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Case study from Leigh Harrison
Failing to delegate
I have been notoriously bad at delegation. Two situations illustrate this:
I was asked to organize a spiritual development weekend to be led by an international guest speaker. The weekend had a particular structure according to a standard format as established by the organization I was working with in the States. I was given clear guidelines on the structure and what would be required.
I did all the marketing, advertising and confirming the reservations of the participants myself. I arranged the venue, and made all the other pre-weekend arrangements.
I did organize that my sister-in-law led the times of worship which included morning devotional times as well as daily communion sessions. However, she understood that she would only provide the music and I would organize the theme and structure and lead these sessions!
Over the weekend I took on the roles of registrar, bursar, bookseller, counselor, worship leader, entertainer (I organized an evening of games and an ice-cream party for the Saturday night) and logistics co-coordinator, which included shopping for the participant’s incidentals. On top of this our guest speaker came down with a virus which slowly over the course of the weekend prevented her from speaking so I did her final day’s talk!
Needless to say by the end of the weekend I was so exhausted I myself got sick!
I was appointed regional co-coordinator in Gauteng of an organization called Christian Listeners. It was based in UK but was being established in South Africa with regions also in Cape Town and Kwazulu-Natal.
My job was to establish Christian Listeners in the region by running CL training courses that would lead to the training of CL tutors. I was part of an initial group of 10 trained by the overseas “mother” organization, of which 7 said they would continue to offer their time and resources to the growing of CL in Gauteng. Over the course of five years we ran over 40 listening courses and three tutor training events. I initiated a committee to assist in the running of the organization and I met with the other regional co-coordinators annually.
By the end of these five years there were two of us still keeping the organization going? It now no longer exists in Gauteng.
There were external factors to consider such as the fact that the kind of person required to be a CL tutor is the kind of person who is already very involved and in high demand and has little time and energy to give to another volunteer organization. Offering these courses involved a lot of preparation and traveling time as well as the course time, and time is a rare commodity in Gauteng. Various unforeseen personal events resulted in several team members leaving.
However, the bottom line is that I was not able to fulfill my mandate and this was largely due to a failure in delegating.
What I learnt
From these experiences I learnt the following:
As competent as I may be I cannot do everything myself. I need others.
Trying to do everything myself is detrimental to my health and relationships as I suffer all the symptoms of exhaustion and stress.
I need to communicate my expectations clearly, as well as negotiate well enough in advance exactly what people are prepared to do and what they understand their role to be.
Even seemingly small tasks are important and can take more time than you think, so finding someone else willing to do them is worth it.
You have to work within the priorities people have in their lives.
Failure to delegate effectively results in a lack of strength, energy and continuity in your organization.
My growth in awareness through the Aleph processes
As I have experienced the processes and mentorship guidance through ebio and Aleph I have come to a new and deeper understanding of delegation. This has impacted on my belief system and opened up a way for me to delegate with greater freedom and confidence.
There have been some fundamental shifts in my belief system and they are as follows:
I believed that if I could do it I should do it. My unconscious belief was that if I had the competency I had the job. In fact I was being lazy if I didn’t do everything the job required. This did not come from an overly developed sense of pride, although I see the pride in it now, but from a sincere belief that it was my responsibility to do everything I could to ensure the job was done well.
I now realize that not only do I have limitations I need to take into account, but that my competency does not determine everything I do, and in fact can limit the development of other people’s competency. I have realized that I have a core passion and that I when I focus my time and energy on that there are others who can grow from my competencies and passion in a way that many can contribute to a job well done.
I had a rather narrow-minded view that if I didn’t enjoy doing something it was probably something most people didn’t enjoy doing so it would be mean of me to ask someone else to do it. You may notice in this a strong martyr streak in me! Yes, I chose to do the jobs I hated because I thought no-one else would want to do them!
I now realize that God has created a wide variety of people with limitless areas of enjoyment and what I hate may be the thing someone else delights in! It truly is a celebration of the uniqueness of individuals and the differences between people in which we all compliment each other.
I believed that by delegating to someone I was burdening them. It made it very hard for me to ask anyone to do anything. I therefore always did it most apologetically giving plenty of space for the person to excuse themselves from a particular task. No wonder I got let down so often!
Working at the gym of the ebio offices has taught me that being delegated to is a joy, privilege and an opportunity. It means that another person is willing to invest in me. It means that I am being trusted with responsibility that will help me to grow and expand my skills and knowledge. I now see that by not delegating well and often I am depriving others of key learning opportunities that will allow them to find their unique expression and contribution in the world.
After my failure time and time again to delegate effectively I reached the conclusion that I could not delegate. I decided that I was just an independent worker that needed to find an environment in which I found my niche and got on with the job at hand, without having to work in a team that would involve any kind of management, leadership or delegation.
Thanks to John Maxwell and the way his ideas are integrated in the ebio processes I am learning that I can fail forwards. My failures are not an indication of an unalterable character trait but rather opportunities for me to learn and grow. It is humbling; there is no doubt about that! But if I can find the lessons then my failures have not been failures at all but stepping stones.
I am therefore making new choices to learn to delegate more effectively that I can be a more active team member, sharing my skills and competencies with others that we may all grow and get the job done effectively and joyfully
Read more on delegation
Read the coaching session

