Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Kumbaya Effect












Many times in the opening of a “team building” workshop, I like to ask participants what they expect to happen. Many an extroverted workshop prisoner has said something having to do with Kumbaya as in, “I think we’ll be doing Kumbaya!”


Kumbaya is a popular campfire African-American spiritual song from the 1930s. The song is about compassion, spiritual unity and building community. While I’ve yet to hear a group I’ve facilitated sing it, the theme of Kumbaya does exist and many times comes through.


Closely associated with the expectation of Kumbayah is the group hug. I will admit to seeing participants hugging at the end of a workshop, a sign the seeds of community have sprouted. Appropriate human touch does go up. There is evidence that this has a profound positive affect on teams.


In a recent study, Tactile Communication, Cooperation and Performance: An Ethological Study of the NBA, authored by Michael Kraus, Cassey Huang and Dacher Keltner, printed in Emotion, October 2010, pages 745-748, points out evidence that physical touch improves performance!

Abstract:
Tactile communication, or physical touch, promotes cooperation between people, communicates distinct emotions, soothes in times of stress, and is used to make inferences of warmth and trust. Based on this conceptual analysis, we predicted that in group competition, physical touch would predict increases in both individual and group performance. In an ethological study, we coded the touch behavior of players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) during the 2008-2009 regular season. Consistent with hypotheses, early season touch predicted greater performance for individuals as well as teams later in the season. Additional analyses confirmed that touch predicted improved performance even after accounting for player status, preseason expectations, and early season performance. Moreover, coded cooperative behaviors between teammates explained the association between touch and team performance. Discussion focused on the contributions touch makes to cooperative groups and the potential implications for other group settings.

http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~keltner/publications/kraus.huang.keltner.2010.pdf

Touch is an important part of any experiential learning lab where participants are blindfolded like Vision Walk, Blind Man in a Black Room, Trust Walk, Blind Cube and Blind Square. Touch is important in spotting and keeping each other safe in experiential learning labs like Trust Leans, Trust Falls, Wild Woozy, Group Wall and Spider Web. A discussion about touch may come up in the debrief with questions around touch back in the workplace, the organization and in general.


I went back to review the video FISH! FISH! is the popular short film about the Pike Place Fish Market that went from being mediocre fish market to world class using four basic principles. I noticed a lot of touching in the video not just among team members but also with customers. Perhaps touch is the unwritten, unspoken, magical fifth principle of the FISH! Philosophy!


How do you want to be experienced in your touch?


How do others experience your touch?


Touch maybe your untapped strategic initiative!



Sunday, November 28, 2010

To Cruise or Not to Cruise?


Over the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to create and facilitate experiential learning workshops at all kinds of venues including outdoor education centers, retreat sites, spas, resorts, hotels and even at the Cincinnati Zoo and Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds. This past week I added, a cruise ship!


I was surprised when the client asked me to facilitate a 3-day leadership retreat for 15 participants aboard Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas, sailing out of Port Canaveral, FL.



This client had used cruise ships in past with success. The main reasons for this venue was cost and focus. Turns out that when you are out of port and on the sea, cell phone and internet communications are several dollars per minute! The room rate which included meals was very affordable, less than $300 per person for the whole trip.The meeting space was as nice as any I have used complete with all the technological hook-ups and great support from the ship’s staff. You would never know you were on aboard a ship with over 3,000 other people traveling at 20+ knots except for a slight roll when the ship was in rougher water.


On the third day, the ship dropped anchor off shore from Royal Caribbean’s private island, CocoCay, Bahamas. This allowed us to go ashore and take advantage of using the outdoors for a couple experiential learning labs. New scenery allowed for new opportunities to explore.


Participants were truly focused on the work at hand. No eyes dropping to laps to check Blackberrys. As a result, I was able to keep people on task. In the end, I believe the participants got a great value, a great learning experience and had fun. As a facilitator, I walked off board feeling very connected with the participants.

