Positive Discipline workshop

Photo Reportage of a SoSooper Workshop with INSEAD Alumni

Do you face challenging behaviors or difficult people in your life?

“All the world is queer (odd) save thee and me,
and even thou art a little queer (weird).” – Robert Owen

Relationships are tough and take work. 

It’s true for everyone…whether you have an MBA from INSEAD or graduated from the school of Street Smart or are too young for studies.  Little issues escalate into big annoyances.

  • Your manager “bosses” around, imposing demands without seeking your input
  • Your colleagues are on the phone during your presentations
  • Your partner treats you like a child, “Don’t forget to______”
  • Your child repeatedly misbehaves…. again!!

There are two ways to handle such situations.

Either one party wins and the other loses (Win-Lose “negotiations”)….

Or no-one loses, and everyone gains. (Win-Win results)

It’s sooooo much easier said than done.  That’s why I lead workshops to transmit skills to transform challenges into opportunities for growth for everyone.

Science-Based Relationship Tools

How does one travel from challenges to opportunities?  With relationship tools.  You and I tend to use the same tools over and again.

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” – Abraham Maslow

The SoSooper workshops teach an array of relationship-building tools which build mutual respect, a sense of belonging, and the desire to positively contribute to the group.

These science-based tools are based on the work of Dr. Alfred Adler (author of Individual Psychology), Dr. Jane Nelsen (PhD in Education) and psychologist Lynn Lott.  Nelsen and Lott designed the Positive Discipline approach of learning activities which engage the mind, body, and emotions

Photo Reportage of our Interactive Learning Workshop

These INSEAD alumni participated in the conference, Introduction to Positive Discipline for Parents.  I lead numerous workshops for very different audiences, especially for groups of professionals.  With a team of other trainers, we adapt the strong relationship principles to the organizational context.

Discover Also: SoSooper Workshops & Conferences for Teams at Work

Enjoy this glimpse of our event!

Welcome & Context

When speaking with parents who are also professionals, I introduce parenting as leadership development.  We aim to bring up children who will sooner than later be someone’s colleagues.   We also deeply desire that our kids be leaders of their life, that they have the skills and capabilities to thrive.

Notice on the photos how the group is fully attentive.  No phones in sight!

INSEAD alumni at Positive Discipline conference

Inviting Contribution

As humans, we each have the fundamental needs to belong and to contribute.  I put this into practice as of the start, inviting the group to contribute with chores to make our evening conference flow smoothly.  We made a list of Jobs (scribe, clean up, photographer…).  Once the list completed, I invited folk to volunteer for a task.

Silence!

One of the principles of Adlerian Psychology and Positive Discipline is to be FIRM and KIND simultaneously.  The group presented me with the opportunity to model that behavior.

Smile.  “These Jobs still apply and we still need volunteers for each.  Who would like to choose what?” Wait expectantly.

One by one, people stepped up to contribute.  Thanks to each of you.

Oftentimes when a leader assigns a job to someone else, there remains a follow-up period.  It’s like selling the need to do the work. This happens in the office as well as in the home.  Since people volunteered, there was no more need for a convince-to-do-the-job effort.

Engaging group at SoSooper workshop

Set the GPS

Next, as a group, we created two lists.  In our case, we focused on behaviors related to our children.  In a professional context we would focus on behaviors and goals for our team culture:

  • Challenging behaviors of our children
  • Talents & Life Skills we want them to develop

No need to prompt with these.  Suggestions flow, and fast.  Difficult behaviors include perpetual negotiation, defiance, rivalry…  Capabilities to develop include self-esteem, autonomy, desire for excellence, sense of humor….

These lists represent our GPS.  The challenges represent our starting position, today’s situation.  These issues create the invitation to act differently so that, instead of reacting to misbehavior, we proactively train in appropriate conduct and demeanor.

Setting GPS at Positive Discipline workshop

Discovering a Tool

Much of the learning is done by allowing participants to discover the perspective of the other party, in this case, of their child.

Each of the fifty relationship tools presented in my full training programs is presented through a unique interactive exercise which, like this one, engages the whole person.  Instead of theory, participants discover the learning principles for themselves.  “Aha!”

Act 1

In this activity, ten folk played the role of parents and one father played the role of a child.  The “parents” gave the “child” instructions.

“Put your shoes on.” “Brush your teeth.” “Put the phone down.” “Stop fighting with your brother.”…

I love to see how parents enjoy these scenarios.

After this first passage, we debrief the “child” and discover that these instructions encouraged him towards the CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS, like defiance and resistance!

INSEAD alumni at Positive Discipline workshop

Act 2

We embark on a second passage.  This time “parents” present their request through a Firm and Kind question“Do you want to put your blue or your red shoes?” “What do you need to do so your teeth don’t feel scuzzy?!” “What is our agreement on phone usage?” “How could you work this out with your brother?” 

In debriefing, the “child” says he feels responsible and respected.  He is invited to think.  And he chooses to consider each question and probably act on it.  In looking at the two lists, this time he identifies with the talents and skills.  He’s learning decision-making, autonomie, and that he is capable.  His confidence grows.

