Attitude of Gratitude

attitudeAttitude of Gratitude

During this season we are particularly attuned to the attitude of gratitude toward the people, places and things in our lives. We set aside our thoughts and feelings of what is wrong with our lives and the world for just a moment in time. It allows us to invite a spirit of family and togetherness beyond our normal daily routines.

In my coaching practice I encounter a consistent mindset that focuses on what is not wanted. Folks are dismayed by the events and people in their lives that seem to reflect these undesirable situations on a continual basis.

We often shift this focus, through mindful practice, to that of an attitude of gratitude for those desirable situations that are always present, too.

What does that do for the beneficial evolution of one’s life and/or perspective?

Consider the notions presented by much of the material over the last decade or so regarding the nature of how we attract what we think and feel strongly. Some refer to this as the Law of Attraction, but the concept and philosophy has been around for centuries under different labels. Just take a moment and reflect, if you would, on how your life has been very different when you experience situations that edify your humanity, your good will and those who example that toward and with you and others.

What did you discover?

Your world of personal and professional relationships is full of desirable and undesirable situations, right? If you could determine a ratio of desirable to undesirable situations, what might it be? Are you satisfied with that? Is it possible to change that ration for the better? Do you want to? When?

Imagine the results of changing your perception just slightly. It’s hard to shift your emotions, how you feel, when the situations have emotional triggers that take you out of the sense of continuity or flow, right? Sometimes we have moments of just observing the situation for what it is, completely removed from our personal emotional state and/or view of the reasons for it happening. That is a very powerful position and full of possibility. Possibility of what?, you might ask.

We can grow in compassion and understanding when we are able to disengage our own emotions and our attachment to the outcome of the situation. It is what it is and it will resolve according to the emotions and perceptions of those in it. Does that make sense? We’ve heard about the notion that when you change your view, your perception, the world changes automatically.

Imagine what an attitude of gratitude for the challenges we face can do for changing perspectives. It frees us from the emotional turmoil often associated with undesirable results. It also allows us to refocus on desirable outcomes and work toward them instead. A lack of communication is often the culprit as well.

Too often we engage situations with unspoken and unfulfilled expectations that affect our internal engine, so to speak. Instead of running efficiently we choke and sputter because our supply of fuel is diminished. So it is with communication. We are often hindered by our fear of rejection or resistance, so we remain quiet and then walk away feeling emotionally damaged. How does that help?

One simple thing can make all the difference in the world. It may feel scary at worst, but at least uncomfortable, yet we simply must open our mouths and say what is on our mind and/or heart. It might stir others and cause a disruption in the perceived flow of the situation, but the result will take the outcome to a new height in relation-ship building. In effect, you’ve just created another level of transparency.

What happens when people know more about each other and the situation at hand? Can they deal with it more effectively? Does it offer opportunity for achievement beyond the previous constraints? I would venture to say that, in nearly all situations, there is a sense of gratitude that things were spoken that everyone was feeling but no one was willing to offer for discussion.

So, in conclusion I would like to offer and even suggest that when you feel tension in a situation rather than allow it to continue, you might engage an attitude of gratitude for the opportunity to help make things better for everyone. Beyond the resistance or turmoil it may create, temporarily, you’ll garner a deeper respect for yourself and from others. Remember.. Your attitude determines your altitude.

Thanks for letting me in today. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The Process of Critical Self-Reflection

8-aspectsSelf-Reflection

The process of critical reflection of assumptions empowers one and many to view influencing details that determines the ability to find consensus and harmony in any situation. Harmony does not mean the absence of conflict, merely the creative buy cialis 20mg use of it to resolve issues that inhibit cooperative and collaborative relationships in professional and personal environments.

The article presents perspectives of human patterns and the avenues available to establish collective understandings of beliefs, intentions, values and feelings to facilitate a ‘common’ reality that is workable for everyone. Critical reflection of assumptions is used to enter into a discourse to assess alternative beliefs, predicated on universal principles. CRA is used in Transformational Theory, Assimilative Learning, Objective Reframing, and Subjective Reframing for adult learning.

Transformational Theory

Transformational Theory (Mezirow, 1991,1995, 1996), which uses reflection, maintains human learning is promoted in communication through assessing intentions, values, moral issues, and feelings which requiring the use of critical reflection of assumptions. Transformational Theory holds that CRA is not a panacea or provides some transcendent experience to resolve conflict. Rather, it presents the process as a ‘best practice’ compared to other options that have been used in the workplace.

Assimilative Learning

Assimilative Learning, as used by psychoanalysts, pertains to adjustment or accommodation to a difficult situation by accepting it as conforming to one’s desire. This process moves one to act according to regulative principles, a way of thinking or behaving deemed more functional or acceptable. This seems to characterize the way adults learn to adapt to change, using tacit judgment to move forward to constructive results.

Objective Reframing

Objective Reframing examines established definitions, theories, and practices to better understand the paradigms influencing decision-making. Using critical reflection of a premise and defining a problem can lead to transformative redefinition and ‘problem posing.’ The objective of this process, in the all its facets, is to improve performance.

Subjective Reframing

Subjective Reframing examines psychological or cultural assumptions to reveal conceptual and psychological limitations.

In all of the above situations, critical reflection of assumptions is used in discursive groups to assess and manage flow of communication relative to outcomes desired within those same discursive groups that are commonly found within the workplace environment. The task for a manager is to creatively translate the use of critical reflection of assumptions and discourse to effectively facilitate conflict resolution in the workplace.

Questions:

What are the tools available for creating an atmosphere where critical reflection of assumptions can be used effectively? How can one facilitate the use of such tools in environments where human communications are predicated on form, fit and function of critical path assessments?

