" category because they have never received any academic or professional accreditation for their learning. This is the downside of our qualificationdriven culture, which dismisses those whom Gramsci called "organic intellectuals" because they do not have the recognition of the formal educational system.
Neighbour's Arabic proverb enjoins us to "awaken" someone in this position, which means to take them back, counter-clockwise on the diagram, to an awareness of their knowledge. There is a link here with Mezirow's concept of "transformative learning", in which education leads to a re-evaluation of life so far.
(There is perhaps a third possibility here, too, which is the fit with the willing but unwitting category in the model of practice on this site.)
The problematic expert The fourth possibility is touched on in the discussion of expertise.This the person who (wait for it!) knows that she knows but does not know how she knowsâ€”or cannot express it. Ask about a particularly brilliant bit of practice and you will get a banal answer which might have come out of the textbook, but which totally fails to do justice to the complexity of what she has done. Sometimes that answer will be given because she does not want to appear a "smart-arse" ("Ass" if you are American, but I wouldn't wish to confuse you with references to donkeys.) Sometimes, though, she might claim that it is a matter of "not being able to put it into words" or even, disconcertingly, of a "hunch". She may even be afraid of trying to express her expertise, for fear that an inadequate exposition will somehow jeopardise fragile knowledge. Once she has said it, it might become ossified. She might feel obliged to live up to her exposition and limit that insight and creativity which goes beyond words. Some things we can teach, and some we can't.
So that's the whole story. Or is it? Is there any connection between the "Don't know that you know" stage and the "Don't know that you don't know" stage? Possibly (but not always). ď‚§
There may occasionally be a cycle: if you don't know what you do know, you probably don't know what you don't know, either. This may be the case for people who are stuck at a survival learning level. They have learned to get by with what they know, to the extent that they do not give themselves credit for it, or are even unaware of knowing it, as we have discussed. However, they can't take it any further because it is out of awareness, so they are unaware of how they could move on from mere competence or proficiency to real expertise.
For such people, because they do not know what they know, they may be unsure of their knowledge, and may be threatened by the prospect of moving on, which leads to a degree of resistance to new learning.
The Bottom Line Clearly we have to get people to realise what they don't know, if necessary. But fascinating though it is, the inarticulate expertise of not knowing that you know is a dead end from the learning and teaching point of view. The only open position, with potential for development, is that of knowing what you know. Sources: http://www.trainer.org.uk/members/theory/ process/stages_of_learning.htm http://www.neurosemantics.com/Articles/ Unconscious.htm http://www.nlp.org/glossary.html#U Dubin, P (1962) 'Human Relations in Administration', Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall
Kirkpatrick, D. L. (1971). A practical guide for supervisory training and development. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. There's a fascinating exploration of the whole story at http://www.businessballs.com/consciouscompetencelearnin gmodel.htm The medical school at the University of Arizona has taken similar ideas further with their Curriculum on Medical Ignorance (CMI) and developed the Q-Cubed; Questions, questioning and questioners project. Here is their "Ignorance Map", which identifies: Known Unknowns: all the things you know you don't know. Unknown Unknowns: all the things you don't know you don't know Errors: all the things you think you know but don't Unknown Knowns: all the things you don't know you know Taboos: dangerous, polluting or forbidden knowledge Denials: all the things too painful to know, so you don't [acknowledgements to Perkins D (2009) Making Learning Whole: how seven principles of teaching can transform education San Francisco; Jossey Bass p 241 for the link.] Ref: WOODWARD B (2004) Plan of Attack New York; Simon and Schuster
Source: Atherton J S (2011) Doceo; Knowing and not knowing [On-line: UK] retrieved 1 February 2012 from http://www.doceo.co.uk/tools/knowing.htm Read more: Knowing and not knowing http://www.doceo.co.uk/tools/knowing.htm#ixzz1l7YFrgpN Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives conscious competence learning model stages of learning - unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence - and other theories and models for learning and change Here first is the 'conscious competence' learning model and matrix, and below other other theories and models for learning and change. The earliest origins of the conscious competence theory are not entirely clear, although the US Gordon Training International organisation has certainly played a major role in defining it and and promoting its use .The conscious competence model explains the process and stages of learning a new skill (or behaviour, ability, technique, etc.) It most commonly known as the 'conscious competence learning model', sometimes 'conscious competence ladder' or 'conscious competence matrix', although other descriptions are used, including terminology relating to 'conscious skilled' and 'conscious unskilled' which is preferred by Gordon Training. Occasionally a fifth stage or level is added in more recent adapted versions. Whatever you call it, the 'conscious competence' model is a simple explanation of how we learn, and a useful reminder of the need to train people in stages.
The learner or trainee always begins at stage 1 - 'unconscious incompetence', and ends at stage 4 - 'unconscious competence', having passed through stage 2 - 'conscious incompetence' and - 3 'conscious competence'. Teachers and trainers commonly assume trainees to be at stage 2, and focus effort towards achieving stage 3, when often trainees are still at stage 1. The trainer assumes the trainee is aware of the skill existence, nature, relevance, deficiency, and benefit offered from the acquisition of the new skill. Whereas trainees at stage 1 - unconscious incompetence - have none of these things in place, and will not be able to address achieving conscious competence until they've become consciously and fully aware of their own incompetence. This is a fundamental reason for the failure of a lot of training and teaching. If the awareness of skill and deficiency is low or non-existent - ie., the learner is at the unconscious incompetence stage - the trainee or learner will simply not see the need for learning. It's essential to establish awareness of a weakness or training need (conscious incompetence) prior to attempting to impart or arrange training or skills necessary to move trainees from stage 2 to 3. People only respond to training when they are aware of their own need for it, and the personal benefit they will derive from achieving it. Conscious competence learning matrix The progression is from quadrant 1 through 2 and 3 to 4. It is not possible to jump stages. For some skills, especially advanced ones, people can regress to previous stages, particularly from 4 to 3, or from 3 to 2, if they fail to practise and exercise their new skills. A person regressing from 4, back through 3, to 2, will need to develop again through 3 to achieve stage 4 - unconscious competence again.
For certain skills in certain roles stage 3 conscious competence is perfectly adequate. Progression from stage to stage is often accompanied by a feeling of awakening - 'the penny drops' - things 'click' into place for the learner - the person feels like they've made a big step forward, which of course they have. There are other representations of the conscious competence model. Ladders and staircase diagrams are popular, which probably stem from the Gordon Training organisation's interpretations. Certain brain (personality) types favour certain skills (see for example the Benziger theory). We each possess natural strengths and preferences. We each therefore find progression to stage 3, and particularly to stage 4, easier in some skills rather than in others. Some people will resist progression even to stage 2, because they refuse to acknowledge or accept the relevance and benefit of a particular skill or ability. In these cases it's obviously not too clever to attempt to progress the person to stage 3. Instead find the person a more suitable role, or allow an adapted approach to the current role if appropriate and viable. People develop competence only after they recognise the relevance of their own incompetence in the skill concerned.
3 - conscious competence
2 - conscious incompetence
the person achieves 'conscious competence' in a skill when they can perform it reliably at
the person becomes aware of the existence and relevance of the skill
will the person will need to concentrate and think in order to perform the skill the person can perform the skill without assistance the person will not reliably perform the skill unless thinking about it - the skill is not yet 'second nature' or 'automatic' the person should be able to demonstrate the skill to another, but is unlikely to be able to teach it well to another person the person should ideally continue to practise the new skill, and if appropriate commit to becoming 'unconsciously competent' at the new skill practise is the singlemost effective
the person is therefore also aware of their deficiency in this area, ideally by attempting or trying to use the skill the person realises that by improving their skill or ability in this area their effectiveness will improve ideally the person has a measure of the extent of their deficiency in the relevant skill, and a measure of what level of skill is required for their own competence the person ideally makes a commitment to learn and practice the new skill, and to move to the 'conscious competence' stage
way to move from stage 3 to 4 unconscious
4 - unconscious competence
1 - unconscious incompetence
the skill becomes so practised that it enters the unconscious parts of the brain - it becomes 'second nature'
the person is not aware of the existence or relevance of the skill area
common examples are driving, sports activities, typing, manual dexterity tasks, listening and communicating it becomes possible for certain skills to be performed while doing something else, for example, knitting while reading a book the person might now be able to teach others in the skill concerned, although after some time of being unconsciously competent the person might actually have difficulty in
the person is not aware that they have a particular deficiency in the area concerned the person might deny the relevance or usefulness of the new skill the person must become conscious of their incompetence before development of the new skill or learning can begin the aim of the trainee or learner and the trainer or teacher is to move the person into the 'conscious competence' stage, by demonstrating the
explaining exactly how they do it - the skill has become largely instinctual
skill or ability and the benefit that it will bring to the person's effectiveness
this arguably gives rise to the need for long-standing unconscious competence to be checked periodically against new standards
Suggested fifth stage of conscious competence model As with many simple and effective models, attempts have been made to add to the conscious competence model, notably a fifth stage, normally represented as: 'Conscious competence of unconscious competence', which describes a person's ability to recognise and develop unconscious incompetence in others. Personally I think this is a development in a different direction: ability to recognise and develop skill deficiencies in others involves a separate skill set altogether, far outside of an extension of the unconscious competence stage of any particular skill. As already mentioned, there are plenty of people who become so instinctual at a particular skill that they forget the theory - because they no longer need it - and as such make worse teachers than someone who has good ability at the conscious competence stage. Alternatively a fifth stage of sorts has been represented as follows:
One will only know a maximum of 80% of anything ... and the remaining 20% is never the same. (Ack W McLaughlin) I understand (from another mediation colleague in Ireland) that one Bateman may be the source of the model. And another suggestion, from David Baume, which I like very much: David wrote, May 2004: As a fifth level, I like what I call 'reflective competence'. As a teacher, I thought "If unconscious competence is the top level, then how on earth can I teach things I'm unconsciously competent at?" I didn't want to regress to conscious competence - and I'm not sure if I could even I wanted to! So, reflective competence - a step beyond unconscious competence. Conscious of my own unconscious competence, yes, as you suggest. But additionally looking at my unconscious competence from the outside, digging to find and understand the theories and models and beliefs that clearly, based on looking at what I do, now inform what I do and how I do it. These won't be the exact same theories and models and beliefs that I learned consciously and then became unconscious of. They'll include new ones, the ones that comprise my particular expertise. And when I've surfaced them, I can talk about them and test them. Nonaka is good on this (Nonaka, I. (1994). "A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation." Organization Science 5: 14-37. (David Baume, May 2004). And from Linda Gilbert along similar lines, May 2004: Responding to your inquiry about "fifth stage of learning model" on your conscious competence learning model webpage... I've heard of one that belongs - I think it was called "re-conscious competence." It indicates a stage where you can operate with fluency yourself on an instinctive level, but are ALSO able to articulate what you are doing for yourself and others. That stage takes attention to process at a meta-cognitive level. Many people never reach it - we all know experts who can't tell you how they're doing what they're doing.
(Linda Gilbert, Ph.D., May 2004) If you can shed further light on origins of this thinking please get in touch. And from John Addy, Aug 2004: "I suggest the 5th stage can be 'complacency.' That is, when the person continues to practise the skill which has become automatic and second nature, but, over time, allows bad habits to form. For example, an exemplary driver makes a silly mistake. Or, a trainer, believing himself or herself to be an expert, fails to prepare adequately for a training session and drops a clanger. These are the dangers of thinking you can do something so easily, you become complacent. Complacency can also cause problems if the person doesn't keep up-to-date with the skill. As techniques and approaches move forward, the person remains behind using set methods which have perhaps become stale, out-dated or less relevant to today. In each case above the person must reassess personal competence (perhaps against a new standard) and step back to the conscious competence stage until mastery is attained once again. Complacency provides a useful warning to those who think they have reached the limit of mastery. It can also encourage people to search for continuous improvement." (John Addy, Aug 2004)
From Lorgene A Mata, PhD, December 2004: "First, I think calling this model 'conscious competence learning model' is not appropriate or accurate because it gives the impression that the model considers conscious competence as the highest level of learning when in fact, it is only the third level. Based on this model, it is 'unconscious competence' that is the end-goal of learning. But, calling the model unconscious competence learning model may not sound fitting either. I therefore suggest to call this model simply as 'competence leaning model' without the qualifying term 'conscious'. Secondly, I find this model applicable mainly if not exclusively to the acquisition of physical skills or competencies and not to higher mental skills where conscious, non-repetitive, complex and creative mental operations are demanded. Thirdly, I believe the highest level of competence learning is not level 4, 'unconscious competence', but a higher 5th level which I call 'enlightened competence'. At this level, the person has not only mastered the physical skill to a highly efficient and accurate level which does not anymore require of him conscious, deliberate and careful execution of the skill but instead done instinctively and reflexively, requiring minimum efforts with maximum quality output, and is able to understand the very dynamics and scientific explanation of his own physical skills. In other words, he comprehends fully and accurately the what, when, how and why of his own skill and possibly those of others on the same skill he has. In addition to this, he is able to transcend and reflect on the physical skill itself and be able to improve on how it is acquired and learned at even greater efficiency with lower energy investment. Having fully understood all necessary steps and components of the skill to be learned and the manner how they are dynamically integrated to produce the desired level of overall competence, he is thereby able to teach the skill to others in a manner that is effective and expedient. You wrote in your website that this 5th level may be called 'conscious competence of unconscious competence'. But to me, this term is too complex and unwieldy to most people. My suggested label which is 'enlightened
competence', I believe, is more appropriate for this 5th level of competence that indeed exists and is attainable in some cases." (Lorgene A Mata, PhD, December 2004) From Roger Kane, November 2005: "I have been aware of and using this four level model's concepts for a great number of years... But, I always felt that there was another level (level 5), based upon the skills of level 4, that reflected an ability to be reactively creative. That is, to do for the first time something never before considered. The ability to intuitively react to a new situation with an optimally accurate response. The "Wow, I didn't know I could really go to that level!" experience. I have occasionally happened upon this in both snow and water skiing, tennis and driving race cars when there was no time to think about how to solve a new puzzle, but my instinctive reaction did so. I have also seen skiers I coach momentarily get there without understanding why or knowing how to get back there. I suspect this is what is often referred to as 'being in the flow' or 'in the zone' and is more dependent on 'allowing' and holistic trust of the 'body genius' rather than causing from linear thoughts or inputs. While potential for this level 5 of performance can be trained and prepared for, few can produce it on demand (i.e., Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods). The foundation definitely lies in level 4 but the results are expressed as the ultimate performance potential of an individual." (Roger Kane, Director of Education and Training Sunburst Ski Area, Kewaskum, Wisconsin, November 2005) From Mike McGinn, December 2005: "Another suggested parallel for a further stage beyond 'unconscious competence'... The Capability Maturity Model* has echoes in numerous disciplines, and I would suggest that 'optimizing unconscious competence' or something similar could be appropriate. This to me would encompass the unconscious operation of the process or delivery of the task alongside the unconscious measurement and improvement of the task delivery process. Perhaps that also introduces another whole layer of variables, though- whether it is
helpful or not is moot!" [*The Capability Maturity Model was it seems developed by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University; it describes five stages of maturity: 'Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed, Optimized', and is a protected system belonging to the US Mellon financial services corporation.] (Mike McGinn December 2005) From Andrew Dyckhoff, January 2007: "My suggestion for the 5th level would be 'Chosen Conscious Competence'. People often use the driving analogy to explain the model. In the analogy people normally relate the transition from a learner having to think: mirror, signal, manoeuvre, engage, etc., to jumping in and driving off without consciously thinking about the process. When we go on an advanced driving course we learn that there are certain things we should ALWAYS CONSCIOUSLY CHECK. These include looking to see whether there is an idiot coming the other way through a red light, and stopping so you can see the road behind the tyres of the car in front of you, etc. The sales example is that excellent sales people discipline themselves never to assume and always to check.. To summarise, there are some elements of what we do that are so critical to successful performance that the highest level of learning is to choose to remain consciously competent, as with the advanced driving analogy: unconscious competence is fine when we are changing gear, but not when passing through a green light..." (Ack Andrew Dyckhoff, January 2007) From Will Taylor, March 2007: "Re '5th stage' - see the ideas in the diagram. This is more of a spiral model than a hierarchical matrix. It would seem that mature practice involves a mature recognition that one is inevitably ignorant of many things one does not know (i.e., we revisit 'unconscious incompetence' repeatedly or continually; i.e., 'consciousness of unconscious incompetence'). Repeatedly, we are continuously rediscovering 'beginner's mind'. "We revisit conscious incompetence, making discoveries in the holes in our knowledge and skills, becoming discouraged,
which fuels incentive to proceed (when it does not defeat). We perpetually learn, inviting ongoing tutelage, mentoring and self-study (ongoing conscious competence). We continually challenge our 'unconscious competence' in the face of complacency, areas of ignorance, unconscious errors, and the changing world and knowledge base: We challenge our unconscious competence when we recognize that a return to unconscious incompetence would be inevitable. We do this in part by self-study and use of peer review - such that mature practice encompasses the entire 'conscious competence' model, rather than supercedes it as the hierarchical model might suggest."
(Courtesy of Will Taylor, Chair, Department of Homeopathic Medicine, National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon, USA, March 2007. Please reference the diagram accordingly if you use it.)