I not only would do this again, I’d recommend it to other clients!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Authentic Fakin' It


A buzzword around the training and education circles is about learning to be authentic. There are books, classes, programs and workshops on authentic leadership, authentic organizations, authentic beauty, authentic learning, authentic voice, authentic happiness, authentic brand to name a few. Authentic has lost its edge. It’s overused. The word may actually raise more questions and suspicion than define. It is also an abstract descriptor begging for more meaning. While the concept is noble, I wonder about the principle challenge to authenticity, fakin’ it. I think we have a whole lot of authentic fakin’ it going on!



I'm such a dubious soul,

And a walk in the garden

Wears me down.

Tangled in the fallen vines,

Pickin' up the punch lines,

I've just been fakin’ it,

Not really makin' it.


from Fakin’ It written by Paul Simon


Learning fakin’ it

Big boys don’t cry...in other words fakin’ it

Father telling his five year old daughter to apologize to the other little girl whom she hit, “and say it like you mean it!”... learn to fakin’ it

You can be anything you want to be...faked out.

There is one piece of pizza left and you say you don’t want it...you're fakin’ it.


Rude fakin’ it

Attending a meeting, sitting in church, sitting in the audience at your child’s school play...looking down at your Blackberry answering email... fakin’ it

Taking credit for other people’s work... fakin’ it


Fakin’ it for survival

You’re a drama queen... fakin’ it

Spending more than you make...fakin’ it...not really makin’ it

Treating the Bible like a software license...scroll down and hit “I AGREE”... fakin’ it

Unyielding, unlistening, determined certainty... I know what I believe, don’t confuse me thus believing everything you think... fakin’ it

Having an open door policy, but never in or is always busy... fakin’ it


Miscellaneous fakin’ it

Leaning against an expensive car that’s not yours... fakin’ it

Facebook ‘likes’...could be fakin’ it

Publicity stunts... fakin’ it

Flirting waitress or waiter... fakin’ it for the tip


Serious, unprincipled fakin’ it

Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina, said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail but went to Argentina to see his mistress... fakin’ it

John Edwards having an affair while appearing to support his wife who is fighting cancer... fakin’ it

A priest, pastor, counselor or other trusted person who preys on victims... fakin’ it


Before you add “authentic” to your resume, bio, introduction, Linkedin, or title of your next program check your fakin’ it factor. We all do some sort of fakin’ it. Fakin’ it is a coping mechanism. What degree are you fakin’ it? Does fakin’ it rule your life? Do you need to authentically work on your fakin’ it ?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love... Community

I went to see Eat, Pray, Love, the movie.

What I took away, was the real "teachers" were not the guru's or medicine men, but the people with whom we are in community with. The Thanksgiving dinner in Italy, the roof-top dialogue with Richard from Texas in India about forgiving yourself, the dialogue in Bali with the woman healer... the common people who share their pain who help us get through our own pain and make discoveries.

I often tell groups in 'team building' workshops, its one thing to move from being a group to a team. It's a peak experience when team moves to community! It's in community where we find the sweet spots in life, where we accept and are accepted for whom we are, where our desires are no more important than anyone else's, where compassion is the norm rather than the exception. Spiritually, community is what God wants us to be and its where God wants to meet us. The Trinity is community and a model for us! Think that theme came through in the movie.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Team Building Facilitation Clips

Team Building is a big, bold, audacious, gooey, abstract term! The Lakota Native Americans created the Medicine Wheel which I believe captures the essence of team building. Add connecting points like trust, communications, respect, conflict resolution, collaboration, problem solving and work/life balance and I believe you get essential dynamics for a group to become a team and better yet, a community. Here are a few clips of experience-based learning initiatives that help people build teams and become nurturing communities!





Carrpe Diem! YouTube Overview at

Facilitating - Telling Your Story...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Team Bully

The Team Bully. Where do they come from? Who let them on the “bus”? Why are they allowed to remain on the “bus?” If they are allowed to stay on the “bus,” what can you do?


