Communications - Underlying all work delivered in this Ministerial Search program is the knowledge that meaning, messaging, and the method of communication matter. We've progressed well beyond the days of drawing pictographs on heavy stones to try and convey and assign meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. Although it may appear that texts, tweets, skype, email, wikis, blogs, websites and virtual communities prevail, take heart that face-to-face conversations, town halls, letters, newsletters, bulletin boards, announcements and telephone calls are still viable, and in many cases, preferable methods of communication.
In Crucial Conversations, Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler help us harness the power of dialogue, described as, 'the free flow of meaning between two or more people.' Their greatest focus is on 'what we must do to stay in dialogue, no matter the circumstances.' Topics that support dialogue include: Start with Heart, Learn to Look, Make it Safe, Master my Stories, State My Path, Explore Others' Paths, Move to Action and Putting It All Together, www.vitalsmarts.com In Nonviolent Communication and Speaking Peace, Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. asks that we reach beneath the surface to uncover what is alive within us, and to discover how our actions are based on the human needs we are seeking to meet. In understanding our needs, we create a shared basis for a deeper connection with others and ourselves, and create more satisfying relationships.
Consulting - At its most basic Latin roots, to consult is 'to discuss.' Management consulting is the practice of helping individuals or organizations improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing business problems and development of plans for improvement. Organizations use management consultants for a variety of reasons, including that of gaining an external opinion, objective advice, and access to the consultants' specialized expertise.
By working with numerous organizations, consultants become aware of industry best practices. Consultants may also provide organizational change management assistance, facilitate development coaching skills, provide technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. Based on their experience, management consultants may bring proprietary methodologies or frameworks to guide a process to identify problems, and serve as a basis for recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing business tasks.
I personally subscribe to the principles advocated by Peter Block in his book, Flawless Consulting. Peter is also a popular keynote speaker who has authored numerous books and more than 60 articles on organizational change and building productive communities. In answering the question, "What are the traits of an authentic consultant?" Peter replies:
"The behavioral part is pretty clear, and is essential to flawless consulting. Authentic behavior is simply the willingness to be who you are and to tell the truth. This is the consultant's most powerful tool for building client trust and commitment. Many consultants try to be too clever in trying to communicate with their clients, seeking to convince their clients to their point of view. Clients see right through the fast talking and persuasion techniques, and as a result, their skepticism rises. Instead, consultants should be who they are and tell the truth in a caring way, which will establish a balance that leads to a trusting, productive relationship with the client.
Care, honesty, depth, and saying no to commercialism as your major goals are qualities that can change the world. To be authentic, consultants must bring those qualities into their practices. These are the personal qualities that count, but they aren't enough. Another important trait of the authentic consultant has to do with purpose. Consultants must take a stance at what they want to help create. My services become authentic in the effort to create authentic institutions. And, out of that, comes accountability.
Effective Meetings - In many organizations, meetings have earned the reputation as being the single activity most easily identified with waste. When not well-planned and well-facilitated, meetings can easily become black holes of energy, time and resources. Effective meetings distinguish themselves from ineffective meetings in that they follow these guidelines. Effective meetings:
- are announced early enough to allow participants time to prepare,
- are well structured (yes, they have agendas+),
- have clearly understood roles and responsibilities,
- have an identified decision making process,
- follow established and accepted ground rules,
- have a method for handling and/or capturing tough issues,
- have methods to capture action items and follow-up, and
- close with known next steps.
Emotional Intelligence - Although emotional intelligence is often associated with the popular book written by Daniel Goleman, Goleman first approached professors Jack Mayer (University of New Hampshire) and Peter Salovey (Yale) requesting permission to use their term “emotional intelligence” to replace the term he was using, “emotional literacy.” Mayer and Solovey had released articles about emotional intelligence as early as 1990; Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence, was released in 1995.
Jack Mayer, Peter Salovey and their colleague, David Caruso, define emotional intelligence as the ability to:
- accurately identify emotions,
- use emotions to help you think,
- understand what causes emotions, and
- manage to stay open to these emotions in order to capture the wisdom of our feelings.
They describe different areas of emotional intelligence as:
- Emotional Perception, involves abilities such as identifying emotions in faces, music, and stories.
- Emotional Facilitation of Thought, involves abilities such as relating emotions to other mental sensations such as taste and color, and using emotion in reasoning and problem solving.
