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Behavior, change, coaching, community, Decision making, fulfillment, Literacy, Risk, Uncategorized

In the Interest of Civility . . . Try this

What causes tunnel vision?

We encourage people, especially students, to focus on what is important to them, yet we must keep an open mind.

As an instructor of all ages–children and adults–I wonder what causes people to continue in a belief even when evidence appears to refute their point of view.

Here is my opinion of what happens from my observations:

·      No one likes to be corrected or made to be wrong. It puts one on the defensive and creates discomfort, especially if the correction is done in a group.

·      Holding to an idea is like a security blanket; it’s familiar. The idea holds comfort for us. In order to shift an opinion, one has to feel safe. The internal dialogue may go like this, “If I was wrong about that, what else could I be wrong about?” It creates insecurity.

·      A change could create internal conflict, and the person thinks, “I avoid conflict at all costs!” Typically risk averse of non-confrontational styles.

·      One can feel manipulated if s/he changes one’s mind.

·      People who want to control everything may have difficulty with an open mind. Their thoughts my fly away.

·      Wishful or magical thinking enters the idea. Much like children who discover who Santa Claus really is, the wishful thinking aspect can continue the illusion.

·      One’s identity is tied to the belief. An idea or point of view may become vulnerable if information sheds new light on it.

Why is this discussion important?

To make mistakes is essential to learning. However, our American culture doesn’t allow much room for that—we’re off seeking the “right” answer. That’s why our educational system needs refurbishing. More question asking and less answer teaching to the test will open students’ minds.

I recommend the following: rather than combat these styles of thinking, it may be helpful to shift our perception and acknowledge that no one needs to be right; we may just need to be different. This line of thinking only works when danger or threats are removed from the situation. Unfortunately, an immediate turn to violence is all some people have been raised to know. Here is where teaching critical thinking in school is important. Also, real debate is essential to understand evidence and facts.

Encourage students to participate in debates based on documentable research from multiple sources. Encourage discussions at the dinner table or among friends even if you’re uncomfortable. We can all continue to learn. Be sure to lay out ground rules before you begin; for example, no name-calling or swearing.

Find out how they reached their conclusion. You will learn a lot about how the speaker thinks in this process, and that will improve overall communication. We could all benefit from better listeners.

Delivery of the information is also important. We must remove judgment from the topic and come to a logical conclusion based on the research posed. This is difficult and is a learned behavior. Be patient. Good luck, and let’s all communicate to better understand each other. MC

 

business coaching, Training & Staff Development, Uncategorized

How About a Personality Make Over?

Think big thoughts.

Today’s business climate creates multiple opportunities for fresh thinking. This time is useful to              break bad habits and learn new leadership skills, and to advance your team. If you are a                              solopreneur or a small company, use this time to analyze what’s working and what can be                         discarded to free up your talent.

Here are several ideas for you:

•  Use this time to spruce up team meetings. Keep them short and to the point.

•  Everyone gets to shine. Have team members bring in something they have pride in and share it                 with the team.

•.   Discuss ethics and how they affect your work. Knowing ethics actually reduces stress because                    everyone knows what to do and how to react.

•.   Find out what terrifies people. Assist them to seek out solutions to calm these fears. You’ll find a healthier team energy when they see you are              willing to help. Find out if there is a company employee assistance program or a community solution. This level of honesty shows how you care            for your team.

•.    Since the year is closing, do an analysis, post-mortem, on what went well and what we could do better next time. What did we learn?

These are some of the ideas a coach can work with you and your team as an objective guide.

 

Behavior, Hiring, Uncategorized

Calling All Purple Squirrels!

How would you know a purple squirrel if you met one?

Purple squirrel is a term used by employment recruiters to describe a job candidate with precisely the right education, set of experience, and range of qualifications that perfectly fits a job’s requirements. The implication is that over-specification of the requirements makes a perfect candidate as hard to find as a purple squirrel.” Like Goldilocks, the candidate is just right!

STOP! Here’s where your most important decision will occur. More than credentials, the appropriate traits will make or break the success of the candidate. This selection style will set up apart from competitors.

Remember in junior high when everyone fancied themselves non-conformists yet purple hair seemed to be everywhere? We were conforming anyway. A true Purple Squirrel stands apart and is fearless in being independent yet is a team player. They frighten some and may go unappreciated in their stand out position. Yet, if you’re the manager, you’re going to get a fresh look at an existing issue. They’re priceless.

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