Case study from Leigh Harrison

Failing to delegate

I have been notoriously bad at delegation. Two situations illustrate this:

Situation 1

I was asked to organize a spiritual development weekend to be led by an international guest speaker. The weekend had a particular structure according to a standard format as established by the organization I was working with in the States. I was given clear guidelines on the structure and what would be required.

I did all the marketing, advertising and confirming the reservations of the participants myself. I arranged the venue, and made all the other pre-weekend arrangements.

I did organize that my sister-in-law led the times of worship which included morning devotional times as well as daily communion sessions. However, she understood that she would only provide the music and I would organize the theme and structure and lead these sessions!

Over the weekend I took on the roles of registrar, bursar, bookseller, counselor, worship leader, entertainer (I organized an evening of games and an ice-cream party for the Saturday night) and logistics co-coordinator, which included shopping for the participant’s incidentals. On top of this our guest speaker came down with a virus which slowly over the course of the weekend prevented her from speaking so I did her final day’s talk!

Needless to say by the end of the weekend I was so exhausted I myself got sick!

Situation 2

I was appointed regional co-coordinator in Gauteng of an organization called Christian Listeners. It was based in UK but was being established in South Africa with regions also in Cape Town and Kwazulu-Natal.

My job was to establish Christian Listeners in the region by running CL training courses that would lead to the training of CL tutors. I was part of an initial group of 10 trained by the overseas “mother” organization, of which 7 said they would continue to offer their time and resources to the growing of CL in Gauteng. Over the course of five years we ran over 40 listening courses and three tutor training events. I initiated a committee to assist in the running of the organization and I met with the other regional co-coordinators annually.


By the end of these five years there were two of us still keeping the organization going? It now no longer exists in Gauteng.
There were external factors to consider such as the fact that the kind of person required to be a CL tutor is the kind of person who is already very involved and in high demand and has little time and energy to give to another volunteer organization. Offering these courses involved a lot of preparation and traveling time as well as the course time, and time is a rare commodity in Gauteng. Various unforeseen personal events resulted in several team members leaving.
However, the bottom line is that I was not able to fulfill my mandate and this was largely due to a failure in delegating.

What I learnt

From these experiences I learnt the following:

  1. As competent as I may be I cannot do everything myself. I need others.
  2. Trying to do everything myself is detrimental to my health and relationships as I suffer all the symptoms of exhaustion and stress.
  3. I need to communicate my expectations clearly, as well as negotiate well enough in advance exactly what people are prepared to do and what they understand their role to be.
  4. Even seemingly small tasks are important and can take more time than you think, so finding someone else willing to do them is worth it.
  5. You have to work within the priorities people have in their lives.
  6. Failure to delegate effectively results in a lack of strength, energy and continuity in your organization.

My growth in awareness through the Aleph processes

As I have experienced the processes and mentorship guidance through ebio and Aleph I have come to a new and deeper understanding of delegation. This has impacted on my belief system and opened up a way for me to delegate with greater freedom and confidence.

