From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs in Organizations Print E-mail
From Breakdowns to Breakthroughs

Workshops for corporations and organizations are specifically designed to deal with issues that could range from teamwork to long range planning. The first activity is to create a setting of safety and trust by developing a team among participants. We focus on rooting diversity in sameness and uniqueness in both diversity and sameness.    

We introduce participants to disempowering and empowering ways of communication/behavior using body sculptures that intensify and make overt and concrete one’s internal experiences. In this way people become aware of their breathing, their body sensations, their feelings and their thoughts in empowering and disempowering ways of being. The body's responses become a comprehensible system of signals, like the dashboard of a car, where lights come on to warn about what needs attention.                                                                        

We conceptualize disempowering behaviors as people-pleasing, blaming or bullying, being passive-aggressive, being super-reasonable, and being irrelevant; while empowering behavior, saying it straight, honors the three ingredients of an interaction, ones-self, others, and the issue. 

Participants make movies about issues important to them at work and discover how they feel and the effects they have on others as they behave in empowering or disempowering ways. In our experience, people are surprised to discover that when they say it straight, they increase their own self-esteem and they gain respect from others, who also feel more respected.               

Participants learn to transform rules that lead them to disempowering behavior, such as, “I must always win,” I must never lose,” “I must always put others’ needs before my own,” “I must  always appear to go along with you, but I will sabotage your project,” etc.                                                                                                                              

At the end of the workshop, participants discover that when they make a sculpture of their dream for the organization, their dreams are all the same and their intention and will is for a positive outcome.

I, YOU, IT
The process of moving from breakdowns to breakthroughs in corporations and organizations requires counting one’s own contributions (I), the contributions of others (You) and dealing with the relevant issues (It). When we say it straight, our intention is positive for ourselves, others in our organization, our customers or clients and our products. When we say it straight, we take ownership and responsibility for our actions. Our decisions are realistic results of our contributions and the contributions of others. We can negotiate, compromise and come to constructive decisions that could not be reached with disempowering behaviors.
When we don't say it straight, we cross out some parts of one or more ingredients of the interaction (I, You and It).
We conceptualize disempowering behaviors as placating or people-pleasing, blaming or bullying, placating with a grudge or being passive-aggressive, being super-reasonable, and being irrelevant; while empowering behavior, saying it straight, honors the three ingredients of an interaction, ones-self (I), others (You), and the issue (It).     
We introduce participants to disempowering and empowering ways of communication/behavior using body sculptures that intensify and make overt and concrete one’s internal experiences. In this way people become aware of their breathing, their body sensations, their feelings and their thoughts in empowering and disempowering ways of being. The body's responses become a comprehensible system of signals, like the dashboard of a car, where lights come on to warn about what needs attention.                                         
Placating, people pleasing: we discount our possible contributions and go along with others, even without stating our point of view
Bullying, blaming, demeaning: we ignore the contributions of others, value only our own and hold others responsible for negative results.
Placating with a grudge: we appear to go along even when we disagree, but we don’t deliver and sometimes even sabotage the project.
Being super-reasonable: we focus intensely on statistics, facts and ignore the human element that can undermine team morale and curtail participation of highly trained personnel.
Being irrelevant: we lack focus, disrupt, frequently get off point rather than take the risk to engage. We are the weakest link in the organization.
Workshops for corporations and organizations are specifically designed to deal with issues that could range from teamwork to long range planning. The first activity is to create a setting of safety and trust by developing a team among participants. We focus on rooting diversity in sameness and uniqueness in both diversity and sameness.                                           
Participants make movies about issues important to them at work and discover how they feel and the effects they have on others as they behave in empowering or disempowering ways. In our experience, people are surprised to discover that when they say it straight, they increase their own self-esteem and they gain respect from others, who also feel more respected.                           
Participants learn to transform rules that lead them to disempowering behavior, such as, “I must always win,” I must never lose,” “I must always put others’ needs before my own,” “I must always appear to go along with you, but I will sabotage your project,” etc.     
At the end of the workshop, participants discover that when they make a sculpture of their dream for the organization, their dreams are all the same and their intention and will is for a positive outcome.

More details can be found in, “Transforming Breakdowns to Breakthroughs in Work Teams.” Paula Englander-Golden, David Golden and Brenda McCoy, Proceedings of the 1996 International Conference on Work Teams,  Dallas, Texas, September 1996. You can download a copy of this paper by clicking here.

To look at the relationship between Communication/Behavior and rules, click here.

 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 16 April 2016 )
 
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Say It Straight was conducted in my Educable Mentally-Handicapped (EMH) classroom. After the training one of my EMH students became aware that a classroom aide had a marajuana "joint" in her purse and he was able to confront her and express his concern for her in a counselor-student-student conference.

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