What If We Had User Manuals for People?

User manual with magnifying glass. User guide document and magnifier. Handbook, handbook, instruction and guidebook vector icon
Dr. Adam Grant suggests that we should all get clear on what makes us tick in order to play better with others. 

What if we issued user-manual that made it easier for people to work with us? It’s almost certain that conflicts and misunderstandings would decrease and productivity would increase.

That’s exactly what Dr. Adam Grant decided to do, after receiving some negative feedback from members of his team. He decided that it would be helpful for those around him to provide him with some specific feedback about his strengths and his blind spots.

It turns out that the user manual was a brilliant document that enabled people to interact with Grant in an effective, productive manner. Many people and companies have adopted this strategy in their businesses and organizations.

What if we took this approach with school? It’s possible we could do this with our colleagues, with our students, even with our administration to amplify connections.

Here’s how you can start.

Part I:

Here are the questions that Dr. Grant suggests you should reflect on the following three questions:  ask when creating your own personal User Manual:

  1. What are my strengths? How can someone bring these out in me?
  2. What are my weaknesses? What tends to bring those out?
  3. What are some of my “bright spots” (the spots that are strengths I might tend to see)?

Part II:

Think of 5-10 people who work, live, and play alongside you and ask them to answer some questions about you. These should be you genuinely like and trust. You could send out a google doc or a quick email to see what comes back.

  1. Reflected Best-Self: Ask 15-20 colleagues to contribute stories of times when you were at your best.
  2. Next, analyse the stories and find common themes. What activates my being at my best?
  3. Ask these colleagues to reflect on the following questions about you:
    1. What are my blind spots?
    2. Triggers that bring out the worst in me?
    3. What do you wish you knew about me when we first started working together?

Take all of this information and put it into a one-pager that highlights your strengths, stretches (with triggers), and ideal communication style.

 

Written by Morgane Michael #smallactbigimpact #kindsight101

 

 

 

Ep. 82/83 The Power of Visuals, Child Honouring, and the Gratitude Jar (With Kristin Wiens)

 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Have you ever wondered which small shifts in your classroom practice could make the most impact?

In Part One of my interview with Inclusion Coach, Kristin Wiens, we discuss the transformative and creative use of visuals in the classroom including specific tips and tricks for amping up your effectiveness in the classroom.

We talk about what an inclusion coach’s role involves and what educators need more than ever.

We touch on the fact that EA’s are the unsung heroes in education and Kristin’s Educational Assistant ground-breaking training program.

Finally, we explore the importance of developing unconditional  positive regard for those we serve in the classroom and community, but most importantly how to foster self-compassion for ourselves.

Kristin is the Special Education Inclusion Coach at School District 62 in Victoria, B.C. Canada. Passionate about Inclusion, Visuals, UDL, Self-Reg, Mindfulness, and Creativity. She is also a Speaker & Author of My Gratitude Jar.

In our second part of the interview, we focus on her work with activist and musician, Raffi, talk about the 9 principles of child-honouring, explore her collaborative online course with Raffi, and highlight her beautiful book, The Gratitude Jar. You won’t want to miss that conversation!

Please see the show notes for links to her amazing free visuals and gratitude Jar Reading  at northstarpaths.com. You can follow Kristin on twitter at kwiens62 or on Instagram @kristin.weins .

North Star Paths http://northstarpaths.com/

The Gratitude Jar Book : http://northstarpaths.com/childrens-books/

Twitter: @kwiens62

Instagram: kristin.wiens

 

Ep. 81: A Self-Compassion Break (With Lisa Baylis)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

We talk about self-care non-stop these days, but certainly, there has to be more to it than bubble baths and pedicures.

This is the most delicious 6 minute mediation! Everyone needs this episode! #kindsight 101 #smallactbigimpact #podcast

Lisa Baylis has been sharing wellbeing strategies for the last 20 years. A natural born connector with an innate ability to make people feel valued and heard, she is an instructor, a counsellor, a facilitator, and a mother. Lisa is also the creator of the AWE Method — Awakening the Wellbeing for Educators — which merges self-care, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
Lisa has a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. She has taught internationally and locally. Much of her vast teaching experience was gained in classrooms across British Columbia — from Fort St. John to the Comox Valley. Currently, she is a high school counsellor in Victoria and a point person for positive education and mindfulness within the Greater Victoria School District.
Trained by mindful self-compassion pioneers Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, Lisa is also a trained Mindful Self-Compassion teacher. She teaches an eight-week MSC curriculum in Victoria, while also running one-day AWE retreats. No matter the setting — classroom, counselling session, or teacher development — Lisa incorporates concepts of positive psychology, self-compassion, and mindfulness.
Check out her blog for ideas on how to incorporate aspects of mindfulness, and positive education into your classroom and the new curriculum.
Lisa is happy to connect! Feel free to contact her here.