Denise Dampierre and INSEAD alumni

Through playing the scenario and discussion, participants arrrive at the conclusions themselves:  giving people instructions generates resistance.  Asking questions invites cooperation.

Giving people instructions generates resistance.
Asking questions invites cooperation.

Tools Galore

This Introduction to Positive Discipline provides a taster of the numerous aids to build relationships that respect BOTH the framework-need of the parents and the connection-needs of the children, and to leaders and team-members for professional settings.

These relationship tools work in multiple contexts.

Discover: SoSooper Workshops & Conferences for Teams at Work

Contact me to find out more and to plan a taster event for your network.

Serenity of lighthouse

Serenity to Accept Things I Cannot Change

Google announces 6,2 Million results to my search for “Serenity Prayer.”

Many team-help groups gain inspiration from this prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

These lines hold “serenity” as the namesake, and yet who focuses on accepting the things they cannot change?!

Courage to Change Things

How exciting and ego-boosting to be a valiant savior!

To show courage and, with chivalry, to forge ahead into the unknow with sword drawn.  We can almost hear the cheerleaders encouraging us on: “A.C.T…I.O.N….Action, Action, We want Action!”  

Wisdom to Choose

The wizened elder expounding sound advice conjures up a positive image too.

The sage gathers a following of disciples.

The wise person holds authority.

The counselor is sought out.

A mentor’s insights lead to action.

Decision-making is prized by people from all walks of life

  • CEO’s organize “strategy sessions” around critical company decisions
  • Poets pen about our choice of life path…which makes all the difference
  • Child educators and neuroscientists refer to developing social and emotional skills by triggering areas of the brain related to decision-making

Making choices also brings a semblance of control, a feeling especially prized when we feel out of control!

Serenity to Do Nothing!!!

Isn’t doing nothing…bad?!

Non-action runs against our sense of control.  When we make a move, we feel power.  When we wait, we depend upon others.

Inaction is vulnerability.  Big time.

Serenity: When “Doing Nothing” is Good

To Accept Matters Beyond our Control

Some battles we cannot win; matters are beyond our control.

As I write, the French railroad employees are striking.  No personal effort on my part will get my scheduled train on the tracks.  Serenity helps me stop waste time moaning and groaning.   Then wisdom and courage get me on my smart phone to reserve a spot on a car-pool app.

Challenges happen.  We don’t choose war, persecution, cancer, corporate takeovers, our noisy next-door neighbors or ageing.

We do choose how we encounter hurdles:  either as victims or as survivors.  Serenity helps transform anger, hurt, and frustration into resilience, creativity, and hope.

Serenity helps us step back to identify whether we have a chance to win the challenge-of-the-moment.

To Take a Step Back

Sometimes our trouble results from a choice we took; our chosen path did not lead to the desired destination.

If we climb the winding trail at the base of Machu Pichu, we will not find a Yurt.  In the same way, no matter how far we travel the plains of Mongolia, we won’t find Inca treasures.

It sounds obvious…and yet how many of us slurp ice cream or sip wine and simultaneously lament being out of shape?

Or let steam out on a colleague and expect them to be motivated at work.

Or nag at our children and anticipate they will turn to us as trustworthy, secure, and patient counselors.

Sometimes the best action is to STOP. That’s what serenity helps us do…and to look around and find an alternative route to reach our goal.

How to Build Serenity

Serenity in the Brain

Our ability to observe a situation with calm and clarity relies on brain chemistry.

Have you noticed how your thoughts get fuzzy under emotional excitation, whether anger or extreme frustration or deep grief?

Our human brains physically disconnect.  The prefrontal cortex (which enables you and I to make logical connections, develop plans, understand emotional cues….) lifts and exposes the mid-brain which is responsible for our gut reactions of fight, flight, or freeze.  Dr. Daniel Siegel, neuroscientist at Stanford, explains it in this two-minute video.

Serenity in the Mind

Sometimes it just takes seconds (literally) to help calm the brain and to reason clearly again.

1. My favorite way is through laughter

… and sometimes I fake it until I make it. Other times, I imagine the S.H.I.T. hitting the fan…literally.  Stench.  Aggggh, the clean up!

The dread of this outcome makes me laugh.  AND STOP.

2. Gratitude also invites serenity.

Early in my career I interned with a clothing manufacturer to do market research and help the company owner prepare a five-year growth plan. The team consisted of seasoned men who had worked their way up in the garment district.  They considered me book smart and street stupid and wanted to prove me wrong.  I presented what I thought was the final report…and then discovered mistakes in the Excel calculations!  No opportunity to reverse time or to delete the shared files from these colleagues’ computers.

Gratitude helped me find serenity which then allowed me to act with intelligence.

  • Thankful to have found the mistake as soon as I did and that it did not change the recommendations
  • Thankful I learned to review. Review. REVIEW work early on in my career
  • Thankful to realize that we become super through our bloopers…the inspiration behind SoSooper!

