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Beth Symes WGNU Radio Interview with Judy Ryan on Healthy Schools

In this WGNU interview on Healthy Schools, Judy Ryan shares information on a Responsibility-Based School and the conditions needed to develop fully engaged students who take charge of their relationships, how much they get done and getting excited to be at school.

Interview Transcript

we get to speak about our problems and our feelings that we haven’t in the classroom we get to show the teacher how she is and she show us how we are pleased to call people names all the time I used to make fun of the kids a whole bunch but I stopped because I see it hurt people feelings it has made things better around here because it’s solved lots of problems like fights or cursing or stuff like that I used to always mess with other students in the classroom now that we’ve been having these meetings I stopped we all become closer friends I think they’re great people used to call me names all the time and now they stop calling me names protests are pretty much ruined my life and I didn’t even realize it I would do things that even that would hurt me because I wanted to protest against my parents I’ve learned how to express my emotions like anger talking to people instead of following up inside of myself I am so excited to have as my guest this evening to Judy Ryan who is the owner of expanding human potential a training and consulting firm that specializes in creating environments in which encouragement support and Harmony between people becomes a predominant experience interactive Democratic models that increase personal responsibility self-control intrinsic motivation positive social interest and cooperation I’d like to ask you first what is the process of redirection how do you use it when is it appropriate what is it all about I am so happy to be here best all misbehavior is based on discouragement so a misbehaving person is a discouraged person so what discourages people it’s usually the way we set up the culture everything that we’re doing in our life is in relationship to the social order what’s going on how an individual feels they belong and based on that are four core needs that each person needs in abundance to feel good about themselves to function fully I like to think of it as if you imagine people on a ship and they didn’t know that they needed to have vitamin C and they’ve contracted scurvy well that’s what these core needs are to us as human beings the need to feel powerful which is the need to feel influential the need to feel lovable and likable the need to feel connected and the need to feel that what they do makes a difference that they can make a contribution and what happens is that when we raise families and when we operate in schools and when we operate in corporations we aren’t necessarily focused on meeting those four coordinates we can’t do what we are charged to do unless we have the kids ready to accept what we’re charged to do when

when they’re being mean to their kids instead of working as a solution they are just hitting their kids because they think it’s only right for their parents to have their weight so they just hit the kids instead of letting the kids have some of their way or letting them both have their way some of the practices I was doing in class were not really the best method of dealing with children and with this program I’m learning how to help children manage their own behavior so I love the program I think that as an individual teacher what I like is that I have those kids that are leaders anyway they love the classroom meetings and it gives those kids an opportunity to express their feelings openly and it also gives the kids a chance to see other kids and hear other kids opinions about what’s going on in their school it’s a great program I think the program is just fantastic I think of changing anything I like the way it’s going it takes a great deal of effort to deal with every single behavioral problem and when kids are assuming some of that responsibility themselves it makes it easier for teachers the teachers need to feel that they’re capable of making a difference they need strategies that work they need strategies that they can utilize and try out in the real Arena when kids feel really engaged involved they’ll produce they’ll be creative I think teachers are very enthusiastic about what they’re learning and they’re not just taking the information in they’re actually using it they’re learning from their kids as well it’s a two-way street the organization of the classroom for example what kind of rules will we have how will we handle situations that come up kids will have something to say about that and I think teachers will laugh all the way to the bank because that’s really beneficial to them in a meaningful way so what happens is that people become discouraged and in that discouragement that’s when misbehavior takes place is redirect is when a person is trained to understand what the purpose is of the misbehavior are so that person on the receiving end of the misbehavior can actually have a stronger influence on what’s occurring in the interaction there are patterns that if you observed the goals of behavior and you recognize the goals of misbehavior they tended to fall into five different particular patterns and those five mistaken goals are the goal of undue attention the goal of power where a person gets into Power struggles the third mistaken goal is the goal of Revenge that’s where the person believes that they can’t fit in they can’t be liked and that the only way that they matter or that they connect is by hurting others the fourth mistaken goal is the goal of assumed inadequacy this is when somebody is very discouraged and they just believe that they can’t do anything