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How to get ideas- through framing, metaphors

Change Management/ Metaphors/ communication

Metaphors

When we try to communicate complex, abstract concepts, it makes better sense to use a metaphor. For example, while explaining a change management initiative- like introducing lean processes, or teamwork in a traditional organization, moving into a knowledge sharing or innovation-based culture. There are any number of movies where a leader using a sports metaphor inspires teamwork to implement his vision. There are also any number of research studies on how to inspire teamwork, where individual achievement has been the norm. The idea is to appeal to emotionality; because mere rational tools are inadequate. Results indicate that metaphors can be a useful tool for helping individuals understand and accept the importance of teamwork. Today, in some organizations which I work with, needs that dose of framing. One business leader calls himself a Gardener instead of Director. While grooming his GenY employees, it helps them become disciplined innovators. Another business leader called himself Grim Reaper during an employee downsizing exercise. That helped the “walking wounded” teams heal themselves and take up additional responsibilities after downsizing. Today’s organizations are familiar with Rollercoaster rides, “becoming the moving target” “slap on the face”, “teams simmering in the Pressure Cooker”, or Marathon Effects, Juggling & Dropping some Balls, Big Brother Acquisitions, say, in the Telecom industry. That has become the New Normal for many. “Who moved my Cheese?”, Job redesign and Grief Cycle have become standard vocabulary in several sectors too. Some Sectors have even used Imminent Death as a metaphor to help understand the grim organizational realities. Some managers have had to Abandon Ship…which is a tragedy whichever way you look at it. Some employees described “Free Fall” or “Caught in an Iron Cage”, “Carried by the Current” or even “Tsunami” or, “It was Cast in Stone”. It was easier for “those who saw the writing on the Wall” or “Silver linings at the end of the cloud/ tunnel” or “were in the Driver’s Seat” or realized “we couldn’t drop the ball” or “culture was the glue that made it doable” Those who had to cope with “the Cream was off the Custard” or “Cushioned by the Network” were the lucky ones. Successful managers have played along with the affected – indeed used the same words to heal. They sailed in the same boat, while were Learning from the Book of Life. In a more comparatively benign scenario, the failure of inter-departmental communication was there for all to see. The prospective solutions were discussed, teams were asked to ponder the likely perspectives of other participants by assigning counter positions in a training situation. For example, the sales manager and a production manager were called to a meeting to discuss lagging sales of a new product. The trainer asked the sales manager to open the meeting with a discussion of ways in which the product could be presented more effectively to prospective customers. The production manager could then lead a discussion of how potential changes in the product or improvements in its quality might make it easier to sell. This approach forces each individual to adopt another’s perspective instead of rushing to frame the problem as someone else’s failure. The Metaphor used was that In The Company’s Journey, We are Co-Passangers. The Destination is a Common Goal. We Exchange the Role of Driver and Navigator. The traditional, less effective managers and problem solvers tend to interpret everything from a fixed standpoint. Instead,  situations and problems can be framed and reframed in different ways allowing new kinds of solutions to emerge. Do you have an experience where metaphors have made it possible to cope with a grim situation; or change in attitude was possible through reframing the context? Do share with me and my readers your story of change management….

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Interpersonal skills: an overview

Interpersonal communication skills

Interpersonal communication skills

There are plenty of Models for Interpersonal Communication, which have value. I personally like to use the above model (refined through experience), where one decides how to communicate with colleagues, friends, family, children; based on the desired outcome.

If we want to motivate a child or team-member, there are several steps we can use before we deliver the message itself. There are other persuasive elements we can use to motivate a recent acquaintance to say, part with the phone number of his colleague. The idea is not to manipulate, but to truly engage him and his colleague in a win-win opportunity. Isn’t that how collaborative projects begin?

On the other hand, if we want to clarify study or work instructions, a feedback and clarification loop will be a better communication strategy. Listening skills have to improve too. Have you been in a situation where things got messed up because you thought the instruction was pretty simple; but not to the other person?

I surely have had several occasions like that. So I have learnt this communication model the hard way!

The Starbuck’s Way

The Starbuck’s Way.

Resilience in Leadership

Resilience in Leadership.

Playing with Expectations

Playing with Expectations.