 

Serenity is simple.  Not easy.  The opposite of serenity is worry and brooding.  Now THAT is complicated!!!

In what situations do you need serenity?

What do you do to take a step back and regain perspective?

 

Cover photo by Joshua Hibbert from Unsplash.
Martin Luther King Jr "I Have a Dream"

6 Insights from MLK to Dream Big

Today we commenmorate 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Many remember this inspiring leader in the human rights movement and his speech “I Have A Dream.”

What is your cause? What is your dream? 

Martin Luther King Jr did more than dream.  He transmitted it too…so that others could share it and spread it too.  He began with the folks close to him, and his circle of influence grew and grew…to include me and you!

Let’s start turning our dreams for those closest to us into reality.

1. Dream for the Next Generation & Empower Youth to Dream Too

Learn from this great man to dream big and empower others to have a vision.

It’s OK to dream big even when the situation looks dire

“I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulation. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail … I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream…” MLK Jr

nine dots

You and I can limit ourselves.

We can allow ourselves to hope what is feasible – the Basic-Fix-Dream rather than THE GRAND-VISION.

We do this every day at work and in family.

We hope employees get the job done.  They do…and 70% of them lack engagement in their work.  Could we dare for a passion for contributing to their team and for excitement to grow?

When siblings fight, we hope for “no blood.”  Can we envision them as co-builders of an amazing venture?

You may be familiar with these nine dots.

The exercise consists of passing through each of these dots once with four straight lines.  No more, no less, no curves.

Try it.

The clue?  Get out of the square.  In fact, there is no delimited zone.  The nine dots are in the shape of a square and folks like you and I turn that into boundaries.

Dreaming means setting sights high…

…then following through with an action plan.get out of nine dots

2. Powerful dreams tap into a common heritage, a larger-than-me mission

“It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the hue meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

According to psychologist Dr. Alfred Adler, grandfather of Positive Psychology, a communal vision which benefits your community, be it family, neighborhood, friends, or more taps into our basic human needs of belonging and contribution which he describes as “Gemeinschaftsgefuehl .”

A community goal brings along with it a network of supporters.

It takes a team to reach the stars.  Set a dream that motivates and engages all.

Co-dream. And co-labor (collaborate).

When you converse with your team members or even with your children, how often do you refer to the common goal?  Find ways to include it in every day conversation.

At work:  “Today was a good day!  I helped solve a customer problem and it felt like ’empowering our customers through our technological and service excellence.'”

In family:  “How will we talk so that we show we are a family and that we love each other?”

3. Live the vision

Walk the talk.

Be a dreamer whose actions speak louder than words.

The US constitution declared all men of equal value.  And yet they were not treated as such.

Are you ambitious for your team or your child?  What qualities do you dream for them?

  • Respect of self and of others
  • Love of excellence and effort
  • Wise decision-making
  • Curiosity and tolerance

Let the next generation witness it through your actions.

  • Speak to the young interns and children with respect…even when they act without thinking
  • Stick to your commitments, like when you say, ‘I’ll be there in 5 minutes.”
  • Allow them to live the uncomfortable consequences of their own unwise decisions when the stakes are low. Misplacing a 10 cent coin is less painful than losing €1000.
  • Listen actively to understand their perspective before jumping to conclusions

THAT is dreaming with credibility and conviction.  Our example convinces our youth of the value of our hopes.

4. Dream with valor

Martin Luther King Jr ignites our fire when speaking of brotherhood, transformational peace-making, and character.

A dream worth living for is one worth dying for too. 

Who do you want with you as you end your days here?  What do you want said of you and for them to share with each other?  NOW is the time to plant those seeds.

For me, I want the “F.U.N.” back in funeral.  It’s because I celebrate life today that I hope folk will remember me with a smile GRIN in later years.

5. Clearly define success

“…little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

A clear goal vitalizes both you and your co-dreamers.

Visualizing is a technique many leaders adapt to help them define their objectives.

A friend shared her experience at a career change workshop she attended.  The facilitator invited participants to close their eyes and to think of their ideal (dream) job.

“Now visualize the office in which you are working.”

And they proceeded with another dream session.

“Describe your colleagues.  Their age, what they are wearing, their facial expressions…”

Specifics make the dream more real…and realizable.

6. Seek strength for the LONG (loooooong) haul

“This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with… With this faith we will he able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will he free one day.”

In our quick win world, how can we prepare for valiant dreams that require sacrifice and persistence?

Performance experts assert that it’s not talent that keeps people from reaching their goals; it is lack of consistency which engenders lackadaisical results then discouragement and finally giving up.

In what will you place your faith?  Where will you find your source of strength?

The question is not “if” you will require boosting and encouragement.

The issue is WHEN.

Martin Luther King Jr found his from the God of the Bible.  It did not make him into a perfect person.  It made him united with others AND able to take a stand alone, peaceful AND powerful, patient AND courageous.

WOW.

 

Cook kneeding dough

How Mindfulness Builds Confidence

Whatever the outcome, our confidence grows from taking risks. 