And these wonderful observations from from Richard Moore, May 2007: "...I studied with Chris Argyris at Harvard and always had a bit of discomfort at his notion of 'incompetence.' Most people will not acknowledge that they are incompetent. They will, however, acknowledge that they are unaware, possibly ignorant of something, or simply unmotivated by it. Indeed, until one has a purpose for a thing, it is simply irrelevant. That then introduces the issue of power relationships, a debate I had with Chris. If one person defines another as 'incompetent,' but the other sees no need for the 'competence,' then the one is imposing a worldview on the other, which if permitted to prevail is essentially imperial - or at the least, dominating. This fits the model which Paulo Freire critiqued in Pedagogy of the Oppressed and his other works. In the spirit of a 'liberating praxis' and related notions of empowerment through one's ability to define one's world and one's self and relations within it, I would propose 5 stages somewhat along the lines of Will Taylor's: accidental, intentional, skillful, masterful, and enlightened. The accidental stage is simply the stage in which one recognizes no particular need for a skill or competency, but may come across it accidentally nonetheless. Whether one chooses or comes to value it is determined by an intentionality or willful choice ('desire'). That intentionality then can lead to skillfulness. Skillfulness can become mastery. Mastery has the potential for enlightenment. I would not call mastery 'unconscious.' It is simply 'wired in.' That, literally, occurs when the neuro-cognitive system acquires new brain cells (e.g., see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php? storyId=7431209&sc=emaf). This does not mean that one is 'unconscious' but that one's responses become automatic; about which, one can be highly conscious. Consequently, 'enlightenment' is an appropriate label for the stage beyond 'mastery.' This can also be called 'reflective,'
although one is often reflective beginning with intentionality. The distinction is that 'enlightenment' represents a particular attainment of higher awareness, whereas reflection per se is the directing of attention toward an object. I would emphasize the nature of enlightenment as a dissolution of boundaries to the point where one is conscious of a higher level of reality in which self and other become part of a unified field, albeit from the point of awareness of an enlightened master, as it were. This is that form of mentoring referred to as guruship (assuming the guru is, in fact, qualified through this degree of enlightened competence). What should be apparent is that there is learning distinct from awareness. One 'learns' through means independent of awareness, although awareness may accompany learning. Awareness can also interfere with learning. The two are simply not the same. One may in fact be a capable teacher with awareness and lack the actual skill one is teaching. This may be unusual, but is certainly not unheard of. It can arise with persons who become disabled, but are still aware, or it may arise with persons who are aware but never acquired the physical skill. Certainly Einstein was never 'God' to have thought experiments enabling him to imagine how 'God' might have designed the universe. More illustratively, athletes can improve their performance through visualization. Visualization, in fact, can improve the efficacy of exercise in general, whether physical or mental. This should be telling us that awareness and the physical process of learning occur somewhat independently, albeit interactively. Anyhow, I suggest that 'conscious competence' is really just 'learning' in 5 stages, from accidental to enlightened, passing through intentional, skillful, and masterful. Many other labels can be applied, as many other cultures have done. The learning must be accompanied by a corresponding degree of awareness that then differentiates automatic learning from sentient learning. We can 'teach' a machine, but enlightenment requires some degree of 'spiritual' transcendence or insight. Whether artificial intelligence
can attain this is of less concern than the simple acknowledgement in functional or operational terms that 'enlightenment' is attained through intentionality that unifies mastery with awareness - even if the mastery in physical terms is exhibited by someone or something other than the enlightened master (shades of 'the Force'). Effective leaders in organizations accomplish this through the organizations. Gurus accomplish this through their disciples. I would also remark, in closing, that Buddhism distinguishes the Arhat from the Boddhisattva. Both are considered 'enlightened,' except the Arhat is essentially selfish about attaining nirvana, whereas the Boddhisattva sticks around to bring everyone else along. One might ask if it is truly 'enlightened' to cash in on nirvana without mentoring others. This is the essential distinction between Hinayana, or 'small boat (or vessel),' and Mahayana, or 'big boat (or vessel),' in regard to schools of Buddhism. I like the idea that an 'Enlightened Master' is one who acts compassionately toward others by mentoring them." And a follow-up note from Richard on five stages: Evelyn Underhill, in her classic work Mysticism, identifies five stages of development: 1. Awakening 2. Purgation 3. Illumination 4. Dark Night of the Soul 5. Union with the Ultimate (Courtesy of Richard H Moore, US Dept of Energy Professor, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science, Leadership and Information Strategy Department, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, DC, May 2007. Please reference Richard Moore if you use any of his comments.) Here is another helpful and interesting perspective from Mussarat Mashhadi, December 2007: "... I feel there is another stage which is
important; this I believe is the stage in which a person having reached the fourth level is capable of enhancing the same skill or may be if required has the ability to retrace his learning in order to develop a new set of skills for the same function (type writer vs. computer). So maybe the fifth level can be enhancement and enrichment stage. For example people who are computer savvy have to every other month learn, unlearn or relearn (Toefler, 1991) one or the other skill. To be able to achieve this there has to be in my opinion, an acceptance about personal limitations and receptiveness to learn. Having a high self efficacy (Bandura) might be a factor restricting a person to the fourth stage only...." (Ack Mussarat Mashhadi, December 2007) S Baker posed this questioning observation (March 2008), to which I've added my response afterwards: "... I have made my living in the equine industry for better than 38 years. I am now involved in instruction and clinics about riding skills to a high level. I have a saying that I came across and use frequently because I run into a lot of people it fits. 'The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge' by Daniel J. Boorstin. Hence people that think they know something or everything and can't/won't learn something new. I don't doubt I've been there myself. Hopefully I'm into learning and growth pretty consistently. Where does that fit in with the four stages of competence?..." My (AC's) reply was: "I would say it's either a (usually, but not always) negative aspect of unconscious competence, or a fifth stage (albeit not inevitably following the prior learning), or perhaps more appropriately stage one (unconscious incompetence) of a new learning cycle - unconscious due to ignorance or denial - since the ignorance concerns a new form of competence or capability." The above exchange prompted this from C Thompson (April 2008): "...I think the stages are fixed places where people are at a point in time on a specific topic. People can move through the stages but there need to be certain elements present for this progression to take place... they would include the environment for learning, the
teacherâ€™s skill and style, and most importantly the student's interest in and reason for learning. There are probably many other elements. So back to the quote, the person that "knows" (the illusion of knowledge) does not need to learn. When a person thinks they are full of knowledge there is no room for more knowledge and learning stops or is slowed considerably. Progression from one stage to the next stops or is slowed considerably. I think this refers less to where someone is and more toward where they are capable of going..." This helpful and elegant interpretation of the 5th stage of the Conscious Competence learning model was submitted by G Sharples (June 2008): "... I was reading your contributors' discussions regarding the 5th level of learning and thought I'd join in with my own definition: The 5th level is achieved when the individual is able to perform consistently at Level 4, and then deconstruct their experience for both themselves and others, so each may learn to apply the skill consistently. I like the suggestions that this stage is called Enlightened Competence..." The following observations are from S March (Feb 2009), which my (AC) reactions beneath: "... Re the 5th Step (and beyond): Is there any any additional element to describe a Reflective Competence practitioner who knows that, whilst the current job practice is as good as is available, there must be a better way to do something - i.e., the eventual output is product/service innovation that revolutionises the way the world regards and uses the product or service. This approach may well involve disregarding the knowledge that has led to the practitioner's current scale of competence, and possibly requires assumption of a conscious incompetence state (though conscious incompetence is not a flattering, or indeed, accurate label for such an experienced and knowledgable practitoner) so that the problem can be viewed without any pre-conceptions?..."
The above is an interesting question. The scenario raises the possibility that learning a new method/skill (in response to external innovation or demands for example) for an existing area of conscious/reflective competence might suitably be regarded as the start of a new Conscious Competence cycle. The last 4th/5th stage of the first cycle is for many people the early stage(s) of a new cycle of learning in new methods. Conscious Competence in an existing skill can easily equate to Unconscious Incompetence in a new method now required to replace the hitherto consciously competent capability. The Refective Competence level (suggested fifth level - see Will Taylor's diagram above) in the first cycle could equate to the Consciously Incompetent level in the new cycle. Reflective learners possess expert competence in the subject at a determined skill or method, but not in different and new methods. So perhaps representing the learning of new methods for existing expertise (at say level 4 or 4) in terms of a repeating 4/5-part cycle is a reasonable way to approach the 'response to external innovation' scenario, or 'internal innovation' for the same reasons. The observations which follow are from M Singh (23 Feb 2009): "...I have read the discussion especially with reference to the 5th stage, and have tried to integrate J M Fisher's theory of the Process of Transition to add extra emotional perspective. When someone becomes conscious of incompetence, emotions of 'anxiety', 'happiness', 'fear' and or 'denial' may be experienced. Feelings of 'threat' (to previous learning), 'guilt' (at departing from previous learning) and possibly 'depression' (at having to relearn) can arise until a firm commitment is made to the new learning. If the commitment to the new learning is not strong, feelings of 'hostility' or 'disillusionment' can arise. The ability to demonstrate the skill partially is the beginning of a 'gradual acceptance', which through practice then naturally leads to Conscious Competence. A lack of discipline in this area could repeat emotional sequences of earlier transitions. Mastery at this stage enables Unconscious Competence and builds confidence to teach others the skill. This is arguably the
fifth 'reflective' stage. The Cognitive Domain of Blooms Taxonomy offers further useful perspective, by which we can overlay the Bloom Cognitive Domain learnings stages onto the Conscious Competence stages: Bloom's 'Recall' and 'Understand' knowledge fall within Conscious Incompetence. 'Application' is within Conscious Competence. 'Analysis' is within Unconscious Competence. The 'create and build' aspects of 'Synthesis' equate to what some suggest is a 5th stage of the Conscious Competence model. Bloom's 'Evaluation' is a step beyond this - moving to objective detachment from the subjective involvement present up to and included in the Bloom 'Synthesis' stage, equating to the fifth 'reflective' stage of the Conscious Competence model. At the higher end of the reflective stage, mastery can be directed outwardly towards innovation for a wider (not self-directed) purpose, in which the master is critical of even his own achievements. Two driving factors here are concern for the greater good and humility regarding success of self." (Edited and abridged from a longer piece entitled 'Emotions in the Conscious Competence learning Model' from, and with thanks to, Maanveer Singh, CPBA, Kingfisher Training Academy, Mumbai, India, 23 Feb 2009.) I received this amusing contribution from Dr V Kumar (19 Apr 2009): "...Some 20 years ago, a colleague suggested to me that the 5th stage in the Conscious Competence cycle should be 'Confident Incompetence'. He was referring to some of our professors and senior teachers, somewhat past their prime..." The joke is a warning of the dangers of lapsing into complacency after attaining mastery in anything, and is therefore a very useful point. And this, from Lee Freeman (May 2009): "...Regarding the conscious competence model, I came up with this little thought... 'The unconscious incompetent doesn't know he's incompetent and when he is competent, is unconscious of his competence. And when his meta-conscious competence imparts vigilant omniscience, truly he's a fool when he believes he's omnipotent! Or maybe he's just unconscious of thisâ€Ś"
Here are interesting comments from Charles H Grover (March 2010): "...I have been reading the discussions about adding a 5th step to this model, and suggest that the first four are simply out of step. I refer you to the 'He who knows not...' proverb (below). The old Confucious/Persian/Arabic saying has step three (Conscious Competence) as the ultimate, while step four (Unconscious Competence) is the person asleep, and he/she needs to be woken up. I believe this really makes Will Taylor's excellent diagram clearer; discovery, learning, practice, mentorship. Who are we to hold their hands when they are inviting us to climb on their shoulders? A fifth stage is easier to define when we get the first four in order..." Origins and of conscious competence model It is not clear who originated the very first 'conscious competence' learning model. As well as various modern authors, sources as old as Confucius and Socrates are cited as possible earliest originators. You will see here that Gordon Training International is popularly considered to be the originator of the conscious competence model. The Gordon Training 'Learning Stages' model certainly matches the definitions within what we know as the conscious competence model, although it refers to the stages as 'skilled and unskilled', rather than 'competence and incompetence'. Interestingly many people prefer the words skilled/unskilled terms because they are less likely to offend people. Gordon Training have confirmed to me that they did use the terminology competent/incompetent prior to redefining the terminology, but they did not develop the matrix presentation of the concept, and it remains unclear where the 'competence' originally term came from, and whether it pre-dated the Gordon model, or was a subsequent interpretation. The California-based Gordon Training organisation, founded by Dr Thomas Thomas Gordon, states that their Learning Stages model (called 'The Four Stages for Learning Any New Skill') was developed by former GTI employee, Noel Burch over 30 years ago.
To what extent GTI and Noel Burch based their Learning Stages concept on earlier ideas is not clear - perhaps none, perhaps a little. Whatever, Gordon Training International certainly seem today to be the most commonly referenced source in connection with the conscious competence ('skilled/unskilled learning stages') theory. Here are some other suggestions and comments about the conscious competence model's origins. Many people compare the Conscious Competence model with Ingham and Luft's Johari Window, which is a similarly elegant 2x2 matrix. Johari deals with self-awareness; Conscious Competence with learning stages. The models are different, and Ingham and Luft most certainly were not responsible for the Conscious Competence concept. Some know the conscious competence matrix better as the 'conscious competence learning ladder', and I've received a specific suggestion (ack Sue Turner) that the learning model was originated in this 'ladder' form by someone called Kogg; however, this is where that particular trail starts and ends; unless you know better... Some believe that W C Howell was responsible for Conscious Competence in its modern form - apparently the model can be found in W C Howell and E A Fleishman (eds.), Human Performance and Productivity. Vol 2: Information Processing and Decision Making. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum; 1982. (Thanks A Trost) Other origin suggestions are as follows (the www.learningorg.com message board contains much on the subject): Linda Adams, president of Gordon Training International suggested that the "Learning Stages (model) i.e., unconsciously unskilled, consciously unskilled, consciously skilled, unconsciously skilled ... was developed by one of our employees and course
developers (Noel Burch) in the 1970s and first appeared in our Teacher Effectiveness Training Instructor Guide in the early 70s..." The model has been a part of all of GTI's training programs since that time, but they never added a fifth stage, and did not devise the matrix representation, the origins of which remain a mystery. Separately Linda has kindly informed me (August 2006) that Noel Burch used the 'competence/incompetence' terminology prior to redefining it as 'skilled/unskilled' so as to fit better with their training. It is not known what Noel Burch's prior notions, or influences in developing the model (if there were any), might have been. The following suggestions for the most part actually pre-date the above details about Gordon Training but are nevertheless interesting as regards other reference points and possible earlier origins. Kenn Martin suggested the originator is identified by Michael A. Konopka, Professor of Leadership and Management Army Management Staff College Fort Belvoir, Virginia, as being DL Kirkpatrick, 1971, (presumably Donald Kirkpatrick, originator of the Kirkpatrick Learning Evaluation Model) from 'A Practical Guide for Supervisory Training and Development', Reading, MA: AddisonWesley Publishing Co. A suggestion attributed by Bob Williams to Paul Denley, who "... writes about his learning in terms of a movement from Unconscious Incompetence, Conscious Incompetence, Unconscious Competence and Conscious Competence........." goes on to say that "...Paul's reference to this model is: P. Dubin (1962) from Human Relations in Administration, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall." Bob Williams also includes a suggestion by Susan Gair: "... I have been interested for a long time to know the source of this adult learning model (unconscious incompetence etc). I have a document which discusses it, and then cites Howell 1977, p38-40..."