There have been some fundamental shifts in my belief system and they are as follows:

  • I believed that if I could do it I should do it. My unconscious belief was that if I had the competency I had the job. In fact I was being lazy if I didn’t do everything the job required. This did not come from an overly developed sense of pride, although I see the pride in it now, but from a sincere belief that it was my responsibility to do everything I could to ensure the job was done well.
    • I now realize that not only do I have limitations I need to take into account, but that my competency does not determine everything I do, and in fact can limit the development of other people’s competency. I have realized that I have a core passion and that I when I focus my time and energy on that there are others who can grow from my competencies and passion in a way that many can contribute to a job well done.
  • I had a rather narrow-minded view that if I didn’t enjoy doing something it was probably something most people didn’t enjoy doing so it would be mean of me to ask someone else to do it. You may notice in this a strong martyr streak in me! Yes, I chose to do the jobs I hated because I thought no-one else would want to do them!
    • I now realize that God has created a wide variety of people with limitless areas of enjoyment and what I hate may be the thing someone else delights in! It truly is a celebration of the uniqueness of individuals and the differences between people in which we all compliment each other.
  • I believed that by delegating to someone I was burdening them. It made it very hard for me to ask anyone to do anything. I therefore always did it most apologetically giving plenty of space for the person to excuse themselves from a particular task. No wonder I got let down so often!
    • Working at the gym of the ebio offices has taught me that being delegated to is a joy, privilege and an opportunity. It means that another person is willing to invest in me. It means that I am being trusted with responsibility that will help me to grow and expand my skills and knowledge. I now see that by not delegating well and often I am depriving others of key learning opportunities that will allow them to find their unique expression and contribution in the world.
  • After my failure time and time again to delegate effectively I reached the conclusion that I could not delegate. I decided that I was just an independent worker that needed to find an environment in which I found my niche and got on with the job at hand, without having to work in a team that would involve any kind of management, leadership or delegation.
    • Thanks to John Maxwell and the way his ideas are integrated in the ebio processes I am learning that I can fail forwards. My failures are not an indication of an unalterable character trait but rather opportunities for me to learn and grow. It is humbling; there is no doubt about that! But if I can find the lessons then my failures have not been failures at all but stepping stones.
    • I am therefore making new choices to learn to delegate more effectively that I can be a more active team member, sharing my skills and competencies with others that we may all grow and get the job done effectively and joyfully

Read more on delegation

Read the coaching session

Associate and participate or Dissociate for perspective using NLP
Chapter 5
p.5
Dissociation and Association? Sounds terribly complicated to me! What is it and how can it help me to improve my interaction with colleagues and customers?
Dissociation and Association are two NLP techniques and are closely related to the Johari Window – The Glad Game.
Dissociation means literally to disconnect, create some distance, to gain perspective, to see situations and yourself in perspective.
Association means to connect closely, to participate in the here and now. In dealing with any external stimulus, like a problem, you can choose whether you want to Associate or Dissociate.
You can even shift from one to the other to gain a more complete understanding and insight. Unfortunately, many people operate in either the one or the other mode …
Mike Matulovich’s’ explanation of “seeing yourself in the picture vs. seeing yourself in the situation” should make it even clearer.
Thank you to: Mike Matulovich
Dissociation (Disconnect)
See yourself in the picture
(become aware of yourself).
Observer of yourself.
Talk to yourself about the situation.
How do you feel about your feelings.
Did you know?
Human beings are the only animal species that can dissociate.
Dissociation is useful for:
Dealing with conflict.
(It allows you to have better control of the situation and enables you to ask questions in an objective manner and tone).
Monitoring yourself. (Stand apart from yourself.)
See yourself from outside yourself. (See yourself through the eyes of someone else. Step outside of yourself to manage conflict.)
Enabling you to:
Feel pain
Remain in control
Feel no emotion which obscures judgment
Learn from negative experiences
Build resourcefulness
Design desired states
Association (Connect)
See now what you see.
Participate in the event.
Hear now what you hear.
Feel now what you experience.
Did you know?
Association is the state we live in – the subjective experience.
Association is useful for:
Enjoying yourself (Associate with happiness, success, feelings of love and joy – live for the moment.)
Empowering yourself with successes.
Utilizing positive experiences.
(When tackling a problem draw from past successes – think of all the thousands of problems you have already solved.)
Accessing resourcefulness.
Accessing past positive states.
Writing down a problem immediately dissociates one from it.
One should associate with success and happiness, and utilize success to deal with problems.