That sounds nice, and it may have benefited people like Elisabeth Moreno, CEO of Lenovo France, who spoke about this in her interview.

But is it true for ME and YOU?  How can I find out…safely?

For Your Action

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin

Many of us take in insights with the “FYI, For Your Information” mindset.

It’s like reading a cooking recipe.  And stopping there.

Moreno invites us to go further.  “For Your Action” and “For You to Transmit.” 

That’s like rolling up your sleeves, getting fingers in the dough, and kneading…and kneading some more.

In a work setting it’s about sharing the passion for excellence, the engagement that comes from connecting with another person, and the pride in a job well done.

This process of learning to transmit is (somewhat) straightforward with hard skills.  Take cooking: Turn the heat to 180° and bake for 30 minutes.  (Although, in France, I discovered recipes which instruct “Cook until done.” Huh?!)

What about with soft skills like risk-taking and confidence-building?  The steps-to-success for getting out of one’s comfort zone vary from individual to individual.

Mindfulness Makes Confidence-Building Easier

That’s why it’s helpful to be mindful of our specific behaviors and attitudes which help us grow.

We pause.

Breathe.

Bring back into our memory a past risk that worked out well.  Revisit it through a benevolent lens.  What worked?  What did I learn?

Then recall a risk that did not turn out as desired.  What did I learn about myself?  About others?

Step back again.

What did I gain from this reflection?

Confidence-Building Worksheet

Try this worksheet to guide you through the process.

Here’s an example of ways I have grown through professional challenges.

Confidence-Building-Worksheet-Pro

Click here to download the pdf.

Confidence-Building in Personal Life

You and I take risks at work and in life.  Here’s an example from my situation as a wife and mother of teens.

Confidence-Building-Worksheet-Personal

Click here to download the pdf.

For Your Action

It’s your turn!

Click here to download a blank worksheet for YOU.

Share this worksheet with a friend, family member, or colleague.  It’s a powerful discussion starter!

Jumping across rocks. Risk taking.

How to take risks with confidence – Insights from Elisabeth Moreno, CEO France of Lenovo

We all need role models, people who have tread the path we hope to travel and who came out alive thriving.

Elisabeth Moreno, CEO Lenovo FranceElisabeth Moreno, CEO of Lenovo France is such a person.  Lenovo is a $43 billion global technology company and a leader in the PC market.  Moreno, a black woman from Cap Vert who immigrated to France as a child and was brought up with little means, has risen to the top in the fast-pace, male-dominated world of high tech.

Moreno recognizes the significant role self-confidence and risk-taking have played in helping her achieve this success, and seeks to transmit these qualities to her team, her family, and to you and me.  It’s a delight to interview her.

As a CEO, my duty is to transmit.  It’s how we prepare the next generation of leaders.

“I took a risk…”

Interview with Elisabeth Moreno
CEO Lenovo France

Denise Dampierre (DD): “Welcome.  Let’s dive right in. Tell us about some of the risks you took in your career.”

Elisabeth Moreno (EM): “Hello.  Risks are like finding yourself at the bottom of the pool.  Either you sink, or you swim.  I swam.

A professional turning point in my career was when I accepted to launch an initiative in Morocco for a company I worked for in the past.  No one believed I could overcome the social, racial, and religious differences.  Yet, when you must rely on yourself, you discover qualities deep within you.  I consider my two years in Morocco as among the best of my professional experiences.

Another risk was also to join Lenovo. When they came knocking I was in my comfort zone and could have stayed there for years.  And yet…my flame was flickering.  Lenovo, a Chinese company, represented opportunity and the unknown.  I took the risk to be vibrant with life.”

Build confidence: Try. Dare. Make Mistakes. Fall…and get up again.

DD: “It seems that risk-taking is integral to your life-paradigm.  Where did it come from? Were you born with it?”

EM: “I was scared of everything as a child!  I feared doing wrong.  Dreaded not understanding or not being understood.  I was scared to try.  And the more I focused on my fear, the more it grew and the less I dared anything.

I learned to embrace risk by facing challenges and realizing I overcame them.

When confronted with the kinds of situations, “If this should happen to me, I’ll die,” I came out of them alive.  Those fears were in my head!  When I realized these were fears I created, I sought out counseling and coaching and embarked on some thorough soul-searching and soul-healing.

Confidence is like a flower needing daily watering.  It is a muscle to keep in shape with daily exercise.

When we take a risk and it works, we grow in confidence.  It nurtures more confidence.

Even if the risk does not work out as hoped, we still grow in confidence.  We learn from every trial.  And even in failed attempts, something worked. If that one element succeeded a first time, there is a high probability it can generate positive results again.  Our society depends upon risk-taking.

Once we gain in confidence, then we need to learn to maintain it.  Confidence is like a flower needing daily watering.  It is a muscle to keep in shape with daily exercise.”

DD: “You speak of changing yourself.  And yet many people resist change and risk-taking because they believe the problem lies with someone else.”

