Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Connecting the Dots



 

As you may know, I made a commitment to myself and all of you to post four blog entries every month. I was successful at doing this last year and by hell or high water, I will succeed this year as well. However (there seems to always be a "however") there are some weeks or in this case months where I am busy, overwhelmed and exhausted, which leads to me getting a bit of writers block resulting in me stressing that I will fall short of my four blog post per month goal. As you probably can tell, I'll fill in my off weeks (or months) with guest posts or information that I gathered elsewhere that I hope you find interesting and beneficial. These are the times that I don't have the creative juices to write something profound enough for your distinguished literary pallet! It seems this has been my norm the past couple months. I have been busy with my own projects: The Krav academy, PeaceWalker, RGI, training, writing my (soon to be completed) book, etc.These things along with a fair amount of travel time in hotels, planes and cars I am a bit on the crispy side when it comes to getting good blog material out. As I work through these things and carve out a new pace for my creativity I will share with you an exercise that I have people do at some of my PeaceWalker Workshops and from my forthcoming book. 

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Take a few minutes and write down how your job protects the lives of others. 

If you work as a nurse, police officer, teacher, ambulance driver, doctor, military personnel, counselor, or other profession where you deal more directly with the well being of people, you might find this easy (then again you might not!). However, if you work another type of a job, say a factory worker, furniture sales person, pet groomer, garbage removal worker, customer service representative, marketing executive, etc. you may not see how your job protects life. But I assure you that it most likely DOES in some way. If it doesn’t you may really want to rethink your career choice!

I do work for DTE Energy and one time I was asked to teach a workshop on conflict management for their meter reading department. So, as part of my PeaceWalker Program I asked them this very question: 

How does your job reading peoples gas meters protect life? 

At first they looked at me blankly. No one said a word. I restated it again. After a minute went by, which feels like an eternity when you are speaking in front of a large group of people, one of the managers spoke up. He said that if people don’t have gas they won’t have heat. I chimed in saying that every winter there are people who freeze to death because they don’t have heat. Others have to leave their homes because they don’t have utilities. 

Once that ice was broken others began opening up. One employee said that he once noticed the smell of gas at one of the homes he was checking. The smell was strong, yet the family never knew that there was a problem. It ended up being a ruptured gas line that could’ve caused property damage and more importantly people getting hurt or killed. This DTE meter reader protected that family’s life!

Another person said that some of their clients were on fixed incomes and if the meter isn’t read properly they could end up in a situation where they can’t pay their bill causing major problems financially that could affect their service. Not to mention waste a lot of time to sort out over the phone.

Story after story, they began connecting the dots!

I saw most have an 'aha' moment when it came to their job and themselves. They were no longer "just" meter readers, they were protectors, they were PeaceWalkers. 

This perspective is also very beneficial during conflict management. Framing things from the standpoint of being a protector and on the same side, assists others in seeing that you are there to help, not be a nuisance or exploiting them in some way. 

So, back to the exercise: 

  1. How does YOUR job respect and protect life? 
  2. Think about it, sit down with a colleague or friend and discuss it. 
  3. Write down all the ways you can think of that your job respects and protects life.
  4. When you are done with that write down your ideas on how you can COMMUNICATE that to the people you are serving! 


All the best,
~Craig

1 comment:

  1. As a teacher I see myself protecting life on an almost daily basis in both physical and mental capacities. I serve the students, their parents, my colleagues, and our community and from the honeymoon period in September through the madness-laden hell-scape of late June I strive to communicate that each person I encounter is protected and respected when they are with in my school, classroom, presence, etc. I'll do this directly by saying so to my students, but also make an honest attempt to communicate this through my actions whether it's by backing-up a colleague in need, sympathizing with the parent of a senioritis-stricken teen, or holding a firm boundary when it comes to behavior in the classroom. I'm no saint and my intentions sometimes break under pressure - I'm human and I don't beat myself up for that. I've broken down and made mistakes like everyone else and in the aftermath I try to forgive myself and get back in the saddle. However, the times I really take pride in are those when I made it through a tough situation all the while communicating and acting like a professional. They get more common the more I practice and I also try to act as a protector by spreading the protector mentality to others to empower them with this idea - it truly is a better life for all.
    As my journey as an educator continues I really want to focus on how to bring-out this attitude among adolescents - especially those who see their parents and peers live an "out-thug the thug" mentality. I communicate the dual life value to them through words and visuals, but hope to integrate more physical training into these "character education" lessons because I have been told by a reliable source that it's the integration that makes the ingredients become a dish worth serving. Any ideas, advice, and suggestions are welcome, please share!

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