Development and conflict resolution expert Bill McLaughlin suggests Bateman is the Conscious Competence model originator. Any additional information about this would be gratefully received. (See Tony Thacker's comments below) David Hurst, Ontario-based speaker, writer and consultant on management, has looked for origins of the conscious competence model, and suggests that the first mention he could find was in an interview with W Lewis Robinson in the Personnel Journal v 53, No. 7 July 1974 pages 538-539, in which Robinson cited the four categories (UC/IC, C/IC, C/C and UC/C) in the context of training, and pointed out that UC/C practitioners often weren't effective as teachers. Hurst says the next mention was in an article by Harvey Dodgson "Management Learning in Markstrat: The ICL Experience", Journal of Business Research 15, 481-489 (1987), which used Kolb's learning styles and then showed the four conscious competence categories in a cycle but gave no references for it. Hurst corresponded with Dodgson but never got to the bottom of where the model came from. Hurst says also that Maslow has been suggested as a possibile original source but that he's not been able to find reference in Maslow's principle works. And from Andrew Newton, UK consultant trainer (Jan 2005): "When I came across the conscious competence model, it seemed to fit my counselling skills development: Initially couldnâ€™t do it and was unaware that I couldnâ€™t (unconscious incompetence). I then trained with Relate and realized I wasnâ€™t very good (conscious incompetence). I worked hard and improved (conscious competence) until I found increasingly that I did this naturally in my work with colleagues and students (unconscious competence). I continued to use these skills (I thought, quite effectively) but realized years later, when I went on more training, that I was in fact quite rusty and had regressed into unconscious incompetence again (from 4 to 1). I would suggest that, unless you are a reflective practitioner, you run the risk of this dramatic shift (how many car drivers are not as good as they think when they have
been driving for 30 years?). This may be similar to David Baumeâ€™s 'reflective competence'. " (Ack A Newton) Carole Schubert suggests (Jan 2005) the following: The unconsciously competent/consciously competent model I have known for many years as a skills development framework. I feel that a final category adds completeness, and use the analogy of learning to drive a car to explain it: non-driver = unconscious incompetence beginner = conscious incompetence just passed driving test = conscious competence driver who gets to work without remembering the drive (or drunk driver!!) = unconscious competence The fifth level is the advanced driver who is processing what is happening 'in the here and now' without their cognisance interfering with their abilities; understanding why they are doing what they are doing and making conscious subtle changes in light of this understanding. Carole Schubert also points out a reference by worldtrans.org to the fifth level, which the unidentified writer calls: 'meta-conscious competence', whereby a capability is mastered to the point that the practitioner is consciously aware at all times of what unconscious or sub-conscious abilities he/she is using, and is able to analyse, adapt and augment their activity in other ways. This inerpretation is consistent with many other people's ideas that the fifth level represents a level of cognisance, which is above and beyond the fourth level of 'subconscious automation'. Furthermore, (Carole Schubert is another to suggest that) Dr Thomas Gordon, founder of Gordon Training International, originally developed the Conscious Competence Learning Stages Model in the early 1970s, when it first appeared in Gordon's 'Teacher Effectiveness Training Instructor Guide'. Its terminology was then unconsciously unskilled, consciously unskilled, consciously skilled, unconsciously skilled, and there was no fifth level. (Ack C Schubert)
And this train-the-trainer perspective, from James Matthews (Feb 2005), who points out that bringing skills back into (keeping skills at) conscious competence is necessary where a person needs to maintain vigilance, or needs to do something different, notably correct bad habits, or to keep skills fresh and relevant. In these cases moving skills from unconscious competence into conscious competence is a necessary step. Indeed certain types of skills especially those which concern safety - should arguably be maintained within the consciously competence stage, and never be encouraged to 'progress' to unconscious competence. (Ack James Matthews) This from Marcia Corenman (Feb 2005): "The Performance Potential Model bears a resemblance to the Dimensional Model that was developed in the late 1940â€™s by psychologists Coffey, Freedman, Leary, and Ossorio. In the 1950s the Kaiser foundation and the US Public Health Service sponsored research projects which were published in 1957. Since then the Dimensional Model has been demonstrated as a valid classification of interpersonal behavior and is a dependable tool for understanding that behavior. I learned about this model in a book 'Leadership Through People Skills' by Robert E. Lefton, Ph.D., and Victor R. Buzzotta, Ph.D. ÂŠ 2004 by Psychological Associates, Inc." (Ack Marcia Corenman) Anita Leeds suggests (Mar 2005) points out the similarity and potential influence of RH Dave's 'Psychomotor Domain' learning stages model (1970), used in teaching manual skills and part of Bloom's Taxonomy, and which provides an interesting comparison alongside the conscious competence four-stage model: According to Dave's theory, the psychomotor learning domain emphasises physical skills, coordination, and use of the motor-skills. Development of these skills requires practice and is measured in terms of speed, precision, distance, procedures, or techniques in execution. There are five major categories in RH Dave's model, whose five stages, given certain learner attitude and
circumstances, could just about be argued overlay the four stages of the conscious competence model: 1. Imitation: Observes and patterns behavior after someone else. Performance may be of low quality. 2. Manipulation: Performs skill according to instruction rather than observation. 3. Develop Precision: Reproduces a skill with accuracy, proportion and exactness; usually performed independently of original source. 4. Articulation: Combines more than one skill in a sequence, achieving harmony and internal consistency. 5. Naturalization: Has a high level of performance. Performance becomes automatic. Completes one or more skills with ease. Creativity is based on highly developed skills. Rey Carr adds (Mar 2005): "Back in the early 1970s I taught classes called Parent Effectiveness Training. I was trained as an instructor by (and is another to suggest) Tom Gordon, probably now called the Gordon Effectiveness Institute. Trainers often met together to discuss various issues associated with experiences and improving the curriculum. One of our group talked about four learning stages as unconscious incompetent through unconscious competent. However, I came up with a different model at the time because we thought the language of that four stage model might be too jargon like for the parents we worked with in the classes. The model I developed, which we then adapted for our training materials was also a four stage model, but the stages were (are) unskilled, skilled, competent, expert. In the unskilled stage the learner didn't know what to do, why it might be necessary or valuable to use the skill and if they did try it, would give up very quickly if encountering any difficulty whatsoever. In the skilled stage the learner would be able to perform the skill with some consistency, but often did so in a robotic or formulaic fashion. In the competent stage the learner was able to perform the skill with great consistency, but was mostly a clone of the person who
taught them how to do it. The learner strongly resisted alternative ways to perform the skill and was strongly connected to the original teacher. In the expert stage the learner finally found his or her own voice or style and was continually modifying the skill to fit circumstances, new learning, and context. Thus while the group of us started out using the unconscious competence model, eventually each of us (like myself) went past the wording of the model and became "expert" in learning stages (no longer needing to explain it the same way we originally heard it..)" (Ack Rey Carr) Jillian Duncan suggests (April 2005) the conscious competence model relates to the work of Professor Albert Bandura, a pioneer of socil cognitive theory, human efficacy and 'mastery'. (Ack J Duncan) [Following on from this suggestion I asked Professor Bandura for his comments about the origins of the conscious competence model and he replied (15 Apr) "I am not familiar with the model you describe," which effectively eliminates Professor Bandura from the list of possible originators... (AC)] And another reference to Tom Gordon (from Ingrid Crosser, Australia, April 2005) "... Regarding your question about the origins of the Conscious Competence Learning Model, it might help you to know I came accross the same concept with slightly different wording in the Parent Effectiveness and the Teacher Effectiveness Training courses by Thomas Gordon in the late 70s. It was referred to as the Unconsciously Unskilled to Unconsciously Skilled stages of learning. I still use it today in my group work with parents regarding parenting. (Ack Ingrid Crosser) Tom Gagnon wrote (April 2006) "I have experienced the 'conscious-competent' material here in Minnesota, USA. It is used for sales training at the Larry Wilson Learning Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. I do not know if Larry Wilson developed the material or modified it to meet his training programs." (Ack Tom Gagnon)
Robert Wright suggests (July 2006) that the model can be traced back to Holmes and Rahe. (Holmes and Rahe are more usually associated with the Holmes-Rahe crisis/stress life changes scale - if anyone has knowledge about any work of theirs which relates to the conscious competence stages then please let me know). Tina Thuermer (August 2006) is another suggesting Gordon Training origins: "I think what you are referring to is 'Gordon's Skill Development Ladder', which is used by Performance Learning Systems in training teachers in peer coaching. I have also used it with grad students becoming teachers, and with my 11th and 12th grade students. It's a staircase with the first one being 'Unconsciously Unskilled' (the fantasy stage - 'Oh, I can do this, I've been taught, teaching doesn't look too hard'), the second being 'Consciously Unskilled,' (survival stage: 'Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into - this is so much harder than I thought.'), the third being 'Consciously Skilled' (or the competence stage: 'I know what to do, and I am concentrating very hard and on a very conscious level to use the techniques I know I need to be successful') and the final, one, Unconsciously Skilled (mastery stage: 'I don't have to be consciously operating all the time - some of the techniques and practices I have acquired are now wired into me, some of my skills are automatic - I can save my conscious energy for the ones I'm still working on developing.'). He (or she) also posits the existence of the 'Unconsciously Talented' - those annoying people who are really good at something from the beginning - they are wired for that activity." (Ack Tina Thuermer, Washington International School, Washington DC) Tony Thacker made the following contribution (October 2006) in reference to the above comments about Bateman being a possible origin. "In the item on the four stages of learning (conscious competence model) you ask for references to 'Bateman'... Did your original informant perhaps mean Gregory Bateson? In 'Steps to an Ecology of Mind' (page 293) Bateson describes five stages of learning: 'learning three' seems to correspond to the process of
becoming conscious of what is going on when we are operating in unconscious competence; Bateson's five stages of learning are: •
Zero learning is characterised by specificity of response, which, right or wrong, is not subject to correction • Learning I is change in specificity of response by correction of errors within a set of alternatives • Learning II is change in the process of Learning I, eg, a corrective change in the set of alternatives from which choice is made, or a change in how the sequence of experience is punctuated • Learning III is change in the process of Learning II, eg, a corrective change in the sets of alternatives from which choice is made (Bateson goes on here to say that 'to demand this level of performance of some men and mammals is sometimes pathogenic') • Learning IV would be change in Learning III, but, says Bateson, probably does not occur in any living organism on this Earth Sam Webbon offered this additional perspective: "...As regards the model's uncertain origins, the suggested link to Buddhism seemed fitting... True enlightenment involves acting compassionately towards and mentoring others... I like this ethic and can imagine that the author of the Conscious Competence model did too... The absence of ownership of the model is consistent with the Buddhist philosophy of sharing, mentoring and encouraging others, as would a bodhisattva..." (Thanks Sam Webbon, May 2010) He who knows not... Aside from these discussions, there are indications that the model existed in similar but different form. Various references can be found to an ancient Oriental proverb, which inverts the order of the highest two states: He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool shun him, (= Unconscious Incompetent) He who knows not, and knows that he knows not is ignorant -
teach him, (= Conscious Incompetent) He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep - wake him, (= Unconscious Competent) But he who knows, and knows that he knows, is a wise man - follow him. (= Conscious Competent) This is similar to the Conscious Competence model, but not the same. It is expressing a different perspective. Gordon Training International (as they are now called) clearly originated their own version of this model in the early 1970s. However we do not know where and when the 'conscious competence' terminology originated, nor the origins of the 2x2 matrix presentation, and whether these aspects pre-dated of followed GTI's work. Prochaska and Di Clemente's stages of change model Initially developed in the field of personal counselling and clinical therapy during the 1980s and 90s, Prochaska and DiClemente's personal change methodology is now adapted for various personal therapeutic, healthcare and clinical interventions, and is also transferable to facilitating personal change in work and management areas, especially for developmental situations, as distinct from mandatory or disciplinary situations which usually necessarily require a more prescriptive and firmer approach. The 'Stages of Change' model was developed by Prochaska and Di Clemente in association with their 'motivational interviewing algorithm', which is a staged and (suggested) scripted approach to therapeutic discussion or couselling - entailing key aspects of: • • • • •
validation of experience and feelings confirmation of decision-making control patient/subject acknowledgement of the reality of the challenge clarification of options and implications, and encouragement to progress in small steps,
within which an assessment of the other person's readiness to attempt change is crucial.
For now, here's the basic structure of the Stages of Change model. I intend to present a more detailed interpretation of these ideas in the future, meanwhile this is a brief summary. The Stages of Change model very sensibly breaks down the dynamics and process of personal change into several steps that we can see as conditional and inter-dependent. Thus we are reminded that meaningful and sustainable personal change cannot be imposed or forced arbitrarily. Successful personal change depends on a careful response to individual situations and perceptions - in which the role of the helper or coach (or supervisor or manager or boss, whatever) is to assess, illuminate, inform, encourage and enable. There are actually some interesting overlaps with aspects of the conscious competence model. The Prochaska and DiClemente stages of change are typically defined as: 1. Pre-contemplation 2. Contemplation 3. Preparation 4. Action 5. Maintenance/Relapse This is a beautifully elegant model, in which the steps make complete sense, and as importantly, the responses and initiatives of the helper/coach are appropriate and pragmatic according to the stage and the individual. One might argue that this states the obvious for any coaching or change-enabling methodology, but sometimes the simplest things are not actually so simple to do without a reference of some sort. Prochaska and DiClemente's stages of change theory forms the basis of the Transtheoretical Model - a more complex theory to be covered here separately in due course.
Solution-focused brief therapy (SFT, or brief therapy, or solution focused coaching) A relatively modern methodology, growing in popularity. The concept and therapy can be practised one-to-one, or self-taught and self-applied. The emphasis is strongly on quick forwardlooking intervention, contrasting with much traditional therapy which looks back and seeks to find problems and causes, which for many can become traumatic, negative, and painstakingly slow, not to mention expensive. Instead SFT, or 'Brief Therapy', focuses on solutions and change, in an individual and pragmatic way. There are clear overlaps with ideas found in NLP and hypnotherapy. STEPPPA (also STEPPA) The STEPPPA method (alternatively STEPPA) is represented by the acronym made from Subject, Target, Emotion, Perception, Plan, Pace, Adapt/Act. STEPPPA is a coaching model (notably in life-coaching in a business context) advocated by expert coach Angus McLeod, which is now central to much UK formal accredited life-coaching training. Based partly on NLP (Neuro-Linguistic programming) principles, the STEPPPA process entails: 1. Subject - validating the subject (the issue or matter) that is the focus of the person being coached (coachee) 2. Target - validating or helping to establish the specific target (or goal) of the coachee 3. Emotion - ensure emotional context is addressed and resolved relating to the coachee, the issue, and the target, which if appropriate should be re-evaluated 4. Perception - widen perception and choice in the mind of the coachee
5. Plan - help the coachee establish a clear plan (process with steps, not choices), 6. Pace - and pace (timescale and milestones); or perhaps a timeline that incorporates both plan and pace 7. Adapt/Act - review plan, adapt if necessary, before committing to action. Egan's three-stage change model Gerard Egan's three-stage change model is used especially in coaching. Essentially for enabling self or another person to: 1. Explore personal history and reflect on opportunities. 2. Explore what personal success would be like, suggesting choices, through considering results and implications. 3. Decide and proceed with implementation according to what is realistic. More coming. Contributions and expansion welcome. My thanks to Phil Nathan for raising this. Erik erikson's eight stages of human (psychosocial) development Erik Erikson published his remarkable eight stage theory of human development in the 1950s. It is also referred to as the 'epigenetic principle', in which our passage through eight 'psychosocial crises' influences our growth and personality, ideally resulting in a tendency towards the positive possible outcomes at each stage. 1.
Trust v Mistrust
Autonomy v Shame/Doubt
Initiative v Guilt
Industry v Inferiority
Identity v Role Confusion
Intimacy (relationships) v Isolation
Integrity (acceptance) v Despair
This is a brief summary of the model, not a full explanation. Ages ranges vary for different people. Erikson's human development theory is a powerful model for parenting, teaching, and understanding self and other people, young and old. Parallels can be seen with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Elisabeth k端bler-ross's stages of grief In detail on the Elisabeth K端bler-Ross 'Grief Cycle' essentially the model explains the stages of personal change related to impending death and dealing with bereavement - and all sorts of other personal traumatic change - as follows: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance (Elisabeth K端bler-Ross, 1969.)
Reynold's model of developing competence The learner passes through stages, each prompting a release of energy: 1. help! 2. have a go 3. hit and miss 4. sound 5. relative mastery 6. second nature (Adapted by James Atherton, thank you James. See the wonderful teaching and learning materials on James Atherton's websites.) Change equation Various interpretations exist. The basic idea is that people will only change when: the combination of the desire for change, the vision of the change, and the knowledge of the change process is greater than the value of leaving things as they are. This can alternatively be expressed as dissatisfaction + vision + change process = the cost of change (Managing Complex Change, Beckhard and Harris, 1987). John fisher's process of personal change A more complex model involving positive and negative change options: 1. anxiety (can I deal with this change that I'm facing) potentially leading negatively to denial 2. happiness (something's going to change) 3. fear (of imminent personal change) 4. threat (from reactions of others to the new 'me') - potentially leading to disillusionment
5. guilt (for previous behaviour) - potentially leading negatively to depression and thereafter hostility 6. gradual acceptance (I can see myself in the future) 7. moving forward (this can work and be good) See the John Fisher Personal Change webpage. See also •
Erik Erikson's Psychosocial Theory of Human Development
Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory and the VAK (visual auditory kinesthetic) learning styles inventory
Bloom's Taxonomy or Learning Domains
Donald Kirkpatrick's Learning Evaluation Model
David Kolb's Learning Styles Model
Process of personal change John Fisher's transition curve - the stages of personal transition - and introduction to personal construct psychology Originally presented at the Tenth International Personal Construct Congress, Berlin, 1999, and subsequently developed in his work on constructivist theory in relation to service provision organisations at Leicester University, England, John Fisher's model of personal change - The Transition Curve - is an excellent analysis of how individuals deal with personal change. This model is an extremely useful reference for individuals dealing with personal change and for managers and organizations helping staff to deal with personal change.
John Fisher's personal transition curve Anxiety The awareness that events lie outside one's range of understanding or control. I believe the problem here is that individuals are unable to adequately picture the future. They do not have enough information to allow them to anticipate behaving in a different way within the new organization. They are unsure how to adequately construe acting in the new work and social situations. Happiness The awareness that one's viewpoint is recognised and shared by others. The impact of this is two-fold. At the basic level there is a feeling of relief that something is going to change, and not continue as before. Whether the past is perceived positively or negatively, there is still a feeling of anticipation, and possibly excitement, at the prospect of improvement. On another level, there is the satisfaction of knowing that some of your thoughts about the old system were correct (generally no matter how well we like the status quo, there is something that is unsatisfactory about it) and that something is going to be done about it. In this phase we generally expect the best and anticipate a bright future, placing our own construct system onto the change and seeing ourselves succeeding. One of the dangers in this phase is that of the inappropriate psychological contract. We may perceive more to the change, or believe we will get more from the change than is actually the case. The organization needs to manage this phase and ensure unrealistic expectations are managed and redefined in the organizations terms, without alienating the individual.
Fear The awareness of an imminent incidental change in one's core behavioural system. People will need to act in a different manner and this will have an impact on both their self-perception and on how others externally see them. However, in the main, they see little change in their normal interactions and believe they will be operating in much the same way, merely choosing a more appropriate, but new, action. Threat The awareness of an imminent comprehensive change in one's core behavioural structures. Here clients perceive a major lifestyle change, one that will radically alter their future choices and other people's perception of them. They are unsure as to how they will be able to act/react in what is, potentially, a totally new and alien environment - one where the "old rules" no longer apply and there are no "new" ones established as yet. Guilt Awareness of dislodgement of self from one's core self perception. Once the individual begins exploring their self-perception, how they acted/reacted in the past and looking at alternative interpretations they begin to re-define their sense of self. This, generally, involves identifying what are their core beliefs and how closely they have been to meeting them. Recognition of the inappropriateness of their previous actions and the implications for them as people can cause guilt as they realise the impact of their behaviour. Depression This phase is characterised by a general lack of motivation and confusion. Individuals are uncertain as to what the future holds and how they can fit into the future "world". Their representations are inappropriate and the resultant undermining of their core
sense of self leaves them adrift with no sense of identity and no clear vision of how to operate. Disillusionment The awareness that your values, beliefs and goals are incompatible with those of the organization. The pitfalls associated with this phase are that the employee becomes unmotivated, unfocused and increasingly dissatisfied and gradually withdraws their labour, either mentally (by just "going through the motions", doing the bare minimum, actively undermining the change by criticising/complaining) or physically by resigning. Hostility Continued effort to validate social predictions that have already proved to be a failure. The problem here is that individual's continue to operate processes that have repeatedly failed to achieve a successful outcome and are no longer part of the new process or are surplus to the new way of working. The new processes are ignored at best and actively undermined at worst. Denial This stage is defined by a lack of acceptance of any change and denies that there will be any impact on the individual. People keep acting as if the change has not happened, using old practices and processes and ignoring evidence or information contrary to their belief systems. It can be seen from the transition curve that it is important for an individual to understand the impact that the change will have on their own personal construct systems; and for them to be able to work through the implications for their self perception. Any change, no matter how small, has the potential to impact on an individual and may generate conflict between existing values and beliefs and anticipated altered ones.
One danger for the individual, team and organization occurs when an individual persists in operating a set of practices that have been consistently shown to fail (or result in an undesirable consequence) in the past and that do not help extend and elaborate their world-view. Another danger area is that of denial where people maintain operating as they always have denying that there is any change at all. Both of these can have detrimental impact on an organization trying to change the culture and focus of its people. John M Fisher 2000 updated 2003 (disillusionment stage added). References: The Person In Society: Challenges To A Constructivist Theory, Geissen, Psychosozial-Verlag, and George Kelly's Personal Construct Psychology Theories. In detailing John Fisher's Transition Curve here it is appropriate to acknowledge the quite separate and independent work of Ralph Lewis and Chris Parker, who described a change concept also called 'Transition Curve' in their paper 'Beyond The Peter Principle - Managing Successful Transitions', published in the Journal of European Industrial Training, 1981. The Lewis-Parker 'Transition Curve' model approaches personal change from a different perspective to the Fisher model, and is represented in a seven stage graph, based on original work by Adams, Hayes and Hopson in their 1976 book Transition, Understanding and Managing Personal Change. The Lewis-Parker 'Transition Curve' seven stages are summarised as follows: 1. Immobilisation - Shock. Overwhelmed mismatch: expectations v reality. 2. Denial of Change - Temporary retreat. False competence. 3. Incompetence - Awareness and frustration. 4. Acceptance of Reality - 'Letting go'.
5. Testing - New ways to deal with new reality. 6. Search for Meaning - Internalisation and seeking to understand. 7. Integration - Incorporation of meanings within behaviours. The Lewis-Parker 'Transition Curve' contains interesting parallels at certain stages with the 'Conscious Competence' learning model, which is another helpful perspective for understanding change and personal development. John Fisher's personal change model - questions and answers Here are some helpful questions and answers which John Fisher provided regarding his personal change 'Transition Curve' model which is described above and featured on the diagrams linked from this page: 1) How do we recognize what phases we are in? Part of the problem is that we do not recognise which element of the curve we may be in. The goal of the 'manager'/change agent is to help make the transition as effective and painless as possible. By providing education, information, support, etc. we can help people transition through the curve and emerge on the other side. One of the dangers is that once we are caught up in the emotion of the change we may miss the signs of threat, anxiety, etc. and 'react'/cope by complaining or attempting to make things as they were (and also increase our stress levels as a result). 2) Does everyone go through all the 9 phases, or will there be people who will say, begin their personal transition from the depression stage instead of the anxiety stage? I would argue that we transit through all stages (although the old caveat of some of these stages may be extremely quickly traversed and not consciously recognisable applies). In the main the theory proposed a linear transition and each stage builds on the last so we can see our perception escalating in 'severity'/importance as
we go into the trough of depression via a small impact on our sense of self (anxiety) through a greater realisation of impact/meaning (fear, threat) and then an understanding that (potentially) our core sense of self has been impacted and our 'self belief system' undermined to an extent (guilt, depression). Now if someone is going through multiple transitions at the same time these could have a cumulative impact and people could go through the initial stages almost simultaneously - it then becomes a case of more 'evidence'/information supporting previous negative self image and compounding the impression. 3) Is it possible that some people might skip some phases, as in, after the anxiety phase, they go on to the fear phase, instead of the happiness phase? The happiness phase is one of the more interesting phases and may be (almost) passed through without knowing. In this phase it is the "Thank Goodness, something is happening at last!" feeling coupled with the knowledge that we may be able to have an impact, or take control, of our destiny and that if we are lucky/involved/contribute things can only get better. If we can start interventions at this stage we can minimise the impact of the rest of the curve and virtually flatten the curve. By involving, informing, getting 'buy in' at this time we can help people move through the process. 4) Do the phases take place in the particular order that you have published? I have not undertaken any structured experimental research per se, however anecdotal and 'participant observation' would imply that this is a fairly robust model. It is also partially based on Elisabeth K端bler-Ross's bereavement concept (five stages of grief model) which has widespread acceptance. However...