EM: “We only see in other people something that resonates with us, be it positive or negative.  Everyone is not sensitive in the same ways.  One person can be transported by a piece of music whereas his tone-deaf neighbor finds the noise discomforting.  One person will leave a conference feeling ecstatic and uplifted and someone else deems it was a waste of time and money.

It’s so much easier to believe the problem lies in the other person.  People do not change against their will.  If they want to evolve, they will.  The only person on whom you have real power to change is yourself.

We reap what we sow.  Sow hate; reap hate.  Sow discord; reap discord.  Sow love; reap harmony.

I spend a lot of time transmitting. There is no magic wand to extract change in someone else.  And yet, I can create circumstances which favor change in others.  First, to be a role model, which I practice in both my personal and professional life.  Next, to be authentic.  When I am genuine with others, I invite authenticity from them.  When you are sincere, 50%—no, it’s more like 80%—of your contacts will respond with sincerity.

We reap what we sow.  As a junior manager, I believed success lay in being tough.  I reaped fear and distrust.  Then I took the risk to trust my team.  Trusting anyone renders one extraordinarily vulnerable.  When I trusted, positive results abounded.

Life is like a mirror which reflects what we give.  Sow hate; reap hate.  Sow discord; reap discord.  Sow love; reap harmony.”

DD: “How do you transmit a desire for risk-taking to your team, to your young employees, and to your daughters?”

EM: “As a CEO, my duty is to transmit.  It’s how we prepare the next generation of leaders.

Our youth seek meaning in life and in work.  Purpose comes from the heart, not from the intellect.  We focus our training on knowledge-building; we need to build know-how.

Creating learning experiences implies accepting our vulnerability as people.  By doing, and through interaction, we face our humanity straight on. Unfortunately, today’s education in France focuses so strongly on the intellect, and we find ourselves disconnected from our own humanity. I wish our youth had more opportunities to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty.

Parents are obsessed with grades and, with the best of intentions, raise children to become test-taking machines. I don’t blame them; we all want to protect our children and do the best for them. Unfortunately, many parents respond out of fear.

And yet, our children will, and need to, confront their own fears.  This is how to prepare them for taking risks and for success in life.

Purpose comes from the heart, not from the intellect.

For a long time, we have been taught that leaders should manage with their intellect.  Reasoning reigns.  I have learned that leadership also relies on your heart and your gut.  As parents, we are called to use our brains to find ways to connect meaningfully with our children and to help them develop grit.”

DD: “What do you want your employees and daughters to believe about risk?”

EM: “I want my daughters and everyone to dare to take risks.

Risk does not avoid danger.  The fear of risk will not keep bad things from happening to you or me.  In fact, it is a good thing to recognize the riskiness of a venture.  It will guide you to keep a safe distance from the edge of a cliff.

Only our fears are often exaggerated. The outcome is often less serious than we dreaded.

I want my girls to have confidence.  Let them try.  Let them dare.  Let them accept making mistakes.  They will fall…and pick themselves up again.

I want my daughters and my young employees to know they are marvelous and a wonderful life awaits them when they embrace it.

Too many people today no longer dare to risk.  If they don’t succeed on the first try, they are ashamed.

If you or I do not take risks, we might distance danger, but we will forget to live.  We end up like the walking-dead: biologically alive yet without a life inside.

The more risks you take, the wider you open your arms to life.” It need not be a big risk, even the small ones can open fantastic opportunities.

DD: “Are there risks you did not take and wished you had?”

EM:  Laughter.  “No.  Of course, there must be some.  However, I do not live looking in the rear-view mirror and harboring regrets.  While I am still alive, I can still embrace those risks.”

DD: “Thank you.”

Thank You

Elisabeth Moreno gave us food for thought.  May we feed on it wisely.

  • To clear out the fears in our head
  • To dare and learn
  • To nurture our confidence daily
  • To lead with humanity

Stay tuned as, next week, I’ll share exercises to put these insights into action.

P.S. I’m writing from my orange Lenovo PC.  My husband recommended it for the technical qualities and value for money.  I fell in love with the color; it makes me happy to begin work every day.

Cover photo by Sammie Vasquez from Unsplash
Fanny Smith Ski Cross Olympics 2018

Time Optimization Tips from the Olympics

Time management matters when nanoseconds make the cut for an Olympic medal.

That’s the case with champion women’s skicross Fanny Smith, from Villars-sur-Ollon, who won the bronze medal in the Olympics at PyeongChang.  Our children learned to ski in Villars and I too felt that thrill of the locals when she earned her medal.

Fanny Smith Bronze Olympics 2018

On our local slopes we don’t see these; they are prevelant at the Olympics.  The blue lines on the slopes.

 

Optimize Time with Success Lines

These markers help racers and coaches trace the optimal path to follow.  It’s literally their time-optimization guide.  Stay within the lines to go faster.

How do you track the optimal path and reach your goals fast?  For your life?  For your work? For your relationships?

Time management is an issue for many of us.  Few of us can afford hours retracing our steps.  And yet many of us do so with relationships.  Building positive rapport between people takes time…and it takes even longer to clean up after the s*@! hits the fan. 

