Showing posts from November, 2011

Integration and Integrity

I am fascinated by words, and fascinated most of all by familiar words that are unexpectedly difficult to bring into focus.  We know what they mean right up to that moment when someone asks us to explain. They are clear and then less clear.

Integrity is a word like this.  What do you think it means?

Most people will say there is a relationship between integrity and honesty, but if you ask them if honesty is the only measure of integrity, they will stop and reflect.  It doesn't seem enough. Three year olds may be honest, but do they have integrity?  If they do, how is that integrity the same as the integrity we expect from a CEO or government leader?

In training, I describe integrity as the quality that allows a person to withstand external force. If a person were a building, that would take equal measures of strength and flexibility. If a person were a building, it would be easier to define what stays standing when integrity is maintained.

Integration is a word that is obviously (…

The miracle question

My friends in Solution Focused coaching often use the miracle question to uncover resourcefulness in their clients. They ask: "If a miracle happened overnight, while you were asleep, and the problem was solved. . ."

This fall, there are babies in my life for the first time in a long time.  When I think of a miracle, I think of a tiny fist wrapped around just one of my fingers, of the perfection of each tiny fingernail and each perfectly formed little finger.  I think of the unexpected strength in that grip, and the strength of the pull in my heart that responds to it.  The miracles that come to mind for me are tiny and complicated and hugely influential.

I wonder if there are miracles in your life that are so small and vulnerable you hardly notice them at all. Miracles that you have welcomed or ignored until they hardly seem like miracles at all.  Yet if you did pay attention, if you let them connect with you, you might be overwhelmed by the power of that connection. You mig…

Which book will you pick?

It's very late, and you are tired.  You find yourself in a large bookstore, and as you move down an aisle, you hear a door shut.  You know, suddenly, that the store has just closed for the evening and you will be locked inside until morning.

Now you have a choice.  There are rows and rows of books, and you have enough time to read one, cover to cover.  You know that one of these books holds a message that will be the key to the next part of your life. But there are thousands of books on the shelves.

Where will you go first?  You know the way that books are organized in bookstores.  There are shelves of books for business and psychology and self-development.  There are books on nature, and on health, and on computers.  There are books on photography and the performing arts.  There are books on the social sciences and on spirituality and on cooking. And then there are shelves of poetry and drama (not many - but there are some), and shelves of novels of different kinds.  There are ev…

Natural learning patterns (NLP)

What's in a name?

If the name in question is neuro-linguistic programming, the name has held equal amounts of mystification and misunderstanding.  Brains cannot be programmed in the way that computers can, and neurology and linguistics are two very different models.  Whatever the original intent, the terminology often becomes an obstacle between an interested mind and a model of thinking that is otherwise very effective.

What if I said, instead, that NLP means "natural learning patterns" and it is a set of practices designed to allow you to exchange ideas and behaviours more effectively with other people? Would you begin to understand that it's possible to get better at working with the natural structure of your thinking so that you notice more, understand better and communicate more precisely? NLP is the practice of natural learning patterns.

When you visit the NLP Encyclopedia at Robert Dilt's website, you discover that NLP is "a behavioural model, and a …

Would you take a walk with me?

I began this morning by reading these thoughts on the new biography of Steve Jobs:

Two observations in that blog post are that Steve Jobs was half of a number of brilliant collaborations and that Steve Jobs took a lot of walks.  It started me thinking.

When my partner left the business last spring, I lost the opportunity to go for walks.  During the eight years that we worked together, we often headed to the park or the boardwalk to solve problems, resolve conflicts or search for innovations.  Walking was part of how we worked.  It was so much a part of how we worked, that I didn't realize that I had stopped walking when he left.

In my courses, I often talk about the power of going for a walk with someone, but it took someone else's blog post to make me realize that it's been a long time since I went for a walk. My love of walks goes back long before I started in this business. I used to go for…