5) How does the transition take place? For instance, suppose I know that I am in the anxiety phase. So when does it transit into the next one, that is, the happiness phase? As with question 1, it is more a case of helping people through the process as effectively as possible. Also each person will experience transition through the curve at slightly different speeds (and we may be at different places on different curves - depending on just what is happening to us at the time). As above, much of the speed of transition will depend on the individual's self perception, locus of control, and other past experiences, and how these all combine to create their anticipation of future events. Much of the transition is done subconsciously. It may not be initially noticeable and only becomes clear if we look back and reflect on our situation. If we do adopt an introspective approach and recognise where we are in the process, our reaction will depend on our personal style of interacting with our environment and how 'proactive' we feel we can be at seeking out support, or leaving the organisation, as appropriate. Obviously should we feel disempowered this may well cause us to descend further down the slide into a deeper depression; reinforced by our perceived helplessness and all the implications associated with that. John Fisher 2006
Personal Construct Psychology - an introduction Personal Construct Psychology (PCP), (or Personal Construct Theory - PCT) is a concept pioneered by George Kelly. Personal Construct Psychology theory proposes that we must understand how the other person sees their world and what meaning they attribute to things in order to effectively communicate and connect with them. Personal Construct Psychology theory is extremely relevant to developing personal emotional maturity and self-awareness in self and others, and for understanding behaviour in others, and as such the concepts of Personal Construct Psychology augment and support many of the behavioural models and methodologies explained on this website. Personal Construct Psychology theory provides a very useful and accessible additional perspective to the world and how we relate to it. This article was written by John Fisher and Dr David Savage. It first appeared in Fisher and Savage (eds), 1999, Beyond Experimentation Into Meaning, EPCA Publications, Farnborough. Permission to reprint this article here is gratefully acknowledged. Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) is a psychology that places the individual at its central focal point. It is based on understanding the individual from within their own world view that is by understanding how they see the world not how we interpret their picture of the world. We all interact with the world from a unique perspective - our own, this interaction is built up of all our past and potential future experiences and dictates how we approach situations. Psychological theory, generally, purports that we observe other people's behaviours and actions and place our own interpretations on them, attributing meaning based on our own past (childhood) experiences. Personal Construct Psychology is a more liberating theory, allowing the individual to develop and grow throughout
their life constantly observing, assimilating, developing actions/reactions, experimenting and testing beliefs. Kelly (1955/1991) used the phrase 'man the scientist' (sic) to explain how we interact with our world. Due to the constantly changing nature of our nature we are not 'the victim of our biography' and have the choice (although sometimes it may not appear as such) to adopt a new way of interacting. How we interact with others is the result of our past experiences and an assessment of the current situation which is then mapped onto possible alternative courses of action, we then chose that course of action which we think will best suit our needs. Kelly (1955/91) proposed that we are all scientists - by this he meant that we are constantly experimenting with our world, generating hypothesis about what will happen, acting, and testing the resulting outcome against our prediction. It can be seen from this that our behaviours are not static. We do not become 'the adult' during childhood, nor are we forever condemned to sail the seven seas like the Flying Dutchman making the same mistakes. Personal Construct Psychology is a very free and empowering psychology. We are not seen as victims of circumstance, we have the power to change and grow. We are only limited in our vision of ourselves and our future by our own internal 'blinkers' - these limit the possible futures we can see for ourselves and hence restrict our ability to develop. One of the fundamental tenets of PCP is that of 'Constructive Alternativism'. In simple terms this means that there are as many different interpretations of any situation and possible future outcomes as we can think of - how many different uses can you think of for a paper clip? Our collection of experience's and actions form the basis of our mental map (or logic bubble) of the world. In PCP terms the working tools of our mental map are known as 'Constructs'. A construct is simply a way of differentiating between objects. Each
construct can be equated to a line connecting two points. These two points, or poles, each have a (different) label identifying the opposite extremes of the construct. Based on our perceptions of other people's behaviour we can then place them somewhere on the scale between the two poles and hence build our mental map of the world. We also place ourselves along these same dimensions and use them as a guide to choosing not only our behaviours but also our friends etc. As a result of our experimenting we are constantly assessing our constructs for their level of 'fit' in our world. This results in either a validation of the construct or an invalidation of (and hence potential change to) our constructs. Problems occur when we consistently try to use invalidated constructs in our interactions. For example we might define people by the way they act in company and decide that some people are 'extravert' and others 'introvert', other constructs may be physical, e.g. tall or small, fat or thin. Objects can fall into more than one category so we can have small, thin extroverted people. Within Klienian psychology one example of a construct would be 'Good Breast/Bad Breast'. One point here, the opposite of 'introvert' may not be extravert for some people; it could be loud or aggressive. Hence just because we associate one with another doesn't mean everybody does. This is why we need some understanding of other people's construct system to be able to effectively communicate with them. To be able to interact with each other we need to have some understanding of how the other person perceives their world. What do they mean when they call someone 'extroverted'?, are they the life and soul of the party? or are they loud and over bearing? How we, and they, treat the extrovert depends on whether it is viewed it as a positive or negative character trait. Kelly defined his theory in a formal structured way by devising what he called his 'fundamental postulate' - basically a posh term for the statement which underpins the whole of Personal Construct
Psychology. A further eleven corollaries (or clarifying statements) were also developed which extended the theory and added more elaboration to how the theory impacts and is used. These eleven have over time been expanded and added to as the range of the theory has been developed (e.g. see Dallos 1991, Procter 1981, Balnaves and Caputi 1993). In fairness it must be said that these additions have not been universally acclaimed and many people only recognise the original eleven. You may have got the impression that Personal Construct Psychology is very individual focused - which it is - and that it has nothing to offer in terms of group development. The principles of Personal Construct Psychology can be applied to individuals, groups and culture with equal ease. Various books and papers have been published exploring the nomothetic aspects of Personal Construct Psychology (e.g. Balnaves and Caputi 1993, KalekinFishman and Walker 1996). Te fundamental postulate and the eleven corollaries The Fundamental Postulate states that "A person's processes are psychologically 'channellised' by the ways in which they anticipate events". My interpretation of this is that our expectations dictate our choice of action. The Construction corollary - "A person anticipates events by construing their replication". Again I interpret this as meaning that we approach the future by looking at similar past experiences and basing our actions on those previous events. The Experience corollary - "A person's construct system varies as they successively construe the replication of events". I take this to imply that our construct system is in a state of constant change based on our experiences. The Individuality corollary - "People differ from each other in their construction of events". We all see things differently.
The Choice corollary - "People choose for themselves that alternative in a dichotomised construct through which they anticipate the greater possibility for the elaboration of their system". Therefore, in my opinion, we choose that alternative which gives us the best chance of extending (and confirming) our construct system. The Sociality corollary - "To the extent that one person construes the construction process of another, they may play a role in a social process involving the other person". If we understand where someone is coming from we can interact with them in a productive meaningful manner. The Commonality corollary - "To the extent that one person employs a construction of experience which is similar to that employed by another, their processes are psychologically similar to of the other person". i.e. Great minds think alike. The Organisational corollary - "Each person characteristically evolves, for their convenience in anticipating events, a construction system embracing ordinal relationships between constructs". This I take to mean that we create a hierarchical construct system. The Dichotomy corollary - "A person's construction system is composed of a finite number of dichotomous constructs". ('Dichotomous' in this sense means divided and potentially opposing and contradictory.) The Range corollary - "A construct is convenient for the anticipation of a finite range of events only". Some constructs are applicable to certain things and not others e.g., a car may be 'fast, sporty and sexy' but an apple may not be. The Modulation corollary - "The variation in a person's construction system is limited by the permeability of the constructs within whose range of convenience the variants lie". By this I understand that our construct system is only as flexible as we
allow it to be. If our constructs are 'open to suggestion' then so will we. The Fragmentation corollary - "A person may successively employ a variety of construction systems which are inferentially incompatible with each other". In other words we can hold contradictory constructs at the same time. Constructs in use Constructs form the building blocks of our 'personality' and as such come in various shapes and sizes. From the Organisation corollary it follows that some constructs are more important than others. The most important constructs are those which are 'core' to our sense of being. These are very resistant to change and include things like moral code, religious beliefs etc. and cause significant psychological impact if they are threatened in any way. The other constructs are called 'peripheral' constructs and a change to them does not have the same impact. It also follows that some constructs will actually subsume other constructs as we move up the hierarchy. Categories of constructs come in three types. There are 'preemptive' constructs, these are constructs which are applied in an all or nothing way. If this is a ball then it is nothing else but a ball very black and white type of thinking. The second type is 'constellatory' constructs. These constructs are the stereotyping constructs - if this is a ball then it must be round, made of leather and used in football matches. Constructs in this category bring a lot of ancillary baggage with them (be it right or wrong). The last type of construct category is 'propositional'. This one carries no implications or additional labels and is the most open form of construct. It should be noted that constructs do not have to have 'words' attached to them. We can, and do, have constructs which were either formed before we could speak or which has a non verbal symbol identifying it. Something like the 'gut feeling' or 'it feels right' would be a non verbal construct. Kelly originally called
these 'preverbal' constructs, but in line with others (notably Tom Ravenette 1997) I prefer the term non verbal. Constructs, themselves, can be either Loose or Tight. A loose construct is one which may or may not lead to the same behaviour every time. Obviously this can make life difficult for others as they will be unable to predict the construer's actions consistently. A tight construct on the other hand always leads to the same behaviour. These people are those with regular habits and firmly held views. Our creativity is helped by moving from loose to tight constructs. We start off with loose constructs, trying things out for size, seeing what works and what doesn't, as we move towards the new we tighten up our construing, narrowing down our experimentation and so we begin making clearer associations and developing more clearly the 'new'. One way of loosening our constructs is via play and imagination. By using play as an experiment we can (safely) try out new things. The CPC cycle directs our method of choosing. The CPC cycle consists of Circumspection, Pre-emption and Control. This is basically a form of 'Review, Plan, Do'. Initially we review the alternatives open to us (circumspection), narrow down the choice to one and devise a plan of action (pre-empt), finally you exercise control and do something. The cycle continues as every action leads to both a review of the success of that action as well as opening new choices. One of the criticisms levelled at Personal Construct Psychology (unfairly in my view) is that it does not deal with emotions. This myth has been effectively address by others (e.g. Fransella 1995, McCoy 1977). Kelly uses different terms to deal with emotions. He sees emotions as transitional stages. For example threat is defined as 'the awareness of an imminent comprehensive change in one's core structure', fear is an incidental change in one's core constructs. One example of threat can be seen in the way which people of different belief systems are treated by the dominant
religion - the persecution of the Cathars during the middle ages because they threatened the societal structure. One feels guilt when one has done something which is contrary to ones core constructs. Someone who sees themselves as 'an honest upright citizen' would feel guilt if caught in some dishonest act (even unwittingly). Happiness and joy are seen as support to peripheral and core constructs. Think about how happy you feel when you do something right or are complimented on something. Tools and techniques Personal Construct Psychology has a wide variety of tools and techniques at its disposal. Probably the most widely used is the Repertory Grid. This is a method of eliciting constructs by asking participants to compare three elements (objects, things, etc.,) and state how two are similar and different from the third. Answers are recorded in a matrix, which can then be analysed to produce a construct map. This has been used for research into a wide range of issues from business problems to psychotherapeutic interventions (some examples of the latter can be found in various chapters within this book). The Rep Grid (as it is known) has a wide following and can be used without any other PCP theory (and has been!). There are many variations of Rep Grids including those looking at resistance to change as well as implications grids and problem solving (for a more comprehensive review of grids I would suggest Beail 1985, Fransella and Bannister 1997, Stewart & Stewart 1981). The Rep Grid can be compared to a 'hard measure', eliciting, as it does, quantifiable data. There are, however a lot of softer, more 'touchy feely' construct elicitation techniques available. One of the more popular is the 'Self Characterisation'. In this the client has to write a character sketch of themselves in the third person and from a sympathetic viewpoint. This can then be assessed for recurring themes and constructs, these can be discussed with the individual concerned.
Once constructs have been elicited their hierarchy and interlinking can be found by 'laddering' and 'pyramiding'. The former takes one upwards towards the highest core constructs whilst the latter provides a detailed map of a person's lower level construct map in any particular area. By asking questions like "which is more important a or b?" and then asking 'why?' questions one can ladder quite quickly and easily. Pyramiding, on the other hand, requires questions like "what kind of person does y?", "How does that/they differ from x?", this process allows the client to narrow down their definitions and arrive at the lower level constructs. This exercise does require a reasonable sized piece of paper to record all the answers and provide a sensible construct map. One powerful tool for understanding why people are not willing to change is the ABC technique (Tschudi 1977). Here A is the desired change with constructs B1 and B2 elicited. B1 being the disadvantages about the present state and B2 the advantages about moving to the new state. However it is possible (if not probable) that the current situation has some advantages which may outweigh the disadvantages. Therefore C1 are constructs which show the negative side of moving whilst C2 are the positive aspects of staying the same. But, by looking at the pay-offs for not changing we can identify the barriers and put measures in place to overcome them (if necessary). Kelly also proposed a form of dramatherapy for use with clients. In his version, which he called 'Fixed Role Therapy', in conjunction with the client he drew up a new persona (including a new name and history) and encouraged the client to act as if they were this new person. This allowed the client to 'try out' new ways of looking at the world in a safe environment (if it didn't work they just became themselves again). Hypnotherapy has also been used to loosen (and tighten) constructs. personal construct theory - conclusion
I hope that this brief introduction to Personal Construct Psychology has shown some of the breadth and depth of PCP. Far from being a static, restrictive psychology that only perceives people as having finished growing at the end of childhood or merely reacting to external stimulation, it is an extremely liberating and eclectic psychology. Ownership of one's future is placed in the hands of the individual concerned. Personal Construct Psychology theory references Balnaves M. & Caputi P., 1993, Corporate Constructs; To what Extent are Personal Constructs Personal?, International Journal of Personal Construct Psychology, 6, 2 p119 - 138 Beail N. (ed), 1985, Repertory Grid technique and Personal Constructs, Croom Helm Dallos R. (1991), Family Belief Systems, Therapy and Change, Open University Press, Milton Keynes Fransella F. (1995), George Kelly, Sage, London Fransella F. and Bannister D. (1977), A Manual for Repertory Grid Technique, Academic Press, London Kalekin-Fishman D. & Walker B. (eds) 1996, The Construction of Group Realities: Culture, Society, and Personal Construct Theory, Krieger, Malabar Kelly G.A. (1955/1991), The Psychology of Personal Constructs, Routledge, London McCoy M. M. (1977), A Reconstruction of Emotion, in Bannister D (ed), Issues and Approaches in Personal Construct Theory, Academic Press, London Procter H. (1981), Family Construct Psychology, in WalrondSkinner S (ed), Family Therapy and Approaches, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London
Ravenette T (1977), Selected papers: Personal construct Psychology and the practice of an Educational psychologist, EPCA Publications, Farnborough Stewart V. & Stewart A. (1981), Business Applications of Repertory Grid Technique, McGraw Hill, Tschudi F. (1977), Loaded and Honest Questions, in Bannister D (ed), New Perspectives in Personal Construct Theory, Academic Press, London
4.14 RELAPSE PREVENTION Relapse is a common experience when people change habits. Relapse Prevention is about revealing and resolving those issues that has been sabotaging your progress or recovery process. Relapse can encompass behavior or drug addiction. After changin one habit or recovering from one addiction, people are at risk to become cross addicted or dually addicted to sex, gambling, work, caffeine, food, you name it. We call this changing seats on the titanic. Or they recovery become plagued with depression or anxiety. The true goal of going to a change process or recovering from a bad attitude, habit or addiction, is to be comfortable in your own skin, living life peacefully. Relapse Prevention is about assisting the coachee in revealing and resolving those issues that drove them to the wrong choices. Relapse prevention will give them the freedom from bondage to live peacefully in their own skin. Relapse Prevention Coaching includes: •
False Beliefs – Research evidence indicates that major predictors of relapse risk are belief systems consistent with negative models (‘I’m too weak to change’), and the absence of coping skills.
What you do comes out of your beliefs about yourself, others and God. In order to have a new life, not just a change of destructive behavior, you must examine your current belief systems.
Identity - Begin to identify and detach from unhealthy things you've put your faith in and used to cope with life. You will learn how these things have under-mind your attempts at
success. You will discover areas of false identity that are based on false gods or idols, such as alcohol/drugs, food, sex, money, beauty, work, anger, judgment, etc. •
Life-Management Skills – You will begin to understand the addictive brain and gain life-management skills for coping with the emotions that contribute to relapse.
Dead Ends – You begin to learn and understand how your subconscious thoughts, feelings and behaviors have contributed to your relapse.
Deja-Vu – You will begin to see how double binds (damned if you do and damned if you don't) have kept you from making the right choices for recovery.
Accountability – You will create a personal support and accountability team for your balanced recovery plan.
Exodus - Through prayer and forgiveness, you will resolve past hurts and mistakes, empowering you to begin to walk into a new life of full recovery. This process deals with acceptance of a new life and release of the guilt and shame associated with the old addictive/compulsive behaviors.
The following strategies are useful in preventing and managing relapse: -
enhance commitment to change (e.g. use motivational interviewing) identify high-risk situations (e.g. What situations have been associated with relapse in the past? When is it most difficult for coachee to keep to the agreements made?) teach coping skills (e.g. problem solving; social skills; selfmanagement skills; selfmonitoring, …) develop strategies that can be part of a relapse drill what should the coachee do in the event of a lapse occurring?
where can they get support? what role can friends/family provide? How soon should the coachee make an appointment to come back to you?