right so why try and then the fifth mistaken goal is the goal of significance and that’s the goal where a person really on some deep level believes that they’re not significant enough and so they actually act Superior so that they can cover their feeling of inferiority and so redirect is where you can begin to identify what mistaken goal is that other person operating out of and when you become adapted becoming aware of that mistaken goal then you can take the appropriate redirect and what’s great about redirect is it’s not the typical response to misbehavior when people misbehave we tend to get very influenced by that misbehavior and we actually end up doing things that are counterproductive to the very thing that we want to accomplish what I’ve seen is a positive difference because of how I react to the students instead of reacting to what they’re doing I’m responding and trying to figure out why they’re doing it and I think that has helped them in dealing with their problems because I’m dealing with them in a different way I’m having to retrain myself I’ve fallen into some bad habits so I have to catch myself but when I catch myself the only frustration I feel is why didn’t I go to the program but at least changed me I’m a fairly new teacher and I didn’t receive a lot of training on Behavior it’s very easy to implement and it’s easy for the kids to handle is it’s just very simply responding to their behavior and it’s definitely changed me if a kid is acting out kind of step back and think well what’s what’s the reason why he or she’s acting out and then that gives me a better idea of how I can deal with it and kind of see it from their perspective they may have a good reason why they’re acting out and then I need to handle that a little bit differently than just handing out consequences this program has taught me that I don’t know as much as I thought I knew you know I’ve been around for 31 years and it would seem that you’ve seen everything and heard everything but there are some things that I don’t know even all that experience that I meet with on a monthly basis called the principal’s advisory Council and that’s like two students from every classroom and we sit and talk about problems that are going on in the school that I see problems that are going on that they see we kind of get pretty close when we meet in that Pac principal advisory Council but the thing about it was they were just talking to me but what I like most is that in this program every teacher gets a chance to do what I did with 60 children it’s changed me in dealing with children as far as the redirecting behaviors are excellent and the finding the mistaken goals and understanding those oh it’s changed a lot I’ve seen a positive change I’ve seen the kids respond better to all the staff I attended all the meetings also and as a result I learned a lot too we went through 25 hours of training I got the same training as the staff did and it helped me to understand my staff better and the staff saw me a little differently than to anytime you can Empower staff or kids it makes a difference our normal inclination is to strike back to rear back and defense and protect ourselves or to run those are the kinds of things that we do when we’re under attack we don’t recognizable’s private logic there’s always private logic going on even when it seems the most using or mysterious to us they’re actually trying to influence confirmation of their mistaken goal and that’s not conscious if any of us that are misbehaving generally so what happens is when we give that there are specific results from that you will see certain reactions that occur but instead if you get the redirect you’ll also have a different set of outcomes one of the issues that was getting in my way was blaming and in this coursework it helped me look inside and get some insight as to where those things were tripping me up and causing problems the behavior is getting better you know despite the traditional ways and I think this gives another turn because it has given me the opportunity to identify different goals some things that the students want and ways for me to deal with the students I’ve actually implemented some of the techniques to learn doing the workshops at home with my own son just trying to implement some of the things that I’ve learned at home to using it all around well let me tell you about one of my students that was on the edge of either graduating or dropping out she was able to graduate be successful and she was finally in control of herself and also willing to take accountability for her own actions culture is everything

we’ll probably always need tools like redirect is because there’s such an important need to have those four core needs met the need to feel powerful lovable connected and contributing it’s made me feel good because I like to talk try to solve the problems to help out by trying to give them a solution I’ve definitely seen a major Improvement in my classroom I was skeptical at first I have to say but the kids have come together and really help each other out in a way I was just not expecting at all I’ve seen discipline improve I’ve seen teamwork gel better they work much better together now they’re quick to help each other out whereas before they may have been reluctant to give suggestions to each other I think I was expecting maybe it to just be a very subtle thing where I wasn’t going to notice but I have definitely noticed in other teachers who are using the program in our building say they’ve noticed also definitely more than I was expecting very positive I live in hopes that we’ll be able to really spread it all the way across the board we’re seeing the result in a number of ways children are beginning to come up with some ideas that teachers feel are important we’ve seen