Created: Friday, 01 August 2014 12:41
When I like what a teacher teaches, I yearn to see how the teacher walks. I learn more from experiencing how someone lives than from hearing them talk about life principles. Some people talk a great, line but don't walk the talk.
That's why many of my best teachers aren't officially teachers at all. Like Fred, our mail carrier. As he drives from mailbox to mailbox, I hear him whistle.
No intense driving rock and roll blasting from his radio. Just a whistle.
When people recommend teachers to me, I want to know - does he (she) whistle?
Created: Thursday, 31 July 2014 17:03
"You should teach what you're learning with your sabbatical to others," my friend told me.
My friend is a respected leader. She teaches all the time. It's a habit for her. I replied:
- I might end up doing that, but for now, I'm doing this for me. I am very careful about keeping the process pure. If I make it what I'm doing for others, it could taint the discovery process for me. I need to see my own world through my own eyes and drop my habit of turning everything into a teaching point.
It's tough for me to explain how transformational backing away from the teacherly role has been. And how seductive the desire to teach can be.
It's tough for me to not get caught in wanting to teach my friend what a difference it makes to break the habit of always being the teacher.
I shared my observations and sat back and let her teach me. I'm learning a lot these days.
Created: Thursday, 24 July 2014 16:21
A reader sent me this graphic:
I love it.
I have a new friend like that. When we hike, sometimes we speak and sometimes we are silent. But we are always communicating.
These friends are a blessing.
People who require explanations are a blessing, too. They force us to get clear. They force us to be specific. There are times when I think my copy editor might understand me too well, because she knows what I mean without a lot of explanation. I can jump from A to D and she's right there with me. At times, that keeps us from recognizing that some of my readers need me to take them from A to B to C to D. It can be frustrating when I think my point is crystal clear and my reader doesn't get it - but it is clarifying, too.
My husband is a linear thinker and asks to be walked through many of my Quantum Leaps. That's changing, though. He's making leaps of his own. I'm loving that, but will need to keep plenty of linear thinkers in my orbit for... not a reality check... but a linear reality check.
The last Chapter in my PowerPhrases book says, "The purpose of words is to create silence."
The easy silence of everything that needed to be said having been said. The easy silence of communication without words.
I just glanced at my answering machine and saw my new friend left a message. She just called to say, "Thank you for sharing your big heart." No other purpose. She was specific about what I had done that touched her. Her specifics augment her appreciation. Her few words augment our sweet silence. She and the reader who sent the graphic altered the trajectory of my day.
Created: Tuesday, 22 July 2014 16:18
"Email Kris about accounting."
What the heck does that mean?
I'm referring to a memo from me to me on my digital recorder. Kris is my sister, and we have no accounting questions.
Oh, wait. I have another Kris in my life. She does a thing called Stretch Therapy and I had asked her to send me an accounting of how many sessions we have had and how many remain. That was a week ago, and she hasn't sent it, so I want to remind her. THAT'S what my memo is talking about.
Okay, if I have to struggle to figure out my OWN messages, what is it like for others to get a clue what the heck I'm referring to?
It's good practice for me to leave memos to myself that I don't have to decipher. It's a start, anyway. Obviously, it's a bigger challenge for someone else who never knew what I intended when I left the memo.
As an aside, soften your focus and look at the image on the left. Doesn't it look like a face - kind of a perplexed emoticon? The message at the top is the brain, the buttons below are eyes, the circle is a nose and the bottom buttons make a mouth.
Did I explain that image clearly? Do you see it?
Now I'd better email Kris about accounting - or re-record my memo to self with more details.
Created: Monday, 21 July 2014 14:29
Pull beats push any time. Attraction beats coercion. I'm experiencing that at continuously deeper levels as my Lean2Life Reorganizational Journey continues.
One of the best Lean moves I have made was setting Outlook to send emails to spam until I whitelist them. I check spam regularly, and set up rules for my subscriptions and newsletters to go to my "subscriptions" folder. I clear the rest of my non-spam to go to my Inbox.
