1311 Slices
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Medium 9781626563339

7 A Moment of Truth

Ken Blanchard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Janice was fixing dinner when Larry walked through the door. “Hey,” was all he could manage.

“What’s the matter with you?” she asked. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Is everything okay?”

“Not really,” Larry replied. “I just got a call from my doctor’s office. I have diabetes.”

“You have what?” she asked.

“Diabetes. This is serious, Janice. The doctor said that left untreated, a diabetes patient can go blind or lose a limb—or a kidney, even.”

Now Janice was the one looking shell-shocked. “Just like that, out of the blue, you have diabetes?”

Larry shook his head. “I knew I’d been more tired than usual, and I’d been hitting the men’s room more often, but I had no idea it was this serious.”

“What’s the doctor’s prognosis? Does he think you’ll be okay?”

“The doctor said it’s up to me. He can give me meds, but that’s only a temporary solution. If I want to keep this from getting worse, I have to make changes—diet, exercise, all the things I know I should be doing.”

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Medium 9781576752050

Mightily Believe You Have a Calling 3

John P. Schuster Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub



ALTHOUGH CALLS CAN and do show up in everyday life, the difficulties in answering them are many. Believing that you are experiencing a call in the first place is a big challenge—so fundamental in fact that we’ll discuss it as our initial, most basic hurdle. The challenges to answering your calls we’ll explore in this chapter concern their very existence, because so often your daily experience and the world you encounter is anything but call-conducive.

Here are the questions we want to address in this chapter:

The social messages that divert us from our calls begin innocently enough early in our lives, when we are learning how to operate morally in a world of people: “Share your toys, Johnny, or your friends won’t think you are a very nice boy.” As we mature, the same vehicles for these early messages—the voices of those in authority—may support us as we try to answer our true callings. Helpful suggestions from a teacher who provides new vision or a board that invites you to participate as a director can make big and positive impacts. These messages from the world as we encounter it can be invitations in the right direction for composing a called life.

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Medium 9781576752500

Question: Go Outside the Box

Beverly Kaye Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Traditions, policies, standards, rules. We count on them to provide safety and stability in our communities and work- places. But sometimes those guidelines take on a life of their own. They multiply, they live in huge manuals, and they begin to stifle productivity and creativity.

They might also stifle your enjoyment. If you’re feeling blocked—by the rules, the culture, or the boss—don’t despair. There are things you can do to get out of the box you’re in and get more of what you want at work.

My team called the organization a “ship of rules.” It took dozens of signatures and often months to get the simplest request approved. We knew there had to be a better way. We got approval to try a new, more streamlined approach that we thought would save the company time and money and produce a better product, too. How could they say no to that? Our jobs are a lot more fun now, and the company president publicly thanked us for questioning a few of the outdated rules and procedures.

If you’re feeling boxed in and want to move outside your box, you need to understand it more clearly. What are the walls composed of? What’s the best escape route? 112

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Medium 9781608681297

CHAPTER NINE: Developing Relational Intelligence

MFT Linda Graham New World Library ePub


Developing Relational Intelligence

The moment we cease to hold each other,
the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.


RELATIONAL INTELLIGENCE is an umbrella term I use for the people skills that allow us to navigate our world, especially our peopled world, competently, effectively, and resiliently. Similar to Daniel Goleman’s notion of social intelligence, relational intelligence allows our brains to create bonds with others that sustain us through thick and thin. Research shows that these bonds provide us with a deeper sense of happiness and well-being than anything else in the human experience. They are among the resources that sustain our resilience.

The skills of relational intelligence include empathic listening and speaking, wishing for the happiness and well-being of ourselves and others, taking in the good, and befriending all parts of ourselves and others — all presented in previous chapters. They also include reaching out for help, setting healthy boundaries, negotiating changes in behavior, repairing ruptures, and being willing to forgive. In this chapter you will learn to develop these skills. Studies show that these relational intelligence skills are more predictive of our success as human beings — meaning resilience and well-being in the workplace as well as in relationships — than IQ.

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Medium 9781577310778

Intention and Creativity: Art as Spiritual Practice

New World Library ePub

We are all constantly creating. We create thoughts, feelings, and ideas that construct our view of the world and our experience of reality. It seems funny to me when people come to the Open Studio Project and say, “I want to see if I am creative.” They are close to the truth. When we make art we see that we create, but also what we create. Making visual art is a way of becoming acquainted with our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. We become aware of the stories we are living. When these are visible to us, we can choose whether or not they serve us, whether or not we are creating the world we truly want. Coming to know mind and achieve awareness of what mind is creating is a goal of spiritual practice. When we engage in art and writing toward this end, we open ourselves not only to what mind is presently creating — often a frenetic monkey-chase of judgments, guilts, and circular thoughts — but to what mind can create — beauty, wisdom, meaning.

The arts are especially wonderful means for exploring creativity because they afford so many pleasures: color, shape, sound. The pleasure of creativity is important because looking at mind can be a challenge. We see our judgments, self-criticisms, feelings of worthlessness, and jealousies, and often it is the sheer pleasure of, say, blending colors that gives us the motivation and courage to continue.