Too far off these blue lines and the skiers crash and forfeit the race.

If you find yourself impatient or frustrated or repeating yourself, it’s time to consider.  Might something be out-of-focus: either your goal or the path to get there?

Save Time & Fix your objective

I begin many workshops with an activity* to bring our goals into clear focus.

Step 1—List the Time Consuming Challenges

What zaps your time and energy in relationships?  We clear out what blocks our vision by naming these challenges.

For a workshop for managers of Millennials, we wrote down “Challenges Working with Millennials.”

Participants chime in: resistance to rules, attached to the phone, in need of perpetual feedback, (too) high view of his (untested) capabilities, and even spelling mistakes.

Maybe you don’t work with the Gen Y.  Then tweak the question to match your work dynamics:

  • Challenges of working with off-site teams
  • Challenges of working in Finance/Legal/Marketing in an industrial group

This process of listing difficulties creates a positive group dynamic and opens communication.  Everyone realizes we sweat and worry over similar predicaments.  In expressing these shared relationship challenges, we give ourselves and each other the permission to be human and to learn.

Expressing the negatives has the effect of letting dust settle.  The atmosphere is lighter and we are ready to clearly focus on the positives we seek.

Step 2—Identify the Team Skills to Build

We then create a separate and complementary list to bring the leadership goals into focus.  These are the skills managers seek to transmit to their teams to create a motivating and performing work environment.  We enumerate them under, “Qualities of our Team’s Culture.”

Of course, you seek to develop technical capabilities: mastery of financial analysis or digital marketing tool.  You ALSO aim to build communication and soft skills:  trust, mutual respect, learning from experienced team members, learning from youth, seeking excellence…

Step 3—Assess

Once the two lists are completed, we step back to review them side by side and invite comments from everyone

Some participant are motivated: “I had not thought of myself in the leadership development business.  How inspiring!”

Others balk: “What pressure.  I don’t master all those soft skills.  How can I pass them on to my team?”

Many have questions: “Do I have to do all of them at once?” and “So, what is the link between the two lists?”

Step 4—Use Time Optimizing Success Lines

Success lines help us identify where we are and where to aim.  They’re like a GPS.

These lists represent our leadership GPS.

The challenges point to our present situation.  “You are here.”  This is where we have arrived using our current leadership style.  This is also where you will stay by continuing with your actual managerial tools. 

The qualities represent our desired destination.  Like when your team members jump out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm to get to work and engage with a dynamic team.  Or when colleagues seek you or your employee out for greater responsibilities.

Focus, Focus, Focus

But you may wonder, “It’s just a list…”

Correction.  It’s a lens. 

You get what you measure.  When your bonus is set on profit, you’ll likely avoid high volume, low margin customers.

“Human systems grow in the direction of their deepest and most frequent inquiries.” – David Cooperrider, founder of Appreciative Inquiry, Case Western University

Our leadership focus is what we generate in our team. Your and my focus matters because it changes our actions.

“The act of looking for certain information evokes the information we went looking for—and simultaneously eliminates our opportunity to observe other information.” – John Wheatley, quantum physicist

When we talk, model, clarify, and encourage the qualities we seek in our team, we create clear success lines. And that saves tons of time…and money, and energy, and good spirits.

Positive Communication Tools

A clear focus is the first among many tools to build the qualities in your Leadership GPS.  Check out the workshops to discover others and how to develop them in your team.

Leadership GPS Works In Life too

This optimizing GPS applies in personal relationships as well.

When our four boys were young I embarked on a husband-improvement-program.  As a woman, I KNEW how to be a great dad!!!

Every day for one month I noted one helpful behavior my husband did for the family and let him know my appreciation.  “Honey, thanks for having done the dishes. It’s really nice to finally relax after having put the kids to bed.”

I anticipated behavioral modification in my husband.  This process changed me. 

My previous focus lay on the mountain of chores to be done and how my husband did not do his part.  My tone of voice often sounded critical.  When focusing on his contributions, I became more enjoyable to be around.  Maybe he became more involved or my company became more pleasant; either way, we ALL (sons included) do chores.

Ranking high on the list of “Dampierre Qualities to Groove Together” (our family GPS) you’ll find:

Everyone in the family helps.

Food for thought

  • How many times a day do you focus on what is going wrong? On what is going right?
  • How time effective is your critique?
  • Your critique is welcome here. What do you disagree with in this post?

Tell us in the comments.  Thanks.

 

Cover photo from lacote.ch

Teens, Build Skills Employers Seek

RSVP workshopFor teens & pre-teens

Your Potential…the inspiration behind the workshop

Parents putting on pressure?

Are your parents are putting on the pressure?

As one teen put it, “Mom, Dad.  It’s like this.  Being a kid is fun.  Being an adult is work. I wanna have fun.”

What if there is more?!  That’s what we’ll discover.

Take Leadership of Your Life
Be the person employers want

Do something great sign
Start today.

Do you know? YOU can make YOUR life meaningful, exciting, and fun.  And the best way is to start now.