- Emotional Understanding, involves the solving of emotional problems such as knowing which emotions are similar, or opposites, and what relations they convey.
- Emotional Management, involves understanding the implications of social acts on emotions and the regulation of emotion in self and others.
Like Mayer and Salovey, Daniel Goleman uses the term and his book of the same name, Emotional Intelligence to synthesize a broad range of scientific findings. He brings together what had been separate strands of research, reviewing not only their theory but a wide variety of other scientific developments.
Facilitation - As defined in may dictionaries, facilitation is, "to make easy or to make something easier to do, to help forward." Facilitation may be done one-on-one to facilitate aspects of personal growth. In a group setting, meetings or processes may be designed and/or facilitated using known methods or techniques so that the group is assured of reaching its stated goals more easily.
In addition to using best practice facilitation methods for guiding organizational teams, as a facilitator, Veronica has led peer circles, coaching circles and wisdom circles. She is experienced facilitating World Cafés in corporate and organizational settings, and has facilitated team-building using Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team model. She subscribes to The Art of Hosting and harvesting meaningful conversations, and the practice of holding sacred space. She is trained in facilitating Open Space, and has studied Non-Violent Communication, HeartMath and is a certified BePeace facilitator. She is also trained in the Appreciative Inquiry method.
Faith and Prayer - The Ministerial Search program was conceived and designed so that faith and prayer are essential, integrated, components. The program is administered in faith, where the unwavering belief that goes beyond conscious knowing is ever-present. As individual team members gather on behalf of a community to search for the next spiritual leader for the community, they lean into their own personal faith and prayer practices and they are led to group prayer practices. Prayer is used to open meetings, to close meetings, in times of conflict, in times of confusion, and in times of celebration.
Heart of Change - The key message in The Heart of Change by John Kotter, author of the international bestseller, Leading Change, and Dan Cohen, is very simple: Successful large scale change is complex and can be defined in 8 stages with the same core challenge in every stage: changing people’s behavior. “People change what they do less because we give them analysis that shifts their thinking than because we show them a truth that influences their feelings. Behavior change happens in highly successful situations mostly by speaking to people’s feelings.” The flow of the 8 stages is to
1. push urgency up,
2. put together a guiding team,
3. create the vision and strategies,
4. effectively communicate the vision and strategies,
5. remove barriers to action,
6. accomplish short term winds,
7. keep pushing for wave after wave of change until the work is done, and finally,
8. create a new culture to make the new behavior stick.
By far, this is the one book I give to C-level executives than often than any other as it quickly gets to the heart of the matter and facilitates their understanding of what is needed to successfully position change in their organization. To explore the concept further, or try a customized interactive tool developed to provide insight into your change effort, along with excerpts from the book, case studies and further reading suggestions, visit www.theheartofchange.com.
Human Resources - Increasingly, people are the asset being recognized as most important to an organization. In its generic form, Human Resources is the term used to identify the people who operate and staff an organization (not the financial resources, not the material resources, etc.). Human Resources, or HR, applies to the workforce managed by any employer, and within an organization, the Human Resources Department or division is that part of the company focused on activities related to managing its workforce for optimal efficacy. HR activities include recruiting and hiring new employees, providing orientation, administering benefits, providing training and development, creating strategic programs to attract and retain employees, handling labor relations, etc.
Joining Together - Joining Together, Group Theory and Group Skills, by David W. Johnson and Frank P. Johnson, bridges the gap between theory and practice by combining theoretical and empirical knowledge with practical ways to apply it in a group situation. It provides a board integrative overview of group dynamics, presented in a well-researched, readable, experiential format. Readers are introduced to the theory and research findings needed to understand how to make groups effective. The book helps build the skills required to apply the knowledge in practical situations. It offers a wealth of experiential exercises and simulations that foster a conceptual understanding of group dynamics. The authors also provide examples that are applicable to a wide spectrum of sitautions that involve group dynamics.
PPT - When represented visually, models depicting the concept of "People, Process and Technology" are often related to an equilateral triangle, paying homage to the roots of the early concept: in order for large scale change initiatives to be successful, a balance was needed between the key components of people, process and technology. Without sufficient success in each one of these components, the other two components could not carry the initiative to the finish line. Change management practices were born alongside large-scale IT projects when enough projects that were only focused on technology and process failed. The practice of change management invests in the importance of the people involved in the acceptance of the initiative. Aligned attentiveness to the success of the new or changed technology and to the new or changed processes constitutes the possibility of meeting the success criteria for the initiative.