the sense of responsibility among kids and it’s been positive both on the part of the students but it’s the teachers as well so I’ve had teachers report on particular kids who they feel have really taken off with the change in me is just a renewed hope that we can get kids off on a better footing and the degree to which we can do that I really feel empowered when that’s spread throughout the building then we’re going to see something that will carry over not only for the building but into the home with parents and the program has a component that involves parent and so this is a circle that’s ever widening it keeps going out and nobody knows where that’ll end and one of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein and he said the significant problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that we were at when we created them from the time we were little we were taught to go into the filing cabinet of the problems themselves we weren’t given papers at school that said all the things we got right on them like all the little exes weren’t saying here’s what you got right they were all the exes saying what you got wrong so from the time we were little we all were taught to believe that the way you solve the problems is to look at the problems themselves and that’s actually the opposite of the best way to solve a problem look at the places where things worked as well where you had successes be responsible for the energy and the thought processes and the way that those thought processes begin in the beginning of a meeting around problem solving as they start their work day so what we do is we teach people how to begin to take responsibility for their thoughts and how to act fast their more positive memories the class meetings are real good because we can practice how to solve problems and then when kids do have a problem and I call them aside then they have some idea of of how to go about solving it with my health I have seen a positive difference in my kids they generally seem to be nicer to each other and a lot of them look at things from each other’s perspective or they’re better at doing that the kids seem to be more Cooperative with each other and more willing to help each other out they take it upon themselves and solve more problems on their own like on the playground the students are starting to take ownership the program is very positive because right now we’re trying to find different ways to improve classroom behavior and I think this gives some things that the students want and ways for me to deal with the students I would recommend the program to other schools because I think it’s an important aspect and if it’s implemented in each classroom then we have the opportunity to see some positive changes within the students we don’t fight as much anymore because we let it out during our discussions and also we have the same opinions so we kind of talk a little bit more about our opinions the teachers have been surprised at some of the answers the children have come up with some of the solutions some of the discussions they’re getting more out of the children than they really thought they would I’ve seen a big difference in my students the more outgoing the more Cooperative with each other they’re getting along better they seem to be more focused now on their education I enjoy my kids more I’m thinking back you know two or three years ago when I had kids and when you get to about this ninth month of school then the kids have made some changes but these kids have really gone through a big change it seems like this really has a lot of connection to our whole educational system and our process like you were indicating this starts when we’re really young how can you use some of the techniques into our educational system company to date has worked in over 60 schools in the St Louis area we do a lot of work in schools and we do a lot of work with families in fact I’ll just tell you a little story that’s one of the most powerful stories one of my instructors was actually abducted over the holidays at gunpoint she was held up in the Central West End some of your listeners may have read this paper anyway she used some of the skills that we teach and that she particularly works with teachers and has been a teacher herself and she used her classroom management skills of connecting visualization and appreciative inquiry type of process that we use and the redirect tool with her abductor and he over just several hours released her and when he released her she was unharmed and he actually was pet cried and she said in part of the conversations they had he started to open up to her about his problems with his children and she started to give him some advice and you know talk to him about some things and really created closeness rather than distance with him we’ve had some environments that have been deficiently challenged tools and you know poor academically graded schools and still say well I don’t know if this will work in our situation if she’s a great person to send in for that kind of thing because she can say hey I can do it at gunpoint I think you all can handle it so the facilitator for our Workshop did an excellent job of drawing people in making people want to participate and I think that encouraged people to participate actively the trainers were very very good at working with us they just put hours and hours into our training and definitely made us really understand how we were supposed to utilize the program the support teachers that have come and observed my class and offered constructive criticism have been fantastic I wish I could have my class every day because I know I would be shaped quicker they have been very positive but also they challenge you and they question you they just don’t take your answer and say