Source: Tammy Hardin http://emotionalandaddictionrecovery.com/relapse-preventioncoaching
4.15 BRAINSTORMING Brainstorming http://www.businessballs.com/kaleidoscopebrainstorming.htm Brainstorming technique for problem-solving, team-building and creative process Brainstorming with a group of people is a powerful technique. Brainstorming creates new ideas, solves problems, motivates and develops teams. Brainstorming motivates because it involves members of a team in bigger management issues, and it gets a team working together. However, brainstorming is not simply a random activity. Brainstorming needs to be structured and it follows brainstorming rules. The brainstorming process is described below, for which you will need a flip-chart or alternative. This is crucial as Brainstorming needs to involve the team, which means that everyone must be able to see what's happening. Brainstorming places a significant burden on the facilitator to manage the process, people's involvement and sensitivities, and then to manage the follow up actions. Use Brainstorming well and you will see excellent results in improving the organization, performance, and developing the team. N.B. There has been some discussion in recent years - much of it plainly daft - that the term 'brainstorming' might be 'political incorrect' by virtue of possible perceived reference to brain-related health issues. It was suggested by some that the alternative, but less than catchy 'thought-showers' should be used instead, which presumably was not considered to be offensive to raindrops (this is seriousâ€Ś). Happily recent research among relevant groups has dispelled this non-pc notion, and we can continue to use the brainstorming expression without fear of ending up in the law courtsâ€Ś
The Brainstorming process 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Define and agree the objective. Brainstorm ideas and suggestions having agreed a time limit. Categorise/condense/combine/refine. Assess/analyse effects or results. Prioritise options/rank list as appropriate. Agree action and timescale. Control and monitor follow-up.
The Brainstorming Phases Explained 1. Orientation Define the problem to be studied for the participants, clarify the rules of the game. 2. Preparation Gather data and information necessary to approach the problem in an efficient manner. 3. Warm-up Carry -out the exercise: redefine a problem different from the one to be studied, experiment with it for a few minutes. 4. Production of ideas Generate the maximum of ideas without prior judgement – always ask “what else” - quantity of ideas is quality - no limits – no criticise - modify other’s ideas to produce new ones. 5. Incubation Let the subconscious work. 6. Syntheses Gather the ideas generated - analyse them - work with logical thinking. 7. Evaluation Evaluate the ideas gathered and analysed - develop and combine them before proceeding to put them in practice.
Source: European Commission, Innovation Management Techniques in Operation, European Commission, DG XIII, Luxembourg, 1998. In other words â€Ś. Plan and agree the brainstorming aim Ensure everyone participating in the brainstorm session understands and agrees the aim of the session (eg, to formulate a new job description for a customer services clerk; to formulate a series of new promotional activities for the next trading year; to suggest ways of improving cooperation between the sales and service departments; to identify costs saving opportunities that will not reduce performance or morale, etc). Keep the brainstorming objective simple. Allocate a time limit. This will enable you to keep the random brainstorming activity under control and on track. Manage the actual brainstorming activity Brainstorming enables people to suggest ideas at random. Your job as facilitator is to encourage everyone to participate, to dismiss nothing, and to prevent others from pouring scorn on the wilder suggestions (some of the best ideas are initially the daftest ones added to which people won't participate if their suggestions are criticised). During the random collection of ideas the facilitator must record every suggestion on the flip-chart. Use Blu-Tack or sticky tape to hang the sheets around the walls. At the end of the time limit or when ideas have been exhausted, use different coloured pens to categorise, group, connect and link the random ideas. Condense and refine the ideas by making new headings or lists. You can diplomatically combine or include the weaker ideas within other themes to avoid dismissing or rejecting contributions (remember brainstorming is about team building and motivation too - you don't want it to have the reverse effect on some people). With the group, assess, evaluate and analyse the effects and
validity of the ideas or the list. Develop and prioritise the ideas into a more finished list or set of actions or options. Implement the actions agreed from the brainstorming Agree what the next actions will be. Agree a timescale, who's responsible. After the session circulate notes, monitor and give feedback. It's crucial to develop a clear and positive outcome, so that people feel their effort and contribution was worthwhile. When people see that their efforts have resulted in action and change, they will be motivated and keen to help again. Personal brainstorming For creativity, planning, presentations, decision-making, and organizing your ideas Personal brainstorming - just by yourself - is very useful for the start of any new project, especially if you can be prone to put things off until tomorrow. Planning a new venture, a presentation, or any new initiative, is generally much easier if you begin simply by thinking of ideas - in no particular order or structure - and jotting them down on a sheet of paper or in a notebook. Basically this is personal brainstorming, and it can follow the same process as described above for groups, except that it's just you doing it. Sometimes it's very difficult to begin planning something new because you don't know where and how to start. Brainstoming is a great way to begin. The method also generates lots of possibilities which you might otherwise miss by getting into detailed structured planning too early.
A really useful tool for personal brainstorming - and note-taking generally - is the wonderful Bic 4-colour ballpen.The pen enables you quickly to switch colours between red, blue, black and green, without having to walk around with a pocket-full of biros.Using different colours in your creative jottings and written records helps you to make your notes and diagrams clearer, and dramatically increases the ways in which you can develop and refine your ideas and notes on paper. To prove the point, review some previous notes in black or blue ink using a red pen - see how you can organize/connect the content, still keeping it all clear and legible.This simple pen is therefore a brilliant tool for organizing your thoughts on paper much more clearly and creatively than by being limited to a single colour - especially if you think in visual terms and find diagrams helpful.For example, using different colours enables you to identify and link common items within a random list, or to show patterns and categories, or to over-write notes without making a confusing mess, and generally to generate far more value from your thoughts and ideas. Keeping connected notes and ideas on a single sheet of paper greatly helps the brain to absorb and develop them. Try it - you'll be surprised how much more useful your notes become.The principle is the same as using different colours of marker pens on a flip-chart. Other manufacturers produce similar pens, but the Bic is reliable, widely available, and very inexpensive. The usefulness of different colours in written notes is further illustrated in a wider organizational sense in the UK health industry. Apparently, black is the standard colour; green is used by pharmacy services, red is used after death and for allergies, and blue tends to be avoided due to poorer reprographic qualities (thanks M Belcher).
Additionally I am informed (thanks T Kalota, Oct 2008) of a useful brainstorming/organizing technique using coloured pens when reviewing a written specification, or potentially any set of notes for a design or plan. Underline or circle the words according to the following: nouns/people/things
verbs ('doing'/functional words)
adjectives/adverbs (describing words)
This technique was apparently used for clarifying written specifications or notes for a database design, and was termed 'extended relational architecture', advocated by a company of the same name, at one time. This method of colour-coding notes (using underlines or circles or boxes) to help clarification/prioritization/organization/etc can itself naturally be extended and adapted, for example:
verbs ('doing'/functional red words)
adjectives (describing noun/thing/etc)
adverbs (describing verb/function)
The colours and categories are not a fixed industry standard. It's an entirely flexible technique. You can use any colours you want, and devise your own coding structures to suit the situation. In relation to the group brainstorming process above, see also the guidelines for running workshops. Workshops provide good situations for group brainstorming, and brainstorming helps to make workshops more productive, motivational and successful. To create more structured brainstorming activities which illustrate or address particular themes, methods, media, etc., there is a helpful set of reference points on the team building games section. Unless you have special reasons for omitting control factors, ensure you retain the the essence of the rules above, especially defining the task, stating clear timings, organising participants and materials, and managing the review and followup.
Kaleidoscope brainstorming process advanced brainstorming technique for problem-solving, team-building and creative process Brainstorming is a powerful technique for problem-solving, learning and development, planning and team building. Brainstorming creates new ideas, motivates and develops teams because it involves team members in bigger management issues, and it gets the brainstorming participants working together. Brainstorming is not a random activity; it follows a process. See the process for basic brainstorming. Below is an more innovative advanced method of brainstorming - called 'Silent Brainstorming' or 'Kaleidoscope Brainstorming' - developed by Dr KRS Murthy of Nisvara Inc, and the contribution of this model is gratefully acknowledged. Dr Murthy also refers to the brainstorming technique as 'Multiple Mind Conferencing'. Kaleidoscope Brainstorming, Dr Murthy suggests, not only produces vastly more ideas than conventional brainstorming, but also acts at a deep level to build teams and harmonious work groups. As with the basic brainstorming process, the facilitator has a big responsibility to manage the activity, people's involvement and sensitivities, and then to manage the follow up actions. Use Brainstorming well and you will see excellent results in improving the organization, performance, and developing the team. It is useful to review the Johari Window concept and Johari model diagram along with this article, and when using the process. This is because much of the value of this concept lies in developing awareness of self, others, and what others think of oneself.
Kaleidoscope brainstorming technique Have you attended any brain storming sessions in your life? The sessions are normally run by a facilitator, who introduces the purpose of the session to the participants, explains the ground rules and coordinates the process. A note taker or scribe may be used to document all the ideas generated in the session. Generally, the session is open to any ideas. Important guideline is that no idea is too simple, stupid or wild. Kaleidoscope advanced brainstorming techniques are applicable to any subject or situation, and any type of forum where people can work as a group, including internet-based conferencing and communications. This is a new approach to the brainstorming process, including different variations as to its use. Dr Murthy regards 'Kaleidoscope Brainstorming' (KBS) or Multiple Mind Conferencing (MMC) as a "...Romantic interplay between silence and interaction.... a heavenly marriage of thesis and antithesis.." The process makes efficient use of silence and communication, which are interleaved in the brainstorming session. The various degrees and modes of silence and communication effectively use as 'tools' in the Kaleidoscope brainstorming approach. Notably the power of silence is used to supplement the communicationsoriented parts of the session. The technique may seem 'anti-thematic' at the first glance. However, the intention is to make the brainstorming process more 'holistic', by exploiting the different modes and degrees of silence, absence of communication and a variety of communication and interaction.
The kaleidoscope brainstorming process 1 - Initial ideas generation brainstorming session The session should start with a facilitator detailing the process steps used for the particular session. The session is conducted in a normal fashion with the participants speaking out their ideas in a round robin or random fashion for an agreed period. The facilitator can use any normal brainstorming format for this session. It is a good idea to use a format that is comfortable for the facilitator and the participants. See the example of a standard brainstorming session if you've not done so already. 2 - Silent brainstorming session The silent brainstorming session stage requires all team members or participants to stop talking, and to think of ideas, but not speak out. The facilitator can ring a bell or use another method to indicate the start and end of this part of the exercise. Ideas are to written down by each brainstorming participant. In addition, the participants must guess the ideas that others may be thinking and writing down. Ideally participants should guess the ideas of the other participants for each person, one after the other. For example, if the participants are A, B, C, D, E, F and G, then A would not only write his or her her ideas, but also afterwards guess what B, C, D, E, F, and G may have as their ideas. Participants should do this using deep thinking, and base their guesses on the manner that other participants answered during the first speaking part of the session. Participants should be encouraged to think how each of the other participants' minds are working - to empathise, to 'put themselves in the other person's shoes' - as a method of guessing as intuitively and accurately as possible. 'Think how the other person will be thinking' is the sort of guidance that the facilitator can give. At this stage what's happening is that each participant is coming up with ideas from their own perspective of how each of the other
participants is thinking. All participants work on this stage of the session at the same time. You can imagine the multiplicity of ideas and perspectives that this stage produces. Each participant should logically end up with a list of ideas alongside, or below, the names of each participant, including themselves. After a reasonable period, when it is clear that participants have completed their lists, the facilitator can ring the bell again, indicating the end of the silent brainstorming stage. 3 - Presentation of brainstorming ideas session In this session, each of of the delegates reads out or shows their own ideas and also their best guesses of the ideas for others. The presentation made by A would look like the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Ideas generated by A Guess of ideas of B Guess of ideas of C Guess of ideas of D Guess of ideas of E Guess of ideas of F Guess of ideas of G
During A's presentation, others simply listen. In turn each delegate gives a similar presentation. It is best if there is no discussion during the presentations. The facilitator should encourage delegates to make notes which people can raise later. 4 - Discussion of brainstorming ideas session The presentations are followed by a detailed discussion session. In this session, the participants may discuss why and how they guessed about others. Each participant can also comment on the guesses of the other participants, and validate or clarify. The highlights and conclusions resulting from discussion should be noted by the facilitator or an appointed 'scribe'. The individual
participants can be encouraged also make their own notes, which might for example contain their mental models and appropriate revisions of the creative thinking process of others. In this sense the activity helps open hidden areas of awareness (self and others), which in turn promotes better understanding, relationships, communications, team-building and co-operation. (See and refer to the Johari Window to help explain these benefits). 5 - Further silent and speaking sessions - the kaleidoscope effect Further sessions can repeat and extend the silent session so that participants increase the depth and complexity of their thinking still more. Specifically participants should now think about and guess how other delegates are thinking about the ideas of of others. This again is done silently, together. Each delegate will be thinking in deeper levels about each of the other participant's thinking. These complexities of thinking result, for example: •
A is thinking and noting down of any of his/her own new ideas
A is also (as in stage 4) thinking afresh about and noting down any thoughts as to what B, C, D, E, F and G are thinking
and, A is now additionally thinking of what B is thinking of A, C, D, E, F and G, plus what C is thinking of A, B, D, E, F and G, and so on.
Obviously the exercise at this stage has expanded massively. From a simple individual brainstorming activity involving say seven people and seven sets of personal ideas (seven perspectives), the session has expanded to entail seven people each considering six other people's thoughts about the ideas of six other people's ideas (that's 242 perspectives!). Clearly it is not reasonable to expect delegates to formulate 242 lists, so it is useful to place certain limits on people's activities, which can include for example: • allowing delegates to leave blanks against certain delegates names
• limiting the number of ideas required to be guessed for each delegate • stating a maximum number of perspectives • allocating responsibility to each delegate to think about certain named delegates • and in any event giving a time limit for each stage of the activity As with any team building or team working activity, the facilitator needs to be able to assess progress and to adapt, adjust and give clarifying or steadying guidelines during the activity to maintain the group's focus and effectiveness. At the fifth stage, all participants will in their own way be thinking in a highly complex fashion. The participants minds are acting as mirrors creating multiple reflections of each other, rather like the few small objects inside a kaleidoscope creating wonderful arrays and patterns. Hence the 'Kaleidoscope Brainstorming' description. It is easy to imagine how using this process the number of ideas generated are many times more than when using normal brainstorming techniques. Dr Murthy reports that typically after a number of Kaleidoscope Brainstorming sessions a group experiences an 'asymptotic approximation of their thinking process'. (Asymptotic refers to the 'asymptotic' effect whereby two or more things increasingly converge as if to become joined and together, but never actually join or become one). He says this is enabled by successive convergence and cross-fertilization among a group or team of each members thinking process, thoughts and ideas. He adds interestingly that groups ultimately do not need to be talking to each other for their minds to be conferencing with each other. In fact, they can be as far geographically apart as they need to be for their routine life, but still efficiently conferencing and in tune with each other.
Dr Murthy adds: "The most important aspect is the discipline developed by the silent brainstorming paradigm. Regular teams or 'virtual' teams can be brought together to practice this technique. It is a good idea for the team members to branch out and form new groups with new members to extend the practice. It is also a good idea to have new members or visitors to the Kaleidoscope Brainstorming team inducted routinely. Diversity of backgrounds is the key to freshness of ideas. True diversity in gender, age, ethnic background, educational levels, race, and personality types will ensure Brainstorming teams and activities are kept as fertile as possible. It is like any ecological system. Stability of a Kaleidoscope Brainstorming team ecology is good, but as well, aberrations and perturbations can guarantee long-term growth." To create more structured brainstorming activities which illustrate or address particular themes, methods, media, etc., there is a helpful set of reference points on the team building games section. Unless you have special reasons for omitting control factors, ensure you retain the the essence of the rules above, especially defining the task, stating clear timings, organising participants and materials, and managing the review and follow-up. 1. Set directions. Describe the situation and define the problem. 2. Help people to understand the problem to be solved and clarify the objectives. Focus on productive objectives and keep group on track. 3. Involve everyone. Encourage everyone to contribute. Control dominating participants. Celebrate diversity. Use different techniques to draw ideas from group. 4. Encourage cross-fertilization. Build on each other. Let others' ideas take you somewhere else. Combine, synergize, and improve upon ideas.
5. Encourage outside-the-box thinking. Challenge assumptions. Be creative Go crazy. Think outside the box. Sometimes the wildest ideas lead to great ones. The wilder the ideas the better Step out of your shoes to surface new insights. ("What if you were a cat, or a film scenario writer – how would you solve the problem?"). Encourage active listening. 5. Don't overlook the obvious – the obvious solution is sometimes the best. 6. Suspend judgment. No ideas are bad ideas. All ideas are good ideas. (Actually, a minority opinion offered during group decision making often stimulates more innovative solutions to a problem). 7. Don't fear repetitions. At different moments you see with different eyes. During discussion afterwards the duplicate ideas you may find them different or they may trigger a different response at a different time. 8. Don't stop and discuss. Go for quantity, not quality. Keep the momentum going. 9. Record and display each idea. Make sure each idea is complete – don't use one-word descriptions to avoid misunderstanding. Don't edit. 10. Apply the 80/20 Principle and change hats to select the best ideas. Look through your list of ideas and circle the 20% that will yield 80% of the results you are looking for. Encourage full-spectrum thinking. Source: http://www.1000advices.com/guru/innovation_brains torming_10rules_vk.html
Some useful lines with connection to brainstorming in a coaching procedure: -
Letâ€™s list all possible options, then look at the best three and find out what we can do with them.
Use the brainstorm technique called 'Wishful thinking' to let coachees think of the best and easiest ways to reach their goal.
4.16 DESENTISATION Gestalt therapy based desentisation: Gestalt therapy teaches that people perceive the world in terms of completed unites of human experience, that is: separate and complete patterns. Incomplete patterns are completed in order to make it possible to interpret them as a whole entity. Problems may result from an incorrect completion or a lack of awareness. A good way to become aware, correct faulty patterns and restore authentic contact with the surroundings is (repeatedly) enacting the situation, until wrong connections are replaced by correct data. Wolpe’s systematic desentisation technique: Developed by Wolpe, based on Pavlov’s classic conditioning: 1. A negative experience from the past is blocking progress or causing stress / fear 2. Draw up a list of stressing situations 3. Arrange the situations on a scale from 1 – 10 4. Teach coachee how to relax 5. Apply relaxation exercises to the scaled stress-situation, starting with the least stressing. If the situation cannot be reproduced in reality: have coachee imagining it. The exercise is beneficial even when practiced in fantasy only. 6. Repeat the exercise as often as necessary 7. Coachees overcome their fear / stress
4.17 BUILDING ASSERTIVENESS Here are our top ten tips to become a more assertive person. 1. Think "I'm OK, you're OK" or win-win In every relationship, conversation, or exchange with someone else, whether they are in a superior or inferior role, think win-win. This is what Eric Berne described as a belief that "I'm OK and so are you". 2. Respond to praise with thanks When someone gives you praise, don't get embarrassed and brush it off. Thank the person and ask them what exactly they liked. 3. Respond to criticism with objectivity When someone criticizes you, don't hit back. If there's some truth in the criticism, ask for more information. If none, smile and say nothing. 4. Learn to say "No" If you are not contractually obliged to do something, and don't want to do it, learn to say "No" firmly, politely, and resolutely. 5. Admit Your Mistakes, Don't Cover Them Up Learn how to admit your mistakes without fear of what might happen to you. Do it when you make small mistakes and it'll be easier when they are bigger. 6. Drop the Blame Game When things go wrong, don't blame others, the situation, or yourself. Instead, welcome the chance to learn something. 7. Don't Belittle Yourself Eliminate the words "just" and "only" from your vocabulary as in "I'm just a junior executive" and "I've only limited experience".
