Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Disciplined Thinking in a Quick-Fix World.

Did an EI program today. While the bulk of the day flowed with excitement and laughter, our group did have some problems working through the 6 second videocamera exercise. This analytical tool can help a participant explore the costs and benefits of our behavior patterns. The exercise challenges us to delve deeply into a moment of our lives and extract the core thoughts and feelings that were driving our behavior. Then, courageously, we identify the pattern this behavior may represent. In addition to unflinching honesty, the exercise requires us to slow down our thinking and ponder a small interaction for its deeper meanings. To do this, we must strip away the (sometimes dramatic) distracting details of our encounters and state what happened in the simplest way. It is a disciplined way of thinking—one that is rare in our frenetic world. It reminds me that EI isn’t a quick fix—it’s hard work. (One of my participants endorsed the day’s offerings as “meaty.”)

Hard work pays off. I’m humbled (and also thrilled) to use very practical EI tools. With concentrated effort these tools can yield life-changing results.

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