Saturday, April 18, 2009

Communcations - video clip

While I was at Spring Harvest I saw this advert in one of the seminars.  It would be a good one to use for talking about communication

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Making the right decision

Here are some more notes from the Spring Harvest seminar by James Lawrence....

Making a decision can be a tricky business. The outcome depends upon what we do (the action) and when we do it (the time). If we don't get the right combination, things might not work out as we expect. This diagram attempts to show what can happen:

Wrong action

Right action

Wrong time

Wrong time





Wrong action

Right action

Right time

Right time

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Thursday, October 04, 2007


A few months ago I typed up some of the key points from the Spring Harvest leadership seminars I attended this year. I thought I'd type up some more on the subject of change...

Principles of change

1) different people react differently to one end of the spectrum we have people who like stability and at the other we have people who like change. For those of us who are trying to undertake change, we have to ask ourselves: what if someone likes stability? After all some people like Church because it is a source of stability in a changing world. Change can lead to:
2) Everyone has fundamental needs to be meet. Those initiating the change need to consider what these individual needs are and how change will effect / meet those needs.

3) Change involves loss...people go through a "loss curve" like grieving:
4) Fears need to be dealt with in a rational way
Note that change usually requires a considerable length of time...skipping steps can't be done.

Kotters eight phases of leadership through change

1) Establish a sense of urgency
2) Form a powerful guiding coalition
3) Create a vision...a clear a concise description of what you are doing. This should be written in terms of outcomes, not specific activities
4) Communicate your vision, use every opportunity and every tool you have available. Do this time and time again.
5) Empower others to act....coaching
6) Plan and create short term wins (milestones). This enables people to see progress.
7) Consolidate and maintain momentum
8) Institutionalise the new approaches

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Bullying seminar notes

These are from some seminar notes from Spring Harvest about 2 years ago...

Some definitions of bullying

...put simply, if it makes the victim feel bad, then it's bullying

Why do people bully?
Problems victim's experience
Symptoms of bullying
How to deal with bullying
Other comments

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Developing leaders vs developing followers

Here are some more notes from the seminar by James Lawrence.

We were exploring the issue - is it better to develop leaders or followers? In reality most of us try to develop what he termed to "followers", which in the long run is less effective than developing leaders.

Here's a comparison between developing leaders vs developing followers:

Leaders that develop followersLeaders that develop leaders
Need to be neededWant to be succeeded (do themselves out of a job)
Focus on weaknessFocus on strengths
Develop the bottom 20%Develop the top 20%
Treat the people the same for "fairness" sakeTreat people as individuals for impact
Hoard powerGive power away
Spend time with others (more socially)Invest time in others (more focused)
Grow by addition Grow by multiplication
Only impact the people they touchImpact people beyond their reach

I can recognise some of this in myself - I think where I struggle is "treat people the same". I guess this is because we are so paranoid about favoritism.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Team leaders role

I've been going through some of my old notes from various training sessions I've been on. These notes are from a seminar by James Lawrence & Rob White on team work:

There are two fundamental principles on developing people.

1) Everyone can develop other people, you can do this through:
2) For the sake of the many, invest in a few

The team leaders role is to:
  1. build and maintain the team
  2. achieve the task
  3. develop individuals
People tend to prefer one of these three roles, ie, we focus on "team", or the "task", or "individuals".
The leaders must make sure all three of these things happen.

To make these happen, we need to be aware of the "needs" of the "team", "task" and "individual":

The needs of the "individual"
The needs of the "task"
The needs of the "team"

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dealing with conflict

I've just been going through some of my notes from Spring of the sessions I went to looked at the issue of conflict. I've typed up some of the notes (see below). When it's laid out like this, it's quite easy to recognise some of the problems we come across and when we, as individuals, will succeed...for example, I'm probably a 'problem solver'...but people like me will find it difficult to solve some conflicts...there may be times when a facilitator is needed.

Three myths about conflict
  1. Conflict can never lead to anything positive
  2. Conflicts are a result of clashing personalities. Personalities don’t clash, behavior does
  3. Conflict and anger go together

Four levels of conflict

Generaly speaking there are four causes (or levels) of conflict:

Level 1 – Facts or data. People have the wrong information about stuff
Level 2 – Process or methods. There is a disagreement about how something should be done.
Level 3 – Goals or purpose. When people don’t agree with vision
Level 4 – Values. Where the parties disagree about basic values, ie, one party thinks we should look to the past, others look to the future.

Styles of handling

When dealing with conflict, most of us will fit into one of these roles:

  1. The problem solver. These people refuse to give in…finding a solution is just a mater of time. This approach tends to work where the parties have common goals
  2. The super helper. This person wants to see all conflicts resolved. They will fight tooth and nail for someone else but often find it hard to sort out their own issues
  3. The power broker. We will solve this problem and it does not matter how many casualties there are. All that matters is that we resolve the problem.
  4. The facilitator. They look for ways of bringing people together
  5. The fearful looser. These people tend to run from conflict.

Top tips

  • Separate the people from the problem
  • Focus on the issues not the positions
  • Think about the options that might solve the problem(s). Is there space for compromise?
    Insist on objective criteria….on what basis will we agree to disagree? A third party judge?
  • Try make it a shared problem, not a conflict problem
  • Don’t be personal – behave like adults
  • Keep your body language in check
  • Try to clarify goals. What outcome is needed and where goal fits?
  • Listen carefully ‘underneath the words’ and reflect back, ie, don't just listen to what they are saying....what do their words imply?

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Why does bad stuff happen?

I mentioned other week, I'm thinking of doing some sessions on tricky questions such as Why does bad stuff happen. While I don't want this to be an academic debate, I thought I'd try and come up with all arguments and some of the counter arguments. Here are some that I've come across so far:

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Talk response 13: friendship braclet

Make a friendship bracelet. Each strand could represents a prayer. I think I saw this at Spring Harvest

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