8. In Pressure Situations, Ask for More Time When someone puts pressure on you to make a decision, don't feel you need to agree to them there and then. Ask for more time so that you can weigh up your options. 9. Make More Requests Unassertive people hesitate to ask others for help in case they are rejected. But this rarely happens. Most people are flattered when asked for help. So ask them more often. 10. Practise Every Day The great thing about assertiveness is that it can be practised in almost every conversation you have. So try it out every day until it becomes your default way of living.
4.18 ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS The Five Whys (or 5 Whys, or 5Y) technique is especially popular in manufacturing, where the main concern is often productivity -maximizing production rate and minimizing rejects. I've heard many Six Sigma and Lean practitioners talk about this as one of their favourite tools. I can understand why, too... it's easy to remember, simple to apply, and gets deeper than traditional problem solving. However, it also contains some traps. In summary, you simply ask "why did this occur", and after you answer that, you ask "why did that occur", and so on. You keep going until you get to something fundamental, or until you reach something that's completely outside your control. A rule of thumb seems to be that 5 iterations is a reasonable average, but this is not a hard rule... it may take only 3 levels of "why", or you may still be asking "why" 5 weeks from now. It just depends on the problem. Now, can you spot the problems in the procedure summarized above? I can think of a few, but there are two that I think are really important. First, there is the assumption that a single cause, at each level of "why", is sufficient to explain the effect in question. This is rarely the case! Most often, you need a set of jointly sufficient causes to create any single effect. Second, what if one of your "why" answers is wrong? Maybe your answer was possible, but what if the actual cause (i.e., set of causes) was something else entirely? Even worse, what if your seemingly plausible answer was completely out to lunch? One of the advantages of the 5 Whys is that it gets you to fairly deep, underlying causes. A major disadvantage is that if you make a mistake answering just one "why" question, your entire analysis gets thrown off. Even worse, the earlier your mistake in the
process, the further off your root cause is going to be. At that point, it won't matter if you ask "why" 5 times or five million times. If you want to avoid these problems, try modifying the questioning process as follows. Once you've finished your initial line of questioning, go back to your answer for the first "why" and ask some other questions. 1. 2. 3.
What proof do I have that this cause exists? (Is it concrete? Is it measurable?) What proof do I have that this cause could lead to the stated effect? (Am I merely asserting causation?) What proof do I have that this cause actually contributed to the problem I'm looking at? (Even given that it exists and could lead to this problem, how do I know it wasn't actually something else?) Is anything else needed, along with this cause, for the stated effect to occur? (Is it self-sufficient? Is something needed to help it along?) Can anything else, besides this cause, lead to the stated effect? (Are there alternative explanations that fit better? What other risks are there?)
The point of these questions is to establish existence, necessity, and sufficiency. Keep asking these five questions for every cause, at every level of questioning. If you diagram all this, you will end up with a tree of causal factors leading up to the original problem. Some may be less important than others, but you will have a much more complete picture of the causes leading up to your problem. Even better, you may find a more important cause than previously considered. At the very least, you will have avoided the "straightline causation" trap.
4.19 THE JOHARI WINDOW
The Johari Window is a model for explaining the different ways people approach self-awareness and feedback. It was designed by two Californian psychologists, Jo Luft and Harry Ingham (hence JoHari) and originally published in 1959. Explain the Model, Please Originally, Luft and Ingham devised a psychological tool for selfhelp groups in which the subject and his or her observers were given a list of 56 adjectives. The list included words like "bold", "cheerful", "confident", "sentimental", "sympathetic" and so on. Both the subject and observers then selected 5 or 6 adjectives that
fitted their view of the subject. These adjectives were then mapped onto a grid. The 4 Panes Model of the Johari Window The grid on which the adjectives were plotted looks like a square composed of four windows. One way to understand the grid is to imagine yourself as the subject looking in from the left and your observers looking down from the top. You can only both see so far, your line being vertical from top to bottom and their line being horizontal from side to side. Now you have a window with four panes showing the following: • at the top left, things that are known to you and known to others. In Luft and Ingham's self-help groups, this is where adjectives selected by both you and your observers would go. This is your "open" arena. • at the top right, things that are known to others but not you. These would be adjectives selected by your observers but not you. This is your "blind spot" area. • at the bottom left, things that are known to you but not others. These would be adjectives selected by you but not others and is your facade or mask area. • at the bottom right, things that are not known to others or you, ie things that either remain as potential or well and truly hidden. This is your unknown area. The Johari Window in Self-Development The most valuable use of the Johari Window is as a tool in selfdevelopment. We can use the knowledge of the four windows as a way of finding out more about how others see us in our blind spot,
being more willing to open up our facades, and exploring our unknown areas. We can either do it across all our relationships or in a particular relationship where we want to be more open. The tool can be highly beneficial. People who are in the process of enlarging their open areas for themselves and others are usually regarded as happier, more giving, and with better relationships.
4.20 DECISION MAKING Decision making skills can be very important in a careers context: Which career should I choose? Which university should I go to? Which course should I study? Of course they are also valuable in many other contexts in life. The key steps in decision making are: 1. Clarify the nature of the problem before deciding action. What is the purpose of the decision? What is the expected outcome? What are the key priorities: time, money, quality? Will a quick, cheap and cheerful solution do or do you need to invest time and cash to get things absolutely right? 2. Collect and summarise the data systematically. Decisions can't be made in a vacuum! Gather, collate, classify and organise the information you need to make a decision. You need to analyse and evaluate all the important factors in making the decision. Analyse the various factors involved in the problem and identify the key ones. Highlight any critical factors upon which the success on the decision will hinge. Sound out the views and opinions of others: they may see something you have missed. 3. Use creativity/initiative in the generation of alternative solutions to the problem.
Produce a list of all the courses of action you can think of without trying to narrow these down. At this stage just produce a list of possible courses of action without trying to evaluate these. Brainstorming may help here (see below) Think outside the box: don't just look at the obvious and tried and tested options. Don't be afraid to challenge the status quo. How to brainstorm • The purpose of brainstorming is to produce as many possible options as possible without evaluating them. • Get a blank sheet of paper and write down any idea or possible solution which may help. • Don't censor your ideas. Write down everything, no matter how silly or insignificant to keep the flow going as once idea might lead to another. • Only once all the ideas have dried up, cross out or adapt all the weaker ideas: this should still leave you with a number of possible solutions. • Brainstorming can be done in a group, in which case no comments should be made about the decisions proposed or group members put down for proposing unusual ideas. 4. Produce a SHORT list of the best options. Remove any obviously poorer choices. Don't have too many options in your final list or it will be too confusing. Differentiate between practical and impractical solutions. 5. Make your decision For each of your shortlist of options consider its advantages and disadvantages. Try to recognise any inconsistencies in your reasoning and question any assumptions you have made. Evaluate each option against the key factors to consider the
combined effect of all the factors. Weight each factor in terms of importance paying particular attention to any critical factors. See the decision matrix below to help you do this. Sometimes you may get so immersed that you may not be able to see the wood for the trees: if this happens sleep on it and postpone the decision until the next day. This may give you a fresh perspective. Using a DECISION MATRIX to help you to decide between alternatives: Make a short list of your key options and look at the positives and negatives for each item. Below is a very simple example. You could include many more factors. Which career would be most appropriate for me: teacher, youth worker or sales executive? Factors important to me in my career choice
Factor Youth Sales Teacher Weighting Worker Executive
high (x 3)
9 7 4 (x3=12) (x3=27) (x3=21)
Informal working environment
9 to 5 work
6 (x1=6) 1 (x1=1) 5 (x1=5)
4 (x1=4) 3 (x1=3) 8 (x1=8)
6 (x1=6) 7 (x1=7) 5 (x1=5)
This suggests that for this particular person teaching and youth work would both be good alternatives, but a career in sales probably wouldn't suit them. Of course intuition (gut reaction) can
also play a major part in making decisions, but a decision matrix may at least give you an idea of which is the most logical choice. 6. Implement your decision Try to have a backup (contingency) plan in case your first option doesn't work out. Learn to argue your solution if there is opposition from others If it is a group decision, consider the implications for the other members of the team. Communicate your ideas to the other team members, explain your reasoning and make sure they understand the logic behind it and get their commitment to carry it out. 7. Evaluate how well things went Learn from the experience especially if your solution does not prove successful!
ÂŠCopyright University of Kent Careers Advisory Service.
Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. (Tom Robbins) In a moment of decision, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Theodore Roosevelt A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one. (Rita Mae Brown) When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice. (William James) Some persons are very decisive when it comes to avoiding decisions. (Brendan Francis) You've got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you're not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice. (Steven Woodhull) Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight; indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it. (Gordon Graham) Whether you decide you can or you can't, you're right! Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions.
4.21 TIME MANAGEMENT Why use time management skills? It's important that you develop effective strategies for managing your time to balance the conflicting demands of time for study, leisure, earning money and jobhunting. Time management skills are valuable in jobhunting, but also in many other aspects of life: from revising for examinations to working in a vacation job. Sometimes it may seem that there isn't enough time to do everything that you need to. This can lead to a build up of stress. When revising for examinations, or during your final year when you have to combine the pressures of intensive study with finding time to apply for jobs good management of your time can be particularly important. Once we have identified ways in which we can improve the management of our time, we can begin to adjust our routines and patterns of behaviour to reduce any time-related stress in our lives. What skills are required for effective time management? Some skills involved are:
• Setting clear goals, • •
Breaking your goals down into discreet steps Reviewing your progress towards your goals
• Prioritising - focusing on urgent and important tasks rather than those that are not important or don't move you towards your goals;
• Organising your work schedule; list making to remind you of what you need to do when; persevering when things are not working out
• Avoiding procrastination. You should have a reminder system to tell you of when you need to do what: don't try to remember everything in your head as this is a recipe for disaster! Carry a pen and paper or organiser wherever you go. At the simplest level your reminder system could simply be to use your diary to write down the things you need to do, including appointments and deadlines. Before interviews, it's fine to write down the questions you wish to ask on a small piece of card or notepad. A daily list of tasks that need to be done is an essential part of action planning. Refer to and update this regularly. Prioritise items on the list into important/not important and urgent/non-urgent. Such a list can take a variety of formats but an example is given to the right. Update your list daily, crossing off completed tasks and adding new tasks that need to be done. Urgent or important tasks can be highlighted with an asterisk. Advantages of using a to do list • • • • • • • • • • • •
Focuses your mind on important objectives You are less likely to forget to do tasks Writing a list helps order your thoughts It helps show the bigger picture You don't need to hold everything in your head. It saves time It helps you decide on priorities: the most important and the most urgent You are less likely to become sidetracked You get the reward of ticking off your achievements You feel more in control You have a record of what you've done You always have something to work on
Setting Goals Set yourself specific and clearly defined goals, and make sure that these are realistic and achievable. To do this, you first need to examine your present situation and assess what goals are important to you and what action you need to take to achieve your target. Have a contingency plan or alternative route to your goal in case you have to change your plans, for example, taking a relevant postgraduate course if you can't get a job. Prioritising Efficiency and effectiveness are not the same. Someone who works hard and is well organised but spends all their time on unimportant tasks may be efficient but not effective. To be effective, you need to decide what tasks are urgent and important and to focus on these. This is called prioritising. It's important to list the tasks you have and to sort these in order of priority, and then to devote most time to the most important tasks. This avoids the natural tendency to concentrate on the simple, easy tasks and to allow too many interruptions to your work. Differentiate also between urgent and important tasks: an urgent task may not necessarily be important! When jobhunting, you won't be able to apply to every employer. You will need to carefully prioritise those you wish to apply to, based upon factors such as closing date, location, degree class required, and chances of getting in. Avoiding Procrastination Procrastination is the scourge of action planning. It's important that you manage 'Your fear of doing things' you don't want to do and realise that the fear is often far worse than any possible negative results. Try to take decisions immediately when possible and when you don't need to gather more information pertinent to the decision. The best time to do something is usually NOW. Taking action generates the impetus for further action. Many applications
to prestigious employers now need to be made in the first term of your final year and if you procrastinate you'll miss the deadlines. Breaking down tasks Break goals down into their components so that you can accomplish them one step at a time. Write these steps down, and try to be as specific as you can when you do this. Try to complete one task before you go on to the next. Reward yourself for achieving these goals to maintain your enthusiasm. For example, when you are invited to your first interview, treat yourself to a good meal with friends. Regularly review your progress towards your goals and revise plans as appropriate to take account of unforeseen changes. Persevering Inevitably, things will not always run smoothly as you progress towards your goals. When things are not working out, you need to persevere and learn how to take a positive attitude towards frustration and failure. Mistakes are a crucial part of any creative process and each is a lesson leading you towards the right solution. Fear of making or admitting mistakes is a major handicap to taking effective action. It is said that the people who have achieved the most have made the most mistakes! Try to be aware that satisfaction comes as much from pursuing goals as from achieving them. Work at effective strategies to deal with pressure - these can vary from taking exercise, to relaxation techniques such as Yoga, to simply sharing problems with friends. Being assertive can also help here, for example, politely saying no to the demands of others when you are pushed for time. Sharing tasks and problems with others will spread the burden and will bring a fresh perspective to them.
Organising your time Identify areas of your life where you are wasting time and try to reduce these. A good way to do this is to log everything you do for a week in meticulous detail and then examine your record to see how you use (or misuse!) your time. Develop a regular work routine. Keep your work space tidy so that you can work efficiently - it's hard to do this if things you need to find are buried under a pile of paper! Work to schedule so that you meet deadlines in good time - don't leave everything until the last minute. If you have a difficult essay to write, start by drafting out the structure first- this will break the ice. When applying for jobs keep copies of all the applications you have made and keep a log of the date you applied, result, and a record of all your interviews, plus you were questions asked. This will help you to keep track of your progress and spot areas where you could improve. USING A TIME LOG One useful way to eliminate wasted time is to use a time log. First you need to make up a chart for the next seven days divided into half hour intervals starting at the time you get up and finishing at the time you go to bed. Write down what you did in each half hour of the day for the next seven days. Choose a typical week. An example for one day is given to the right. At the end of the week examine your time log and ask yourself the following questions: â€˘ â€˘
Are there any periods that I could use more productively? At what time of day do I do my most effective work? Some people are most alert in the morning, whilst others
concentrate best during the afternoon or evening. Schedule your most important tasks for these times of day. A time log can be particularly useful at times of pressure, for example, when revising for examinations or jobhunting during your final year. By now you should have been able to identify ways in which you could manage your time more efficiently, and know some techniques to allow you to do this. Source: University of Kent (http://www.kent.ac.uk)
Time Management Training from ManageTrainLearn. There are 7 scales against which we can measure ourselves as time managers at work. They are: 1. Control: is control of your time with you or others? 2. Pace: is your pace of work even or erratic? 3. Direction: do you have short-term or long-term objectives? 4. Variety: is there a little or a lot of variety in your work? 5. Ownership: do you own what you do or do others? 6. Volume: does the amount of work you do result in overloads or underloads? 7. Balance: is there an equal or unequal balance in the different tasks you do?
Time-Fillers Time-fillers are those people who see time as a stretch of eight hours work each day or 40 hours a week which somehow has to be filled and endured. Time-fillers... • put themselves at others' beck and call • fill up their time in empty ritual, pastimes and competitive gameplaying • swing from boredom to crisis and back again • lack any pace of work; sometimes they allow themselves to fall behind time and so have to rush, while at other times nobody has anything for them to do so they waste their time and become bored. • have no sense of direction • find themselves underworked or overworked • suffer stress as a result of not being in control of their time. Time Managers Time managers see time as a partner in helping them achieve their goals and objectives. Sometimes time will be less helpful, eg when things aren't ready for action; sometimes time will be more than helpful, eg when offering them opportunities to seize the moment and get ahead. Time managers... • know what they want to achieve with their time • feel in control even when there is little personal freedom to arrange their working day • work closely with others • work at an even pace without highs or lows • have a sense of direction • are able to vary their activities to maintain their interest • can balance their tasks
â€˘ feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement.
Edward Sheldrick describes people at work as either pearl crushers or pearl divers. Pearl crushers are those who miss the opportunities that work affords. They let others determine how they spend their time and blame them when they feel they underachieve. Pearl divers are those who look for the hidden jewels on the seabed. They see work as an endless adventure and a means to achieve, serve and accomplish. Time Robbers: Others 1. incomplete information from others 2. employees bringing problems 3. the telephone 4. routine tasks 5. unnecessary and long meetings 6. drop-in visitors 7. outside activities 8. crisis management 9. poor communications 10. insufficient planning. Time Robbers: Ourselves 1. attempting to do too much at once 2. unrealistic time estimates 3. procrastination 4. not listening 5. not saying "No" 6. doing it myself 7. stacked desk 8. delegating responsibility without authority 9. personal disorganisation 10. personality tendency towards workaholism.
Efficient or Effective? Many people fail to make the best use of their time because they fail to see the difference between being efficient and being effective. Efficiency is doing things by the book. It may be the way to do a job in the least amount of time. Because of this, efficient people pride themselves on being good time managers. However, they are often slaves to routines and may be blind to the fact that the job may not need to be done at all. Effectiveness means taking a wider view of things than the blinkered approach of efficiency. It means taking time to think through goals and purposes and creating choices not just following rules. Effective working is smart work, not necessarily hard work. The Pareto Principle When you need to decide, "what is the best use of my time right now?", one answer lies in the Pareto Principle. Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist who, in 1906, discovered that 20% of the people in his homeland controlled 80% of the country's wealth. So, in the Pareto time management principle, • 20% of your tasks (ie your top tasks) should require 80% of your time • 80% of your results should come from 20% of your actions • 80% of your time should be spent with 20% of the people you know.
Time Paradigms We each have our own way of seeing time according to our own work personalities: • planners set high store by how well they fill up each working hour and minute. They like to be busy. • team workers set high store by the relationships they form at work. Time at work means time with others. • achievers set high store by using their time to work their way up the organisational ladder. • creative people like to work on something special and may dismiss routine time as boring and unnecessary • active people find time passes quicker if they can get immersed in new experiences and activities • dominating people like to get the most out of every minute by living life to the full. To do this they may act recklessly and refuse to plan their time. • relaxed people set high score by avoiding doing too much and concentrating instead on enjoying their time. Balancing Each Day Balancing each day's activities is not simply a healthy way of working; it is also the most productive and enjoyable. To follow an intense period of brainwork with some time doing physical work; then to follow that with some time on a project, followed by time with friends, is to create a rich and whole texture to the day. By seeking to create a balance of the different types of tasks that we must carry out each day, we are able to have order with spontaneity, the challenging with the practical; routine with innovation; and introspection with the pleasure of others.