 

Ep. 80 Truly Human Leadership (With Bob Chapman)

 

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

In our conversation, we discuss the one tweak we can all make to transform our educational learning spaces and businesses, the responsibilities every leader has in an organization, how to rethink antiquated approaches to leadership, and how to measure true success in terms of the positive impact you have on others. Mr. Chapman cares deeply about the mental health of the workforce and believes that caring and courage are the most important metrics in any leadership team. You can find more about Barry-Wehmiller by typing in https://www.barrywehmiller.com/

Or more about Truly Human Leadership by visiting his website: TrulyHumanLeadership.com

Recently named the #3 CEO in the world by Inc., Bob Chapman is very intentional about using his platform as a business leader to build a better world.

Chapman is Chairman and CEO of St. Louis, MO-based Barry-Wehmiller, a $3B global manufacturing business with almost 12,000 team members. The company began as a small pasteurizing and bottle washer business in 1885 and, through acquisition and organic growth, has grown into 12 business units serving primarily the packaging, paper converting, sheeting and corrugating industries. Chapman became the senior executive of this private company in 1975 at age 30 when the 80-year-old business had $20 million in revenue, outdated technology and a very weak financial position. Despite the obstacles, Chapman applied a unique blend of strategy and culture over the next 40 years in leading Barry-Wehmiller through more than 100 successful acquisitions.

Over the past two decades, a series of realizations led him away from traditional management practices to what he now calls Truly Human Leadership–a people-centric approach where his employees feel valued, cared for, and an integral part of the company’s purpose. At Barry-Wehmiller, they have a unique measure of success: by the way they touch the lives of people.

Chapman’s experiences and the transformation he championed were the inspiration behind his 2015 WSJ bestseller Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family. The book is co-authored by Raj Sisodia, founder and co-author of Conscious Capitalism.

Chapman regularly writes about the powerful intersection of people-centric leadership and good business strategy on his blog, TrulyHumanLeadership.com, and on LinkedIn, where he is an Editor’s pick. In 2016, Harvard Business School released a case study featuring Barry-Wehmiller’s unique approach to business.

Chapman’s list of speaking engagements include the Aspen Ideas Festival, Conscious Capitalism events, Fortune Scale Up Summit, TEDxScottAFB, the 2016 US Congressional Retreat, WorldBlu, CEO Global Leaders Forum, International City Managers Association, the AME International Conference, Institute for Healthcare Consumerism Forum, Shingo Prize for Manufacturing Excellence Conference, HERO Forum for Employee Health Management, and numerous others.

Chapman shares his leadership journey and the story of Barry-Wehmiller whenever he can as it is an example of the way businesses and organizations should be: focused on creating value for all stakeholders—team members, customers, communities and shareholders. Not only is it the right thing to do, it creates meaning and fulfillment for team members.

Chapman has a BA from Indiana University and an MBA from Michigan. He spent his early career as an accountant with Price Waterhouse.

For more info about Bob, please contact mary.rudder@barry-wehmiller.com

Urgent vs. Important

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Urgent vs. Important Tasks

As the great Stephen Covey once asserted, there is a difference between urgent and important tasks. Both are a part of life, but it seems to me that life would be most rewarding if we filled our days more frequently with important rather than urgent matters.

Urgent is the thing that needs attention right NOW! These are tasks that emerge out of a restive mindset, defensive tactical action, rushed, and with a narrow focus on success.

Important are the things that contribute to grander, overarching goals, slow-drip moves that bring you closer to where you want to be, and a sense of intention that correlates with your values.

Of the tasks getting done today, how many are urgent and how many are important?

#kindsight101 #smallactbigimpact

Ep 78: The Unity Mandala (With Raphael Divi)

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Raphael Vincent a Haitian-born artist and activist based out of Victoria, British Columbia, who celebrates the concept of strength through unity in order to bring a sense of belonging and identity to school-aged students through the creation of collaborative mandalas made from a common household item.

Raphael hopes to create a healing symbol for those involved in the system and bringing students together for the greater good.

In this conversation, we talk about art as a healing force, the unity of humanity, and Raphael shares an easy exercise that can help any creativity skeptic regain a sense of creativity.
You can find out more about Raphael on his website https://www.theunitymandala.com or by following him on Instagram at raphaeldivi

Adopting a “Life-Fit” Mindset

 

Adopting a Life-Fit Mindset

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Photo by Mabel Amber on Pexels.com

I often get asked how I manage to fit podcast-creation, online content conception, professional development planning, full-time teaching, mothering, and managing our house at the same time in a balanced way, and the truth is I DON’T!

I’ve learned recently that there is no such thing as work-life balance. The concept simply does not exist in real life!