okay that’s it they really make you think about it they really probe and ask you really deep questions and because they do that you’re going to change they want to be satisfied that you really get it and that has been fantastic very very good support people all the trainers have been excellent they put you into the program rather than just send their talk talk talk they get you up and get you active and I think that’s what’s good about the programs we underestimate the capabilities of children what happens is if you don’t replace punishment and reward when people misbehave we’ll keep going back to the default and the problem with punishment reward because we all do punishment reward when we get stressed out when we get confronted with difficulties all of those responses are control based responses and all of them have a high price tag to them they all are counterproductive to our primary goal we want reliable that are on time to work that are Cooperative with us that are actually proactively working to help and support and if if we’re doing behaviors toward them that make them angry and frustrate them and hurt them we won’t get that long range we won’t get that reliable hard-working loyal and caring that we want it’s very interested in the needs of the whole group there are some stars super good Fair needs Improvement and I didn’t like those marks because when people move their star down I think I know how they felt they felt like there was the only one bad they feel unhappy because they have to do it in front of the class It’s usually the class stare at them and it doesn’t feel fun because I know how it felt it makes me feel very sad I felt like I was nothing but glued to the side of Badness

fights with my dad I can actually have fun with my dad now I’m so excited I’ve taken out of classes where they just tell you stuff I wasn’t going to take this I don’t want to waste my time so even there was a lot of hours and we were supposed to get paid and we didn’t I went ahead and did it and I am happy now they gave us the tools to actually Implement and do it and examples role-playing we’re teaching them methods on dealing with their problems and rather than calling names you know putting each other down and insulting each other they can deal with each other in a using their voices instead of hitting or insulting each other this teaches them it’s not just a student teacher relationship it’s a student student it’s peers it’s parent it’s Society how they get a job how they treat each other so this is learning a lifelong skills that we’re bringing in here so definitely I would recommend it to Any teacher even teachers that have taught a long time you’re going to learn from it I’ve seen children solving their own problems instead of me solving them and I’ve seen them become less punitive still hear some you know let’s give them detention or put them on the wall but more I’m hearing let’s see if we can talk about our feelings and that type of thing and those aren’t skills that we had before I think when one child starts to assume more responsibility and be more dependable I think there’s a carryover I think they influence each other in a positive way kids feel capable they’re connected they know that they’re involved in something very real and everybody’s a winner they things have been thought through it’s not fluff they’re life lessons things that kids and teachers and parents learn about what they’re doing and how they interact with people the reason rewards and Punishment are so popular in our family lives and in our workplace is because they do work short term they give us a sense of immediate compliance and control but the problem is it doesn’t create any level of commitment to the behavior at all in fact it works against it so it’s about intrinsic and extrinsic motivators yes intrinsic is when people do what they do because they love it when you reward somebody for something they actually think in their subconscious it mustn’t be a good thing if they have paid me to do it there’s also being autocratic measuring and when we do those different control based models we hold beliefs about people when we’re rewarding people we hold the belief that people are selfish and lazy and you have to give them a character and when you’re being autocratic with people you’re holding a belief about them well they can’t really be trusted I have to manage them I have to be the boss to them and when people are being measured the beliefs are you know people can only be trusted when I’m when I evaluate them when I give them the carrot of my stamp of approval and what happens is that you actually end up nurturing people that are competitive and they’re conforming just to please you they’re not going to be those people that you want that are open and proactive and creative and accountable the belief that you have to hold is that people are and like to be great and when they’re not they’re discouraged and one of those four core needs the leadership approach is very different instead of motivating and evaluating and managing you lead by wise counsel you teach them once they know you wait for them to come to you if they need help but you don’t constantly hover and interfere and over manage and all of those things and what happens is people become accountable for their performance you know I remember one of the most powerful examples in a school setting was a third grade class that they knew that when their teacher was absent that they were to hold a class meeting first thing in the morning so that they together could self-manage and support the substiture that day I was in third grade third graders and that’s what happens when you people to own their own jobs it takes a lot of time of course it takes a lot of time away from what we are here to do but wait but let me