quarta-feira, 29 de junho de 2011

Negative and Positive thinking, Live life

Another story from the book «The Inner Game of Tennis», by Timothy Gallwey. About positive and negative thinking and live the life (of inner game).

«Three man in a car are driving down a city street early one morning. For the sake of analogy, suppose that each man representes a different kind of tennis player. The man sitting on the right is a positive thinker who believes that his game is great and is full of sel-esteem because his tennis is so superior. He's also a self-admitted playboy who enjoys all the good things of life.

The man sitting in the middle is a negative thinker who is constantly analyzing what is wrong with himself and his game. He is always involved in some kind of self-improvement program.

The third man, who is driving, is in the process of letting go of value judgments altogether. He plays the Inner Game, enjoying things as they are and doing what seems sensible at the moment.
The car pulls up at a stoplight, and crossing the street in front of the car is a beautiful young lady who catches the attention of all three men. Her beauty is particularly apparent because she is wearing no clothes.

The man on the right becomes engrossed in thoughts of how nice it would be to be with this lady under other circumstances. His mind races through past memories and future fantasies of sensual pleasures. As he reminds himself what a great lover he is, he breathes heavily, causing fog to form on the windshiel and slightly dimming the view for the others.

The man sitting in the middle is seeing an example of modern decadence. He's not sure that he should be looking closely at the girl. First miniskirts, he thinks, then topless dancers, then bottomless dancers, and now they're out on the streets in broad daylight! Something must be done to stop all this. He thinks that he should begin by straightening out the palyboy on his right.

The driver is seeing the same girl that the others are observing, but is simply watching what is before his eyes. Since his ego is uninvolved, he sees neither good nor bad, and as a result, a detail comes to his attention which was not noticed by either of his companions: the girl's eyes are shut. He realizes that the lady is sleepwalking, and his response is immediate and uncalculating. He stops the car, steps out and puts his coat over the woman's shoulders. He gently wakes her and explains to her that she must have been sleepwalking and offers to take her home (...)»

So, positive thinking is better than negative one, but seems the best strategy is letting go, without judgements or definitions. The third man sees things as they are and act according them.

terça-feira, 28 de junho de 2011

Our inner game

One of the best books I've ever read, «The Inner Game Of Tennis», by Timothy Gallwey. His master piece was transformed in coaching inspiration for many authors, as sir John Whitmore.
As I finished this book, I realize I can't never forget the existence of a Self 1 and Self 2 that are working hard in my decision system. But what is this?

«(...) The "I" and the "myself" are separate entities or there would be no conversation. (...) One, the "I", seems to give instructions; the other, "myself" seems to perform the action. Then "I" returns with an evaluation of the action. For clarity we call the "teller" Self 1 and the"doer" Self 2.»

So, when we talk to ourselves, critisizing what we've done, what we do is puting Self 1 telling something negative to Self 2. As Timothy has written, the key to better anything lies in improving the relationship between the conscious teller, Self 1, and the unconscious, automatic doer, Self 2.

Anyway, I suggest you to read this masterpiece, it's a small book, around one hundred pages, that will give you hints how to perform better, how to control your emotions, how to deal with your two realities.
Self 2 is a wonderful machine, perfect; Self 1 is our ego, centered in status quo and very critical. The solution of a good performance is a well relationship between the two selves.

It's what Timothy calls of «letting go, slowing the mind, relax, accept the reality and go forward without criticizing».

segunda-feira, 27 de junho de 2011

A história do Focus

W. Timothy Gallwey wrote the book «The Inner Game of Tennis» in 1974 and revealed some discoveries he made about focus and concentration.
«How do you increase your ability to maintain concentration on something for long periods of time? Indian yogis in particular have recognized the power of love in overcoming distraction of mind. Love of the object of concentration makes it possible to focus one's attention without wavering, and eventually to become one with that object.»

There is a story told by holy men in the East which may make this point more memorable. «A seeker after Truth sought out a yoga master and begged him to help him achieve the enlightenment of perfect union with his true self. The Master told him to go into a room and meditate on God for as long as he could. After just two hours the seeker emerged distraught, saying that he could not concentrate, since his mind kept thinking about his much beloved bull he had left at home. The Master then told him to return to the room and meditate on his bull. This time the would-be yougi entered the room and after two days had still not emerged. Finally the Master called for him to come out. From within the seeker replied "I cannot; my horns are too wide to fit through the door". The seeker had reached such a state of concentration that he had lost all sense of separation from his object of concentration.»