Associate and Participate or Dissociate for Perspective using NLP

Chapter 5 p.5

w&t_question

I Ask

Dissociation and Association? Sounds terribly complicated to me! What is it and how can it help me to improve my interaction with colleagues and customers?

w&t_exclamation

I Answer

Dissociation and Association are two NLP techniques and are closely related to the Johari Window – The Glad Game.

Dissociation means literally to disconnect, create some distance, to gain perspective, to see situations and yourself in perspective.

Association means to connect closely, to participate in the here and now. In dealing with any external stimulus, like a problem, you can choose whether you want to Associate or Dissociate.

You can even shift from one to the other to gain a more complete understanding and insight. Unfortunately, many people operate in either the one or the other mode …

w&t_binoculars

I Explain

Mike Matulovich’s’ explanation of “seeing yourself in the picture vs. seeing yourself in the situation” should make it even clearer.

w&t_ch5_f_association-and-dissociation

Thank you to: Mike Matulovich

Dissociation (Disconnect)

  • See yourself in the picture
    (become aware of yourself).
  • Observer of yourself.
  • Talk to yourself about the situation.
  • How do you feel about your feelings.

Did you know?

Human beings are the only animal species that can dissociate.

Dissociation is useful for:

  • Dealing with conflict.
    (It allows you to have better control of the situation and enables you to ask questions in an objective manner and tone).
  • Monitoring yourself. (Stand apart from yourself.)
  • See yourself from outside yourself. (See yourself through the eyes of someone else. Step outside of yourself to manage conflict.)
  • Enabling you to:
    • Feel pain
    • Remain in control
    • Feel no emotion which obscures judgment
    • Learn from negative experiences
    • Build resourcefulness
    • Design desired states

Association (Connect)

  • See now what you see.
  • Participate in the event.
  • Hear now what you hear.
  • Feel now what you experience.

Did you know?

Association is the state we live in – the subjective experience.

Association is useful for:

  • Enjoying yourself (Associate with happiness, success, feelings of love and joy – live for the moment.)
  • Empowering yourself with successes.
  • Utilizing positive experiences.
    (When tackling a problem draw from past successes – think of all the thousands of problems you have already solved.)
  • Accessing resourcefulness.
  • Accessing past positive states.Writing down a problem immediately dissociates one from it.
w&t_elephant

I Advise

One should associate with success and happiness, and utilize success to deal with problems.

Delegate and grow your own as well as other careers
What is delegation?
It is when one is able to give the work you do not enjoy doing to another who does enjoy doing that work, but you stay responsible for getting the job done on time. Successful delegation is when another person excels in their careers because they enjoy doing the work you do not enjoy doing. Read more on the practical application of this process on the Explanation page…
An example:
When we were learning from Hewlett Packard, an HP manager was expected to assist in the promotion of at least two people, from their team, into position higher than his/her own. HP managers transferred their skills through delegating work to those in their team, always keeping responsibility for the work to be done on time. Never abdicating, always delegating.
This ensured the people in Hewlett Packard kept on developing and growing their careers. Inherently Hewlett Packard as a company developed and expanded as well! Hewlett Packard is a greenhouse for developing the careers of its people.
Coaching session implementing delegation:
The team leader for the Alephsynergy is Unre. A member of this team is Nicholas. Aleph publishes the knowledge of successful people and companies on the internet. Unre wants the process of Find a Career Coach written and published as soon as possible. He does not just abdicate the responsibility of getting this process published; he guides when Nicholas gets stuck and is always available to answer questions. The ultimate responsibility of getting the page published remains with Unre.
Unre:
Nicholas, the process of Find a Career Coach needs to be published on the Career Builder web site.
Nicholas:
I have the skills to package and publish the Find a Career Coach process; I do not have the necessary in depth knowledge on career coaching to package this knowledge on my own though.
Unre:
With the team of career coaches at Career Builder we have all the coaching knowledge necessary to complete this process. Ask them to help you build this process, I will assist as well.
Nicholas:
How would I go about getting this knowledge from the team of Career Builder coaches?
Unre:
Make appointments with each coach. Every one of them is experts in a certain aspect of career building. They have had unique experiences in building their own careers and are currently focused on specific areas of building businesses and careers. Learn what these specific areas of career and business building skills are and package this knowledge into the Find a Career Coach process.
Nicholas:
How would I get this knowledge from them?
Unre:
Use the questioning and listening skills from the Career Development Guide. If you don’t fully understand how to implement these skills effectively, come to me with your questions.
Unre does not enjoy writing and clarifying information. He delegates these functions to Nicholas who does enjoy doing this. Nicholas lacks the in-depth knowledge concerning the Find a Career Coach process and relies on Unre and the rest of the expert team to supply this information. The process of Find a Career Coach gets written and clarified.
Unre will be available for questions concerning the Find a Career Coach process. There will be new skills Nicholas needs to learn in order to complete the Find a Career Coach project successfully. Even if he does not ask questions, Unre will set a specific time aside on a regular basis for coaching and mentoring; expecting Nicholas to bring a few, never before asked questions to these meetings. Read more on the Delegation Explained page…