turn that around we can’t do what we are charged to do unless we have the kids ready to accept what we’re charged to do and this is a way of getting them ready in the long run I view it as saving time in the long run once we learn how to do the classroom meetings a number of Staff began that right away they’ve noticed that the kids are responding better and there seems to be less number of problems on the playground where you have a less structured atmosphere and they’re working with themselves now I’ve seen a positive change I’ve seen the kids respond better to all the staff mainly because I think they have an opportunity for input now through the class meetings I have a lot of very outspoken students who like to share their opinion and I think that’s that’s a good thing and I give the students opportunity during class meetings to express things that they want to vote on that I can change to either help the class meetings or help the classroom run a little bit smoother as a whole the good manager is the one that can transfer responsibility in such a way that people feel their power their lovableness their connection and their contribution those four core needs again the change in me as an administrator looking for strategies looking for ways to not just have a good classroom we’ve got good rooms what we need is a good school we need a school where strategies are being shared and then when you get a critical mass of teachers in a building working pretty much in the same area working on some of the same strategies now we’ve got something that will really make an impact time is short and so if they are able to pull some things together that are effective that means they’ll dig deeper and the benefit will go all the way across the board I have noticed happier more productive and working better as a team and consistently doing that what I noticed was that carried over into our work environment and it still is very prevalent today one of the things I talked about is empowering the students these are little things but they really add up instead of me deciding what goes on the board they decide what they put up on the board as far as their work and they immediately were so excited about that even the lower achieving students had some kind of paper they wanted to put up so that was nice the agenda they are so excited about having a form that they can express their opinions we put the agenda up and they write down and anything’s open I mean as long as it’s not in a positive way that’s and they really really like it in fact they asked for more meetings they could have a meeting every day in fact recently we had a problem with another teacher and that was brought up at the meeting and they came up with a solution on how to deal with this teacher and we did it today so they saw a way to do it in a positive way they were upset with what this teacher did and they like the fact that they were able to take over and solve that problem you can really get at what kids are really thinking and really find out a lot about your students and a lot about yourself too I sat in on three meetings and one was from a special education classroom and this teacher was gung-ho about it she did not think that her children had the wherewithal to really do these kind of things but she was fooled and she was pleasantly fooled she has speech and language children that’s their handicap they can’t speak really well and they have language problems but they were doing their best and she was just really turned on by it

I’m just getting so much more enjoyment out of like every day just waking up and realizing I can be myself like I said I was a skeptic but now I’m sold on this program it is wonderful we’ve been speaking this evening with Judy Ryan if you would like to learn more about her organization go to her website

www.expandinghumanpotential.com or you can reach her by phone at

314-878-9100 I’m going to go ahead and tell you a story that I love that’s a great way to kind of get your teeth into what is redirect all about what is the significance of it and how can I understand it because right now it just sounds like a term thrown out there some jargon so if any of your listeners have ever read Daniel Goldman’s book on emotional intelligence he tells a story in there that’s actually given to him by a man that has trained in the art of Aikido which is a Japanese martial art it’s actually the highest most spiritual form of martial art they train the practitioners to actually stay very centered and when the sword is being lowered they teach them how to enter into the movement and actually reach out to the attack and your body swings around and for an instant you’re somewhat in the shoes of your opponent and in that moment if you’re centered and you’re learning this movement fluidly you’re able to see through the eyes of your opponent their philosophy is that in that instant you are one with your opponent and so he’s no longer your enemy and you redirect his energy it’s from a position of you’re my friend and I I want to be helpful to you as opposed to you’re my enemy and I want to hurt you so this man on the train he’s been you know just reared up he’s kind of a newbie in Aikido and he’s in Japan and he’s an American so he’s very much the Foreigner and he’s on this very large train and onto the train comes this drunken laborer who’s very out of control and he’s very aggressive and he starts to swear and yell and shove people and he goes to this pole in the center of the train car and he’s trying to yank it out of the ground and he’s growling and really being offensive and he comes over and he shoves a woman that has a newborn baby and the people on the train are getting quite irritated and agitated and they’re moving to the other end of the train and people are getting alarmed