None of us knows what, by our life's end, we might be capable of achieving. We only know that if we do not use the time that we have, - and none of us knows how much time each of us has, - then the potential we have will not be fulfilled. A/ Routine Time Routine tasks are the things we do to keep body and soul together and the workplace functioning. For us as individuals, they are the set piece habits around which our day is built. For the organisation, they are the procedures by which regular work and maintenance work gets done. All workplace organisations require systems. They form the backbone around which the organisation keeps control. And it is in systems that some of the greatest opportunities exist to save time. The following tips will help you establish the quickest times to do your routine work: • • • • • • •
When you do routine work, eliminate interference or distractions from outside Organise the work layout so everything you need is at hand Time the tasks and see if they can't be done more quickly Automate and use labour-saving devices where you can bunch similar jobs together, eg phone calls and letter writing Aim for continuous workflows with no hold-ups or delays Obtain materials "just in time" for your needs When you have defined the optimum method, train everyone, until you find a better method still. Then train them all again.
The Five S's The five S's is a Japanese methodology which is a standardized way of doing things efficiently. The 5 steps can be applied to routines for any physical materials management, including stores and paper. These are the 5 steps:
a. Sort. Go through all your materials and keep only the essentials. Store or discard the rest. b. Set in Order. Find a place for what is needed and put things in their place. c. Sweep. Clean as you go. Tidy up at the end of the day. Put things back in their place. d. Standardize. Ensure everyone knows the system e. Sustain. Operate this way until a better method comes along. Habits Habits are those things we do regularly without having to think about them. The benefit of habit tasks is that they can be done on automatic pilot and thus rest the conscious brain. These tips can help you make the most of time spent on habits: • identify the triggers that set habits off; do them at set regular times • use sequences and checklists to memorise habit tasks • look for shortcuts • look to double up activities. This is known as the Shoe-shine Principle: while you're getting your shoes shined, you can do something else such as make a phone call or read a newspaper. • aim for an optimum time to complete habitual tasks • prepare and arrange your materials before you start; tidy up as you go • aim to eliminate bad habits and replace them with good ones. Maintenance Tasks It is a well-researched fact that we do not work well when our physical surroundings are unsafe, uncomfortable or untidy. The American psychologist Frederick Herzberg called these the "hygiene" factors and believed that they can have a de-motivating effect on our work if they are not attended to.
Working on the hygiene factors means spending time attending to the following: • making the work area neat and tidy • ensuring you have the right heating, lighting and ventilation for your needs • taking regular breaks • making sure your systems are safe • organizing the work space so you are comfortable • having a pleasing decor. Chores Routine work can either seem to drag or fly depending on the way we look at it. If we regard routines as chores, the time will hang heavy as we think about more pleasurable alternatives. If we change our attitude and work with the flow and pace of the job, the time will pass quickly. Here's how: • focus on the task, rather than wishing you weren't doing it • think about what you are doing, rather than something else • do it not because of any immediate gain but because you want to do it • feel the therapeutic effects of doing routine tasks in which you can switch off • work out a rhythm in the job and lose yourself in it • turn it into a game, a challenge, or a learning adventure. Deskmanship The amount of paperwork generated every day in our workplaces is huge, much of it excessive and time-wasting. To prevent yourself drowning in a sea of paperwork, practise the three golden rules of deskmanship: • rule 1: aim for a clear desk
â€˘ rule 2: handle every piece of paper only once; move incoming correspondence immediately to its next destination. â€˘ rule 3: have a regular clear out of files. Paper Control If you have to keep your paperwork, here are 3 things you must do to keep it under control: 1. Mark It. Simply put a small mark on the top right-hand corner every time you handle a piece of paper that is lying around without a proper place. After about 20 aimless marks, guilt should kick in and force you to do something about it. 2. Sort It. Don't dither. Make up your mind to do one of 5 things with your piece of paper: bin it; file it; store it as a record; send it to someone for action; do whatever you must to end its presence. 3. Store It. Stored paperwork needs 3 simple systems: a colourcoding system to make it easier to find; an out-take system to keep track of it if it is removed; and a bring-forward system for actioning it. Carrying out routine work is not the most glamorous part of time management. It can be repetitive, dull, and a chore. But, it is in routine work that the greatest opportunities for saving time can be found. And if you discover the golden hour you save, you can do with it as you please. B/ Time on Progress Work Progress work is work that innovates, breaks new ground, and takes us forward. It creates something new. When we spend time on progress work, we can actually see results, either bit by bit as we progress, or when the work is completed. Although big projects are the most obvious examples of progress work, we can also be creative in lots of small ways when we want to improve on now. Here are 7 steps in progress work.
1. Set Your Mission The starting point of any goal-achievement is to think about your mission or purpose. What is the point of it all? A mission goes much further than just a goal. It is about manifesting your own values, creating something unique, and becoming all you, and your team if you are working with one, can become. As Steven Covey said: “A mission statement focuses on what you want to be (character), and to do (contributions and achievements) and on the values and principles upon which being and doing are based.” Tip: Start by writing down on one sheet of paper the things that are important to you in going for this particular goal. 2. Pick Your Key Areas The gap between dreaming a mission and achieving it is to break the mission down into key areas that you need to work on. For example, if your aim is to become fit, the key areas could be: Exercise; Diet; Sleep; Lifestyle; and Relaxation. When you have identified your key areas, then you need to spend time finding out about each one of these. This research and information-gathering goes on for the whole length of your journey towards your goal. Tip: Stick to no more than 5 or 6 key areas. 3. Write Down Your SMART Goals SMART goals are goals that are defined as: Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic; and Time-bounded. Tip: Distinguish between SMART goals which have deadlines and Big goals that don’t. Follow the 5 steps outlined above to reach your SMART goals by going from now forwards.
Dream about your Big goals which have no fixed deadlines by going from their realization in your imagination backwards. 4. Jot down To-Do Lists If you are working in a number of key areas, with a range of SMART goals in each of them, you could have as many as 15 ongoing activities at any one time. Keeping an occasional to-do list is a way to review all of these activities and keep them at the forefront of your mind. Tip: Alec McKenzie recommends writing out to-do lists every evening and then working through them the following day. 5. Prioritize Your To-Do List There are two ways to prioritize the activities on your to-do list. You can decide if they are urgent or if they are important. Urgent tasks are those that have a deadline to them. They are also tasks that we want to do because the time is right or feels right, i.e. weâ€™re in the mood. Important tasks are those that you believe will bring you quickest to your goals. Tasks that are both urgent and important are the ones you should devote time to. Tasks that are not both of these can be relegated down your to-do list or delegated to somebody else. Tip: You must be ruthless about tasks that are neither important nor urgent and dump them. 6. Schedule Your Tasks It is much better to schedule tasks than leave them to be done when you feel like it. For example, you are much more likely to
exercise regularly if you do it at a set time each day. One of the best scheduling systems is the 60-20-20 system. This means filling up 60% of your diary with your important tasks and leaving 20% for things that crop up and 20% for emergencies. Tip: Use the luggage-hold method when planning your diary. This means putting the biggest tasks in your diary first and then fitting the smaller ones around them. Just like the way you put luggage in the boot of your car. 7. Take Action A time management system should be a living, dynamic system rather than a dull, repetitive one cast in concrete. That’s why you should inject into your system room for surprises, room for learning, and room for doing what you enjoy. In this way, you’ll not only like the system, you’ll achieve your goals much more quickly than you thought possible at the start. All of us carry out progress work, whether it is wallpapering a room of our house or installing a new computer system at work. By starting with the end result in mind, i.e. our mission and goals, we need to plan and organize the many tasks that bit by bit create the final result. Progress work is one of the most satisfying and productive uses of our time.
C/ Time and Projects Time is one of the key factors in determining whether projects are managed well. There are three constraints in a project: time, cost and quality. At the start of a project, all three will be estimated. If time on the project is managed well, which means that the project comes in on time without seriously compromising the cost and quality, then the project will have partly succeeded. If the cost and quality also come in on target without affecting the time, then the whole project would be regarded as a success.
A project is a combination of human and non-human resources pulled together in a temporary organisation to achieve a specified purpose. The aim is to produce a result in a given time, at a given cost and to a given quality. These aims are inter-related. If you increase resources to increase the quality, you may reduce the time but you will increase the cost. If you reduce the resources to save money, you may increase the time. If you reduce the time, you may reduce one set of costs but increase them further with the need for extra resources such as more people. The Phases of a Project All projects have 4 phases: Phase 1: This phase involves the initiation of a project between project sponsor or coachee and the project team. It is likely to cover the definition and scope of the project, initial time estimates and risk analysis. Phase 2: This phase involves the planning and design of the project and the go-ahead. Phase 3: This phase consists of the implementation of the project and its monitoring, control and co-ordination. Phase 4: This phase involves bringing the project in on time, on budget and on specification. Alternatively, it involves winding up a project that is no longer needed. Estimating Project Times The first stage in estimating the time of a project is to brainstorm all the jobs that need to be carried out. Once you have done this, you should check through them and start to build a working list. Check that you haven't missed anything out and that you have included the many small and apparently unimportant jobs that have to be done, such as administration, co-ordinating, holding
meetings. Ruthlessly eliminate anything that doesn't have to be done. Once you have produced a finished list of project tasks, you must then place time estimates against each task, ensuring you are as accurate as possible. Network Analysis Network analysis is a generic name for a variety of techniques which are used to analyse the sequence of tasks in a project. The aim of network analysis is to make a complex series of tasks simpler to understand and schedule. It does this by sequencing tasks in order and doubling them up where possible to save time. From this you can then calculate the overall time for the project and the shortest time in which the project can be completed. This is the critical path. You cannot carry out the project in less time than the critical path without an effect on cost or quality. Planning, Scheduling, and Tracking Planning is an essential part of managing a project. Based on your critical paths and network analysis, you should know the best time your project will take as well as what problems might get in the way of achieving these deadlines and what you will do if any problems do arise. Once your plans are laid down, you should enter them into a schedule based on the availability of resources, both people and materials. You then need to track progress through detailed auditing and reports, always with the aim of being on, or ahead of, plan. Crashing Crashing means resolving project problems by shortening the length of time that the project takes. This may be because you are behind schedule or an opportunity arises to speed up work. There are many ways to crash a project. You could transfer resources from non-critical to critical tasks, do jobs in parallel rather than sequentially, or simply cut out non-essentials. More drastic
measures can be taken with your project sponsors such as reducing the scope of the project. Bringing a Project in on Time A study by psychologists at Sussex University shows that most people fail to complete projects on time. There are 3 reasons for this. First, we always look forward when making plans and rarely at what happened in similar situations in the past. Second, we ignore what can go wrong. And third, we concentrate on how early we would like to complete the project and use that as the estimated time. It doesn't matter whether the project is a big one or a small one. For example, the Channel Tunnel came in a year late and 100% over budget. The Sydney Opera House opened 10 years late and 1300% over budget. To succeed in any project, large or small, it is essential to meet your sponsor's requirements on time, cost, and quality. Only by managing the project efficiently at each stage and using the best estimating, planning, and scheduling techniques of time management is this possible. D/ Non-Doing Work The Industrial Age from which we are presently emerging had no time for non-doing work. Work was organised to fill up the time with as much productive activity as possible. In the Information Age into which we have now moved, productive work requires intelligence and creativity. Time to stop and think has become an essential feature of working. Let Things Happen One of the reasons why stress is at record levels in our work-places is the belief that you must be active all the time for anything to happen. In fact, the contrary is the case. When you remove yourself and trust that things will happen as they should, then, even if we donâ€™t understand how, things will happen at the right time in the
right way. As Benjamin Hoff says in “The Tao of Pooh”: “It’s hard to explain, except by example, but it works. Things just happen in the right way, at the right time. At least they do when you let them, when you work with circumstances instead of saying, “This isn’t supposed to be happening this way” and trying hard to make it happen in some other way. If you’re in tune with The Way Things Work, then they work the way they need to, no matter what you may think at the time.” Use Your Brains All of us possess an amazing machine in our brains known as the creative sub-conscious. This is the source of all our best ideas. Yet, when we are rushing around like headless chickens, we don’t allow our sub-conscious brains to come to our rescue. Often we put a lot of busyness into a task only to realize later on that, if we’d stopped and thought about things, we could have found a smarter, quicker, or more productive solution. Stop and Tune In In his book “Life Tide”, Lyall Watson records the phenomenon of a group of macata monkeys stranded on a Japanese island, all discovering the right way to prepare food even though they weren’t in any obvious form of contact with each other. It was as if there were a collective consciousness telling them what to do. The same thing can happen to human beings. We can sense the times, sniff the wind, and roll with the tides. In this way, we can tune in to what is happening and make the journey free and effortless. Take a Break Breaks are essential for productive work. Research shows that there is a basic physiological rhythm to our day governed by our automatic and endocrine systems. This is known as the Break – Rest – Activity Cycle and lasts between 90 and 120 minutes. That’s why breaks are necessary to give us energy and refresh us.
Take Time to Plan In the West, we prize action over inaction. We, therefore, complete one task and hurry on to the next. In the East, by contrast, nonaction is prized as highly as action, if not more. These cultures like to measure progress by more means than just results. They spurn impatience and hurry, knowing that, if you prepare well, a moment eventually arrives when things are ready for implementation and they practically complete themselves. Take Time Out It is when you work in fast-moving environments that you need to remember to take time out. Time out enables you to get away from all the problems that usually clutter up your work and see things more clearly. When running Microsoft, Bill Gates, used to take a week out of his schedule every year to go somewhere where nobody could reach him just to think things through. This habit made him into one of the richest people on the planet. Meet with Yourself Just as sufficient planning before action can reduce the time a project takes, so can review after the action. In fact, in repetitive tasks it is vital. Review, or meeting with yourself, enables you to look back and learn. You can see the big picture and put things into some kind of perspective. It also enables you to see the mistakes you made and to consider how you can do things better next time. Non-doing work isn’t just thinking and planning; it’s also recuperating and refreshing yourself. In his bestselling book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey called it “sharpening the saw” and made it one of the keystones of personal effectiveness.
E/ Time and Others Time Stealers are people who, without anything to do with their own time, steal yours from you as well. They fill up their hours by wasting yours. Often these are close colleagues, customers, even your own boss, so it can be difficult to know how to deal with them. But, unless you want to join this gang of thieves, you must learn to say No to Time Stealers. 1. Manage Your Interruptions One of the reasons why we allow others to take over our time at work is our need to know what is going on. Henry Mintzberg, professor of management at McGill University in Montreal, discovered that the majority of a manager’s time is spent receiving and responding to hearsay, rumour, and news. Managers feel a great need to know what’s going on and they do this by letting themselves be interrupted by others. If this is you, you need to be aware of how much of your time is usefully spent in this way, and how much is wasted. In short, you need to know how to manage your interruptions. 2. Avoid These Time Wasters One of the keys to managing your interruptions is to distinguish between people who bring you useful information and those who don’t. This latter group comprises 3 types in particular that you should avoid like the plague: • moaners, whingers and complainers • the coffee-set who congregate during work • the watering-hole set who congregate after work. Socialising with your team is fine if you can control it. Excessive socializing is like begin sucked into a time-consuming swamp. 3. Avoid the Gossipers
In 1650, Jeremy Taylor, chaplain to King Charles I, wrote a book called “Holy Living” in which he warned against the dangers of wasting time on gossip. He said, “Avoid the company of busybodies and all such as are apt to talk much to little purpose. For no man can be provident of his time that is not prudent in the choice of his company. And if one of the speakers be vain, tedious and trifling, he that hears and he that answers in the discourse are equal losers of their time.” 4. Be Brief In business, your time is your money. Wasting time with unnecessarily long meetings with others is a way to let money trickle down the drain. Channing H Cox once visited President Calvin Coolidge whom he had succeeded as Governor of Massachusetts. Cox, who was often detained at his desk until well into the evening, was astonished to learn that Coolidge was able to see so many people and still leave the office at 5.00pm. “What’s the difference?” Cox asked. “You talk back,” replied the President. 5. Be Brisk When you learn how to be brisk with others, without being rude, you’ll find a great ally in your quest to control your time. Clement Attlee, prime minister of post-war Britain, was known for his briskness at cabinet meetings. His knack was to stifle unnecessary talk. One of Attlee’s exchanges ran as follows: “A good paper, minister. Do you need to add anything?” (ie there’s no need to say anything if it’s just a repeat of what’s in the paper). - “Has anyone any objections?” (ie don’t say anything if it’s already been covered). “Right, then. Next item.”
6. Rescue Your Time If you get people in your work space that you don’t want, the only way to rescue your time is to be polite but determined. Here are some techniques to use: • ask directly what they want and how long they might be • suggest a time when you know you'll be free • have a regular "green period" slot when you are free each day to see people • don't succumb to the temptation of a break from what you're doing • agree to meet them at their workplace • point out that what you are doing is important and ask if their interruption is more important • use appropriate body language to indicate they are not welcome to stay, for example, stand up, perch on the edge of the desk, move towards the door, avoid eye contact. 7. Use the Team In teams who work as a team, there is an agreed allocating, delegating and sharing of tasks to ensure good time management by everyone. Allocating: portioning out jobs to get the job done in the quickest and most effective way. Delegating: giving jobs to those best suited to do them, or who want to do them or who can benefit from doing them. Sharing: working together on jobs; complementing each other's good points; taking your turn "on the watch"; saving time by working as a team; doing things synergistically. Use these techniques and you’ll be letting people know that while you’re willing to be gracious with people, you’re going to be ruthless with your time.
Time with others is a connecting process, in which we engage not just our rational brains, but our feelings as well. But time with others, while essential for getting things done, can also be one of the biggest time robbers. We can achieve nothing without others; but if we are not careful, we can achieve nothing because of others. F/ Time Travellers Our personalities are the key to finding out what kind of time manager we are. Whether we tend to do too much or too little, overwork or underwork, buzz around like a bee or freeze through procrastination, all comes down to one thing: which of the following Time Travellers are you? 1. The Perfectionist The Perfectionist is one of the worst examples of a workaholic. They fill up their days with work activities in the belief that everything they do has to be as perfect as possible. George Bernard Shaw was a typical workaholic. He wrote mechanically every day of his career. Looking back on his life, he said, "When I was a young man, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. I didn't want to be a failure, so I did ten times more work." 2. The Socialiser The Socialiser is not a good time manager. If you are in conversation with a Socialiser, youâ€™ll know this for they are the hardest people to break away from. Socialisers simply love to be with people, talk about people, and be of service to people. This invariably means putting time and other duties into second place.
