Category Archives: Change

One Little Acorn …

Acorn Eating SquirrelThe creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

… of course, you still have to plant and nurture that acorn for quite a while.

What acorns are you holding right now?

What might they grow into being?

What do you need to do to make this happen?

Reviewing my small collection of nuts and dreams, and planning hard in the Heartland ….

John

Listening Intently, But For What Purpose? …

Listening“A man who listens because he has nothing to say can hardly be a source of inspiration.  The only listening that counts is that of the talker who alternately absorbs and expresses himself.”

Agnes Repplier

Sometimes in class, I step out of myself and observe the scene …

There I am, trying real hard to ask open-ended and thought-provoking questions, while I throw a well-constructed visual image up on the screen, and relate the discussion to both the background materials they should have read before class and the real world application of all that theory.   It exhausts me to construct just the right combination of words and pictures in the right order with the right nuances  …

Then I observe the students, who appear to be hard at work, often copying the content of the slide or staring at the handout from the course text, intently poring over the words like they have never read those ideas, concepts, and terms before.  They are very busy listening.

The number of times I get a thoughtful response or question is disappointingly small …

Why do we listen, if not to question?

    Listen to hear what is said …

    Hear to reflect on what  it means…

    Reflect to understand and to question (Yes, you can do both at the same time) …

    Ask the question to learn more and deeper …

    Listen to hear the response   … and repeat

Waiting for the completion of the circle in the Heartland ….

John

Painful Scenes …

This little video has been making the rounds over the past few days, but I just managed to squeeze in a look-see on Sunday afternoon … and it left me wishing a few things …

I wish I had passed it by … watching this was one uncomfortable and even painful experience.  I was almost immediately overwhelmed

I wish I could say that this is just humor … but like most truly humorous things, it has the absolute ring of truth about it.  I found myself putting real names to the characters as the story unfolded.

I wish that this was not the way meetings, planning, and collaboration between groups goes, but I know that it all too often is exactly how things go.  I can almost taste the discouragement that we are not further down the road in listening to each other, understanding and analyzing problems, and in leadership.

The man in the middle is the one for whom I reserve special enmity … he is the epitome of a poor leader and the worst aspect is his total obliviousness to his own inability to effectively lead.  Never gets the reality of what is being discussed, is clueless regarding how to manage discussions effectively, and does not respect those whom he leads.

Sorry, I had been expecting a cute little video about silly things that happen when workers get together.  Instead I got a strong dose of reality … and a refreshed resolve to get busy doing something about this.

I just don’t want them to need to make more videos like this about real workplace life in the Heartland ….

John