“Getting to ‘NO'”

I am looking forward to leading the 2pm workshop for the DFW International Facility Management Association (IFMA) FMEXPO at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. Dale Hansen is the keynote speaker, so I guess I’m like the warmup band?

Excited about the topic: “Getting to ‘NO'”: “Learn to have productive conversation around difficult issues, enable all parties to feel that they have been heard, and then say, “No.” For many, one of our first words was no, and yet we often have trouble saying it. Understanding the factors behind our own resistance will equip us to develop confidence and collegial humility in our interactions with others when we need to say no, as well as when we are told no. The goal is to maintain good working relationships while pursuing the needs of all interested parties.”

Facility Managers are the folks behind the scenes that keep everything moving. Pulled in multiple directions from top, bottom and horizontal, they have to maintain an even keel, balance competing wants and needs, and as often as possible leave folks feeling that they’ve been heard and their interests matter. This is a difficult task under any circumstances. I’m excited to offer them some additional resources and help them practice to further enhance these skills.

GETTING TO NO

William Ury wrote The Power of a Positive No as a follow-up to the original Getting to Yes, cowritten with Roger Fisher, and ten years later Getting Past No. His premise in the most recent book is that it serves as a prequel to the earlier two, laying the groundwork for the entire endeavor. Getting to Yes focuses on the outcome, Getting past no focuses on the objections of the dialogue partner, while The Power of a Positive No focuses on the self. Getting to no requires, according to Ury, understanding what our highest goals are, what we most want in the long run, rather than what we want in this moment. Acknowledging these Yeses enables us to prioritize toward needs over wants, away from immediate gratification, and to choose response over reactivity.

RFP: Washington SBE Meeting Facilitator

I just submitted my proposal to serve as the facilitator for the September meeting of the Washington State Board of Education. Travel won’t be the most convenient, but getting to fly in and out of Seattle, visit some friends, drive across the mountains to Yakima, and work with educators, policy wonks and politicians would be exciting.

Here are the minutes from their last meeting.

Here is my general approach to facilitation and strategic planning.

Below is what I’ve told them I would do and how I would approach the work.
I’m interested in what others might think about this proposal.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
PROJECT WORK PLAN
Based upon the RFP, our plan would entail the following:

  1. Consult with Board executive team to identify meeting goals and produce agenda after review of past meeting minutes and reports.
  2. Clarify level of relationship and familiarity among board members to determine usefulness of spending some focused time building rapport among participants to enhance work environment and boost productivity of board meeting time.
  3. Based upon goals and agenda, select processes that will enable board to accomplish its work efficiently and effectively while furthering its commitment to the mission:
  4. Facilitate meeting in collaboration with Board executives.
  5. Prepare and submit report of the meeting outcomes.
  • Provide advocacy and strategic oversight of public education;
  • Implement a standards-based accountability system to improve student academic achievement;
  • Provide leadership in the creation of a system that personalizes education for each student and respects diverse cultures, abilities, and learning styles; and
  • Promote achievement of the Basic Education Act goals of RCW 28A.150.210.