Delegate and grow your own as well as other careers

What is delegation?

It is when one is able to give the work you do not enjoy doing to another who does enjoy doing that work, but you stay responsible for getting the job done on time. Successful delegation is when another person excels in their careers because they enjoy doing the work you do not enjoy doing. Read more on the practical application of this process on the Explanation page…

An example

When we were learning from Hewlett Packard, an HP manager was expected to assist in the promotion of at least two people, from their team, into positions higher than his/her own. HP managers transferred their skills through delegating work to those in their team, always keeping responsibility for the work to be done on time. Never abdicating, always delegating.

This ensured the people in Hewlett Packard kept on developing and growing their careers. Inherently Hewlett Packard as a company developed and expanded as well! Hewlett Packard is a greenhouse for developing the careers of its people.

Coaching session implementing delegation

The team leader for Alephsynergy is Unre. A member of this team is Nicholas. Aleph publishes the knowledge of successful people and companies on the internet. Unre wants the process of Find a Career Coach written and published as soon as possible. He does not just abdicate the responsibility of getting this process published; he guides when Nicholas gets stuck and is always available to answer questions. The ultimate responsibility of getting the page published remains with Unre.

Unre

Nicholas, the process of Find a Career Coach needs to be published on the Career Builder web site.

Nicholas

I have the skills to package and publish the Find a Career Coach process; I do not have the necessary in-depth knowledge on career coaching to package this knowledge on my own though.

Unre

With the team of career coaches at Career Builder we have all the coaching knowledge necessary to complete this process. Ask them to help you build this process, I will assist as well.

Nicholas

How would I go about getting this knowledge from the team of Career Builder coaches?

Unre

Make appointments with each coach. Every one of them is experts in a certain aspect of career building. They have had unique experiences in building their own careers and are currently focused on specific areas of building businesses and careers. Learn what these specific areas of career and business building skills are and package this knowledge into the Find a Career Coach process.

Nicholas

How would I get this knowledge from them?

Unre

Use the questioning and listening skills from the Career Development Guide. If you don’t fully understand how to implement these skills effectively, come to me with your questions.

w&t_binoculars

I Explain

Unre does not enjoy writing and clarifying information. He delegates these functions to Nicholas who does enjoy doing this. Nicholas lacks the in-depth knowledge concerning the Find a Career Coach process and relies on Unre and the rest of the expert team to supply this information. The process of Find a Career Coach gets written and clarified.

Unre will be available for questions concerning the Find a Career Coach process. There will be new skills Nicholas needs to learn in order to complete the Find a Career Coach project successfully. Even if he does not ask questions, Unre will set a specific time aside on a regular basis for coaching and mentoring; expecting Nicholas to bring a few, never before asked questions to these meetings. Read more on the Delegation Explained page…

Conflict management
Conflict management for win-win solutions
Chapter 6
p.9
Conflict makes me nervous! How do I thrive on it, especially in the business environment?
The main aim of managing conflict is to ensure that a Win-Win solution is reached through mutual cooperative and assertive behavior, where the value on the table for both parties is maximized and they get more than they contributed in terms of effort, risk and cost.
Forcing (Win-Lose)
The stronger sister takes the orange – grabbing it from the hand of the other, or possibly using some threat.
Assertive but uncooperative.
Avoiding (Lose-Lose)
Both sisters leave the orange rotting on the table. For one to claim it would raise conflict with the other.
Unassertive and uncooperative.
Soothing or Yielding (Lose-Win)
One sister gives in to the other.
Unassertive but cooperative.
Compromise (Win-Lose)
A compromise solution would be for each sister
to take half the orange.
Problem solving (Win-Win)
A problem solving solution would be to discuss why the other wants the orange. (One sister wanted the skin to make a cake, the other wanted the inside to make juice).
Assertive and cooperative.
Often people deal with conflict in ways which do not result in maximum gain for all parties involved and prohibit reaching Win-Win solutions.
Do you recognize any of the following behaviours in the “Tale of the Two Sisters and the Orange”?
How can I enhance my ability to solve problems and manage conflict?
Why don’t you explore the Issue Resolution Model further?
Conflict in an organization is not necessarily unhealthy if.
The essence lies in how you manage “letting it out…