Project Management - The work of a project manager is the simultaneous management of four basic elements of a project:
- Resources: people, equipment, material
- Time: task durations, dependencies, critical path
- Money: costs, contingencies, profit
- Scope: project size, goals, requirements
These elements are interrelated, and each must be managed effectively if the project is to be a success. Scope is defined as the objective that the project is intended to accomplish, and the budget (of time and money) that has been created to achieve the objective. Seasoned project managers know that any change to the scope of the project must have a corresponding change in budget.
Spiritual Intelligence - As a relatively new term, the exact definition of spiritual intelligence varies depending on whom is asked. According to Stephen Covey, spiritual intelligence, or SQ, is a term used to indicate a spiritual correlate to Intelligence Quotient, IQ, and Emotional Quotient, EQ. SQ is becoming more mainstream in scientific inquiry and in philosophical and psychological discussion.
In 1997, Danah Zohar coined the term "spiritual intelligence" and introduced the idea in her book ReWiring the Corporate Brain: Using the New Science to Rethink How We Structure and Lead Organizations. In 2004, Zohar and her husband and co-author, Ian Marshall published a book, SQ: Ultimate Intelligence, and their definition asserts that SQ “is the intelligence with which we access our deepest meanings, purposes, and highest motivations. It is the intelligence that makes us whole, that gives us our integrity. It is the soul's intelligence, the intelligence of the deep self. It is the intelligence with which we ask fundamental questions and with which we reframe our answers.”
The word ‘spiritual’ in relation to ‘intelligence’ has no implied or required connection with organized religion meaning that a person may have high SQ, but have no religious faith or belief of any kind, or a person may be very religious with a low SQ. In the work by Zohar and Marshall, the concept and use of the word spiritual comes from the Latin word spiritus, which means, "that which gives life or vitality to a system;" it does not relate to any intelligence connected with an organized religion.
Zohar and Marshall introduced 12 qualities of SQ:
- Self-awareness - knowing what I believe in and value, and what deeply motivates me
- Spontaneity - living in and being responsive to the moment
- Being Vision-led and Value-led - acting from principles and deep beliefs, and living accordingly
- Holism - seeing larger patterns, relationships, and connections; having a sense of belonging
- Compassion - having the quality of "feeling-with" and deep empathy
- Celebration of Diversity - Valuing other people for their differences, not despite them
- Field Independence - standing against the crowd and having one's own convictions
- Humility - having the sense of being a player in a larger drama, of one's true place in the world
- Tendency to ask Fundamental "Why?" Questions - needing to understand things and get to the bottom of them
- Ability to Reframe - standing back from a situation or problem and seeing the bigger picture; seeing problems in a wider context
- Positive use of Adversity - learning and growing from mistakes, setbacks, and suffering
- Sense of Vocation - feeling called upon to serve, to give something back
These 12 qualities are indicators of
Cindy Wigglesworth defines spiritual intelligence as "the ability to act with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the circumstances." Wigglesworth breaks down the competencies that comprise SQ into 21 skills, arranged into a four quadrant model similar to Daniel Goleman's model of emotional intelligence. The four quadrants of spiritual intelligence are defined as:
- Higher Self / Ego Self Awareness
- Higher Self / Ego Self Mastery
- Spiritual Presence / Social Mastery
Wigglesworth developed the first competency-based Spiritual Intelligence Assessment Instrument, which measures 21 skills through a validated questionnaire, which has undergone statistical analysis of results to determine statistical significance and reliability, a construct validity analysis, and a correlation analysis with other highly respected, validated assessments of adult development.
Staffing Industry Expertise - The staffing industry is about a $100B business for the US, and is comprised of companies that specialize in placing individuals into temporary, contract, and permanent positions for client firms. Some of the largest staffing company providers are Adecco, Manpower, Robert Half, Kelly and Volt. Temporary staffing accounts for about 80% of US staffing industry revenues. Positions held by Veronica in staffing organizations include: Financial Controller, Director of Business Applications (IT), and Vice-President of Branch Operations.