Bullying is an on-going pattern of bad behavior such as invalid or unnecessary criticism. The team bully tends to blame others when things go wrong and is equally quick to take credit for success. They like to be in control and love power over others. The team bully gives out loads of criticism, but is very stingy with praise or positive feedback.


“Bullies react aggressively in response to provocation or perceived insults or slights. It is unclear whether their acts of bullying give them pleasure or are just the most effective way they have learned to get what they want from others. Similar to manipulators, however, psychopathic bullies do not feel remorse, guilt or empathy. They lack insight into their own behavior and seem unwilling to unable to moderate it, even when it is to their own advantage. Not being able to understand the harm they do to themselves (let alone their victims), psychopathic bullies are particularly dangerous.” Robert Hare, Psychologist


The team bully has a strong negative impact on the rest of the team including reduced trust, increased fear, increased stress, lower morale, increased self-doubt, increased absence and high turnover. Team members experience poor sleep patterns, digestive problems and depression. Ultimately, team members do not give their best work, don’t share creative ideas, don’t give honest feedback all which leads to lower productivity and a less desirable bottom line.


The team bully needs coaching and perhaps counseling. If the bad behavior of team bully continues, then they need to get off the “bus.” If you are aware of bullying and don’t take action, then you are accepting a share of responsibility for future damage caused by the bully. No team or organization should ever tolerate bad behavior.


Why do organizations tolerate the bully? The reasons are numerous. The bully maybe a significant contributor to the organization’s bottom line and leadership is willing to put up with the bully’s contribution at the expense of others. The bully may intimidate leadership and leadership chooses ignore the problem. Leadership may not want to face the consequences to removing the bully including stepping back to take time to find a suitable replacement.


As a victim of the team bully, it is paramount you take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Make it a regular practice to never take the bully’s behavior toward you personally. Be courageous. Report the bully’s bad behavior to leadership.

Monday, May 31, 2010

To the Graduates of 2010: Failed Leadership

I apologize to you graduates. We have not done a very good job of providing you with good role-models. Perhaps the silver lining in all the failed leadership is the lessons to be learned. As a student of leadership, I’ve come to the conclusion that failed leadership can be attributed to five behaviors: lack of courage, lack of humility, taking oneself too seriously, unwillingness to learn and broken promises.

Lack of Courage


Leadership begins with courage and the willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone. Courage is about standing for something and stepping out to lead when the situation arises. The absence of courage can be traced back to the unexamined life. If the leader is not principled, not clear on his or her values, not sure of his or her purpose, and not focused on the mission, then there is no courage to move out of their comfort zone. Lacking this critical foundation, the courage-less leader may stand for anything and has a hard time saying “no.” What is missing is backbone. What is evident in the place of backbone is self-doubt. The courage-less leader’s behavior is full of excuses or avoidance. At the root of this behavior is fear—the fear of failure, the fear of not being accepted, the fear of being unloved. Followers of this leader lose hope in the future.


Another courage-less behavior is the inability to say, “I was wrong.” Courage is a blend of strength and compassion, muscle and heart. If the leader knows what he or she stands for (as well as for what he or she does not stand for), they recognize wrong and seek to correct it and heal the wound. To avoid admitting wrongs, erodes the trust of followers.


Lack of Humility


Jim Collins, author of the best selling book Good to Great, writes that humility is a common behavior of fifth level leadership, the highest form of leadership found in the leaders of great organizations. When you look at fallen business leaders, fallen political leaders, fallen church leaders, fallen entertainment leaders and fallen sports leaders, they were all a quart low on humility. They lacked the ability to walk-the-talk and see themselves as a part of community or a part of a team. In many cases, they see themselves as better than others on the team. Leaders without humility are selfish and arrogant. They tend to demonstrate hubris. When success comes, they take the credit. When failure comes, finger pointing is a natural response. The recent senate hearings on the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrate finger-pointing at its worst.


At the root of this poor behavior is a lack of spirituality. There is a proverb, “You can count the seeds in the apple, but only God can count the trees in the seed.” A leader without humility either believes he or she can count the trees in the seed or dismisses the truth as irrelevant. They also lack a sense of wonder or appreciation for the unseen, the sacred or the unexamined.


