(Issue #458) Reflection As A Non-Luxury Good


This week’s blog post draws on the sixth core value from
Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019):
Taking time to consider, ponder, remember, analyze, evaluate,
and appreciate the various connections of life.

It sounds logical, commonsensical, and a no-brainer.  We would do well to slow down, pause, and reflect on what is before us. But has reflection become “a luxury good?”

Whether driven by inner motivators (demons?) to never relax and keep pushing forward at all costs or choosing to (addicted to?) viewing one digital distraction after another, reflection may seem a quaint and antiquated notion.

How does your community reflect on its journey? Does it reflect?

How often do you and your neighbors consider and celebrate the beauty of what exists in your community? Often, we can miss the now in our community. We leave for work before daylight, return after sunset. Drive into the garage, close the door, and remain sequestered for the rest of the evening.

Or maybe we live in an area of tenuous safety where closed doors and windows offer a modicum of security for a lone family. Isolated from its neighbors.

When we fail to pause, we can lose sight of why we are doing what we are doing. We need honest people around us who will help us understand what we do well—and what we need to tweak or totally change. Reflective leaders help place cause and effect in proper perspective. And then they guide their team forward with consideration, conversation, and collaboration.  They ask difficult questions. The state unpleasant (not mean-spirited) truths.

Who asks the authentic, yet difficult, questions your community needs to hear and grapple with to grow?  Who sets the agenda for your community? Why is this the case? How is this working?

mindset Give yourself some time to think, reflect, set YOUR course, and then invite them onto YOUR agenda. the news does direct what we think about if we allow it.

Section Six of Community as a Safe Place to Land begins with the transformational story of two community leaders/activists who understand that someone needs to be the grown-up in the room. The supporting pieces that follow offer words for reflection that can help us honor our community’s past while embracing its present and anticipating its bright future.

As you read, you will be encouraged to view things a bit off-center.  Where can you shift your focus to see a problem, an opportunity, or a major community decision from a different perspective? Going a little off-center, we start to see things that can enhance our view.

The provocative questions in this section can help you facilitate a conversation about the need to consider before acting. When your community reflects, respects, and reaches, it gives itself a gift of larger possibilities.


Podcast Recommendation for the Week:

In this recent TV segment (February 21, 2019), I address the importance of considered conversation as a crucial step to community building. We must listen to each other. Understand what we do well and what we need to improve. Then act.



My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



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

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). Another university recently (February 2019) 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 $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. 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 can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in assumptions, authenticity, awareness, change management, collaboration, common sense, Communication, Community, community development, growth, Integrity, intentionality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(#457) Responsibility: Important Questions to Consider


This week’s blog post draws on the fifth core value from
Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019):
Act with RESPONSIBILITY toward others and ourselves.

Our personal dreams and challenges give us direction. Our actions (or inaction) create our reality. The same goes for our community dreams and challenges.

When a challenge confronts community members how do they respond, or not respond (which is a response)? Do excuses, finger-pointing, and blame drown out considered conversation? In what ways do your communities work to ensure responsible conversations about issues that matter? For instance,

  • What excuses seem to be hindering your community?
  • Why do these excuses exist? Fear? Laziness? Lack of leadership? Absence of time or money? Lack of training?
  • What impact do these excuses have on your community?

Dig a little deeper. Consider a challenge confronting one of your communities right now.

  • How do you know this is truly a challenge?
  • Why do you believe this challenge exists?
  • What actions does the community need to take to address or eliminate this challenge?

A facilitated dialogue can help. Discussions, disagreements, debates…and repeat.  Listening, communicating, questioning…and repeat. Where do you diverge but, more importantly, where do you share commonalities on which to build?

Not easy and desperately needed if a community is to move forward. It takes effort and a bit of discipline.

It can be too easy to put it off until tomorrow or the next day or whenever ….  I read a tweet recently that reminds us to act now.

Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life.
Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in right now.

In a word, responsibility.

Large ideas can create enthusiasm. But absent consistent and responsible action, those big dreams have no legs. They remain fantasies. And the community can stagnate.


Podcast Recommendation for the Week:

Section 5 (Responsibility) of my book opens with a transformational story of how one struggling inner-city neighborhood found its voice. They did not do this by yelling or threatening. Rather, they created a movement of respect, education, and support.  In this brief clip, the Executive Director of The New Town Success Zone shares how he asked the community two questions. What do you want? And, what are you willing to do to get what you want?


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



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

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017), by clicking here. Another university recently (January 2019) 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 $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. 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 can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli

Posted in accountability, action, Critical Thinking, Dreams, Goals, Life lessons, responsibility | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

(#456) Rainbows


This week’s blog post draws on the fourth core value from
Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019):  Give voice to our RAINBOWS—our dreams and aspirations—and act to move toward them.

Goals represent hopes for a brighter future.