My friend, speaker, edu phenom and best-selling author Jimmy Casas talks about adopting the mindset of life-fit, instead. We cannot balance everything important simultaneously. What we can do, however, is live an integrated, rich, lopsided, beautiful life.

One approach that has really helped me is using Time Blocks (Charlie Gilkey):
He suggests a more essentialist style by mixing and matching four blocks of time to structure the work of your day. I like this approach because instead of trying to spin all of the plates at one time, you can focus in on a few with an incredible amount of depth:
  • Focus blocks (90–120 mins blocks of creativity, inspiration and high-level focussed work)
  • Social blocks (90–120 mins blocks of connecting with people)
  • Admin blocks (30–60 mins blocks of lower-energy blocks of time)
  • Recovery (variable-length blocks for exercise, meditation and self-care).

Some days, you might focus more on one goal or interest, and that’s just fine.

Don’t make yourself crazy by trying to be all to all, all the time! Seek out wholeness by ping-ponging between your interests and being okay with the occasional messiness of it!

How can you invite a sense of life-fit into your life?

#smallactbigimpact #kindsight101 #podcast #21daychallenge

 

Ep 77: The 5 Second Key to Courage (With Amy Perkins)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Have you ever dreamed of a doing extraordinary things with your life but haven’t known where to start?

Amy Perkins, an educator and teacher coach turned entrepreneur and influencer, walked away from a 25 year career and an overwhelming sense of imposter syndrome to embrace her true purpose by unlocking the key to courage. In this interview, she shares her specific three-step process for manifesting your dreams a process through which she was able to get one-on-one coaching with Mel Robbins, get a one-on-one facetime for her daughter with a world famous actor, get to know Seth Godin, helped her husband to become the leading sales person in his division, win international trips across the world, and change lives.

Amy shares Mel Robbin’s 5 second rule that helped her to reclaim her life. She discusses tuning into the whispers that lead you closer to your purpose, how to create family affirmations, how to walk the talk when it comes to believing in yourself. She also explores some of the pitfalls of education and how to overcome the failures of ineffective leaders by speaking truth to power. You will come away inspired, with the belief that you too can live an extraordinary life! Follow her @amyperkins on Linked in or check her out @keystocourage on Instagram and online at www.keystocourage.com

Forgiveness=Peace

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When we look back on our life, we have to appreciate all of the mistakes and pitfalls as a whole…even if they make us cringe.

All of the moments in your life have contributed to the wisdom you have today.

Forgive yourself for your past. You would not be you without it.

And what about forgiving others? I strongly believe in forgiveness for YOUR sake.

Forgiveness is not about condoning the unforgivable, but rather about embracing the freedom that comes when you stop wishing for a different past.

Acceptance of your past is what frees you from the corrosion of anger and resentment.

No…I don’t mean you should ignite the flame of past relationships.

No…don’t invite people back into your life who have broken your trust again and again.

Be smart.

There is no need for drama in your life. It’s essential to expunge dysfunction from your life, and as you do, release yourself from the expectations you had on what your life should have been.

Acceptance brings peace.

 

Ep 76: Culturize Your School (With Jimmy Casas)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a the kind of educational leader that nurtures excellence while building a powerful sense of community?

I’ve got another gem for you today…the one and only Jimmy Casas!

In our wide-ranging conversation, we explore:
* the biggest challenge in education,
* how to become a leader regardless of your title,
* how to delegate effectively,
* how to reach tough-to-teach kids without lowering expectations,
* the power of second chances, one of his top anxieties as a school leader,
* and the magic of establishing student-centred school culture.

Jimmy Casas is the best-selling author of Culturize and Stop Right Now, a speaker, and leadership coach, and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Drake University in Educational Leadership. He was an award-winning principal who served for twenty-two years as a school leader and is now consulting with and coaching educators, principals, and superintendents across the us.

You can find him and more about his books on social media at casasjimmy or online at jimmycasas.com

Throughout the book Culturize, Jimmy refers to his 4-point-core-values that have guided his practice as a leader and we touch on many of these throughout the interview:
1. Be a Champion for Kids– 3 rs’ …relationship, relationship, relationship! It turns out that most kids don’t succeed because a lack in these following three areas: confidence capability, and connection.
2. Expect Excellence– Choose empathy vs. sympathy and through effective scaffolding, hold the people you serve and your stakeholders to a high standard.
3. Carry the Banner– Be positive about your school. Branding happens…you can either control the message or let someone else do it. Social media is here to stay, so it makes sense to learn how to harness it.
4. Be a Merchant of Hope -Give people chances, make your mistakes right, and believe in people.

In culturize, Jimmy asks leaders to reflect on their practice using the following questions:
-Do your words inspire success or shame?
-Do you acknowledge the needs of others?
-Do you dismiss the gifts of others?

Hope you enjoy the episode. Please share with people you think would benefit from the message.