Take Themselves Too Seriously


The leader who takes himself or herself too seriously lacks a sense of humor and always has the need to be right. While they do not see themselves as lonely, their behavior tends to isolate them from others. If you have a discussion or an argument with the too-serious leader, he or she will always have the last word. While he or she may seem to win arguments, they lose followers as well as friends. The too-serious leader demonstrates insecurity, workaholism and micromanagement. They lead an unbalanced life. The idea of creating a ‘fun-workplace’ is seen as an oxymoron.


Unwilling to Learn


“What’s dangerous about the world today is not belief in God or unbelief, but ruthless certainty.” Lisa Miller, author of In Search of Heaven.


In the May 2010 issue of Vanity Fair, General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, is portrayed as a different kind of military leader. His approach to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan has focused on “cultural awareness, people-friendly tactics and a broader range of tools. Petraeus believes the pre-9/11 soldier has been taught what to think. He wants the post-9/11 soldier taught how to think.” Consider the differences and ramifications of what versus how. “What” is rote, unchallenged, static, controlled, by-the-book and rigid. “How” is about possibilities and critical thinking, which is dynamic, flexible and freeing.


Here is the lesson all leaders need to not only learn, but embrace. Dr E. Gordon Gee, president of The Ohio State University, says education is no longer K-12 or K-college, but K-life. Gee says we need to embrace the greatest tradition in human existence—change. Learning is at the heart of change. To be unwilling to learn and to let an ideology, a party, a belief-system, or a tradition speak for you is wall-building rather than bridge-building for one’s growth. You not only hurt yourself, you hurt the community and create a toxic culture.


The signs of a toxic culture include poor morale, continuous conflict, sarcasm and cynicism, divisions and silos, triangulation and a lack of civility. The leader who fails to continuously check the nature of the work culture and seek to maximize its ability to nurture a learning environment, will end up leading no one.


Unkept Promises


The great desire of every human being is to be accepted, to belong, to be thought well of and to be of value. In the need to be accepted, avoid conflict and keep people happy, leaders make promises they cannot keep. Consider the promise of 1988 presidential candidate George H. Bush, “Read my lips. No new taxes.” When a promise can’t be delivered, trust is lost, integrity is tarnished and character is suspect.


The leader needs to think clearly, push his or her ‘pause button’ and carefully think about what can and cannot be promised. A promise is a choice. Choose wisely. At the heart of making a promise is need for truth and careful consideration begun by a “what if...”


In Rushworth Kidder’s thought provoking 1995 book, How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living, Kidder writes that the tough decision should be challenged by trust versus loyalty, individual versus community, short term versus long term and justice versus mercy. Consider Kidder’s process not only for making tough decisions but especially concerning promises.


Love


The solution to preventing or overcoming failed leadership is love!


“The secret to success is to stay in love. Staying in love gives you the fire to ignite other people, to see inside other people, to have a greater desire to get things done. A person who is not in love doesn’t really feel the kind of excitement that helps them get ahead and lead others. I don’t know any other fire, any other thing in life that is more exhilarating and is more positive a feeling than love is” U.S. Army General John H. Stanford, The Leadership Challenge, Third Edition page 399.


So begin by loving yourself just as you are. We are all a work in progress, never to be complete! When you can love yourself just as you are, others find you a pleasure to be around and follow when you lead.


What is cherished by followers: excellence, respect, joy, innovation, integrity, teamwork and social capital—a sense of connectiveness and belonging.


Leonard Berry and Ken Seltman’s, Management Principles of the Mayo Clinic reveals the secrets of success for this highly respected healthcare organization. What has made the Mayo an incredible, enduring success for the past 140 years boils down to living and being the Golden Rule, which requires humility, respect, compassion and love. Furthermore, the Golden Rule builds trust and eliminates greed. It is the core foundation of good leadership. The Golden Rule is love.