Conflict management for win-win solutions

Chapter 6 p.9

w&t_question

I Ask

Conflict makes me nervous! How do I thrive on it, especially in the business environment?

w&t_exclamation

I Answer

The main aim of managing conflict is to ensure that a Win-Win solution is reached through mutual cooperative and assertive behavior, where the value on the table for both parties is maximized and they get more than they contributed in terms of effort, risk and cost.

Often people deal with conflict in ways which do not result in maximum gain for all parties involved and prohibit reaching Win-Win solutions.

Do you recognize any of the following behaviours in the “Tale of the Two Sisters and the Orange”?

Forcing (Win-Lose)

The stronger sister takes the orange – grabbing it from the hand of the other, or possibly using some threat.

Assertive but uncooperative.

Avoiding (Lose-Lose)

Both sisters leave the orange rotting on the table. For one to claim it would raise conflict with the other.

Unassertive and uncooperative.

Soothing or Yielding (Lose-Win)

One sister gives in to the other.

Unassertive but cooperative.

Compromise (Win-Lose)

A compromise solution would be for each sister to take half the orange.

Problem solving (Win-Win)

A problem solving solution would be to discuss why the other wants the orange. (One sister wanted the skin to make a cake, the other wanted the inside to make juice).

Assertive and cooperative.

w&t_question

I Ask

How can I enhance my ability to solve problems and manage conflict?

w&t_exclamation

I Answer

Why don’t you explore the Issue Resolution Model further?

w&t_elephant

I Advise

Conflict in an organization is not necessarily unhealthy.

The essence lies in how you manage to let it out…

Building a career is similar to starting a small business
We have found that being a career builder one face very much the same risks as when starting a small business. Some of the most compelling risks when starting a small business include:
The maturity of the concept used when starting a small business
The strength of the team starting a small business
Supply chain maturity and stability
The network supporting one in starting a small business
Certainty and clarity on the distribution channel
Proven demand from an identified end client
Are emotional hooks on the end client, suppliers and the support channel in place in place?
Does the purposed concept fit with the end clients’ expectations?
We have built many businesses and hope to bring this knowledge to a global audience of career builders. We are currently in the process of packaging this knowledge to fit the needs of a career builder. This knowledge will also be of great value to small business owners. We will keep our visitors up to date via our RSS feed and ezine.
For more on the risks of a business please visit:
The risks of business on Alephsynergy.com
The stages of growth in an entrepreneurial company (W&T guide)
We will keep you updated via our RSS feed.

Building a career is similar to starting a small business

w&t_elephant

I Advise

We have found that being a career builder one face very much the same risks as when starting a small business.

Some of the most compelling risks when starting a small business include:

  • The maturity of the concept used when starting a small business.
  • The strength of the team starting a small business.
  • Supply chain maturity and stability.
  • The network supporting one in starting a small business.
  • Certainty and clarity on the distribution channel.
  • Proven demand from an identified end client.
  • Are emotional hooks on the end client, suppliers and the support channel in place?
  • Does the proposed concept fit with the end clients’ expectations?

We have built many businesses and hope to bring this knowledge to a global audience of career builders. We are currently in the process of packaging this knowledge to fit the needs of a career builder. This knowledge will also be of great value to small business owners.

For more on the risks of a business please visit:

The risks of business on Alephsynergy.com

The stages of growth in an entrepreneurial company

We always say a very public and loud thank you to the people we learned so much from during the last 40+ years in business and teams.

Mike taught us about many valuable human behavior and communication  insights which impacted and enriched our lives, teams, profits, wealth creation and families!