and starting to fight with him argue with him what happened is this gentleman who had been trained in Aikido he wanted to be influential here was this event right in front of him and he knew that he had been given the key to how to handle that event and how to create a certain kind of outcome but he still was so new he wasn’t quite sure what to do so he went to stand up because he didn’t want anybody to get hurt and drunk he looks over at him and he sees him and he says You You Foreigner you’re the cause of all my problems and he starts to storm over to him like he’s going to take all of his wrath out on this man well from the back of the train this little old Japanese man he’s about 75 years old he yells out in the most friendly tone hey what you drinking and the man kind of whips around like who said that and the old man he gets up out of his seat and he walks over and he says what you’ve been drinking and the guy says saki what’s it to you anyway and the old man says oh I love sake my wife and I we heat up a little potasaki and we go out in our garden every morning we have the most beautiful persimmon trees in our Gardens do you like persimmon trees and the man goes yeah I like persimmon trees all right and he’s kind of and I’m like what is up with this guy and the whole time the old man’s just coming over like they’re best of buds and he says you know I bet you have a great wife too and with those words the drunk whole face just kind of crumpled and he started to cry and he said my wife died a month ago and I started drinking again and today I lost my job and he has all this shame and the old man says oh my goodness come here come here you need to come sit right beside me and tell me all about it so they go over to the back of the train and they sit down and they start talking and everybody on the train’s like whoo thank God he came along because they didn’t anticipate that he could actually get this result now if you stop for just a second and think about it if that old man had not been on the train it’s possible that people might have started to get more aggressive that they might have tried to subdue this man and hold him down on the ground or maybe called in the authorities people might have even made decisions about riding on the train those trains are a dangerous place you can’t count on public transportation all kinds of things could have resulted had the the situation escalated so you can kind of see that a lot of times an event that’s right in front of us can have many different outcomes and long-range effects it’s interesting because part of what comes to mind is that of course we we immediately make assumptions based on what we think is going on in people’s behavior we never would have made an assumption that this person was dealing with a great deal of personal pain or personal grief and was just not able to cope with it in a more healthy fashion oh we always do we don’t recognize people’s private logic so I’ll just give you an example of how this ties in with redirect on our charts where we teach redirect the first thing that we teach is what is the feeling that’s being evoked in you the person that is the receiver if you will of the misbehavior and one of the the goals that I mentioned was the goal of Revenge and the goal of Revenge is never about the people around the revengeful person well most all of the goals aren’t really about us but that one in particular tends to be something we’ll take on personally so the mistaken goal of Revenge what it elicits in the people that are receiving the misbehavior is it elicits this the primary feeling of shock shock and anger but the anger has this quality of how could you do this to me it’s it’s a more extensive feeling of of anger than than some of the other goals is almost a bewilderment the people on that train must have felt who is this guy why is he doing this to us and what happens is that the person is actually in the belief filing cabinet if you will in their head of I can’t be liked I can’t fit in if you don’t like me don’t care about me nothing works for me and the only way that I can feel connected at all is to hurt you like I’m feeling hurt so that’s the mistake in goal that they’re in in that moment what their deeper need is is help me I’m hurting but they don’t look like help me I’m hurting they look like take me down I’m evil that’s what they look like but deep down inside that’s what’s going on and so what happens is they’re actually trying to influence confirmation of their mistaken goal what they’re trying to influence is the result of alienation and the demand for it so what happened is that man got most of those people on the train to alienate from him they were getting angry with him they were wanting to hurt him they were wanting to withdraw from him all forms of alienation so he affirms his unmistaken goal absolutely that’s what’s going on and that’s not conscious to that man or any of us that are misbehaving generally that’s not conscious to us but it’s still the goal that’s operating so what happens is when we give that demanded alienation for example there are specific results from that if you give the sugar what we call the sugar the demand you will see certain reactions that occur but instead if you get the redirect you’ll also have a different set of outcomes so what the redirect is for the goal of Revenge is first don’t take the behavior personally at all like that old man he wasn’t saying why are you doing this to me why are you doing this to us he was not taking it personally second thing is don’t retaliate in any way and the third piece of the redirect is move in and create closeness now most people would find it a little frightening to move in and create closeness with that man on the train but that’s exactly what the old man did and then the