How's that working for me? GREAT!!! Better than I imagined! Why did I wait so long to do this?! It is so much easier to move a few non-spams from my junk folder than to delete all the spam I was getting from my inbox.
The Lean reason this works so well is that my inbox now only has what I have pulled into it. The emails that have been pushed on to me are in a separate folder for my review when I choose to look.
I started this process with an empty inbox and only invite what I want in there. I am the master of my inbox now, not the other way around.
Starting with Empty
My friend Wendy emptied out her bedroom for painting. She had a great time resetting her room from scratch - starting with an empty room.
The Liberty of Having the House to Myself
So this weekend, I had the liberty of having the house to myself. That meant I could be as loud, messy, goofy - you name it - as I wanted. I stayed home and dedicated the weekend to sorting myself and a main closet.
I started the closet sorting item by item. I got a little traction, but quickly realized I needed to take everything out. When I made the decision to sort that way, I felt my energy and enthusiasm increase, despite the fact that it was a very big job.
Within an hour, half the house looked like a bomb had exploded - but the target closet was bare.
I did make one trip to the store to buy modular storage drawers. Enroute, I wondered if what I really needed was another closet rod for a new level of hanging items. Bob had often suggested that I could have one installed if I wanted, but I was concerned about investing in something I might not like.
As I drove to the store, I noticed the clothes bar in the back of the car and wondered if I could experiment with that. I hung it from the upper rod with twine. I hung a few things on it. Then I hung a few more. I liked it. A lot. As I got deeper into the process, I expanded the clothes bar. Later, I expanded it a little more. I found what seems to be the perfect width.
The modular storage containers went back to the store, but the trip wasn't a waste. I found what I needed in my own backseat.
Would I have added the bar if I hadn't made the trip? I don't know.
I do know that the power of pull beats the pressure of push any day.
Bob and I both know that the more free we feel from external push, the more pull we find - and the less patience we have with push in our lives. It's a liberating thing - and it works.
PS - You know the divider line I have at the bottom of my posts? That's in my images. I have to open three folders to get to it. Just now, I put a copy of it in the folder my web content manager opens to. A quick improvement to save myself a few steps. That's Lean!
Created: Friday, 18 July 2014 14:31
Hubby is travelling this weekend and I am alone.
The word alone actually means All One.
I am savoring my Aloneness, my Wholeness, my Oneness.
Hubby is with colleagues. His people. A community that catalyzes wholeness in each other. A community that he is at-one with.
At-one: AtOnement brings into unity, harmony and concord.
He is savoring his community, his comradeship, his connectedness.
I wish you the perfect weekend for renewing your body, mind, soul and spirit.
Created: Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:29
The magic manufacturing circle
Lean Manufacturing guru Taiichi Ohno used to draw a circle on shop floors and instruct managers to stand in it for hours. Ohno would return to check on what the manager had learned through observation. If a manager answered, "No problems here," he was required to spend more hours in that circle until he saw patterns and wastes.
The magic kitchen circle
Recently, Bob and I sat on the kitchen floor playing with our cat (who is flourishing). In the process of cat play, I viewed the kitchen through a unique perspective; I noticed many things that I wanted to change.
The magic communication circle
When I work with people on their communication skills, I give them a unique vantage point to observe their communication habits and intercommunication dynamics. Few have the patience or willingness to simply observe. Most want to take action before they have grasped what scientists call the current condition.
This is one big barrier to effective communication skill. We are so action-oriented that we won't take the time to deeply observe. It's like wanting to pick fruit before it's ripe.
Stand back today and imagine you're "standing in a magic communication circle" observing your communication. If possible, refrain from taking action until you have significant new observations.
Do you dare? Do you have the patience and willingness? If you do, your communication improvement efforts will be far more targeted and effective.
Just like my kitchen improvements are thanks to a simple romp with a sweet, vibrant kitty.