And Timothy ends saying this: «As silly as it may sound, one of the most practical ways to increase concentration on the ball in tennis is to learn to love it! Get to know the tennis ball; appreciate its qualities. (...) Concentration is fascination of mind. Not staring hard at something or trying to concentrate, or even thinking hard about something.»

domingo, 26 de junho de 2011

The Max Bazerman's lesson

My friend Paulo José has recently arrived from a couple of months top executive program at Harvard Business School. He is absolutely fascinated by Professor Max Bazerman, an world authority in negotiation, decision making and ethics. By coincidence, I've just reading «Drive», a Dan Pink book, where I've found a great insight of Bazerman.

You can list a set of rules in order to employees understand there is an ethical policy, but if the list is only a checklist, the behavior doesn't arises. Here is the valuable example of professor Bazerman:
«Say you take people who are motivated to behave nicely, then give them a fairly weak set of ethical standards to meet. Now, instead of asking them to "do it because it's the right thing to do", you've essentially given them an alternate set of standards - do this so you can check off all these boxes.
Imagine an organization, for example, that believes in affirmative action - one that wants to make the world a better place by creating a more diverse workforce. By reducing ethics to a checklist, suddenly affirmative action is just a bunch of requirements that the organization must meet to show that it isn't discriminating.
Now the organization isn't focused on affirmatively pursuing diversity but rather on making sure that all the boxes are checked off to show that it did is OK (and so it won't get sued). Before, its workers had an intrinsic motivation to do the right thing, but now they have an extrinsic motivation to make sure that the company doesn't get sued or fined.»

So, don't fool yourself, do not even disguise, be truthful and comply with what you write and really want, if you really want, of course.

quinta-feira, 23 de junho de 2011

What all people want, after all?

Seth Godin told us about what people want after all, in one of his blog posts. And this is valid «to customers, friends, network users, neighbors, classmates, servers, administrators, employees, maybe brands»

Like me - Touch me - Do what I say - Miss me if I'm gone. And I'll add two more: Protect me - Take care of me.

These are what we all humans looking for in any relationship, no matter it is comercial or personal. Now think on what you can do with this information, to bring value to your life and to others, of course.

domingo, 19 de junho de 2011

O enterro do «Não Consigo»

Chick Moorman conta uma extraordinária história, passada numa escola primária do Michigan, Estados Unidos. Na altura ele era supervisor e formador e um dia viveu esta experiência absolutamente soberba. Ele mesmo a narra:

«Ocupei um lugar no fundo da sala. Todos os alunos estavam absortos numa tarefa, a preencher uma folha com ideias e pensamentos. Uma aluna de 10 anos, mais próxima de mim, estava a encher a sua folha de "não consigos".
"Não consigo chutar a bola de futebol." ; "Não consigo fazer divisões com mais de três números." ; "Não consigo fazer com que a Debbie goste de mim."

Circulei pela sala e notei que todos estavam a escrever o que não conseguiam fazer.
"Não consigo fazer dez flexões." ; "Não consigo comer um biscoito só."

Nesta altura, a actividade despertara a minha curiosidade, e decidi verificar com a professora o que se estava a passar. Percebi que ela também estava ocupada a escrever uma lista de "não consigos".
Frustrado na minha tentativa de compreender porque os alunos estavam a trabalhar com frase negativas, em vez de escrever frases positivas, voltei para o meu lugar e continuei a observar, decidido a não intervir.
Os estudantes escreveram por mais dez minutos. A maioria encheu a sua página.
Alguns até começaram outra.
Depois de algum tempo, os alunos foram instruídos a dobrar as folhas ao meio e a colocá-las numa caixa de sapatos, vazia, que estava sobre a secretária da professora.
Quando todos os alunos haviam colocado as folhas na caixa, Donna, a professora, acrescentou as suas, tampou a caixa, colocou-a debaixo do braço e saiu. Os alunos seguiram-na. E eu segui os alunos.

Logo à frente a professora entrou numa sala e quando saiu trazia uma pá. Depois seguiu para o pátio da escola, conduzindo os alunos até ao canto mais distante do recreio. Ali começaram a cavar. Iam enterrar os seus "não consigo"! Quando a escavação terminou, a caixa de "não consigos" foi depositada no fundo e rapidamente coberta com terra. Trinta e uma crianças de 10 e 11 anos permaneceram de pé, em torno da sepultura recém-cavada. Donna então proferiu louvores:

"Amigos, estamos hoje aqui reunidos para honrar a memória do 'não consigo'.
Enquanto esteve conosco aqui na Terra, ele tocou as vidas de todos nós, de alguns mais do que de outros. O seu nome, infelizmente, foi mencionado em cada instituição pública.
Providenciámos um local para o seu descanso final e uma lápide que contém o seu epitáfio. Ele vive na memória de seus irmãos e irmãs 'eu consigo', 'eu vou' e 'eu vou imediatamente'.
Que 'não consigo' possa descansar em paz e que todos os presentes possam retomar as suas vidas e ir em frente na sua ausência. Amém."