TECHNICAL APPROACH
Facilitation

We have over 20 years of experience facilitating event planning and the events themselves. This has included medical staff training with Veterans Administration Hospitals, city and county governments, non-profit organizations, and corporations. The coach approach to facilitation is focused on building leadership capacity within the leaders and members of the group. Current reading in the areas of leaderless organizations and the work at Harvard Business Review in Military Leadership (particularly ideas like “commanders intent”) focus on building shared vision and leadership capacity across all levels of an organization. This again relates directly to the field of Systems Theory, which recognized and capitalizes on the interconnections among the disparate parts of an organization.
My own professional experience has included several years of college level teaching at two schools. My family has been committed to public education for five generations, and I would be pleased to support the work of the Washington State Board of Education in its endeavors. While I am based in Texas, I am building a national and international clientele and am happy to do the necessary travel.
Successful meeting leadership requires balancing the identified goals and agenda that the organization has for the meeting with the individual participants’ personal and professional needs and motivations for sharing in the work. In other words, the leaders need to be clear on what they want accomplished. Further, the participants need to see their place in that, and feel that they are making a meaningful contribution to that work and recognize how it relates to the larger organizational vision, and hopefully also how it advances their own personal goals for their life and career. These competing claims are balanced in two ways. 1) The leader determines the goals of the group and plans the meetings needed to accomplish those goals (preferably in consultation with a select few direct reports and others – remember we are trying to build leadership capacity at all levels). 2) The leader plans multiple types of meetings to address the various needs of stakeholders. Some meetings provide a setting for collaborative brainstorming of emerging challenges and responses. Others are geared toward developing a particular solution and moving it toward concrete action. Still others are on their surface simply about reporting decisions already made or conveying other important information. Different temperaments of leaders are disposed and repelled by these three types of meetings, as are the people being led. Thus a balance is required to keep everyone engaged and to accomplish all of the work to be done as effectively as possible. Transactional leaders should not lead half day visioning retreats. Similarly, big-picture leaders should probably not lead budget meetings, which would then devolve into navel gazing and never complete the concrete and serious tasks at hand. Both types of leaders and meetings are necessary and important. Understanding which is called for at any given time requires forethought, and humility on the part of the leader to recognize – I cannot do everything with equal effectiveness. This again is where the diversity available becomes such a huge asset. The more types of people in the more places, the more likely the organization is to have competent leaders and managers in each area who can rise to the challenges, and pass along their particular expertise to others.

 

Magnificent

I was born to be with you…

Only love can leave such a mark…

I was born to sing for you…

 

What in your life stirs this kind of response?
Where, when, and with whom do you realize that the source of life is Magnificent, and that you, as a result, are magnificent too?

Personal Needs in Intimate Relationships

Download pdf here: SL- Personal Needs in Intimate Relationships

Needs to be met (write in your own observations in each category quadrant):

Physical:

  • Affection and caring shown through touch
  • Sexual intimacy that is open, vulnerable, tender and safe
  • Safe, secure shelter
  • Financial security
  • Nourishment
  • Encouragement of physical health and wholeness
Psychological / Emotional:

  • Affirmation
  • Shared interests
  • Respect
  • Space
  • Companionship
  • Security
  • Trust
  • Support
Social:

  • Public Affirmation
  • Public Naming and Claiming
  • Affirmation of other’s ‘social style’ (Introvert/Extrovert)
  • Mutual circle of friends
  • Acceptance of other’s family
  • Support for other’s interests & appropriate participation
Spiritual:

  • Support of freedom
  • Challenge to grow toward wholeness
  • Spiritual connections
  • Some shared spiritual interests
  • Agreement on spiritual relationship

His needs / Her needs:

Take time, on your own individually, to think through the four categories above. Read through each list, spending time thinking over each item. You may add some others that you think or feel are important and worth listing separately. Pray about each area, and seek to know yourself and your partner honestly and fully. Listen for the leading of your own spirit and God’s Spirit together guiding you through this process. On separate sheets of paper, give yourself plenty of room to elaborate on each item in the four quadrants. Identify both the what and the how of the need – specific enough that you can follow through later. Complete the exercise both for what you perceive your partners needs to be, and what your own needs are. Then, from that work, list below the top needs of each of you that can/should be met by the other. Before you begin, read the back of this page fully.

My needs to be met by my partner:
My partner’s needs to be met by me:

Affirmation and Agreement:

As you come together once you have completed the lists of needs, consider simply trading papers without comment, each of you taking some time, again by yourself, to read through the list, think and pray. What do you hear your partner saying from her/his heart? Then come back together and work through the following:

  1. Affirm the things that your partner discerned about you, both in what your need is now and how they think it can be met. Remember, you are building a foundation for a life together – the more open and generous your conversation, the better your relationship will be and the stronger it will grow over time.
  2. Ask clarifying questions where you do not understand. CAUTION: Your goal is not ot show up your partner and how little they know about you – rather, you want to take this opportunity to reveal more of yourself to your partner for your mutual benefit.
  3. ALERT: Are there some places where needs have been identified that are not yours to meet? No partner or friend can or should try to meet every need in the relationship. Most of us need friendships and interests outside our most intimate relationship. Some needs are only God’s to meet – we can not save one another, fix one another, make one another righteous, heal one another’s brokenness, give one another meaning and purpose in life, or give one another a healthy sense of self-worth. Only God can give these things. However, we can do things to erode or undermine God’s work in our and our partner’s lives.
  4. Agree together on what the priority needs are in your relationship and how you will intend to meet them. Your marriage vows will include your covenant statements to meet one another’s needs – this is a step in that journey together.
  5. Affirm again. Express your gratitude to your partner for the willingness to be open and vulnerable, to trust you with their deepest self, and for their desire to meet those of your needs that are theirs to meet.

Next Steps

A marriage, a family, or any other intimate relationship takes work. And anything that takes work takes commitment. Whatever would be healthy must be fed and nurtured regularly, or it will wither and die. Different relationships require different amounts of nurture and tending, just as do different plants. A cactus needs far less water and nutrition and can bear greater heat and scorching sun – but how many of us want to snuggle up to a prickly-pear?

It will be worth your while to keep this exercise handy. Consider reviewing it at least annually on your anniversary as a way to keep your commitments fresh, and to continue to grow in your awareness of yourself, your partner, and your relationship with one another and with God, as all of these grow and change over time and through experience.

A blessing

May the love that joins you together be boundless as the sky, deep as the oceans, beautiful as the mountains, and powerful as the love that God has for you.

Disciples affirm the desire to be a people of grace and welcome to all.

At the General Assembly in Orlando, Florida during July 2013 representatives and voting delegates from across the life of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) gathered to explore, discuss, discern and proclaim. Among those conversations and proclamations was Sense of the Assembly Resolution 1327. Equally important is the pastoral letter to the church from our General Minister and President, Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins (Pastoral Letter) (Other resources here).

This is obviously a deeply important conversation no matter where one stands on the issues, and no matter where one’s deepest sense of right may lie. I do not presume here to try to press an agenda, other than open conversation and communication. Unfortunately, at times one or another party hijacks the process in their zeal do defend their view of what is right and righteous.

For us as Disciples, it is of primary importance that no human opinion shall separate us from fellowship at Christ’s table. This means that around the matter of sexual orientation we are called to allow our hearts to be made tender by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit who unites us in love. We are no more passionate about this issue than were the Jews and Gentiles of the first century when Paul said, “There is now therefore no longer Jew nor Gentile, Male nor Female, Slave nor Free, for we are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:28)

What we cannot allow to happen is for one or another group to decide for everyone else who we are to be by narrowing the scope of the love that Jesus extends with outstretched nail pierced hands. Knowledge is power, not to wield against our enemies, but to transform all our hearts and minds until they conform with the mind of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ as his reign unfolds in, through and around us.

What transformation needs to happen within your heart so that you can break bread with those toward whom you hold strong negative feelings? Decide today to take a step of humility toward those persons, not to correct them but simply to love them.

GA-1327 (Sense-of-the-Assembly)