More on Multiple Intelligences Quiz

I was struggling to demystify Multiple Intelligences in words, and checked how others have done it.

Thats when I found this video, thank you Mr. Thompson.

Once we have found out what are our strengths or strong Intelligences, we can use certain types of learning and working experiences to strengthen them. There is an insightful MI Immerson SURFAQUARIUM designed by Walter McKenzie:

AppMom MISurfarium

So a Linguistic Smart person like me can develop myself in multiple ways:

I can develop my poet intelligence writing Haiku

OR

As an interpreter or story reteller as in:

http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/childrn/cbhp.html

OR

Use GarageBand on an iPhone or MixCraft for PCs and audioblog.

OR

Engage with the voicethread community

OR

Use WizIQ or YouTube and Podcast

I cannot help sharing this video about someone who knows her strength:

Time for me to explore all of these. So many possibilities!!! To energize myself, Anthony Robbins’ video on Top Right Hand Corner is enough.

How about you? What type of Intelligences are you working on?

More on Multiple Intelligences Quiz

Multiple Intelligences Test that you can use.

Here is a video on MI or Multiple Intelligences for us mere mortals:) I took the MI test and watched this video before I used the MI Surfarium to set my goals and activities towards those goals. You can try the same strategy.

I was struggling to demystify Multiple Intelligences in words, and checked how others have done it.

Thats when I found this video, thank you Mr. Thompson.

Once we have found out what are our strengths or strong Intelligences, we can use certain types of learning and working experiences to strengthen them. There is an insightful MI Immerson SURFAQUARIUM designed by Walter McKenzie:

AppMom MISurfarium

So a Linguistic Smart person like me can develop myself in multiple ways:

I can develop my poet intelligence writing Haiku

OR

As an interpreter or story reteller as in:

http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/childrn/cbhp.html

OR

Use GarageBand on an iPhone or MixCraft for PCs and audioblog.

OR

Engage with the voicethread community

OR

Use WizIQ or YouTube and Podcast

I cannot help sharing this video about someone who knows her strength:

Time for me to explore all of these. So many possibilities!!! To energize myself, Anthony Robbins’ video on Top Right Hand Corner is enough.

How about you? What type of Intelligences are you working on?

Quiz to help you discover your strengths- Personality type

personality quiz

Discover your strengths

http://similarminds.com/jung.html

December is a good time to look back, introspect and plan ahead. I like to discover my strengths and work on it. I would say, my strengths are writing, sharing, helping kids and others discover their dreams, their hidden plans and make them come true in a structured, step-by-step manner. I am a great believer in setting goals- both long-term and short-term. Thats how we can build focus and not get distracted.

I know many friends(esp. at- home mothers)  who feel that its no use planning, because it will never come true. Also it takes a lot of reflection, in-depth planning, syching with other family members and so on. No time for that. To them, I’ll say it will all be worth your while because slow and STEADY is the only way we can live our values and make our goals come true. I will not yet say DREAMS. We’ll come to that in a few months.

One way to begin this journey is to take a personality test. Lets take any one of these free tests (no need to take an expensive For Fee test):

http://www.truity.com/test/type-finder-research-edition

http://www.celebritytypes.com/test.php

https://www.123test.com/jung-personality-test/

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

http://similarminds.com/jung.html

http://personality-testing.info/tests/OEJTS/

Top TIPS:

Simplifying the Four dimensions of personality:

  • Extraversion/Introversion: this dimension describes our approach to managing our energy levels
  • Sensing/Intuition: this dimension describes our style of thinking about facts and ideas
  • Thinking/Feeling: this dimension describes our orientation to personal values, biases, beliefs and other subjective inclination.
  • Judging/Perceiving dimension describes our approach to goals and time management or how we make desicions or the big picture of life.

The goal of the personality test is to help us find our personality type, out of sixteen possibilities, which best reflects our attitudes and behavior.

Top questions in my mind:

1. Can a quiz give an objective view of our personality, when we are not consistent from day to day?

2. Can the results help us find ourselves and guide us to remain our authentic self or our true self?

3. Is this a valid way to set our goals? There are so many Personality Tests. Have you taken any?

What are your views? Do respond in the comments box ot write to me at prasannawrites@gmail.com

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