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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Mirrors and Windows.

I have been facilitating behavior change in groups and individuals for over 26 years now.  As I teach new facilitators on how to drill down into the issues that haunt human souls I have come to realize that simple imagery works best.  I preach asking questions opposed to having answers to the point that it has become my mantra. But how do we break questions down so the facilitator can create a clear path of understanding?  It is here, in this place of confusion, where most people loose the impact of the question.  So where do we start?  My first "waypoint" question is  one I asked internally.   Is the behavior functional or dysfunctional?  The answer can only be verbalized by the person who we are working with.  And the answer must address the issue of their journey.  I can look at some one and make a judgment about their behavior being dysfunctional.  But that is not my job!

Their Journey?  Simply put, where are they now, and where do they want to go?  When they put their head down on their pillow what do they dream about becoming?  No one that I have ever met dreams about having less, being less, or doing less in life.  What is their dream?  As with all journeys, we can verbalize where we want to go.  So is the behavior in question helping them get to, or move them towards their dream?  Is it functional behavior?  If the behavior is moving them forward toward the dream then our work is done.  If not, if the behavior is dysfunctional and not getting them to their dream we ask another question.  Is it dysfunctional because of the lack of desire or the lack of ability?  The answer to this question will determine our course of action in the facilitation process.  To we motivate or educate?  Do we inspire or teach?

This brings us to the mirrors and windows concept.  If you are like me, you will hear a lot of "I don't know" answers being delivered to you.  It is important, I think, for the facilitator to realize that humans do three things.  We cognate or think,  We emote or feel, and we behave or act.  Creating change in any one of these areas will have an effect on the other two.  So I ask my students to tell me what the see (active looking as a behavior), think, and feel when... When you look in a mirror, what do you see, what do you feel, and what to you think.   Once my student has answered these questions, I now move to the window.  When you look out the window what do you see, feel, and think?  I now have a basic idea of what my student whats to become, what their self image is and how they feel and think about themselves as well as, what their perception is of their environment.  Now we are ready to take a journey.  Now we can begin to move toward their dream with some clear understanding of what needs to change and why.

Thoughts?

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