Research tells us, though, that hope requires three ingredients: goals + pathways + agency. The goal—a rainbow that attracts and draws your attention—must be valuable to you. A pathway—a plausible route to the goal—must be present. And, you intuit that you have the ability, the power, and the talent to reach that goal.

Just like each of us individually, our communities have dreams as well. They could be for complete streets, access to fresh food and medical care, a vibrant park system, transportation for shut ins, or transparent connections with community leaders.

Residents consider what is in front of them now and what their community will need in the future. We construct stories of what is and what we think will be.

What stories do you and your neighbors share about the future of your community? What do you see as the top priorities for your neighborhoods? How do you know these are, in fact, priorities? According to what standards or observations?

Your Call-to-Action

  • Walk through your community, pause, and look. Really look. What beauty have you taken for granted? What areas of concern have you overlooked? Take the same walk with a neighbor or two. What do they notice?
  • Based on your observations, what relationships and resources will your community need to (1) take full appreciation of its beauty and (2) work on its challenges?
  • What can you do this week to move from observation to action?

As you move forward, consider the reminders right in front you and your neighbors to stay open to the possibilities of where our dreams can lead us. And, to live passionately.


Podcast Recommendation of the Week:

In this short clip from an upcoming (March 2019) podcast on The Growth and Resilience Network® podcast channel, we hear how one community (Atlantic Beach, FL) uses music as a resource to connect neighbors to neighbors.



My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.



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

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017), by clicking here. Another university recently (January 2019) 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 $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. 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 can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in amplifying, awareness, Choice, collaboration, Community, community development, consideration, Creativity | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(#455) Resources: Find, Learn, and Use


This week’s blog post draws on the third core value from
Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019):  Discover and use RESOURCES to increase chances for progress, growth, learning, and connections.

“Knowledge is power.”  But if acquired knowledge is not used or if it is inapplicable to the issue at hand, does it still have power? It might possess potential power. But it loses value if not used.

I often told my students that college offered them more resources than they probably would ever see again in one place. But they had to do three things: Find them. Learn about them. Use them.

Think of the communities to which you belong. A spiritual community. A residential neighborhood.  An athletic team.  A walking group. A youth organization.  A campus service club.

Each of these communities has resources for its members. Sources of support for connection, growth, and resilience. Your group might have an abundance of resources while other communities have a diminished basket of support from which to draw.

Think of a dynamic community to which you belong. In what ways do the resources in that community contribute to its growth and resilience? Do members use them? More importantly, how do members create and maximize collisions between resources and people so even more people will benefit?

Now, think of a community struggling to maintain its cohesiveness. When it comes to resources, what does it lack? What is being done to gather those resources?  Is there a leader (a resource in and of itself) to coordinate the needed resources?

Your Two-Part Call-to-Action

  • First, consider a challenge your community faces at this moment. Why does the challenge exist? Is it because of a lack of resources, a failure to use existing resources, a breakdown of resources, or some other factor related to resources?
  • Next, develop a list of resources that could address the identified challenge. Which of the resources does your community have? Which does it need to develop? Which exist and need tweaking to make them more effective? How do you know? What is your next step?

In order to grow and maintain a sustainable community, you need knowledge about what it needs to grow. Then you need to do something with that knowledge. That takes vigilance, questions, and leadership. What do you need to be more aware of in your community?


Podcast Recommendation of the Week

This short clip reminds us of the importance of listening when developing a program and its resources.


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

 


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

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017), by clicking here. Another university recently (January 2019) 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 $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. 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 can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

 

Posted in assumptions, awareness, collaboration, community development, core values, effective teaching, faculty development, growth, leadership, resilience, resources | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

(#454) Recognize The Stories In The Room


No matter how far-sighted leaders may be on an issue,
if they cannot connect to the emotional responses of their constituents, relevance is missed and opportunity squandered.

This past week I attended and spoke at our city commission meeting. The issue (as most do) involved several nuances and engendered a lively give-and-take in the chambers. From my vantage point, this agenda item did not resonate with the residents—especially those of us who attended and spoke. The commissioners listened and voted down the resolution.

Whatever merits (and there were some) this proposal may have had, they became muted when they did not connect with what the residents believed to be important for their homes, neighbors, and future.  More time was needed to demonstrate the relevance of the proposal to the lives of the residents.

Each resident has a story. Each person in the room has a story. How do we acknowledge and authentically connect with those stories?

In what ways does your community listen to the stories of its members—and then appreciate and act on those stories?  You see, at times we can understand an issue and still not understand how the issue connects emotionally with people. This can short-circuit discussion, conversation, and collaboration.

No matter how far-sighted leaders may be on an issue, if they cannot connect to the emotional responses of their constituents, relevance is missed and opportunity squandered.  Let that happen too often and trust will be a casualty.

