Ladder of Inference

  Chris Argyris (1990) describes the progressive process of making observations, gathering information, making assumptions, and deciding action as being similar to climbing up on a “ladder of inference.”  This concept was later used by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.  Starting at the bottom of the ladder , we have reality and facts. From there, we: Experience these selectively based on our beliefs and prior experience. Interpret what they mean. Apply our existing assumptions, sometimes without considering them (heuristics). Draw conclusions based on the interpreted facts and our assumptions. Develop beliefs[…]Read More…

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MSU

Almost every one of us has a graduate degree from/in MSU – Making Stuff Up! I typically poke fun at myself and say, “I am not sure how many of you know, but I have a Ph.D. in MSU!  Did you know that?  Yeah, MSU – Making Stuff Up!“ We constantly make stuff up.  With a lack of information, we fill the gap.  And we almost never have ALL the information, so we MSU. In a ‘team’ or group context, it would be MSU about other people: I know why Jane didn’t forward that memo to me.  She is mad[…]Read More…

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Clarity Techniques

Facilitators use these techniques to reflect verbiage back to participants.  Do not judge their words, simply be a mirror for them to judge their own words.  Be careful not to ‘throw’ the responses in their face and always be polite, saying “Excuse me” if you need to interrupt. [threecol_one][/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Person Uses:[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]Facilitator Responds:[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Universals[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]All Every Never[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]“ALL?” “Every?” “Never?”[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]’Rules'[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Should Shouldn’t Must Can’t[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]”What would happen if…?” “What causes or prevents…?” “Must?” “Can’t?“[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Non-Specific Verbs[/threecol_one] [threecol_one][/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]”How specifically?“[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Non-Specific Nouns[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]We It[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]”Who specifically?” “What specifically?“[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Quantifiers[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Too Much Too Many Too Expensive[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]”Compared to what?“[/threecol_one_last] [threecol_one]Statements[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]I don’t[…]Read More…

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Start-Up Techniques

Start-Up Techniques are facilitative behaviors that create, continue or re-start a safe environment for learning. In the beginning: Get agreement on the collective focus of the group/team. By saying, “What would this group like to create today?” [hr] Inform the group that they are responsible for how well the workshop goes. By saying, “Ask yourself and give yourself an honest assessment, ‘How am I showing up right now? Is my current attitude going to help or hinder the group?  Will it help myself?’” Consider using a story like the Two Wolves to help participants emotionally connect with being present. [hr] Create guidelines or[…]Read More…

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FIMAGE

The ‘Fimage Factor’ is Fear of IMAGE. If we were to summarize in a word why people wear masks, it would be FIMAGE. People spend thousands of dollars and hours every year to cultivate their personal image.  This image defines them.  People begin to develop this image in early adolescence and by the time they are adults, they are heavily invested in this image. This image can help us when it portrays confidences, competence and enthusiasm.  In some cases it can also hold people back from reaching their potential. How do you respond to your friends versus strangers? How do[…]Read More…

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Don’t ‘We’ on Yourself!

A fun way to keep the debrief light is to start getting people to notice how often we use the non-specific noun ‘We’, which we all do frequently when really we mean ‘I’. It is one particular way to spread around the responsibility and not take accountability for our own actions, opinions, failures and successes. Listen closely. When a person says ‘We’, when it should be ‘I’, stop them politely and say: “Don’t ‘We’ on yourself’.  Who specifically?” The group will catch on quickly and join in the fun.  However, watch that it does not take away from the meaning[…]Read More…

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Four Agreements

Created by Don Miguel Ruiz, if you commit to living these agreements, it WILL change your life.  It is also a great set of agreements for a group to agree to at the beginning of the day. You can use this as part of your Full Value Contract or as a standalone set of agreements. Be Impeccable with Your Word Speak with Integrity.  Say only what you mean.  Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. Don't Take Anything Personally Nothing others[...]Read More...
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Story of Two Wolves

This is a great parable to help participants make a conscious decision to actively participate. An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you[…]Read More…

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