We still apply the knowledge and insights from models we learned from Mike. Some of the models on the web pages came from him and others like Johan Cronje!

Thank you all so much

Unre

The Six Thinking Hats, using different modes of thinking
Chapter 6
p.4
I sometimes feel that discussions and planning sessions go nowhere. Everybody ends up defending their views and positions (and quite often their pet theories) and nothing new or constructive emerges from the meeting. Can you suggest anything that can be used that will move us beyond this?
Edward de Bono developed a set of techniques to overcome this problem. He calls it the Six Thinking Hats. The technique focuses on the deliberate use of different modes of thinking and has become widely used in businesses to enhance creativity and critical thinking
That sounds great, can you explain it to me?
The Six Thinking Hats allow us to change our focus in order to have more productive discussions.
Each hat is a different color representing a different way of thinking.
When you “put on” one of the hats, you operate exclusively in that mode of thinking. When you change from one hat to another you change your thinking mode associated with that hat to the thinking mode indicated by another hat.
It is very important to remember that the six hats are not descriptions of thinkers or categories of thinkers. Every person can use all the hats as tools to explore an issue and to stimulate creative thinking.
The White Hat
Data and information.
What information is now available to help you think about this matter?
What information would you like to have?
How might you obtain the information that you feel would be necessary or useful when deciding about this matter?
The Black Hat
Caution and critical judgement.
What are points of caution?What are the disadvantages?
What are the potential problems?
What can go wrong?
What are the logical negative points?
What are the difficulties surrounding the suggestion?
The Red Hat
Feelings, intuition, hunches and emotions.
What does your intuition tell you?
What is your gut feeling about the suggestion?
What are your simple feelings about the matter?
What are your feelings right now on this subject?
Do not attempt to explain or justify your feelings; just put them down as they are at this moment.
The Yellow Hat
Positive view, benefits and feasibility.
What are the benefits, value and advantages of this idea?
What are the logical positive points?
How could this idea be made workable?
What are the good things about the suggestion?
The Green Hat
Creative effort, new ideas, alternatives and movement.
How can the idea be modified to improve it and to remove obvious faults?
How can some of the difficulties pointed out by the Black Hat be overcome?
Are there alternative ways of achieving the same objective?
What creative ideas do you have in this area?
The Blue Hat
Thinking about thinking. Organizing and controlling the thinking process.
How would you summarize the discussion that has taken place?
Can you come to a conclusion?
If so, what is the conclusion?
If you would prefer to do some further thinking, what thinking steps would you now take?
What should happen next?
Thank you to: Edward de Bono
These hats provide two ways to move from what Mike Matulovich calls first order thinking to second order thinking.

Using different modes of thinking

Chapter 6 p.4

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I Ask

I sometimes feel that discussions and planning sessions go nowhere. Everybody ends up defending their views and positions (and quite often their pet theories) and nothing new or constructive emerges from the meeting. Can you suggest anything that can be used that will move us beyond this?

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I Answer

Edward de Bono developed a set of techniques to overcome this problem. He calls it the Six Thinking Hats. The technique focuses on the deliberate use of different modes of thinking and has become widely used in businesses to enhance creativity and critical thinking.

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I Ask

That sounds great, can you explain it to me?

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I Answer

The Six Thinking Hats allow us to change our focus in order to have more productive discussions.

Each hat is a different color representing a different way of thinking.

When you “put on” one of the hats, you operate exclusively in that mode of thinking. When you change from one hat to another you change your thinking mode associated with that hat to the thinking mode indicated by another hat.

It is very important to remember that the six hats are not descriptions of thinkers or categories of thinkers. Every person can use all the hats as tools to explore an issue and to stimulate creative thinking.

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The White Hat

Data and information.

  • What information is now available to help you think about this matter?
  • What information would you like to have?
  • How might you obtain the information that you feel would be necessary or useful when deciding about this matter?

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The Black Hat

Caution and critical judgement.

  • What are points of caution?What are the disadvantages?
  • What are the potential problems?
  • What can go wrong?
  • What are the logical negative points?
  • What are the difficulties surrounding the suggestion?

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The Red Hat

Feelings, intuition, hunches and emotions.