fourth key is to do anything that you can think of to do to actually allow them to begin to express the pain so somehow he knew that if he talked long enough he’d get this person to kind of get at the core of what was going on and sometimes you have to be very direct in this situation he happened to mention a wife and then that kind of started the ball rolling a lot of times when we’re teaching redirect one of the interesting things that we know that occurs is that in the moment that people understand redirect sometimes a lot of pain comes up because all of a sudden this light goes on it says oh my god I’ve actually been giving the demanded influence I’ve been actually participating in the misbehavior and so they’ll get defensive about redirect sometimes we’ll have people say well you know does this work in this kind of environment or I don’t think this is going to work in my family or my you know my company and you don’t know the people I work with and that kind of thing will happen and we’ll actually as instructors have to redirect our audience in that moment like often what I’ll say to someone is are you mad at me about this right in that moment of training them and that’s the redirect for the goal of Revenge sometimes you have to ask the question right away you walk close to the audience you walk close to that person you create the closeness and you say hey are you mad at me right now well I can understand from from the perspective of someone who is you know learning about redirect even through our conversation when you’re new to this process I would imagine you’re normal or typical maybe not normal but typical reaction if you’re bearing the brunt of someone else’s revenge is either fear that you’re going to become hurt physically or emotionally so you start putting the barriers up and to have to totally switch your thinking around to understand where this person is truly coming from and what their needs are is a very very different and difficult imagine process at first it’s almost like turning around in the Colorado River and trying to swim up the other way it really is not only does it bring up your own pain about how you’ve been you know cooperating in the misbehavior it challenges a lot of the way that we were all raised it challenges the way we were treated it just brings up a whole Myriad of feelings we all slip in and out of control-based ways of treating people in fact one of the control-based ways that surprises people is the incentive driven ways that we sometimes try to motivate people to be good employees and that’s when we give rewards we give incentives and a lot of things that we think are a good way to reinforce behavior and there’s an excellent book out there called punished by rewards which is written by a man named Alfie Cohn and he cites study after study after study of how counterproductive rewarding is and rewards can also fall into the category of Praise they’ve done studies where they’ve they’ve given rewards to people and where they’ve given praise to people and then where they’ve taken the control group that doesn’t receive either and in both the praised and rewarded group they were less committed to the behavior after the rewards and all of that were withdrawn they were less kidded than they were in the group where there was nothing offered and there’s a really funny story I’ll tell about rewards that kind of helps people to keep this in mind so there’s this story that Alfie Cohn tells that I love and it’s about this little old man and he’s living in this apartment right by the school district and these kids come by his apartment every day and they’re always yelling up at him oh you stinky old man you know you you know they’re calling them names and yelling out to him so one day he comes out and there’s just a few of them and he says hey if you guys do that for a few more minutes I’ll pay you all a dollar and they’re kind of surprised and they’re kind of Uncertain and they do it for a little while and to their surprise he comes out and he pays them all a dollar and he says now look I’ll tell you what if you come back at the same time like you have been if you’re sure you come I’ll make sure that I give you all a quarter and they kind of look at each other well quarter’s not as good but all right that’s good enough and they come back and they bring a few additional friends and they just Heckle them and Heckle them and to their surprise he comes out and he gives them all a quarter great job and he’s got the little roll of quarters you know he says okay now if you all come back tomorrow I don’t have any more corners but I’ve got a roll of pennies and I’ll give you all a penny and they say a penny forget it they never came back again that’s hilarious yeah and the reason that that’s a great story is because it’s about intrinsic and extrinsic motivators yes intrinsic is when people do what they do because they love it when those kids were heckling him they were loving heckling he got them to divert off of heckling so that they loved the money and once he got them off of their original intention and he motivated them extrinsically he was in control then and he was able to get them to stop caring about the thing that they love to begin with one of the best stories that’s simple that I like to relate about appreciative inquiry is too bowling and they made a video of each bowling team and they edited all of the mistakes or the weak bowling moves into one video and they edited all the strengths of the other bowling team in a second video and they asked each bowling team to watch their video for a week every day to improve their game well at the end of the first week the first team that watched all of their mistakes they were improved as a team by 30 percent which sounds pretty great but the second team that watched