Go live and be the Golden Rule. See how it makes a difference in your life and the people you interact with. See how it might save you from failed leadership.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Games People Play






















In a recent TED presentation, Jane McGonigal, a ten-year online game design veteran who works for the Institute for the Future, said “gaming can make a better world.” (See http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html)

McGonigal shares the positive effects of online gaming and challenges the audience to wonder how these effects might be transferred to helping to solve real world problems. She believes online gaming design might be used to solve such real world problems as hunger, poverty, climate-change, global conflict and obesity. Her presentation is thought-provoking and the comments range from the negative to the positive. It is not my intent to defend or criticize her, but to point out some parallels of online gaming with experience-based learning.


McGonigal points out key behaviors associated with online gaming including a sense of urgency, intense concentration and focus on a difficult problem. When done correctly, experience-based learning initiatives also produce these kinds of behaviors. In addition, positive emotions like compassion, confidence, enthusiasm, joy, playfulness, and satisfaction may be produced. Negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, disappointment, fear, impatience, panic and stress may also be revealed.


McGonigal describes four positive outcomes of online gaming. First is urgent optimism. She sees extreme optimism and hope for success in gamers in this outcome. Second is the social fabric created including the building of trust, playing by the same rules and having the same values. Trust is the lynch pin in building any relationship in any situation. Blissful productivity is a noted third outcome. McGonigal points out gamers receive continuous feedback on their work leading to happier hard work. Finally, online gamers find epic meaning in their play. The inspiring mission becomes motivation to want to be a part of something meaningful. Successful organizations with nurturing work cultures have a vision that is awe inspiring and an expectation to live into and for.


All four of these outcomes McGonigal shares in her presentation can be found in good experience-based learning done with a group of people. In addition, participants are challenged to discover more about themselves and others as they collaborate together, face-to-face. They get to see body language. They get to hear tone of voice. In order to understand, they get to ask questions of themselves and others. Unlike online gaming, experience-based learners get to transfer their learning back into the real world. They can keep commitments to positive behavior change through one-on-one support meetings as well as continued small group interactions.


I am reminded of a comment from a past workshop participant who wrote,


“Many of us in this workshop hadn’t been invited to “play” for years, even decades! But play we did as we spent hours together under clear blue skies at Camp Joy! And that playtime resulted in new friendships, heightened trust levels and significant respect for anyone willing to climb a telephone pole, put on a blindfold or scale a wall!”


I say, let the games begin and don’t stop playing and learning about yourself and others and think about the difference we can make through ‘play’.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Matters?

After 15 years, scientists in Geneva are firing up the Large Hadron Collider, a seventeen-mile looped tunnel. The objective is to smash particles traveling in opposite directions to understand matter, energy and Einstein’s theory of relativity. If scientists can create the collision, the results may be ground breaking. It’s interesting that only 4% of matter is visible! It’s also interesting that the collider could create black holes, small ones that would last only the briefest of time.


Parallel this scientific event with what has been going on in our own country. What matters? Does civility matter? Does compassion matter? Does critical thinking matter? Does the Golden Rule matter? Have we created some ‘black holes’ of ugliness? Do we really see more than 4% of the issue?


Outward expression shows inner experience. Adam McLean


No matter where you stand on the healthcare debate or where others stand, it does matter how we behave toward one another. It does matter that we listen and, more importantly, seek to understand before being understood. Our personal self worth is not enhanced by reducing the worth of others who differ with us. Anger cannot cure anger. Those who live by cynicism, insult, threat or epithet are in pain and heap their pain on others.


We often dislike a person not for what he or she is but for what we are. Anon


We seem to be smashing a lot more than just particles these days. Windows of people who have difference of opinion or idea are being smashed. Karl Rove was heckled and called a “war criminal” at a recent book signing. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri was spit upon by a protester for his healthcare support. Where is our civil etiquette?