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Medium 9781609940652

I Moved Your Cheese

Deepak Malhotra Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Once I learned the language of people, I spent much of my time studying them. I also read what they wrote about the maze. I learned how they designed it and for what purpose. I learned why they moved the cheese and how they decided where to move it. Many of the questions I had asked since childhood were answered. I discovered why there are so many useless paths in the maze, and why there are so many different ways to get to the same place.

“I learned all of this, and it explained why things work the way they do in the maze. But it did not justify it. In fact, there was no justice in it whatsoever. Those who had designed the maze had done so for their own benefit and for their own purposes. But they did not live in the maze. We did. I came to understand the why, but I was unwilling to accept it.

“So I decided to do something about it.

“Discovering how to do it took only a few weeks. Each night, the administrators who designed our maze left instructions for their assistants. In the morning, the assistants read the instructions and made the appropriate changes to the maze. They then studied the mice all afternoon and noted their observations in a logbook. In the evening, the administrators read the data provided by their assistants and decided on the instructions for the following day. The same cycle repeated every day. It was all very mundane.

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Medium 9781855751811

CHAPTER ONE. Aims and rationale

Judy Hildebrand Karnac Books ePub

In the early stages of its development, one way of distinguishing family therapy theory and practice from other psychotherapies was by the lack of focus on the person of the systemic therapist. However, given that family therapy has now become an established therapeutic modality and a profession in its own right, this urge to be so strongly differentiated in this respect may no longer be so pressing. I would suggest that the time has come to reappraise the role of self and its significance in clinical practice.

Over the years I had become increasingly aware of the division drawn between personal and professional dimensions of training, as if they were not mutually influential. In addition, whilst I felt confident about the quality of academic achievement on training courses, I was less sanguine about the overall level of clinical expertise. In my view, therapists needed a more sophisticated degree of self-knowledge not only to differentiate between their clients’ and their own attributions and belief systems, but also in order to become more sensitive to the experience of being in therapy.

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Medium 9781855754508


Richard Kradin Karnac Books ePub

This was the herald dream brought by a 34-year-old man in the first month of therapy. James was a rock musician who had achieved modest recognition while playing in local bands. He was a physically imposing man who seemed uncomfortable with his large size.

I am riding in an open Jeep. It is a beautiful day and I am looking at the flowers along the side of the road. Suddenly I hear a loud blast and see a mushroom cloud rising in the distance. I realize that a nuclear bomb has been dropped and that everyone is going to die.


“I was watching a program on television the other day about the end of World War II. I like driving in the country. That’s all that comes to mind.”

Freud noted the role of the “day residue” in dreams (Freud


I must at once express the opinion that some reference to the experiences of the day which has most recently passed is to be found in every dream.

The day residue represents perceptions registered while awake that appear in the dream of the same night. Recent sleep research has demonstrated that patterns of neuronal firing associated with task-specific learning in rodents are specifically re-activated during sleep (Jouvet 1999). This suggests that memory traces encoded during wakefulness can reappear in dreams. In turn, dreams may be recollected upon waking, so there is evidence for bidirectional communication between waking and dreaming modes of consciousness.

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Medium 9781608681457

2. Affirming the Dream - The Power of the Spoken Word

Marc Allen New World Library ePub



In the beginning was the word,

and the word was with God,

and the word was God….

In him was life;

and the life was the light of men.

— JOHN 1:4

In the Beginning Was the Word

It all begins with a thought, a dream — an ephemeral thing, as we have seen. Then the thought becomes a word, and in doing so, it gains power, momentum, and even substance.

All words have power. Spoken words, written words, even the thoughts in your mind all have power for good or ill — so it’s certainly better to focus on the words that bring good into our lives, and let go of the words that bring us harm in any way. That’s a no-brainer — and it’s not that difficult to do.

Becoming aware of your thoughts and words

is a powerful practice,

a complete spiritual path in itself.

Becoming aware of your thoughts and words can powerfully affect every aspect of your life. For some people, this simple practice is a complete spiritual path in itself. Buddha called it the path of right thinking.

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Medium 9781609940072


Bill George Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

SINCE 1975, WE HAVE BEEN ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN small, personal groups that serve as the inspiration and the basis for True North Groups. True North Groups comprise six to eight peers who meet on a regular basis to discuss the important questions of their lives and to support each other during difficult times.

These groups have been a godsend in our lives and in the lives of hundreds of people we know. They have helped us navigate personal challenges with our families, our careers, and our health. They have provided a forum for addressing life’s most difficult questions about our beliefs, our values, and the meaning and purpose of our lives.

Over the years we have frequently been asked by friends and acquaintances, “How can I form such a group?” Originally, we set out to write a book to answer that question, a “how to” manual for creating True North Groups, as both of us do in our work these days.

As we interviewed a wide range of people participating in groups and studied the small-group movement in its larger sociological context, however, we recognized there is a much greater need for these groups and that they are part of a broader societal shift toward forming small groups. Thus, we expanded our focus to looking at the essential role True North Groups can play in human growth and leadership development and in filling the void that many of us feel in our lives.