In this workshop, we help you identify the skills that help you have choices in life and to launch your plan to get those choices.

What you get:

  • Tools to get your parents off your back (to help them have confidence in you)
  • Hope for the future and for YOUR future
  • Steps to grow into the person you want to be

Starts with Pizza … Learning through Games

Our workshop begins with pizza and introductions.

We do some brainstorming together as we eat (with our fingers).

We’ll play poker…betting with skills. You choose one or two life skills you want to win this year.

We’ll create a Parent-Trust-Me-&-Give-Me-Space Plan.

Teen build skills employers seek

Your Take-Away

  1. A Positive Vision for YOUR Future
  2. YOUR Plan to develop one or two key life skills of your choice
  3. A plan to build parents’ trust and give you space
  4. A way to check throughout the year that you are one target with your goal

What will you tell my parents?

Our goal is for BOTH you AND your parents to grow.  YES.

Growth benefits from some key ingredients:

Trust

You can trust that what you share will be honored and respected.
Your parents can trust that their children are receiving wise and positive encouragement.

Some information does get shared with parents:

  • the agenda,
  • the topics of discussion

Some information remains privatewho says what.  (****Vitally IMPORTANT****)

Some information you may choose to share (we will discuss this as a group):

  • skills you discovered employers seek in their new hires
  • your strengths
  • your goals

Insights

We’ll be playing games (a revisited Pokemon Go, an adapted Poker) and engaging in activities where you will discover different views about life, yourself, and even your parents.

Your parents also grow through a refreshed perspective.  I invite all moms and dads who want to know more about the process, the philosophy, and the science-based psychology behind our activites to attend the workshop the week before.  (Click here to find out about future workshops)

About Me

I am a Harvard MBA, the mother of 4 boys, and certified in positive psychology coaching and training methods, namely Positive Discipline (to build cooperative and respect-filled relationships) and Appreciative Inquiry (to engage in individuals and groups in change management by building on strengths)

Is There More?

I’m interested in you.  It would be a delight to know how you are doing with your plan.  Your choice.  My (and hopefully yours too) pleasure.

Optional follow up by WhatsApp or Messenger Group or _____ (you decide)

RSVP workshop

Set the Family GPS – Build a Positive 2018

RSVP workshopWhat’s your family culture?  Is it helping each of you thrive…at home, at school, and at work?

The Purpose – Set & Reach Family Goals

Create your Family GPS

  1. Specify the character qualities you wish to transmit to your children in the upcoming months
  2. Plan concrete action steps to reach that goal

For example:

Goals

To listen to each other

Actions

  • To use a talking stick so we don’t interrupt
    or
  • To spend 5 minutes in Conversation Time after dinner

To do our best in work

  • To brainstorm solutions together at Challenge Share on Saturday mornings.  Parents can also share a difficulty.
    or
  • To have Reading Time for everyone, 30 minutes after lunch on Sundays.

 

The Process

Timing – New Year

We can set goals anytime…and yet research shows that goals set at New Year’s are more likely to be kept!  The beginning of the year marks one of the moments for pause, reflection, and new beginnings.

Let’s do it!

Tools – Positive Discipline inspired activities & tools

Through group activities, we help set a family GPS: identify our current situation and set a destination for growth in 2018.

The process is FUN with lots of group interaction, brainstorming and even role playing.

Once the goals set, we explore numerous relationship strengthening tools to apply in the family context to help turn these family aspirations into achievable, realistic, AND enjoyable objectives.

Facilitator – Denise Dampierre

The workshop is led by Denise Dampierre who brings expertise from

  • Harvard Business School – leadership development concepts made family-friendly
  • Positive Discipline – an approach to building collaboration and respect-filled relationships
  • Appreciative Inquiry – inclusive change management which builds on strengths
  • Mother of 4 boys – practical experience tried and tested in with 4 boys withing 7 years

The Specifics

When – Thursday, January 25 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Where – 65, quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris.  In the American Church in Paris, room G4

How much – 25€ per person

R.S.V.P.

 

Martin Luther King Jr "I Have a Dream"

6 Insights to Dream Big for Your Family from Martin Luther King Jr

Today we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Many remember this inspiring leader in the human rights movement for his speech “I Have A Dream.”

What is your dream for your family? 

What do your children dream for their own future?
(Check out our workshop for teens)

1. Dream for Your Family & Empower Kids to Dream Too

Learn from this great man to dream big and empower others to have a vision.

It’s OK to dream big even when the situation looks dire

“I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulation. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail … I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream…” MLK Jr

nine dots

You and I can limit ourselves.

We can allow ourselves to hope what is feasible – the Basic-Fix-Dream rather than THE GRAND-VISION.

If our children dislike school, we aim for passing grades.  Could we dare for a passion for learning?

When siblings fight, we hope for “no blood.”  Can we envision them as co-builders of an amazing venture?

You may be familiar with these nine dots.

The exercise consists of passing through each of these dots once with four straight lines.  No more, no less, no curves.

Try it.