Etiquette is a little better than what is absolutely necessary. Will Cuppy


Ambassador Andrew Young spoke recently at Anderson Auditorium, Montreat, NC. He pointed out that the healthcare bill is not perfect. The Civil Rights Act that President Lyndon Johnson signed in July 1964 was not perfect either. Young said it was a starting place. Civil rights has come a long way and by some measure still has a way to go. Perhaps it is the same with the healthcare bill. The only way it can evolve into a better bill is by all of us staying in conversation and not speaking hateful words or throwing bricks or spitting on people we don’t agree with. This is what matters. I may not agree with you, but I will defend your right to speak. That is what matters.


The world is looking for good examples - not advice. Anon.


The diversity of this country is a foundation for our success, now and into the future. None of us has a monopoly on the truth. None of us has all the right answers or solutions. The willingness to work side-by-side is what matters.


Stop the fear by overcoming your ignorance. Go learn and get new perspectives.


Your community will be a delightful community, if you are a delightful person of the community. Anon


Seek out people who have opposing viewpoints. Practice respect, active listening, patience and control of your emotions. Ask them to share. Just listen and then say, “Tell me more!” Try to step into their shoes and see the issue from their point of view. Suspend judgment. When you start to feel tense, take a deep breath and push back. Remain attentive. Pause. Ask them if you may share your point of view and your story. That matters.


If someone posts a belief, idea, or action on Facebook that you do not agree with, have a dialogue rather than an argument. Try to suspend your own point of view to get another perspective. Ask questions rather than add insult. Build a bridge rather than a wall of defense. Again, practice respect. Ask yourself if your point of view is preventing you from seeing the bigger, whole picture. Relationships matter.


Sometimes seek out news and information sources other than the ones you normally tune into. If you view FOX, turn on CNN. If you view CNN, turn on FOX. If you read the NY Times, read the Washington Times and vice versa. This, too, matters.


Finally, Ben Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, suggests practicing Rule #6: Don’t take yourself so seriously! This rule really matters!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Experience-based Facilitation: A brief look under the hood

The facilitator


A few reminders...

  • Talk less, ask simple intelligent thought-provoking questions, listen, REPEAT
  • Remember, its not about the facilitator, its about the participants
  • Worry less about agenda and more about flow and enhancing the fun factor
  • Don’t: take yourself too seriously or have an “attitude”
  • Seek to reach the heart rather than the mind by avoiding “death by PowerPoint” instead, learn to be a good story teller
  • Speak well and confidently which improves credibility and believability
  • Make eye contact which increases trust
  • Dress better than the participants giving a visual of leadership
  • Admit when you are wrong or do not know.

A good facilitator is much like a good sports referee. If he/she is doing a good job, the group learns to self-facilitate, plays by the agreed upon rules and relies less on the facilitator.


Workshop design


Design the workshop with simple, heirloom and neo learning opportunities based upon what was learned from assessment and interviews. Remember, its the participant’s agenda, not the facilitator’s.


Prime the pump! Allow participants to begin the workshop in his/her “comfort zone...dress, comfort food, music all become the welcoming entrance to changing behaviors and learning.


Minimize distractions not only in choosing the location and surroundings but make sure ALL turn off cell phones and electronic devices! Use a check list to make sure you have everything you need as well as in good working order. Use the cabinet maker’s mantra, "measure twice, cut once!”


Trust


Always be looking for opportunities to build trust:

  • in oneself
  • in and with others
  • in the vision of the workshop including its desired outcomes
  • in the content and processes
All of these trust issues are foundational and paramount.


Practice repetition


Design the workshop recognizing the primacy effect and recency effect. In the beginning of the workshop, participants’ energy level is high, listening is more attentive and they tend to remember the first few things. The recency effect says we tend to remember more of what’s at the end of a workshop. Repetition can reinforce as well as make the message(s) more believable. While research has found that people tend to eventually believe things they’ve been told many times, experiencing things creates deep belief!


Choose wisely!