BECOMING A PEOPLE OF GRACE AND WELCOME TO ALL
Adopted by the General Assembly
WHEREAS, “We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world,” called to welcome others as we have been welcomed by God1 and to practice hospitality to one another,2 as well as to strangers;3 and
WHEREAS, Scripture affirms that all people are created in the image of God and share with all others in the worth that comes from being unique individuals;4 and
WHEREAS, Scripture affirms that as Christians we are many members, but are one body in Christ each with different gifts, called by Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves,5 and called to the ministry of reconciliation and wholeness within the world and within the church; and
WHEREAS, Disciples historically affirm baptism as the primary call to ministry and offer baptism to all who profess their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior; and
WHEREAS, Disciples historically profess that the nature of Christian discipleship is profoundly informed by the Lord’s table, which is central to the act of worship, calling attention to the radical hospitality extended by Jesus, who welcomes all to the table of grace; and
WHEREAS, the Disciples’ movement came to be in reaction to limitations being placed on this welcome, recognizing that excluding anyone from the Lord’s table fragments the body of Christ; and
WHEREAS, the 1997 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) called for the church to give continuing research and reflection “concerning the participation of gay and lesbian persons in the full life and ministry of the Church”;6 and
WHEREAS, persons continue to be devalued and discriminated against within society and more sadly, within the church because of their sexual orientation and or gender identity; and
WHEREAS, Disciples find identity at the Lord’s table, sharing as the body of Christ, valuing each other in covenantal relationship even we disagree; and
WHEREAS, Disciples historically affirm that individuals and congregations hold differing interpretations of scripture, but that all are called to transcend differences and claim one another in Christian unity;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly meeting in Orlando, Florida, July 13-17, 2013, calls upon the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to recognize itself as striving to become a people of grace and welcome to all God’s children though differing in race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, physical or mental ability, political stance or theological perspective; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Assembly calls upon the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to affirm the faith, baptism and spiritual gifts of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that neither is grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church, but we celebrate that all are part of God’s good creation; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly calls upon all expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as a people of grace and welcome, to acknowledge their support for the welcome of and hospitality to all.
Douglass Boulevard Christian Church, Louisville, KY
Midway Hills Christian Church, Dallas, TX
Chalice Christian Church, Gilbert, AZ
Fireside Christian Church, Denver, CO
Little White Chapel, Burbank, CA
First Christian Church, Eugene, OR
Tapestry Ministries, Berkeley, CA
St. Andrew Christian Church, Olathe, KS
Lafayette Christian Church, Lafayette, CA
First Christian Church, Concord, CA
University Christian Church, San Diego, CA
First Christian Church, Vallejo, CA
New Covenant Community Church, Normal, IL
First Christian Church, Lynchburg, VA
Central Christian Church, Indianapolis
First Christian Church, Orange, CA
Open Hearts Gathering, Gastonia, NC
Bethany Christian Church, Tulsa, OK
Pine Valley Christian Church, Wichita, KS
Foothills Christian Church, Phoenix, AZ
GLAD-Pacific Southwest Region, Irvine, CA
GLAD Alliance

1 Mark 12:31 [Statement of Identity of the CC (DOC), Disciples.org]
2 1 Timothy 5:10; 1 Peter 4:9
3 Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2
4 Genesis 1:26-7
5 2 Corinthians 5:18
6 Resolution No. 9719, A Call on the Participation of Gay and Lesbian Persons in the Life of the Church, accepted by the General Assembly meeting in Denver, Colorado, July 25-29, 1997.

How do you see yourself?

Certainly our opinion of our physical appearance matters. Messages from family and friends mix together with subtle and hugely overt valuations based upon body type and various standards of beauty. We then internalize and process these messages and draw conclusions about ourselves which impact how we move through the world. Watch this video, and then let’s continue the conversation…

Clearly these women were impacted by the stark difference between how they described themselves and how complete strangers, after only a brief meeting, described them. Seemingly without exception the descriptions of others were softer, radiating greater openness to others and peace with self. What a gift this became for participants.

I wonder how else this principle might be applied. I wonder if we similarly judge more harshly our personality quirks and foibles. What if we had a way to receive warm affirmations from others of what they see and appreciate in us, holding that alongside our own views, and allowing them to inform one another? the exercise in the video included an interpreter, someone who listened to both descriptions and then sketched what was heard.

This exercise can be used in coaching, spiritual direction and counseling, where an individual (it also works with groups) is invited to self-describe. Then outside observers are asked to give a separate description without any collaboration or comparison. The coach then is in the position of reflecting back what was heard in both descriptions, literally sketching out the images that have been offered, and then exploring the similarities and differences and walking with the client toward new insight into themselves, greater appreciation and love for self, and thus more compassion toward self and freedom and peace in life.

Organizations (businesses, non-profits, churches) can benefit from a similar exercise.

Less formally, friends could do this for one another. In the simplest terms, at church camp we frequently have kids give one another “warm fuzzies” – brief notes of affirmation – “What I see and appreciate about you is…” These are incredibly powerful for many, to the degree that friends of mine have held on to theirs for 35 years and longer.

  • How might you benefit from a neutral set of eyes on your life, highlighting beauty you are unable or unwilling to see?
  • When will you be ready to invite someone to facilitate this new growth for you?