Possibility-oriented questions

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In the last post, we have seen that our behavior follows our questions. For instance, I could complain about the lack of response to my emails. I could ask limiting questions that focus on finding the culprit. Why do they not even have the courtesy to reply? Who ignores my emails? These questions will make me feel annoyed and not …

What do you ask to influence others?

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In our culture of telling, to ask can be judged as ignorance while leaders are supposed to know what to do. Telling is expected and respected. And it feels so good to give advice, thinking we have solved someone else’s problem! But wise leaders use questions to engage people and encourage them to take ownership. Looking at the lack of …

The art of asking

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Humble Inquiry is the art of asking questions to which you do not already know the answer. It is building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person, says Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry. Our culture is biased toward telling. When in telling mode, we hope to educate, impress, or to entertain. Western, egalitarian and …

Silence, Violence or Flow?

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What kind of interactions are taking place around you? A helpful discernment is whether there is silence, violence, or a natural flow in a conversation – as described in Patterson’s a.o. book Crucial Conversations. In crucial conversations there is a lot at stake and we often hold things inside by going silent until we can take it no longer—and then …

Positive Communication

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“Every professional context is created by the conversations that people have. (..) Every moment of interaction is important. Positive communication can help create positive organizational climates, high-quality relationships, and affect a wide range of outcomes such as health, learning, or morale.” That’s what researchers Julien Mirivel and Ryan Fuller found out. Even something as simple as the absence or presence …

Personal Positive Power from me to YOU

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Welcome back, positive people! I hope your summer was energizing! Are you ready to continue your path to being a positive agent and contributing to positive change, regardless of your position? If you’ve been following this book that I blog online, you’ve done your personal preparation and you’re ready, willing and able to be a positive agent. If you just …

Do others still bother you?

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You, too, are probably mistreated in one way or another. You might be overlooked, blamed, discriminated against, criticized in one context or another. But you still have the choice to see the other as a whole person. That is what great people did: they did not become bitter by their unjust treatment and saw others only as demons or caricatures. …

Do you engage in drama?

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A well-known example of Ego-interaction is the “drama triangle”, described by psychologist Stephen Karpman. One of your self-justifying narratives could be the prosecutor, the victim, or the rescuer. The Victim’s stance is “Poor me!” He feels oppressed, helpless, hopeless, ashamed, and can’t make decisions, solve problems, etc. The Victim always finds a Persecutor and a Rescuer – who both perpetuate …

How do I relate to others?

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How do you relate to others? When you look at situations the blind spot is yourself. As you are the source of attention, looking outward, it is not easy to “turn back the camera” and see yourself as part of the situation. Here lies an explanation for self-deception. You may conclude: the others are the problem, not you. Self-deception is …

What does your body say?

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If you suspect that you might need to clean up some emotional issues before you can be an authentic person at work – Steve Sisgold is your man. In his practical book What is your body telling you? he shares many exercises to tap into the wisdom of your body and your inner knowing. We cannot embody positivity if we …

How is your energy?

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In The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarz write that managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance. To be engaged, we must be energized physically, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our self-interest. For that to happen we also need rest and recovery – something that is less valued …

How authentic can you be?

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I hope you are still reading this blog… Why do I go on about transcending fears and feeling safe in spite of human vulnerability? Because authenticity is essential for positive agents. Authenticity also fuels your courage, which helps to be the change you wish to see. Frederic Laloux labeled it “wholeness” in the reinvented, “Teal” organizations that he researched. People …