The clue?  Get out of the square.  In fact, there is no delimited zone.  The nine dots are in the shape of a square and folks like you and I apply the boundaries.

Dreaming means setting sights high…

…then following through with an action plan.get out of nine dots

2. Powerful dreams tap into a common heritage, a larger-than-me mission

“It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the hue meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

According to psychologist Dr. Alfred Adler, grandfather of Positive Psychology, a communal vision which benefits your community, be it family, neighborhood, friends, or more taps into our basic human needs of belonging and contribution which he describes as “Gemeinschaftsgefuehl .”

A community goal brings along with it a network of supporters.

It takes a team to reach the stars.  Set a dream that motivates and engages all.

Co-dream. And co-labor (collaborate).

Which of your children’s classmates will want to help your kid be better than everyone else? (or vise versa)

3. Live the vision

Walk the talk. Be a dreamer whose actions speak louder than words.

Be a dreamer whose actions speak louder than words Click to Tweet

The US constitution declared all men of equal value.  And yet they were not treated as such.

Are you ambitious for your child?  What qualities do you dream for them?

  • Respect of self and of others
  • Love of excellence and effort
  • Wise decision-making
  • Curiosity and tolerance

Let your children witness it through your actions.

  • Speak to the children with respect…even when they act without thinking
  • Stick to your commitments, like when you say, ‘I’ll be there in 5 minutes.”
  • Allow them to live the uncomfortable consequences of their own unwise decisions when the stakes are low. Misplacing a 10 cent coin is less painful than losing €1000.
  • Listen actively to understand their perspective before jumping to conclusions

THAT is dreaming with credibility and conviction.  Our example convinces our kids of the value of our hopes.

4. Dream with valor

Martin Luther King Jr ignites our fire when speaking of brotherhood, transformational peace-making, and character.

A dream worth living for is one worth dying for too. 

Who do you want with you as you end your days here?  What do you want said of you and for them to share with each other?  NOW is the time to plant those seeds.

For me, I want the “F.U.N.” back in funeral.  It’s because I celebrate life today that I hope folk will remember me with a smile GRIN in later years.

5. Clearly define success

“…little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

A clear goal vitalizes both you and your co-dreamers.

Visualizing is a technique many leaders adapt to help them define their objectives.

A friend shared her experience at a career change workshop she attended.  The facilitator invited participants to close their eyes and to think of their ideal (dream) job.

“Now visualize the office in which you are working.”

And they proceeded with another dream session.

“Describe your colleagues.  Their age, what they are wearing, their facial expressions…”

Specifics make the dream more real…and realizable.

6. Seek strength for the LONG (loooooong) haul

“This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with… With this faith we will he able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will he free one day.”

In our quick win world, how can we prepare for valiant dreams that require sacrifice and persistence?

Performance experts assert that it’s not talent that keeps people from reaching their goals; it is lack of consistency which engenders lackadaisical results then discouragement and finally giving up.

In what will you place your faith?  Where will you find your source of strength?

The question is not “if” you will require boosting and encouragement.

The issue is WHEN.

Martin Luther King Jr found his from the God of the Bible.  It did not make him into a perfect person.  It made him united with others AND able to take a stand alone, peaceful AND powerful, patient AND courageous.

WOW.

Signs with character qualities to build values

Set and Reach Goals – Your GPS

What’s your family culture?  Is it helping each of you thrive…at home, at school, and at work?

The Purpose – Set & Reach Family Goals

Create your Family GPS

  1. Specify the character qualities you wish to transmit to your children in the upcoming months
  2. Plan concrete action steps to reach that goal

For example:

Goals

To listen to each other

Actions

  • To use a talking stick so we don’t interrupt
    or
  • To spend 5 minutes in Conversation Time after dinner

To do our best in work

  • To brainstorm solutions together at Challenge Share on Saturday mornings.  Parents can also share a difficulty.
    or
  • To have Reading Time for everyone, 30 minutes after lunch on Sundays.

 

The Process

Timing – New Year

We can set goals anytime…and yet research shows that goals set at New Year’s are more likely to be kept!  The beginning of the year marks one of the moments for pause, reflection, and new beginnings.

Let’s do it!

Tools – Positive Discipline inspired activities & tools

Through group activities, we help set a family GPS: identify our current situation and set a destination for growth in 2018.

The process is FUN with lots of group interaction, brainstorming and even role playing.

Once the goals set, we explore numerous relationship strengthening tools to apply in the family context to help turn these family aspirations into achievable, realistic, AND enjoyable objectives.

Facilitator – Denise Dampierre

The workshop is led by Denise Dampierre who brings expertise from

  • Harvard Business School – leadership development concepts made family-friendly
  • Positive Discipline – an approach to building collaboration and respect-filled relationships
  • Appreciative Inquiry – inclusive change management which builds on strengths
  • Mother of 4 boys – practical experience tried and tested in with 4 boys withing 7 years

The Specifics

When – Thursday, January 25 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Where – 65, quai d’Orsay, 75007 Paris.  In the American Church in Paris, room G4

How much – 25€ per person

R.S.V.P.