Potential Answers:

Human resource development programs using a combination of psychoanalytic assessment tools and facilitation training for employees are one possibility. Cultural diversity and sensitivity training for managers is another, as they can then affect communication in their respective departments. Team building or collaborative alliance training outside of the company’s environment is yet another possibility that offers professional development through reliance on others as well as self.

Critical path assessment, defining the basic fundamentals of production, can be introduced through various scenarios involving critical reflection of assumptions. One such opportunity would involve discovering the logic path used to streamline production processes, eliminating wasted resources and labor costs as a functional goal. Another would use interpersonal skills development to better affect communicating goals and objectives to a diverse population within the workforce.

Personal ethics statement: I will to do good for all, desiring to serve humanity in the highest and best use of my mind/body/spirit complex, in the facilitation of a new world order of harmony among people and planet through the development of a state-of-the-art model community and website that promotes this endeavor.

The Most Common Fear

be successfulWhat do you think is the most common fear in business today? Fear of failure? Fear of success? Fear of dissolution? Fear of the market? Fear of regulations? Fear of whistle blowers? According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, 19 million people have specific phobias, such as crossing bridges or tunnels; 15 million have a social phobia, e.g., public speaking; and 2 million have agoraphobia, when sufferers avoid places where they previously had a panic attack. Those who have one phobia likely have others too. (Forbes-Allison Van Dusen, 12.14.06, 12:01 AM ET)

Now these are common personal fears, but what about how those translate into the business environment? It is this writer’s opinion that the most common fear is ‘losing control.’ Years of project management and organizational observations edify this perception and it shows up most commonly as micro-management or the feeling that you have to ‘do it all.’ The lack of trust in the leadership/management team diminishes their ability to perform. Oftentimes the opportunity to develop a strong management team never appears because of the ‘energy’ of the leader/owner/CEO. How are you ‘controlling’ those around you? Do you carry unspoken and unfulfilled expectations of your cohorts? What are they?

The answers to the latter questions are the first things you need to put on the table. The expectations and questions that evolve from the discussion will literally set you free inside. That may be uncomfortable at first because you’ve never done it before, never allowed yourself to be vulnerable in sharing for fear that you might hurt someone’s feelings maybe. Or you think you might have expectations that are too high. If you never voice them, how can you expect any kind of commitment to them? Can you match them with your own expectations of your personal performance? Oh my…. you might fail. You might make mistakes.

What is interesting is the anxiety-driven decision-making process is obviously not the best practice for management, let alone for the survival of the company. The mental constructs for the organizational development often don’t see the need for making sense common – jobarchy – the job/project is the boss and everyone wins. The ‘anxious’ feeling is often misinterpreted and mismanaged in the ‘flow’ of optimal experience. Quite serendipitously engaged, this same feeling often is the same as the ‘creative spirit’ showing up in consciousness. It actually shows up in the body’s sensations first.

Now, there is a choice when the feeling shows up. Anxiety results in being afraid, angry, ignorant and immobile in the process of making sense common and providing good leadership decisions. The paradox is that same feeling opens the door to change, of doing things more congruent with flow only the experience is lacking validation because of past choices. The challenge to change appears and invites participation. Is the perception of control that important when it stifles the possibilities for growth and escalation of revenue?

People naturally want to do the right thing right when supported in the workplace, whatever the function. Happy people get more done in less time with less supervision and often reduce costs with value engineering choices that better use resources, both human and material. As a leader, you have to be vulnerable. The paradox of being vulnerable is that it allows the inner strengths of your team to emerge. Your business SWOTT has just taken and evo-leap with the new skill set capacity for application you’ve invited to the party.

Let’s look briefly at what others have said about this process. Peter Senge states, “Learning disabilities are tragic in children, but they are fatal in organizations. Because of them, few corporations live even half as long as a person – most die before they reach the age of forty.” The anxiety model keeps you from execution, the most critical part of leadership. Larry Bossidy writes, “Many people regard execution as detail work that’s beneath the dignity of a business leader. That’s wrong. To the contrary, it’s a leader’s most important job.”

NOW is the most important time you can engage as a leader. The desire for control takes you out of the present moment because it does two things that divides your attention. First, you think of past failures and undesirable results. Next, you move into some future view of mixed-messages that craft an equally dismal result if certain things don’t happen. How is that effective management? You’ve got the team, right? So let them go and do what you’ve hired them to do, just make sure they’ve got the resources to execute your plans.

Your strategic planning needs to have the buy-in from all your team, your organization cannot perform well when the plan is nebulous or without specific action items assigned to each component of the plan. Years of facilitating projects, from community events to multi-million dollar product lines, public events and construction projects have demonstrated that clear codes of ethics, mission statements, goals with objectives, issue resolution action procedures and work breakdown structures with a schedule make for smoothing out the bumps in the road to success. Let go of your fears and ask for help from your team.

For entrepreneurs this process is a little different because you need the help of outside resources. The critical needs are addressed in your business plan, a flexible document that is your roadmap to success. If you don’t have one, it’s hard to manage the details and the desire for control is exacerbated because all the details are in your head or loosely detailed in notes or charts around your workspace. Take the time to craft a plan, put your business on the path it deserves so that you can solicit help to achieve your dream. If you need help, that’s where people like me come in to take your full color dream and help you turn it into a black and white system for execution.

If you do have a plan, share it. You’d be surprised how the natural law of attraction can draw the people you need to execute it. There are a growing number of organizations with helpful people that can provide classes and workshops, office space and networking opportunities that can energize your passion and purpose in achieving your dream, too. Check out The Vault in Colorado for a great model.