3. The Achiever
Achievers have mastered the art of looking like perfect time managers. They seem to be good at everything they take on, seem to manage things with effortless ease, and seem to enjoy themselves in the process. But, beware, a lot of the impression may be false. Achievers are good at show and not so good at substance. When you are dealing with an Achiever, always look under the surface at what theyâ€™ve actually achieved. 4. The Artist When you are dealing with an Artist time personality, youâ€™ll know it. They look different, dress different, and behave different from others. They also have a cavalier attitude to time which they regard as a constraint and restriction. They thus arrive late or early, ignore rotas, and frequently miss deadlines. But the work they produce is invariably one of a kind and in their eyes makes up for their lax attitude to time. 5. The Analyser The Analyser has a touch of the absent-minded professor about them. They can easily get so wrapped up in their thoughts and ideas or in conversation with others that they can forget the routine details of daily life - such as preparing a meal, going to bed on time, keeping appointments. But while their outer life may be muddled, their inner world of thoughts is invariably rich and gifted. 6. The Procrastinator The Procrastinator is a person who hesitates to act because he or she is unsure whether they should. It may be because something hasn't been decided, or information isn't yet available or because a higher authority hasn't sanctioned it. Procrastinators are the great doubters, questioners and hesitators. In workplaces, Procrastinators prefer to let others own their time rather than own it themselves. They will therefore drop anything at any time if
asked to, no matter what the cost in piled-up work or stress. 7. The Hurrier The Hurrier is a person who manages to combine a wide range of activities in a short space of time. Everything they do is done at a quick pace: they move quickly, talk quickly, think quickly. They are multi-talented and never say No to any job that comes their way even if they move on to something more interesting before they finish it. They are the human equivalent of the Hare in Aesop’s fable. 8. The Rebel Rebels are life’s fighters. They believe that time is something to be challenged and beaten. They thus like to run late for deadlines, coming to life in the tension this creates and knowing that they will beat it in the end. They push time to the limit. They embody the sentiments of Edna St Vincent Millay who wrote: "My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night. But, ah, my foes and oh, my friends: it gives a lovely light." 9. The Wanderer Wanderers are people who enjoy the freedom to do what they like. In organizational settings, this can cause a problem. They may not be totally committed to the work ethic and may go at their own speed which makes them appear lazy. On the other hand, Wanderers are far more in tune with the pace of the world and may achieve a far higher level of contentment than the rest of us. When you know the kind of Time Traveller you are, you can make adjustments in your plans to iron out the features that don’t serve you well and enhance the ones that do. That’s the secret of successful Time Travel! 100 Time-Saving Tips
"Many people assume that they can probably find many ways to save time. This is an incorrect assumption for it is only when you focus on spending time that you begin to use it effectively." (Merrill Douglas) 1. Attitudes to Time 1. Value your time. 2. Treat time as a resource to be managed. 3. Use a time log to track your time. 4. Assess how much time you have to manage. 5. Negotiate more control over your working time. 6. Decide the best work pattern for yourself. 7. Get control of your tasks. 8. Have the freedom to balance your tasks. 9. Work at an even pace. 10. Plan ahead. 11. Balance the demands on your time. 12. Donâ€™t do more than you need to. 13. Use time to get results not just fulfil duties. 14. Do something productive and enjoyable each day. 15. Check whether you have a tendency to overwork or underwork and adjust your work accordingly. 16. Enjoy your time by doing what you do best. 17. Inject variety into your daily tasks so that you look forward to them. 18. Know your time management tendencies.
2. Routine Tasks 19. Spend up to a quarter of your day on routine tasks. 20. Do routine tasks in the shortest time possible without compromising quality. 21. Don’t rush jobs that can’t be rushed. 22. Develop good time habits so you don’t have to think about routines. 23. Experiment with different methods for doing routine tasks. 24. Use the Shoe-shine principle of doing two routine tasks at the same time. 25. Make the most of shortcuts. 26. Prepare your materials in advance. 27. Tidy up as you go. 28. Automate tedious and repetitive jobs. 29. Identify bottle-necks and eliminate them. 30. Create easy work flows. 31. Use just-in-time systems to minimize clutter. 32. Bunch similar tasks together. 33. Identify the quickest work methods and then train everyone. 34. Know which jobs can be speeded up and which can’t. 35. Have a regular time slot for doing your chores. 36. Put aside time for maintenance tasks. 37. Identify the time robbers that steal your time. 3. Paperwork 38. Question every bit of paper you use. 39. Don’t encourage unnecessary paperwork. 40. Organise your filing systems at regular intervals. 41. Back up your computer records at fixed times. 42. Clear your files out regularly. 43. Keep your desk clear. 44. Handle every piece of paper just once. 45. Eliminate junk mail and spam.
46. Phone rather than write. 47. Don’t photocopy anything unless it is essential. 48. Send replies on the same piece of paper. 49. Keep your communications sweet and short. 4. Project Management 50. Manage your projects with time, cost and quality estimates. 51. Run projects with detailed time plans. 52. Add on 20% to your initial project plan times. 53. Have detailed lists of your project tasks. 54. Create a series of deadlines for your project tasks. 55. Look for weak links in your project and have back-up plans. 56. Streamline low-priority project tasks. 57. Keep on top of what’s going on in your project. 58. Regularly ask “what is the best use of my time right now?”. 59. Track and monitor your project progress. 5. Progress Work 60. Spend up to a quarter of your day on progress work. 61. Be effective (ie achieve results)… 62. …and then efficient (ie do things in an ordered way in the minimum time). 63. Always be working on something that is new and adds value. 64. Have a purpose to your life with a mission and goals. 65. Have a clear vision of your goals. 66. Align your goals with your values. 67. Be certain of achieving all your goals. 68. Write down your goals and your plans. 69. Identify your key result areas. 70. Set SMART goals for short-term tasks. 71. Identify jobs you dislike and delegate them to others. 72. Break down big jobs into smaller chunks. 73. Prioritise your tasks according to their importance. 74. When you’re overwhelmed, write out to-do lists and
prioritise each task. 75. Leave loose ends so you can come back to jobs easily. 76. Use little scraps of unused time for itsy-bitsy jobs. 77. Plan 60% of your day; leave the rest for what comes up. 78. Put big jobs in your diary first, then the little ones. 79. Celebrate reaching your goals. 6. Non-Doing Tasks 80. Spend up to a quarter of your day on non-doing tasks. 81. Take time out to sit and think. 82. Look after your health. 83. Get a sense of the times. 84. Take time to enjoy and appreciate. 85. Use the energy of the moment. 86. Occasionally just do what you want to do. 87. Take breaks at least every 90 minutes. 88. Review your day or week and see how you could improve your time management. 7. Time With Others 89. Spend up to a quarter of your day with others. 90. Always turn up to meetings on time. 91. Be courteous and brisk with others. 92. Only hold meetings that have a clear purpose. 93. Let people know when youâ€™re not free. 94. Minimise unnecessary interruptions. 95. Learn to say No to jobs that arenâ€™t yours. 96. Avoid time-wasters. 97. Control your phone. 98. Screen all incoming calls. 99. Devise a team time policy. 100. Keep a clock on the wall.
"To get all there is out of living, we must employ our time wisely, never being in too much of a hurry to stop and sip life, but never losing our sense of the enormous value of each minute." (Robert Updegraff) Five Essential Time Management Strategies and Techniques To Increase Productivity and Reduce Stress How to personally implement Time Management Strategies and Techniques is an essential skill for not only for life coaches to be able to pass on to their clients, but for any business or professional person. Why? Because lack of time is often one of the key issues to come up with people wanting to set and achieve their personal and business goals. So if you are working with them around goal setting, you can be almost sure time management come up in the conversation. The two are so interwoven. Robyn Pearce is one of the world’s foremost and most engaging experts on time management. In this interview she discuss five her vital time management strategies and techniques: 1. Why traditional “To Do” lists don’t work 2. Personal time management in dealing with overwhelm 3. Mastering the steps of delegation 4. Getting over the 'you've got mail' syndrome and managing email better 5. Claiming your energy back from time stealers My first question to Robyn was: You say traditional "TO DO" lists often don't work. Why is this? Robyn: To do lists ARE actually really important in learning time management. The interesting thing is that most people will make a To Do list and then start with the easiest thing first. That’s not
always the case, but I would say that around 80% of the people I work with would say that they start with the easy things first, the things they can get out of the way quickly and feel a little bit of success with. Start with what’s important The problem with this can be that the bigger and more challenging things which, in fact, will make the long-term difference, tend to linger, so they become a stress source in themselves. People tend to say, “I’ll just get this out of the way so I can concentrate”. But the reality is that this is doing things back to front. "Successful people start with the most important things first" If we do something of significance first thing in the day then we feel more effective in the time management game and are likely to have a higher level of energy. This is because we have the win of achieving one or two of the big things that are really important on our list. And here’s another point on energy, We talk about time management techniques and strategies but the reality is it is energy management. When I say that to people, there is a little quiet moment of reflection as they realize that is really what is going on. Plan for the week Another important time management exercise around To Do lists is weekly planning. On my website as well as lots of free time management tips I have a free report: How To Master Time in 90 Seconds, which I really encourage people to download. In that, I explain what I call my Toolbar of Time which shows there are four significant areas that we need to talk about time management strategies and techniques.
The four things are: 1. What’s our big picture – do we know what is important? What are our goals? If we understand the relationship between goal setting and time management then we are in a better position to push back and say no to the things that are time stealing. 2. Planning and prioritizing: Which of course takes in the To Do lists. 3. Time Management Techniques and Tips: The shortcuts and the quick ways to make things work better and the system improvements we can do. How can we better manager our emails, our phone calls, our meetings, interruptions and so on. I encourage people to become a “walking question mark” around learning time management that is constantly looking for better ways to do things, from our domestic tasks through to our business systems. 4. Sanity Gaps: Which is where we fit in the work/life balance issues and deal with stress and time management. Not enough people plan on a weekly basis. We should use our diary (whatever type we choose, online or paper) as a planning tool to lock in some of the higher value things we need to do as well as appointments. Successful people treat their diary as a planning tool, not just as an appointment reminder. To consolidate these and get into action, I really encourage you take advantage of Robyn’s books, CD’s, and a membership program that gives access to interactive webinar seminars and interviews with no geographic boundaries. Robyn invites you to visit her Getting A Grip on Time website and take charge of your time and your energy. Source: Wendy Buckingham - : http://www.all-about-becoming-alife-coach.com/time-management-strategies-andtechniques.html#ixzz1qnLySlYa
4.22 STRATEGIC PLANNING From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Strategic planning is an organization's process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. Various business analysis techniques can be used in strategic planning, including SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats ), PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological), STEER analysis (Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors), and EPISTEL (Environment, Political, Informatic, Social, Technological, Economic and Legal). Strategic planning is the formal consideration of an organization's future course. All strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions: 1. 2. 3.
"What do we do?" "For whom do we do it?" "How do we excel?"
In business strategic planning, the third question is better phrased "How can we beat or avoid competition?". (Bradford and Duncan, page 1). In many organizations, this is viewed as a process for determining where an organization is going over the next year or more -typically 3 to 5 years, although some extend their vision to 20 years. In order to determine where it is going, the organization needs to know exactly where it stands, then determine where it wants to go and how it will get there. The resulting document is called the "strategic plan."
It is also true that strategic planning may be a tool for effectively plotting the direction of a company; however, strategic planning itself cannot foretell exactly how the market will evolve and what issues will surface in the coming days in order to plan your organizational strategy. Therefore, strategic innovation and tinkering with the 'strategic plan' have to be a cornerstone strategy for an organization to survive the turbulent business climate. Contents • 1 Mission, vision and values • 2 Mission statements and vision statements • 3 Methodologies • 4 Situational analysis • 5 Goals, objectives and targets
MISSION, VISION AND VALUES Mission: Defines the fundamental purpose of an organisation or an enterprise, succinctly describing why it exists and what it does to achieve its Vision. The mission could be either for the long term or the short term. A corporate mission can last for many years, or for the life of the organisation or may change as the organisation develops. It is not an objective with a timeline, but rather the overall goal that is accomplished as organisational goals and objectives are achieved. Vision: Defines the desired or intended future state of an organization or enterprise in terms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction. Vision is a long term view, sometimes describing how the organization would like the world in which it
operates to be. For example a charity working with the poor might have a vision statement which read "A world without poverty" It is sometimes used to set out a 'picture' of the organisation in the future. A vision statement provides inspiration, the basis for all the organisation's planning. It could answer the qiestion: "Where do we want to go?" Values: Beliefs that are shared among the stakeholders of an organization. Values drive an organisation's culture and priorities. Strategy: Strategy narrowly defined, means "the art of the general" (from Greek stratcgos). A combination of the ends (goals) for which the firm is striving and the means (policies)by which it is seeking to get there. Mission statements and vision statements Organizations sometimes summarize goals and objectives into a mission statement and/or a vision statement Others begin with a vision and mission and use them to formulate goals and objectives. While the existence of a shared mission is extremely useful, many strategy specialists question the requirement for a written mission statement. However, there are many models of strategic planning that start with mission statements, so it is useful to examine them here. â€˘
A Mission statement tells you the fundamental purpose of the organization. It defines the customer and the critical processes. It informs you of the desired level of performance.
A Vision statement outlines what the organization wants to be, or how it wants the world in which it operates to be. It
concentrates on the future. It is a source of inspiration. It provides clear decision-making criteria. An advantage of having a statement is that it creates value for those who get exposed to the statement, and those prospects are managers, employees and sometimes even customers. Statements create a sense of direction and opportunity. They both are an essential part of the strategy-making process. Many people mistake vision statement for mission statement, and sometimes one is simply used as a longer term version of the other. The Vision should describe why it is important to achieve the Mission. A Vision statement defines the purpose or broader goal for being in existence or in the business and can remain the same for decades if crafted well. A Mission statement is more specific to what the enterprise can achieve itself. Vision should describe what will be achieved in the wider sphere if the organization and others are successful in achieving their individual missions. A mission statement can resemble a vision statement in a few companies, but that can be a grave mistake. It can confuse people. The mission statement can galvanize the people to achieve defined objectives, even if they are stretch objectives, provided it can be elucidated in SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) terms. A mission statement provides a path to realize the vision in line with its values. These statements have a direct bearing on the bottom line and success of the organization. Which comes first? The mission statement or the vision statement? That depends. If you have a new start up business, new program or plan to re engineer your current services, then the vision will guide the mission statement and the rest of the strategic plan. If you have an established business where the mission is established, then many times, the mission guides the vision statement and the rest of the strategic plan. Either way, you need to know your fundamental
purpose - the mission, your current situation in terms of internal resources and capabilities (strengths and/or weaknesses) and external conditions (opportunities and/or threats), and where you want to go - the vision for the future. It's important that you keep the end or desired result in sight from the start. Features of an effective vision statement include: • • • • • •
Clarity and lack of ambiguity Vivid and clear picture Description of a bright future Memorable and engaging wording Realistic aspirations Alignment with organizational values and culture
To become really effective, an organizational vision statement must (the theory states) become assimilated into the organization's culture. Leaders have the responsibility of communicating the vision regularly, creating narratives that illustrate the vision, acting as role-models by embodying the vision, creating short-term objectives compatible with the vision, and encouraging others to craft their own personal vision compatible with the organization's overall vision. In addition, mission statements need to be subjected to an internal assessment and an external assessment. The internal assessment should focus on how members inside the organization interpret their mission statement. The external assessment — which includes all of the businesses stakeholders — is valuable since it offers a different perspective. These discrepancies between these two assessments can give insight on the organization's mission statement effectiveness. Another approach to defining Vision and Mission is to pose two questions. Firstly, "What aspirations does the organization have
for the world in which it operates and has some influence over?", and following on from this, "What can (and /or does) the organization do or contribute to fulfill those aspirations?". The succinct answer to the first question provides the basis of the Vision Statement. The answer to the second question determines the Mission Statement. MY MISSION Great people are ordinary people with commitment. “Men and women fail in their life, not for lack of ability, or brains, but simply because they have never organized their energies around a central goal.” (Elmer Wheeler.) So, just what is YOUR personal mission? - What is the purpose of your existence? - What gets you out of bed on a cold winter's morning? - What force drives you to action and productivity? It's never too late or too early to do some serious thinking about what it is that drives you and what your personal mission is or should be. In all likelihood, this is the most important thinking you can do, to make a difference in how you take charge of your life! Determine what it is you want in life, and make it CLEAR and SPECIFIC. This is precisely the purpose of your mission statement. Your mission is the reason for your existence. It acts as a beacon— a clear and specific objective that everything else is guided by. When it is known, understood, accepted and communicated, positive things happen and energy and effort are no longer wasted. You will always know when you are headed in the right direction.
The mission-setting process doesn't have to be complicated or longwinded. Here is an easy model to begin with: To use my……………………………………..(skills, talents, etc.) to…………………………………………….……(actions, etc.) so that…………………………………….…….(result). If you can do that in 25 words and commit it to memory and to your heart then you know your mission. Examples of mission statements - To create things of beauty so that others are inspired by and can enjoy them. (An artist) - To create magnificent buildings for social gatherings so that people can celebrate in maximum comfort. (An architect). - To support others in their work so that the team gets the best result. (A manager) There are three important properties your mission statement must possess: • Unique: It must be yours and not belong to anybody else. • Stimulating: It must stir you into action. • Motivating: It must personally inspire you. If this is your first time with a mission statement, don't agonize about your mission statement. Just get something down. If it doesn’t feel right, change it until it does or come back to it later. It's useful to review your Mission Statement every three months, and make those small adjustments that may occur as you grow.
MY VALUES Why set Values? It is important to set long-term goals within the context of your values. If the goals you set are out of alignment from these values, it will make those goals extremely difficult to achieve. For instance, if you value health, but you set a goal to achieve the top salesperson's award and do nothing but work all year on that goal, with no exercise, eating poor foods and getting little sleep, you might end up in hospital instead of receiving that award! So list the values that determine the standards that you set. For example: love, health, truth, happiness, creativity, achievement, knowledge, passion, freedom and contribution. Check with your mission statement and note how these values can help as rudders, steering you on the shortest course to your mission¾the beacon that illuminates your way. Clarifying Values Coachee instructions: For each of the values listed on the left, indicate its level of importance by placing a checkmark in one of the columns to the right. Don’t think too long about each one because your first reactions are often the most accurate. When you’ve completed the survey, identify the five values that are most important to you and write a short definition of what that value means in your life.
Action values: Possible levels of importance: Unimportant, not very important, Important, Critical “I would like to . . . ”
Create ideas Make things Fix things Help people Design systems Perform physical tasks Organize things Create beauty Explore ideas Follow directions
Take responsibility Experience variety Improve society Laugh often Take risks Be in nature Manage people Work in teams Other:
Result values: Possible levels of importance: Unimportant, not very important, Important, Critical â€œI would like to have. . . â€? Achievement Beauty around me Knowledge Pleasure Power Recognition Wealth Adventure Comfort Independence Leisure time Possessions Simplicity
Security Structure/order Stability Wisdom Family harmony Friendship Self-respect Inner harmony Integrity Equality Love Other:
Personal quality values: Possible levels of importance: Unimportant, not very important, Important, Critical
â€œI want to be . . . â€? Generous Fulfilled Healthy Moral Physically attractive Spiritual Ambitious Caring Cooperative Disciplined Positive Needed
Happy Efficient Open-minded Competent Logical Sensitive Creative Fair Environmentally aware Honest Other:
My Top Five Values - What this value means to me 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Source: Christine Bennett, WorkVantage Inc.
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Whether you are considering life coaching as a career or as a serious self coaching process, Dean Amory's Complete Life Coaching and Person...
Published on Sep 8, 2014
Whether you are considering life coaching as a career or as a serious self coaching process, Dean Amory's Complete Life Coaching and Person...