all of their strengths every day they improved as a team by a hundred percent incredible and they probably enjoyed watching that video a little bit more I would imagine so one of the ways that we apply appreciative inquiry is teach the managers that it’s very important that they be responsible for the energy and the thought processes and the way that those thought processes begin in the beginning of a meeting around problem solving as they start their work day so what we do is we teach people how to begin to take responsibility for their thoughts and how to access their more positive memories so for example if you gave me a problem desk the first thing I would say to you is when have you had a similar situation and have been able to resolve it to a great result and what would happen is if I had a question for you like that the first response that often happens is people say gosh I don’t know if I have any memories of that and it’s almost as though you can picture them going into this filing cabinet that they haven’t been in for years and they have to dust off the handle and pull out that drawer and it’s a little creaky and then I’ll the sudden they start remembering a few things and what’s interesting is When You observe this visually their whole demeanor will change as they start to access the memories of something that they had success with their body language changes their face lights up they start to have like a hopeful look their countenance changes if their speech changes it’s just amazing to watch it it seems like this really has a lot of connection to our whole educational system and our process like you were indicating this starts when we’re really young right we’ve been conditioned to believe that’s the best and quickest route to solve problems and to grow and you can only build on assets you cannot build on weaknesses it’d be the difference between me saying to you Beth how are you and Beth what’s the best thing that happened to you today one question would get a certain type of answer and the second question you’d be looking in the filing cabinet of all the great things that happened to you today and that’s just something that we’re not used to doing in fact most people at first think it’s too good to be true I mean I can learn that easily it’s almost an affront to us we think well wait a minute that can’t be right you know we used to suffer a little more than that when I got involved in this work one of the most powerful events that happened personally was that at the time uh it was about 1992 I had four children I have five now but I had four at that time and my youngest at that time was four and a half and my oldest was 11. and there so there were 11 9 7 and four and a half and we were invited to demonstrate a family meeting in front of a large audience of Educators and parent trainers and so on and what we did was we had the four and a half year old run the meeting mainly because she could you know we wanted to be able to show that we underestimate the capabilities of children that’s remarkable at four yeah I mean she could hold the authority of the group she knew how to follow the agenda she knew how to lead the voting she knew how to delegate the roles and responsibilities who was going to take the note she knew that we started every meeting with appreciation and compliments how we ended the meetings and what was really great was to watch all of the children interact afterwards the audience threw a lot of questions at them they were confident they were good communicators it was clear that they could share problem solving that they did it was clear that the audience could see how those four corn needs had really nurtured I remember they would share how they would be given the responsibility to go shopping for this land they would be given the whole budget it was like 130 or something at that time and they would have to manage the money and they’d have to make sure that all of the needs of the household were taken into account and it was amazing and the reason we did that is so that they would know that their contribution mattered no it’s interesting too just as I listened to you talk about the different experiences what I hear is just wonderful life skill sets being taught so that people know how to deal with relationships how to deal with conflicts how to deal with disagreement in a non-threatening way non-aggressive way in a really healthy way so that when situations come up that are aren’t necessarily agreeable it doesn’t provoke you know the fight-or-flight response it provokes engagement absolutely 70 of what we do we don’t know about the part that we don’t know that’s functioning under our Consciousness so we have all these unconscious beliefs that are operating below the surface that we’re not even aware of anymore those beliefs were decided very early in our lives and their disbeliefs about men and women and relationships and power and all kinds of things and we’re still operating out of that unconscious space and so if the more that we can become aware of how to read all of that better better off we are we’ve been speaking this evening with Judy Ryan Judy is a specialist in practical application of adlerian psychology and has been working with those strategies for 20 years as a corporate trainer Sultan executive mentor and Coach she also works as a conference presenter parent educator it’s recently recognized as a 2003 woman of achievement she’s a member of the Missouri Pay It Forward committee organizing large-scale community outreach and contribution rallies and is currently in several research projects if you would like to learn more about her organization go to her website

www.expandinghumanpotential.com or you can reach her by phone at 314-878-910

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