  • What does your intuition tell you?
  • What is your gut feeling about the suggestion?
  • What are your simple feelings about the matter?
  • What are your feelings right now on this subject?
  • Do not attempt to explain or justify your feelings; just put them down as they are at this moment.

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The Yellow Hat

Positive view, benefits and feasibility.

  • What are the benefits, value and advantages of this idea?
  • What are the logical positive points?
  • How could this idea be made workable?
  • What are the good things about the suggestion?

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The Green Hat

Creative effort, new ideas, alternatives and movement.

  • How can the idea be modified to improve it and to remove obvious faults?
  • How can some of the difficulties pointed out by the Black Hat be overcome?
  • Are there alternative ways of achieving the same objective?
  • What creative ideas do you have in this area?

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The Blue Hat

Thinking about thinking. Organizing and controlling the thinking process.

  • How would you summarize the discussion that has taken place?
  • Can you come to a conclusion?
  • If so, what is the conclusion?
  • If you would prefer to do some further thinking, what thinking steps would you now take?
  • What should happen next?

Thank you to: Edward de Bono

A great way to apply the six thinking hats is when you are considering a midlife career change. The process will help to give you clarity on what exactly should be your next career.

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I Advise

These hats provide two ways to move from what Mike Matulovich calls first order thinking to second order thinking.

Common problems with a team & business meeting

Chapter 5 p.8

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Also see: How to manage a meeting

OK, I admit my last team meeting was chaotic. But what could I do? Some people kept on asking what’s the point of the meeting, others engaged in side conversations… Can you tell me what went wrong?

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Common problems in work-related meetings usually centre around either poor preparation for the meeting or lack of control during meetings.

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But how will I know what to focus on?

Poor preparation is often reflected in one or more of the following:

  • No agenda.
  • No/unclear objectives stated for the meeting.
  • Purpose not defined.
  • Too many items on the agenda.
  • Agenda items not prioritized.
  • One agenda item monopolizes the meeting.
  • Invitations that are vague or misleading.
  • Chairperson unprepared.
  • No prior research about issues.
  • Too many participants invited.
  • Participants not interested in being there.
  • Participants unprepared and not able to contribute.
  • Key players not present.
  • Decision makers not present.
  • Equipment not working.

Lack of control often results in:

  • No leader/facilitator – meeting dominated by “an expert” or whoever speaks the most and/or loudest.
  • Meeting lacks focus – irrelevant points are introduced.
  • People not showing up, coming late or leaving early.
  • Uninvited attendees.
  • Inattentive participants.
  • Hidden agendas.
  • Lack of questions.
  • Side conversations.
  • Interruptions.
  • Repetition.
  • Lack of value-adding comments.
  • No growth on issues.

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While you’re at it, why not brush up on your facilitating skills…the Issue Resolution Model and the Decision Making Process would be a good start.

I will be asking many questions in order to gain an understanding of the Walk & Talk process.
I will attempt to give direct answers to the questions posed.
I believe in the Walk & Talk process and we will attempt to clarify the most important issues.
I will provide explanatory information on the important concepts contained in the Walk & Talk process.
I have seen many things in life.
I will give some advice and insights as your journey progresses.
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I Ask

I will be asking many questions in order to gain an understanding of the Walk & Talk process.

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I Answer

I will attempt to give direct answers to the questions posed.

I believe in the Walk & Talk process and we will attempt to clarify the most important issues.

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I Explain

I will provide explanatory information on the important concepts contained in the Walk & Talk process.

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I Advise

I have seen many things in life.

I will give some advice and insights as your journey progresses.

Career planning and the performance management process

performance and development plan

Ask

Having learnt so many concepts has certainly helped me participate in my team and in the company.

How do I know, however, that my career is progressing? How is my performance being measured?

performance and career management

Answer

You are responsible for your own career. It is important to master a few toolsthat will help you in setting your future goals and planning to achieve them.

Equally important is the manner in which the company assesses your contribution and performance.

The Performance Management Process in which you are an active participant will enable you to take ownership of your job and ensure that your Contribution Zone(the area of overlap between the company, the customer and yourself) is maximized.

difference between performance management and performance appraisal

Explain

The following Mind Map illustrates the various tools available to manage and plan your career as well as the Performance Management Process.

There are also links to other Mind Maps which contain important additional tool sets and skills.

Career planning and performance management

Performance and career management

Performance and career management

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