Choose your experience-based learning initiatives wisely and thoughtfully! If your experience-base learning initiatives are strong and convincing, participants will connect the dots, discover personal meaning and make behavior changes. If the initiatives are weak or not convincing enough, there’s little hope of discovery or change. At the core of good facilitation, make the components of the workshop personally meaningful to them. This boosts the participants chance of remembering the learning opportunities. Always end the workshop with a challenge to the participants to reflect on what will be taken away, what one thing they would like to change, define the possible roadblocks, identify support and set a timeline for change.


The willing, the vacationers, the prisoners


Every workshop is made up of the willing, the vacationers (who enjoy a day away from the office and still get paid) and the prisoners (who see this workshop as a waste and adding stress to mounting work back at the office). The prisoners have major phantom rules, blinders and fun house mirrors at work in their minds. The facilitator's goal should be to move the prisoners to become vacationers!


Social Loafing


The bigger the group, the greater chance of social loafing. Social loafing is when participants check out of an initiative and let the more engaged do the “lifting.” It can be a sign that participants are not committed and accountable. It can also be a sign that the facilitator chose the wrong initiative for the group size. No matter, if social loafing occurs, it can be a great debrief topic. Challenge the group how all team members can be inspired to avoid or prevent social loafing and increase productivity.


Continuously Ask


Finally, the facilitator needs to ask, “How am I doing?” Seek feedback from participants and from fellow facilitators. When critiqued, say, “Tell me more!” Don’t become defensive.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Reaching Out, Letting Go in 2010

What are you looking to reach out for in 2010?

What are you looking to let go of in 2010?

“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 MSG


A good friend of mine, Steve McCullough (See http://stuffedwithfluff-ohbother.blogspot.com/) says he tries to do three things everyday - Think, Laugh and Cry! Interesting how these three word initials, TLC, are also the initials for Tender Loving Care. Steve might be onto something. A little TLC for one’s personal well being may prove to be as beneficial as regular exercise, eating right and getting enough sleep! Might prove to be good New Year’s Resolution. Simple. Easy to accomplish. It is also in keeping with Henry Moore’s quote:


I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's.


Personally, I like to use Covey’s 7th Habit, Sharpening the Saw, for my daily resolutions - Spiritual, Emotional, Physical and Mental


Spiritual

  • Continue to seek the "Light" with daily meditation first thing in the morning. I've been breaking my conversation with God into gratitude, forgiveness, others, discovery, grace and action. I find when I do this, my day seems to be richer, easier to deal with problems, less chance of feeling alone and generates a sense of peace.
  • It’s here where I seek to prevent creating ugly stories. Ugly stories - the stories of judgment, the stories built upon fear rather than love, the stories that focus on the negative rather than the positive.

Emotional

  • Write one hand written note a day to someone and send via snail mail. The older I get, the more I value relationships. I want people who touch my life to know that I think of them, recall a common 'AHA' moment and send best wishes.
  • Seek to shine the light into the dark places. We all have dark places in our lives, the challenge is to seek the Light and share it with others to help them get out of the dark places.
  • Seek to smile and laugh more and help others to smile and laugh more. After all, that little voice in the head wants to always be serious and worried about what others think.
  • Talk less, ask better questions and listen more!
  • Play more games with friends and family

Physical

  • Continue to get 4 to 5 30 to 40 minute workouts a week. Much like daily meditation, I find a good, intense workout of at least 30 minutes is like drinking a good glass of wine! Again, it helps me deal with the daily challenges.
  • Continue to eat right and drink more water.

Mental

  • Read books of all kinds. Reading reduces ignorance and fights the fear factor. As I’ve written before, I believe fear is the opposite of love. Fear separates.
  • Seek more opportunity to live in my passion - helping people to "play" better together. In the past, I’ve facilitated over 70 workshops per year. Last year took a hit with all the transition in my life as well as the economy. I seek to get back on track!

So it’s back to Think, Learn and Cry, TLC. To jump start you to your own TLC... Check out


Think... http://blog.ted.com/2009/03/aimee_mullins_12.php


Laugh... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnOxvbGOTbM


Cry... www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=9xwCG0Ey2Mg