What can you and your neighbors/team members do this week to expose yourselves to experiences, people, and places that are relevant to growth for the members and the community? Who might be able to help you? How do you know? What would you like to accomplish in this area by the end of this week? When will you start?

Community building can be challenging work. Paying attention to relevance builds a foundation.

For more on the connection of community building to the core value of relevance, see Section 2 of my newest book Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019, pp. 31-56).


Podcast Recommendation of the Week:

This quick (70 seconds) clip addresses how a Jacksonville, FL community development agency understands and applies the equation: Trust + Respect + Listening = Relevant services.


 


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


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

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017), by clicking here. Another university recently (January 2019) 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 $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. 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 can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®

Posted in assumptions, awareness, collaboration, Communication, community development, Connection-Disconnection, leadership, Life lessons, resilience | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(#453) Beyond Hope


We articulate what we want to see happen.
Yet that does not finish movement to improvement.

I have been hearing and reading sentiments like “there will never be progress” and “there is no hope” and “all hope is lost.” Often, they have been uttered regarding political posturing, pettiness, and peevishness. If we stay glued to the non-stop barrage of dichotomous collective monologues, well, we can see where those feelings come from and how they are reinforced.

While hope gives us expectation for something better, we must move beyond hope. We need more.

In Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019) I offer the readers seven transformational stories about community building and sustainability. In each case, the community leaders and members moved beyond merely hoping for a certain action. They created the action.

Setting goals moves beyond hoping for something to occur. We articulate what we want to see happen.  Yet that does not finish movement to improvement. We need to engage in considered conversation about what to do to reach those desired endpoints.

Rather than settling for general answers about your progress, use this three-step model to help you be more actionable:

  1. Establish a realistic, feasible, time-bound plan for implementing your proposed actions.
  2. Execute your plan. Make sure all involved understand their roles and responsibilities.
  3. Evaluate your progress on a regular basis. Adjust course as needed.

Hope may not be lost but at times, though, it gets side-tracked with generalities and cognitive distortions.


Podcast Recommendation of the Week:

In this compilation podcast, you get to hear a slight snippet from each of the transformational stories mentioned above. You will hear examples of how these communities establish, execute, and evaluate goals and efforts. How they moved beyond hope.


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released! At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon. More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


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

You can still order my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017), by clicking here. Another university recently (January 2019) 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 $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. 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 can be found at  The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®


Posted in assumptions, awareness, Community, consideration, conversation, Goals, hope, Life lessons, resilience | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

(#452) Cognitive Distortions


Can you say, “fake news”? Or “leading statements”?
Or “inferences based on limited information or examples”?

In their book The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt examine nine cognitive distortions that “interfere with realistic and adaptive interpretations” of events and situations. The nine challenges are (with the authors’ explanations beneath each; see page 38 of their book):

  • Emotional Reasoning

o   Feelings guide interpretation of reality

  • Catastrophizing

o   Focusing on the worst possible outcome and seeing it as most likely

  • Overgeneralizing

o   Perceiving a pattern based on a single incident

  • Dichotomous Thinking

o   Viewing events in all-or-nothing terms; binary thinking

  • Mind Reading

o   Assuming you know what people think without having enough evidence

  • Labeling

o   Assigning global negative traits to yourself or others

  • Negative Filtering

o   Focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives

  • Discounting Positives

o   Claiming that the positive things you or others do are trivial

  • Blaming

o   Focusing on the other person as the source of your negative feelings

While Lukianoff and Haidt examine how these distortions can and do have a chilling effect on higher education, it is easy to see  how they play out daily in current events and reactions to those events. Can you say, “fake news”? Or “leading statements”? Or “inferences based on limited information or examples”?

We can see this with ideologues. Whatever “those” ideologues do (according to “these” ideologues on the “other” side of the spectrum) will lead to utter destruction (catastrophizing), because “those people” never listen to the correct sources (mind reading, labeling), and because they clearly are not one of us (dichotomous thinking), they will lead to nothing but the worst consequences for our society (blaming, negative filtering, overgeneralizing).

I’d venture to say that we all engage in these distortions from time to time.  Think about the different tone our political debates would have if we checked these distortions at the door. Heck, the so-called debates might turn from yelling and screaming matches to actual debates—give and take with a whole lot of listening and authentic questioning.

This week be alert for the above cognitive distortions in others and yourself. As Lukianoff and Haidt posit, “Wouldn’t our relationships be better if we all did a little less blaming and dichotomous thinking, and recognized that we usually share responsibility for conflicts?”


Video Recommendation of the Week:

In this CBS interview, the two authors address the great “untruths” that help set the context for cognitive distortions.


My book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

has been released!  At this point, you can purchase it on Amazon.  More purchasing options coming. More information at www.stevepiscitelli.com.


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

For information about and to order my 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 $12.00 and the Kindle version stands at $3.99. 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).

©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®


 

Posted in assumptions, awareness, blame, Critical Thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment