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Jun
17

“When red-haired people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.”       Mark Twain

 I was fascinated by the discussion about “social skill autopsies” by Richard Levoy.  The term is a bit macabre, yet embodies the concept – a thorough examination (after the fact) to determine the cause and manner of (the social death) and to evaluate any (negative effects) that may be present.  I had never thought about the fact that I raised two girls and never once had to do such a breakdown of social cues for them.  Certainly we all can recall incidences when we’ve committed “social suicide,” a total misread of the cues at the time, but nothing from which we couldn’t recover or understand immediately what we had done.  Yet having to break that incident down into finite detail would have been both painful and insightful.

We were spending time with our daughter’ s new friend that’s a boy today, and I couldn’t help but think about the conversation regarding the way to get a social interaction going  is through asking questions.  The secret is to do it without it feeling like an interrogation.  When you’re talking with someone for the first time in this context, I’m sure it feels like n interrogation.  And, to be honest, being the parent of young woman, it kind of is.  I just kept thinking “what would this interaction be like if one of us were LD?”   I was performing the autopsy in my head.  I was also chuckling to myself as I was conducting ‘self talk’ to break down the situation.  What would I say to someone if we were watching a re-run of the convention and trying to break down our facial expressions a d body language clues throughout our conversation.  I cannot imagine a life that required me to do that for myself.

The two individuals I interviewed had very different takes on the impact of their LD on their social skills.  The adult with dyslexia talked about her situation much like Reiff did in this week’s readings: spending so much time and energy trying to sort through academic issues that social development did not occur.  Fortunately for her, the school she attended in grades 6-9 recognized this and taught how to also use social skills.  She is a very successful hair stylist. The other individual was never formally taught social skills and to this day her ADD causes here to misread cues unless she is able to asses the situation in her head, causing hurtful social faux pas to occur for her.  It remains painful to her even as a 40 year old.

It’s funny to think about stopping to perform a social skill autopsy in the middle of a conversation.  This is the content of very funny movies, because most of us cannot understand the severity of it.  Would I do so for a friend that needed that feedback?  Sure.  But how do I know when to take out the scalpel and when to chalk it up to human nature?

Jun
17

“Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be.”    Albert Einstein

For the “What do they know?” assignment, I interviewed two individuals to determine what they know about learning disabilities.  At the onset of the interview, neither individual thought they knew much about adults with learning disabilities; interestingly both rated their knowledge a three on a scale of one to ten.  As we proceeded with the conversation, however, they both discovered that they knew more than they thought they did, based on their work and personal experiences. Probably the thing that was most apparent was their struggle with defining a learning disability and identifying individual examples.  While they both took the term ‘learning’ to heart, they both also included more physical traits and even wanted to associated it with lower intellect but thought twice.   I don’t blame them

What do I know now that I didn’t know prior to this class about adults with learning disabilities?  For starters:

  • Learning disabilities do not end with childhood because learning is not something that is ever confined to a classroom – and neither is a learning disability
  • Learning disabilities can define an adult or not – it depends on the level of self determination and self advocacy
  • Understanding everything about your disability – just like understanding any other dimension of yourself – is critical to daily functioning
  • Adults must self disclose to be able to take advantage of accommodations that can make work life more productive – this is a choice

And most recently….The armed forces do not admit you if you disclose that you have a learning disability.

Every day we meet people, and sometimes spend a good deal of time with them, and never even think about asking “are you learning disabled?”  Our dentist, our hair stylist, our co-workers, our bus driver, our doctor, our pharmacist, our dry cleaner, or our favorite waitress.

We ask many other questions in the natural course of getting to know someone:  “Where do you live?”  “Where do you work?”  “What do you like to do?”  Once we get to know them better we might even dare to ask about their religious beliefs or their politics, but we don’t ask them if they are a person with a learning disability.  What difference does it make if we know?

Jun
16

“Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.”    

Alfred North Whitehead

I learned about Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for the first time at a conference I attended today.  I have to admit, I was shocked.  I have been in the Adult Learning Teaching and Learning with Technology program for three years, and we have never discussed the law.  I’ve participated in several webinars about designing distance learning, and none of them have mentioned the law.   From what I have read since the conference, the amended Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act are at the beginning stages of implementation, and have largely referred to procuring software, not developing your own courses – but that is changing.  Yet, it makes sense that the two are closely related – enough, at least, to pay attention to the intention of the law.

Some things I learned:

Section 508 applies to Federal entities and States that have adopted similar regulations. It requires that any electronic and information technology (EIT) procured, developed, used or maintained by Federal agencies must be accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 was enacted to: 1) eliminate barriers in information technology, 2) make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and 3) encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.

The Virginia Information Technology Accessibility Standard (GOV 103-00) applies to All Commonwealth of Virginia Executive Branch agencies and institutions of higher learning. VITA outlines the minimum accessibility requirements for procurement, development, or maintenance of electronic and information technology systems. The Standard also requires that Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) employees with disabilities and members of the public with disabilities have access to and use of information and data comparable to the access and use of Commonwealth employees and the public who do not have disabilities.

So I checked on the VCU website and low and behold – look what I found!

The seminar facilitators also provided this great list for self advocates:

10 indicators of Distance Education program accessibility

For Students and Potential Students

  • The distance learning home page is accessible to individuals with disabilities (e.g., it adheres to Section 508, World Wide Web Consortium or institutional accessible-design guidelines or standards).
  • A statement about the distance learning program’s commitment to accessible design for all students, including those with disabilities, is included prominently in appropriate publications and websites along with contact information for reporting inaccessible design features.
  • A statement about how distance learning students with disabilities can request accommodations is included in appropriate publications and web pages.
  • A statement about how people can obtain alternate formats of printed materials is included in publications.
  • The online and other course materials of distance learning courses are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Course Designers:

  • Publications and web pages include a statement of the program’s commitment to accessibility, guidelines or standards regarding accessibility, and resources.
  • Accessibility issues are covered in course designer training.

Instructors:

  • Publications and web pages for distance learning instructors include a statement of the distance learning program’s commitment to accessibility, guidelines or standards regarding accessibility, and resources.
  • Accessibility issues are covered in training sessions for instructors.

Program Evaluators:

  • A system is in place to monitor the accessibility of courses and, based on this evaluation, the program takes actions to improve the accessibility of specific courses as well as update information and training given to potential students, actual students, course designers, and instructors.

As with so many things in this course, I am glad to have been made aware.  As an online course designer, I am now also accountable.

Jun
16

“Essentially and most simply put, plot is what the characters do to deal with the situation they are in. It is a logical sequence of events that grow from an initial incident that alters the status quo of the characters.    Elizabeth George

I love the term critical incident.  As it is described in our readings, a critical incident is an event which in some way has had a significant impact on your personal and professional learning in that it affects your thoughts about self, choices to be considered, and life paths to be journeyed.  The stories of successful adults with LD shared in class tonight talked about critical incidents:

Neil Smith:  College football scholarship leads to pro career

Patricia Polocco:  Kind teacher assists her in self discovery leads to drawing and writing career

Chuck Close:  Car accident leaves him in a wheelchair leading to using his hands and mind to paint amazing portraits even though he has ‘face blindness’

Diane Swank:  9-11 leads 20 people out of the towers even though she can’t tell right from left

TJ:  Failure at one career leads to a better fit as an ATM repairman

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about “critical incidents” in my life, but I’ve always looked at them as fate stepping in and giving me a nudge.  Yet, I guess they did alter the status quo.  The financial crisis of 2008 was the most recent critical incident for me because it led to a fork in my career path, and it lead to the decision to pursue a master’s degree.  And so it has been throughout my program experience – living in a parallel universe where life and learning have been mysteriously symbiotic – providing a textbook example of Levinson’s “building and modifying one’s life structure.”

Is it possible that there are no coincidences?  Is it possible that critical incidences are a means to your destiny?  Why don’t you say ‘no’ at that moment in time?  What causes you to reframe, to change your way of thinking about yourself as a result?  What would happen if you had said no to fate?  For me, I wouldn’t even know adult learning programs existed as part of the same school system I taught in, parented in, and consulted in.  I wouldn’t have ventured into social media or even have been aware at the amazing world of learning and knowledge sharing that is at your fingertips through technology.  I wouldn’t have met the amazing people that I did, been a part of intellectual discourse, been made aware of adult literacy and learning disability challenges, or be in the new career I am today.  I would be less of me.  It’s a good thing to alter status quo – and a better thing that we are not in control of critical incidents.

Jun
16

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.”   

William Shakespeare

I had the opportunity to interview two people for the case studies.  I chose one individual for the case study paper and presentation because she had more life experience, but the younger woman (age 23) that I also interviewed gave me some pause as I reflected about her maturity for this stage of her young life and the overwhelming importance of a strong social ecology during childhood when you are a person with learning disability.  In many cases this is a teacher or a counselor; in this case, it was Brigid’s mom.

Brigid’s older sister is moderately mentally disabled, but over the years has also been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.  As a result, Brigid’s mom spent years fighting the public school system as she tried to better understand her daughter’s disability and needs.  So when it became apparent that Brigid was struggling in school, her mom kicked it into high gear.  She had her tested outside of the school division, and upon the diagnosis of dyslexia pulled her from school for two weeks, sending her to an intensive “therapy” program all day every day for those two weeks.  It’s Brigid’s description of the therapy that interested me, and caused me to do some further investigating.

Brigid referred to one component of the therapy as using her ‘central eye.’   She said that normal people can read left to right and put the pieces together, but she needed to go beyond the boundaries using her ‘central eye’ (she used her hand above her head to demonstrate the motion) to pull it together from the periphery.  The closest I could find to this description is a vision therapy for a condition called convergence insufficiency, which is “a childhood vision problem caused by poor eye coordination that does not allow the eyes to work together, or ‘team’, especially when viewing small images such as print.” (Childrensvision)  Interestingly, this same website stated “In fact, many children with convergence insufficiency are often misdiagnosed with a learning disability, dyslexia, or ADD/ADHD.”

She also talked about standing on one foot and throwing bean bags, then closing one eye; she said they used a lot of clay.  She wasn’t sure why.  According to Balametrics , this was sensory integration activity, which “requires individuals to balance precisely, make spatial judgments and provide a means of allowing feedback are the most powerful and effective activities available for maintaining and improving brain-processing efficiency and allowing an individual to become an efficient learner and improve academic success.

When a person engages in balance therapy that includes motor activities involving many different sensory systems, the brain utilizes neural networks to organize and execute the activities effectively. As the difficulty of a task increases, the number of neurons the network requires to perform the task increases. This truth is demonstrated in the following example.

We have the ability to learn because of the existence of these many brain systems. It follows that the ability to learn is relative to the resolution and efficiency of these systems.”

Because of Brigid’s mom, she was giving a tremendous gift of self determination at a very young age.  She took her these compensatory techniques – her central eye and her with her sensory integration – with her when she then entered a school for children with dyslexia, grades 6-9, again at her mom’s insistence.  There she added more tricks to the self-determination vault.  “I am now more outgoing and love people.  Then I was so focused on trying to read and do homework that I wasn’t comfortable.  They taught me how to learn a different way so I am comfortable with it – and I still use those tricks:  why use a difficult word when a simple one will do; slow down; write it on a piece of paper and trace over it.

Education is first and foremost preparation of learner

for success in life.

This week we read about helping young adults with LD transition to employment.  One of the most important ways to do this is by helping them develop the concepts of self.  It interesting to me that the adults in her life helped her build her concept of self, but she knew very little about dyslexia and her legal rights for accommodation as an adult.  She did use accommodations in school for testing.

Brigid went on to the Technical Center and became a hair stylist.  She says her dyslexia is no big deal to her, and she often talks about it with clients.  Her biggest obstacle is the numbers on the hair colors, but she uses the ‘slow down’ process to avoid disasters. She must do very well at that  – today she has a book of 800 clients and prides herself in knowing each one of them as individuals.  “I use to have to keep a notebook to remember, but I don’t any more.  I don’t know how I do it.”

I do.  Our readings stated that the role parents play needs to be supported and nurtured.  Brigid’s mom’s intervention allowed her to take the “2-stage strategy” of establishing herself as a person first and a person with a disability later.

Jun
01

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”    

Thomas Jefferson

In 1979, I was an undergraduate learning about a fairly new law Public Law 94-142 that was enacted in 1975.  The kids I grew up with did not have this law to support them and their families in procuring services for disabilities.  I remember the “special ed” kids in my K-12 career – those that were taught in a separate classroom and whom we did not see often in the halls unless they were heading somewhere as a group.  The physical manifestations of their disability were obvious.  I don’t remember knowing any kids with identified learning disabilities, but I do remember boys who were especially antsy and ill tempered and others who struggled with school-related tasks.  They were ‘controlled’ with discipline and punishment.

The Gerber, Ginsberg and Reiff study found that “control is the key to success for adults with learning disabilities” and that “control meant making conscious decision to take charge of one’s life (internal decisions), and adapting and shaping oneself in order to move ahead (external manifestations).”  The subjects of this study all went through school before PL 94-142.  Let’s be honest – is their success due to being forced in some ways to control themselves in school?  Have the past three generations of students who grew up under the law become progressively less capable or more capable of taking charge of one’s life?  When I was a teacher-in-training, I was taught about the protections afforded by PL94-142, not the effect of decisions and resulting behaviors.  I was trained in the law as it related to children, not in ensuring student success in adulthood.

Gerber, Ginsberg and Reiff also state that “success for adults with learning disabilities is an evolving process that spans numerous years, but that process must commence with a conscious set of decisions”  and that “those who teach, parent, or counsel people with LD should be mindful of the power or their comments and the influence of their guidance.”  Let’s be honest – if an adult has not revealed their learning disability how do I know the importance of my potential influence as I interact with them?

Perhaps a better way for me think about this is to consider all adults as working through the cycle of translating internal decisions into success-oriented external behaviors.  Don’t we all have the desire to succeed, of being goal oriented, and don’t we all in a way need to reframe our learning experiences in a positive and productive way?   Don’t we all find creative ways of being adaptable and coping, strive for goodness of fit, and tend to create a social ecology of personal support designed to facilitate our success in any given endeavor?  I need to consider this as I participate in work teams; I need to consider this as I interact with friends and family – with a focus on the evolving over the years part; I need to consider this particularly as I develop online instruction.   Can I become the “critical incident” that effects decision making for others?

Let’s be honest–

we can all benefit from this type of insight and support.

May
30

“When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land.” 

Samuel Johnson

ImageWhen I was in high school I worked at a shoe store.  We had that old silver tool to determine the size of shoe that would fit.  It was rarely accurate, as it didn’t take into account various manufacturing processes, but it was a gauge for closeness.  Parents came in, not even sure of their child’s shoe size as they had grown so much recently.  These parents often wanted shoes with a lot of “wiggle room” so they would last awhile – measured by a full thumb distance from the toe to the end of the shoe.  The parents knew what was best.

Later, when I was an elementary school teacher I used a different type of tool to determine a different type of size for fit – evaluation of study ability.  It was here that I applied my college special education minor to assess needed and appropriate services for students that may or may not have a learning disability.  Parents came in to the IEP meeting, not even sure of their child’s needs themselves as things had gotten out of control recently.  These parents wanted services with a lot of “wiggle room” so that all bases would be covered – measured now by how often they had to leave the classroom and other accommodations within the educational environment.  The parents knew what was best.

Until day one of our class, I hadn’t thought about the persistency of these students’ learning disability into adult life or the role of self-advocacy they had to take on.  In particular, I had never thought of MY role in shaping their adult success.  I remember encouraging parents (and my friends who had children who were provided services) to advocate for their children because if they didn’t they could never be sure someone else was.  Anne Ford concurs, “Neither status nor wealth matters as much as your support.  The simple fact is that you – the parent – are the most powerful advocate your child will ever have.”

What I don’t recall is what I did, beside comply with the IEP and provide as strong of a mainstream environment as possible, to work with the students on determining “goodness of fit” for themselves, on strengthening their self-esteem.  This was not in the teaching curriculum.

The National Adult Literacy and Learning Disability Center suggests four ways to strengthen self-esteem:

  • Awareness – knowing about and documenting
  • Assessment – understanding strengths and weaknesses
  • Accommodation – knowing what compensatory strategies and techniques help
  • Advocacy – knowing legal rights and services for which qualified

I wish I would have known about the NALLD back then.  In the Dale Brown article, he states “It has not been easy for me to find my place in society as an LD adult.  It took hard work, self-discipline, and positive thinking.  I had to demand the training that was needed in each situation.”  These are skills I could have taught in addition to core subject areas.

It’s funny how the image that came to mind when I first heard the term “goodness of fit” was of my shoe selling days.  As the old saying goes, “if the shoe fits, wear it – if the style’s wrong, change it.”  Perhaps this is a good analogy for what adults with learning disabilities face – constantly assessing the ‘norm’ with the silver tool, but adjusting the size for their foot based on style and manufacturer.  As Reiff and Telander put it, “Success entail(s) a continuous process of confronting one’s strengths and weaknesses and making adjustments.”  This is Goodness of Fit.

Nov
29

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”     — Red Adair

I have never considered the origin and evolution of the culture of my workplace, not even the one that I created as a small business upstart.  I guess I just accepted that ‘it’ is done this way because that’s how ‘it’ has always been done.  In the case of my consulting firm, it was a spin off of another firm and their culture.  While we did create our own artifacts and had our own espoused values (that were designed to be counter culture to our parent firm, but weren’t really), there were very few assumptions I would call our very own. In retrospect, I can see that it was these few assumptions, however, that were actually the ones that caused my increasing dissatisfaction in my work when faced with economic difficulty – because they weren’t aligned with my value system.  Schein’s chapters on how culture emerges in Organizational Culture and Leadership shed an interesting light on not only the role of the founder and leader, but the role of every member of the organization along the way.

Of all the primary embedding mechanisms Schein Schein points to, ‘how leaders recruit, select, promote, and excommunicate’  was most intriguing to me.  Having recently gone through a rather arduous interview and hiring process, I considered why I hired from a new perspective.  Schein says, “One of the subtlest yet most potent ways through which leader assumptions get embedded and perpetuated is the process of selecting new members… Founders and leaders tend to find attractive those candidates who resemble present members in style, assumptions, values and beliefs.” Was I hired, then, because I resemble other members on the team or because I do not?  From what I’ve been able to discern perhaps a little bit of both.

There were seven coworkers involved in each of three interviews I had for this position.  The first was a phone interview, the second a face to face where I was asked to conduct a presentation, the third a Skype in which I had to suggest changes to a learning module that would integrate technology.  The fact that the ‘leader’ involved all of my soon to be colleagues would seem to say something about her values and beliefs.  What did they learn about me in the process? Were they looking for innovation and change or confirmation and consistency?  Did they realize they were responding to culture?

What if you would like to hire for innovation and change?  From what I’ve read, this is where wheat Schein calls ‘the reinforcement mechanisms’ come into play – systems and procedures, rituals of the organization, space, formal statements, etc.   I read several articles on this topic that indicate if you want to bring in innovation, you have to reflect innovation – in the job descriptions, in the screening process, in the interview questions and process itself, on the website.  In other words, you have to both externally and internally prove an ‘innovative culture’ to the candidate.  By this definition, it appeared that by giving me several tasks to perform and creative ways to demonstrate my skills and knowledge, the team was seeking innovation.  You always want to think that, at least, when you are job seeking.  Creating an innovative culture, the ‘gurus’ on the videos say, “has to come from the top down.”   They also say that you can bring in the right person, but that innovative implementation – “going to market” with the innovation is much, much harder.  I believe that is because of the inconsistency between the embedding mechanisms and the reinforcement mechanisms.  Schein says these work to create a positive culture by being consistent.  I can find my answer to why I was hired, so he says, in observing leader behaviors.

I know what I would like the answer to be.  Does it have to be all or nothing?  One article suggested that innovation can occur ‘a bit at a time’ – after you do enough the big ideas occur.  Steven Johnson, in this creative video – Where Good Ideas Come From  – says that good ideas are “where hunches collide.”  Perhaps culture shifts, little by little, with each collision over time.

Can a slow shift in embedded mechanisms help to shape a culture in new ways?  Can I shape culture in this way?  It seems when we want to create a new or different culture we start by ‘bringing in the reinforcements,’  forcing change to procedures, and structures, and rituals, and space.  These are the amateurs.  The professionals focus on the thinking, feeling and behaving – and little collisions over time.

Nov
22

“If, on occasion, the knowledge brought by science leads to an unhappy end, this is not to the discredit of science but is rather an indication of an imperfect ability to use wisely the gifts placed within our hands.”     –Polykarp Kusch

Tis the season.  Time to make the list, choose the perfect gift, wrap it up, and give it to the lucky receiver.  I cannot help but draw an analogy to client feedback.  It is a gift.  Like the perfect gift, there was a great deal of thought that went into its choosing – matching the purchase to the person.  And just like a gift all wrapped up in a bow, how it will be received depends upon what’s inside.

Will the client be happy?  Will they use the gift?  If the feedback is positive, and the client feels they got what they were hoping to out of the experience and developed new insights, they will be happy.  The best gifts are those that are from the heart, well thought out and matched with the person.  Sometimes, happiness is because the gift is more than what was asked for, but it hadn’t been really thought possible. The gift provides a fresh perspective. This is our ultimate goal – consulting flawlessly to be truly helpful, to be a gift.

Will the client be surprised or upset?  If the feedback is inconsistent with the goals, the discovery process and the conversations you’ve had along the way, the client may be taken totally off guard.  When we receive a gift that totally surprises us, it takes awhile to determine how to react.  The initial reaction can be deceiving, and often does not fully express the recipient’s feelings toward the gift, only the feeling of being surprised.  Often, we will hear someone ask, “Do you like it?”  And often, an awkward silence follows with a sheepish grin and a tentative, ‘of course I do.’  Perhaps you thought you understood what would make a good gift for the individual, but was actually misinterpreted.

Will the client be indifferent?  Sometimes there is no anticipation and no surprise at what is inside the box.  Every Christmas my husband gets caught up in the sales and buys his own gifts then gives them to me to wrap for him.  In consulting, we call this collusion.  The client expresses what they want and we give them exactly that, without trying to further explore if there is a gift that better suits.  The client may get exactly what was on the list, but next year the list will be the same because they haven’t had experience with something that is better suited to their needs.

As we wind up the consulting process and provide our feedback, I am considering the gift I am giving the client.  It has to be more than a pretty package.  It must not elicit an awkward silence.  It has to be something a little unexpected, but perfectly tailored to their needs.  Am I providing the best opportunity to use wisely the gifts I place within their hands?

Nov
15

“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”     — Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Did you know that the discovery of the Titanic was accidental?  That Robert Ballard and crew were really on a spy mission disguised as an exploration to find the ship? …an accident meeting a prepared mind. On Saturday at the Forum, Robert Ballard, ocean explorer, discoverer of the Titanic spoke at the Richmond Forum.  His hour long lecture was riveting, and there is promise of more to come as the 100 year anniversary of the event approaches in April of next year.  Dr. Ballard lives his life in the pursuit of discovery – not to extract and display, but to learn.  He leaves the artifacts to continue to tell the story over time.

As I began the discovery analysis for our project, I started thinking about Ballard’s approach as it relates to process consulting.  I couldn’t help but wonder if there is a parallel.  Working through the layers of discovery, have we been extracting artifacts and holding them up for display?  If we do so, does that contribute to what is learned or just put the concept safely under glass for awhile?  It feels great to have a ‘breakthrough’ in the discovery process, but it feels discouraging when the artifact turns out to have little value or interest after the initial excitement.

I wonder if Robert Ballard ever felt this way.

What have we learned from the discovery?  What are we going to do about it?  How prepared has the mind been to meet (and deal with) the accident?  What is the CLIENT DOING about the problem?

In one of Block’s additional content papers, The Oversight Fallacy, he warns, “A cost is incurred the moment we start believing that if we closely and critically watch something, it will get better.”  I wonder if we have been spending too much time closely and critically watching our client work through her problem in her way and not enough time actually being helpful.

Block suggests that to turn oversight into insight, one has to rethink the role.   Three of the ways he suggests to do this may be worth it for our client to try:

  • Take power and status out of the focus and turn to one of help and service.  Our client can ‘be helpful’ by shedding the power and status of the old model of business and use her abilities to make the new model successful.  We haven’t focused on making the new model successful.
  • Accountability should flow in both directions.  It is time for the client to state how she is contributing to the problem.   It is time for us as process consultants to make this happen.  Block says, “When we begin to value insight above oversight, and invest more in connection than in correction, we make real accountability possible.”
  • Make dialogue the purpose of meetings.  Johnson and Johnson theorized that dialogue’s purpose is to increase the learning – that it provides a way to achieve mutual goals and be motivated to strive for mutual benefit. In this way, dialogue is a process of discovery – but, like Robert Ballard, not one of extracting for the purpose of display, but for learning.

Let’s hope we can prepare our client’s mind.  You never know when an ‘accident’ may happen.  Will we sink or will we swim?