(#439) Are You Paying Attention to the People in Front of You?

Collaboration does not come from telling, yelling, or selling people.
It comes from considered conversation.

Four quotes that remind us to pay attention to the people sitting at the table.

“Who are these people and what do they want?”—Jim Young Kim, physician, anthropologist, President of the World Bank

  • When we sit down with a group, we must make a consistent effort to understand the people who sit with us in the room. “Who” can refer to demographics, relationships, needs, challenges, skills, strengths, talents, and/or experiences with the task at hand. “What” they need is determined by them—not by us.  The what may change with conversation.  The who helps us understand more clearly the what.  Are we paying attention?

“Your theology determines your anthropology. And your anthropology—how you see humans—determines your sociology…We have to understand that ‘different’ doesn’t mean ‘deficient’.”—Reverend Jeremiah Wright

  • The way we look at people—our assumptions and experiences—determine the way we interact with these people. Are we paying attention?

“You must participate in the play. You must get out of the director’s role of telling everybody what to do and how to behave and who can be on stage. You must say… ‘We’re in this together.’ … Lean into the light.”—Barry Lopez, author

  • When we allow for an equal say from all participants, and respectfully listen to those sentiments, we come to understand what we share and where we differ. True, someone must lead. A good leader, though, understands that transformational leadership enables the followers to speak and grow. Each of us provides opportunities for the other to lean into the light.  Are we paying attention?

“…Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln would not have succeeded as commander-in-chief if they hadn’t first succeeded as teachers in chief.”—Susan Jacoby, author

  • Sometimes the people at the table do not understand the nuances of the issue at hand. Considered conversation requires that we enlighten the participants. Opposition can be due to a lack of understanding, which can lead to fear or reticence about moving forward. Are we paying attention?


Video Recommendation of the Week:

I have used the Marshmallow Challenge in classrooms and national workshops–and always with success.  It shows the importance of collaboration–and the disadvantage of wasting time jockeying for power.  Research has found that our kindergarten students perform well compared to business school grads(!).  Enjoy this short TED video.


For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book, Community as a Safe Place to Land, due out the beginning of 2019. More information to come.

Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

© 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

About stevepiscitelli

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