Staffing Industry Analysts is the premier research and analysis firm covering the contingent workforce and provides data, information and products to decision-makers who supply and buy temporary staffing. In addition to temporary staffing, Staffing Industry Analysts also cover three related staffing service sectors: third-party placement, outplacement, and staff leasing (PEOs). Staffing industry employment has long been considered a popular indicator of current economic conditions and a precursor of overall employment trends. A sustained upturn in staffing industry employment would signal the end of the current recession and suggest that overall nonfarm employment would begin to grow about three months later. 2009 research from the American Staffing Association, drawn from statistical analyses of 36 years of government data confirm conventional wisdom, added an important nuance. The key findings were that:
- Staffing industry employment is a strong coincident economic indicator when the economy is emerging from a recession.
- Staffing industry employment is a leading indicator for nonfarm employment—by about three months when the economy is emerging from a recession.
Success Principles - The Success Principles® is a roadmap for anyone—from marketing professionals to small business owners, and from teachers to students and parents—striving to achieve their professional and personal dreams and goals. Touching on every aspect of our lives, Jack Canfield offers 64 practical and inspiring principles to get any aspiring person from where they are to where they want to be.
Fundamentals of Success
1. Take 100% Responsibility for Your Life
2. Be Clear Why You’re Here
3. Decide What You Want
4. Believe It’s Possible
5. Believe in Yourself
6. Become an Inverse Paranoid
7. Unleash the Power of Goal-Setting
8. Chunk it Down
9. Success Leaves Clues
10. Release the Brakes
11. See What You Want, Get What You See
12. Act as If
13. Take Action
14. Just Lean into It
15. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
16. Be Willing to Pay the Price
17. Ask! Ask! Ask!
18. Reject Rejection
19. Use Feedback to Your Advantage
20. Commit to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement
21. Keep Score for Success
22. Practice Persistence
23. Practice the rule of 5
24. Exceed Expectations
Transform Yourself for Success
25. Drop Out of the “Ain’t It Awful” Club and Surround Yourself with Successful People
26. Acknowledge Your Positive Past
27. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
28. Clean Up Your Messes and Your Incompletes
29. Complete the Past to Embrace the Future
30. Face What Isn’t Working
31. Embrace Change
32. Transform Your Inner Critic into an Inner Coach
33. Transcend Your Limiting Beliefs
34. Develop Four New Success Habits a Year
35. 99% Is a Bitch, 100% Is a Breeze
36. Learn More to Earn More
37. Stay Motivated with the Masters
38. Fuel Your Success with Passion and Enthusiasm
Build Your Success Team
39. Stay Focused on Your Core Genius
40. Redefine Time
41. Build a Powerful Support Team and Delegate to Them
42. Just Say No!
43. Say No to the Good so That You Can Say Yes to the Great
44. Find a Wing to Climb Under
45. Hire a Personal Coach
46. Mastermind Your Way to Success
47. Inquire Within
Create Successful Relationships
48. Be Hear Now
49. Have a Heart Talk
50. Tell the Truth Faster
51. Speak with Impeccability
52. When in Doubt, Check It Out
53. Practice Uncommon Appreciation
54. Keep Your Agreements
55. Be a Class Act
Success and Money
56. Develop a Positive Money Consciousness
57. You Get What You Focus On
58. Pay Yourself First
59. Master the Spending Game
60. To Spend More, First Make More
61. Give More to Get More
62. Find a Way to Serve
Success Starts Now
63. Start Now! Just Do It!
64. Empower Yourself by Empowering Others
Thought Leaders - Thought leaders who have not been specifically identified elsewhere in the program, but whose influence is undeniable and deeply appreciated are:
Unity Principles - What is Unity? According to Webster's Dictionary, Unity is, "a religious philosophy based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, stating that humanity is inseparable from the Spirit of God within and that through prayerful realization of the Spirit, we may obtain healing of all life's inharmonies in mind and body." Five principles constitute the core teachings of the Unity spiritual movement founded in 1889 by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore. These principles reflect the laws of the universe that apply to everyone, all the time. They show up in every major religion and are all reflected in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Simplified, the principles upon which followers of the Unity base their faith are:
1. God is good
God is absolute good and everywhere present. There is only One Power and One Presence active in the universe and in my life, God, the Good. God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere.
2. People are good
Since humans are made in the image of God, humans have a spark of divinity within them and are therefore inherently good also. Our essence is of God; therefore, we are inherently good. This God essence was fully expressed in Jesus, the Christ. We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
3. Thoughts create experiences
Human beings create experiences by the activity of their thinking. Everything in the manifest realm has its beginning in thoughts. We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind. We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.