Ao escutar as orações, entendi que aqueles alunos jamais esqueceriam a lição. A actividade era simbólica: uma metáfora da vida. O "não consigo" estava enterrado para sempre. Logo após, a sábia professora encaminhou os alunos de volta à classe e promoveu uma festa. Como parte da celebração, Donna recortou uma grande lápide de papelão e escreveu as palavras "não consigo" no topo, "descanse em paz" no centro, e a data em baixo.

A lápide de papel ficou pendurada na sala de aula de Donna durante o resto do ano.
Nas raras ocasiões em que um aluno se esquecia e dizia "não consigo", Donna simplesmente apontava o cartaz descanse em paz. O aluno então se lembrava que o "não consigo" estava morto e reformulava a frase. Eu não era aluno de Donna. Ela era minha aluna. Ainda assim, naquele dia aprendi uma lição duradoura com ela. Agora, anos depois, sempre que ouço a frase "não consigo", vejo imagens daquele funeral da quarta série. Como os alunos, eu também me lembro de que "não consigo" está morto.

terça-feira, 14 de junho de 2011

How can? Without camaraderie...

At ISCTE showing some conclusions of a work done in Portuguese prison system. Values of camaraderie were very low, what is a issue that have to be fostered. Without sense of camaraderie how can we develop a cooperation culture, a real team?

It was applied a construct of Kets de Vries, INSEAD professor, that measures happiness in organizations. Furthermore, other items were measured, like leadership trust, communication process, training opportunities, family balance, sense of justice, and creativity in workplace.

So, change is needed in this institution. It's not easy, because prison system is a kind of paramilitary organization, with tough rules and procedures, a tight leadership, very conservative environment, bureaucratic.

segunda-feira, 13 de junho de 2011

Change your thoughts = change your character

Changing our thoughts is the first step to change our words, the way we talk. Afterthat, come our actions. And if we are able to change our actions, our behaviors will transform. Then we enter deeper in new habits. So, guess what? The new habits become your character.

You can change your character, yes, by starting changing your thoughts. Start today. Doing things differently is possible but only if you want to.

domingo, 12 de junho de 2011

Coaching lesson at ISCTE, by Alexandra Lemos

Alexandra Lemos, Joseph O'Connor's partner (Mindcoach) in her coaching lesson at ISCTE business school. As you can see, all the furniture was organized in a different way. We moved some desks and armchairs to the background of the class. So, we all had eye contact with Alexandra, and we could do some exercises in the middle of the room. Coaching is not something we can learn with a traditional view.

This videolog was recorded just in the early moments of the lesson. Students were coming from their work day and Alexandra was giving some sugestions about how a coach have to perform. There are a structure that coach has to follow in order to succeed in his approach, she explains to a student that had made an exercise the day before, not so well succeed as he could expected.

quinta-feira, 2 de junho de 2011

The three R of change

Organizational change is nowadays issue. All we know a lot of things are changing. Many things have do change anyway. We know we have to change. We only don't know how to or what to do. I've been at ISCTE talking about changing organizations giving some examples of what can we get from organizational diagnosis. But after that the worst part comes from changing the inside.

In the videolog I finish my lesson with the example of 3 R of change. Reestruturing (become smaller), Reengineering (become better), Reinventing (become different), linking the idea to a tree. First we have the smaller and easiest part of change, cutting just cut some small branches. Then it's time for larger trunks, and finally comes the root, to change values, the tough part.

Joseph O'Connor in the first lesson

Joseph O'Connor, a global authority in coaching, has given the first lesson in a portuguese University. For the first time in Portugal, a public institution has included a module of coaching in a business school program. ISCTE Business School (INDEG) has invited one of the best gurus, and Joseph O'Connor has accepted.
Students have been excited and very motivated. Mindcoach is the organization that gives ICC certificates under supervision of Joseph O'Connor.
I post here a short video of the first lesson, only to mark the event, where Joseph started explaining the business coach wheel. Joseph O'Connor has several written books about Coaching, of course, and Neurolinguistic Programming. Check here some of his books.