February 24, 2018

Archives for February 2013

So where are they in their learning?

Group of professional peopleIt’s a funny thing…

Socially, it seems to be expected that we behave as if everyone knows what they need to know; that they are not learning anything further; that they are complete.

And yet…

We’re learning all the time: How to deal with new situations, new challenges, and new resources.

So where on their journey of learning is the person you’re dealing with?

Worth setting your expectations, picking your words, and choosing your actions accordingly, rather than by reference to where you’re at.

…at least if you hope for progress, that is.

Being real

Two doctors in discussionFor organisations to learn, people need to tell the truth, and to discuss the “undiscussable.” If they think one thing and say another, how can the collective entity ever understand what’s really going on?

In other words, people need to be “real,” or “congruent” in another language.

Being real and honest can seem dangerous at first, but the reassuring thing is…

The more real you are, the safer it feels to choose to be real, and the more dangerous to be anything else.

Going into their world to make the relationship

Barry Neil KaufmanSometimes dealing with the extremes brings the mainstream into sharp focus…

I’m watching an interview with the creator of a well-known intervention program for children with Autism. As he puts it, such children find “our” world a bewildering place. His philosophy for beginning to help them is clear…

Go into their world to make the relationship. Nothing else will work.

I’m struck by how relevant that is, in every way.

Moreover, to stand any chance of success with the child with special needs, you must take 100% responsibility, because the child isn’t going to take any at all.

Now, with people in general, you might hope the other person would be prepared to come into your world a little, and to take some responsibility.

But if you want certain success with everyone you meet, do as Barry Kaufman says and…

Go into their world to make the relationship.

It’s not about you.

Make it about them.

Your innovation – A small step or a big leap?

Person on a rocky mountain with a large dropOccasionally you learn something truly new and advance the field in some way. It feels like a tiny step to you—one you hardly think worthy of the name.

And yet…

For the rest of us, getting to that new layer you’ve added on top on an existing body of knowledge is a real jump.


Because we need to catch up with the ground-work before we can get to the innovative step.

Be patient with us please, and help us find a way up. Show us where to place our feet.

You can’t stand out by fitting in

Admiral Horatio NelsonTo lead on an issue, you need to get attention somehow, and to do that you need to stand out in some way—no use, therefore, trying to blend in, at least not all the time.

To take a lead you need to accept the possibility of ending up leaving “the tribe”.

Funnily enough…

Your coming to terms with that may be the very thing that causes the tribe to follow. It needs to be a real acceptance though: Feigned won’t do. You truly have to commit.

Courage is compelling.

Do you speak the language of resistance?

Three senior managers“Culture change program”

“Public sector reform”

“Get well program”

We hear these phrases all the time. We might even use them ourselves.

But there’s a problem…

Using language like this, the hearers need to accept that what they were doing yesterday was wrong. Human beings don’t really do that. Instead, we’ll likely stay just the same tomorrow as we are today, in order to prove that we were right yesterday and had no need to change.

Talk about “culture change program” or “public sector reform” or “get well program” and we’re liable to build up resistance to what we hope to achieve. We’re “programming” it.

Best not to put people in the position where they have to accept there’s something wrong before they’ll do something right.

Much better just to talk about the specifics of what you want, without reference to what you don’t want.

That’s if you want to avoid resistance anyway.

It’s all about the egos.