4. Prayer is connection
Prayer is creative thinking that heightens the connection with God and therefore brings forth wisdom, healing, prosperity and everything good. Through affirmative prayer and meditation, we connect with God and bring out the good in our lives. There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God.
5. Action is needed
Knowledge of spiritual principles, and knowing and understanding the laws of life, also called truth, is not enough. We must live them; we must live the truth we know. Through thoughts, words and actions, we live in the truth we know.
Universal Laws - As summarized on www.kayrobbins.com, 12 Universal Laws and 21 sub-laws are identified and described by Drs. Milanovich and McCune in The Light Shall Set You Free. These Universal Laws are interrelated, and founded on the understanding that everything in the universe is energy, including us, and that energy moves in a circular fashion. At the microscopic level, we are a whirling mass of electrons and energy atoms spinning rapidly. In fact, everything in the world is comprised of energy and we are intimately connected with this sea of energy, this sea of whirling electrons.
Our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions are all forms of energy. What we think, feel, say, and do in each moment comes back to us to create our realities. Energy moves in a circle, so what goes around comes around. The combined thoughts, feelings, words and actions of everyone on the planet creates our collective consciousness, it creates the world we see before us.
1. The Law of Divine Oneness helps us to understand that we live in a world where everything is connected to everything else. Everything we do, say, think and believe affects others and the universe around us.
2. The Law of Vibration states that everything in the Universe moves, vibrates, and travels in circular patterns. The same principles of vibration in the physical world apply to our thoughts, feelings, desires, and wills in the Etheric world. Each sound, thing, and even thought has its own vibrational frequency, unique unto itself.
3. The Law of Action must be applied in order for us to manifest things on earth; we must engage in actions that support our thoughts, dreams, emotions and words.
4. The Law of Correspondence states that the principles or laws of physics that explain the physical world – energy, Light, vibration, and motion – have their corresponding principles in the etheric or universe. “As above, so below.”
5. The Law of Cause and Effect states that nothing happens by chance or outside of Universal Laws. Every action has a reaction or consequence and we “reap what we have sown.”
6. The Law of Compensation is the Law of Cause and Effect applied to blessings and abundance that are provided for us. The visible effects of our deeds are given to us in gifts, money, inheritances, friendships, and blessings.
7. The Law of Attraction demonstrates how we create the things, events, and people that come into our lives. Our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions produce energies which, in turn, attract like energies. Negative energies attract negative energies and positive energies attract positive energies.
8. The Law of Perpetual Transmutation of Energy states that all persons have within them the power to change the conditions in their lives. Higher vibrations consume and transform lower ones; thus, each of us can change the energies in our lives by understanding the Universal Laws and applying the principles in such a way as to effect change.
9. The Law of Relativity states that each person will receive a series of problems (Tests of Initiation) for the purpose of strengthening the Light within. We must consider each of these tests to be a challenge and remain connected to our hearts when proceeding to solve the problems. This law also teaches us to compare our problems to others’ problems and put everything into its proper perspective. No matter how bad we perceive our situation to be, there is always someone who is in a worse position. It is all relative.
10. The Law of Polarity states that everything is on a continuum and has an opposite. We can suppress and transform undesirable thoughts by concentrating on the opposite pole. It is the law of mental vibrations.
11. The Law of Rhythm states that everything vibrates and moves to certain rhythms. These rhythms establish seasons, cycles, stages of development, and patterns. Each cycle reflects the regularity of God’s universe. Masters know how to rise above negative parts of a cycle by never getting too excited or allowing negative things to penetrate their consciousness.
12. The Law of Gender states that everything has its masculine (yang) and feminine (yin) principles, and that these are the basis for all creation. The spiritual Initiate must balance the masculine and feminine energies within herself or himself to become a Master and a true co-creator with God.
In addition to the 12 Universal Laws, Drs. Milanovich and McCune assert that there are 21 sub-laws of the Universe that are governed by the Higher Self. The 21 sub-laws are human characteristics that relate to the Universal Laws: Aspiration to A Higher Power, Charity, Compassion, Courage, Dedication, Faith, Forgiveness, Generosity, Grace, Honesty, Hope, Joy, Kindness, Leadership, Noninterference, Patience, Praise, Responsibility, Self-Love, Thankfulness, and Unconditional Love.