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Medium 9781576755990


Kevin Cashman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Core Purpose is the high performance intersection where our talents and our values come together. It is the value-creating, catalytic moment when our gifts make a difference. When we split off our values from our talents, or vice versa, we compromise purpose … and enduring performance.

About a year ago, Benton came to us for coaching. While he was highly valued by his company for his results and intellect, he was so entrenched in non-listening and aggressive behavior I thought coaching would be hopeless. I honestly didn’t think it would be worthwhile to invest the resources to coach him. At first it was a struggle, but eventually Benton surprised us and genuinely engaged in the process. We helped him to see that his Core Talents—his intellect, drive for results, ability to get things done—were coming through consistently at work. However, at times his Core Values—compassion and connection—were not. Interestingly, when working with his own team, Benton’s Core Talents and Core Values were present and operating in sync. The same was true at home. Benton was a popular coach of his daughter’s soccer teams. He was present and involved with his wife and other members of his family. But when interacting with his peers and higher-level leaders, Benton introverted his Core Values. He split them off from his Core Talents. In these situations, he was competitive, closed, and defensive. His talents became liabilities. A big shadow was cast because his values were hidden with certain groups. Benton surprised us. Once he realized what he was doing, he found the awareness and new behaviors energizing. He wanted to change. His HR person called us and said, “This is incredible. Never in my career have we seen such a remarkable transformation.” Now, the feedback from Benton’s peers and higher-level managers is that he is listening, and he is improving significantly in building trust. Occasionally, he will slip. But more often than not, he catches himself and steps forward with both his talents and values. Once Benton got the whole picture, saw the consequences of splitting off his values from his talents, he was committed to working toward being in that sweet spot, Core Purpose, more often.

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Medium 9781626563292

13 Choose Gratitude

Sarah van Gelder Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Jeremy Adam Smith

I’m terrible at gratitude.

How bad am I? I’m so bad at gratitude that most days, I don’t notice the sunlight on the leaves of the Berkeley oaks as I ride my bike down the street. I forget to be thankful for the guy who hand-brews that delicious cup of coffee I drink midway through every weekday morning. I don’t even know the dude’s name.

I usually take for granted that I have legs to walk on, eyes to see with, arms I can use to hug my son. I forget my son! I generally remember to pick him up from school and feed him dinner. But I forget all the time how much he’s changed my life for the better.

Gratitude is the mental tool we use to remind ourselves of the good stuff. It’s a lens that helps us to see the things that don’t make it onto our lists of problems to be solved. It’s a bright red paintbrush we apply to otherwise-invisible blessings, like clean streets or health or enough food to eat.

Gratitude doesn’t erase problems and threats. We can lose jobs, we can be attacked on the street, and we can get sick. I’ve experienced all of those things. I remember those harrowing times at unexpected moments: My heart beats faster, my throat constricts. That’s when I need to turn on the gratitude.

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Medium 9781605090009


Noah Blumenthal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781576752302

Choice 15: Enhance Your Emotional Fitness Through Physical Fitness

Charles C. Manz Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Physical fitness is the basis for all other forms of excellence.

—John F. Kennedy130

One fundamental way to improve the way we feel, and to increase our capacity to withstand emotional challenges, is to build and maintain our physical health. In my university classes I assign a term project to my students asking them to apply self-leadership strategies to work toward a personal improvement in some aspect of their life. A primary criterion for selecting their personal challenge topic is that it should be something that they view as significantly important to them. One of the most common areas students select to work on is their health, especially through nutrition and exercise. And by the end of the semester many of them report impressive results including lower stress, improved stamina, increased confidence, and in general feeling better about their lives.

As part of a new push to encourage fitness in the United States, a three-mile race was recently organized for 400 White House workers. President George W. Bush (55 years old) came in 26th place with the surprisingly brisk time for his age of 20 minutes 27 seconds. After the race he commented, “It’s important for those of us in the White House to live how we talk.… If we’re going to say we’re going to live a healthy life, let’s do it.” And he went on to say to Americans in general, “I know you’re a better worker if you exercise on a daily basis… you’ll help keep the health care costs down… your life will be more complete.”60131

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Medium 9781576754566

Chapter 1: Hunting the Invisible Game

Richard J. Leider Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

How are we to see life? Is it an existence of meaningless movement from one moment to the next? Or is there a larger purpose in life, something to live for?

When we’re young, we think that when we’re all grown up, we’ll have all the answers. We’ll know what we want to do, how we want to do it, and with whom we want to do it.

But when we’re older, we realize it doesn’t work that way. The questions don’t go away, and the answers don’t magically appear. Just because we’re grown up doesn’t mean we’re finished growing.

Throughout our lives, we continue to ask these eternal questions: “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” “What am I living for?” And while we make these inquiries on and off from cradle to grave, they somehow become more pressing, more urgent, and certainly more poignant in the second half of our lives.

In the first half of life, the questions are framed by basic economic realities. Eventually, though, we reach a point—usually around midlife—where the answers are no longer obvious. Somewhat freed from the practical (although usually not the emotional) responsibilities of providing for our basic needs, we find ourselves having to come up with our own answers.

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