Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Priests and Goldman Sachs and Enrons (McKinseys & Arthur Andersens).....Oh my!


This is to benefit victims and survivors; those who are suffering at the hands of organizational members; be they priests, traders, consultants, or accountants, whose deceptive behaviors and incompetent leaders - like fish stinking from their heads, fostered abuse and deceit, self serving protection and power, greed, and quick or disturbed gains over ethical, good, and honest decisions.

Successful survivors follow Four Steps to overcome abuse and fraud.

1. Successful survivors reveal the truth to trained professionals. They share all their related secrets and shed light on the perpetration. Victims often falsely believe the abusive and deleterious behaviors committed against them are somehow their fault. This relates to people who are molested and to people who are duped by phony, and contrived, investment vehicles.

Blame always belongs to the instigator / perpetrator. The only way to melt erroneous compartments and their related power and control dynamics is to share the truth with trained professionals. This lifts a tremendous weight and puts the power back in the hands its rightful owner: the survivor. Bullies hate the truth.

2. Successful survivors identify cognitive distortions based on their victimization. Victims can carry a ton of guilt and shame with them, thinking they are to blame for others' malfeasance. This can generate a false sense of poor confidence. In extreme cases, a victim's psyche may cultivate obsessive thoughts to distract from their extreme emotional pain.

It's important for survivors to speak openly about their abuse, so their internal fears and criticisms can be exposed and their compartments melted, so integrated functioning, and present moment joy, are possible.

Healthy survivors separate facts from opinions and approach life from a rational, realistic, objective, and mature perspective.

3. Successful survivors look at their destructive behavioral patterns, rooted in abuse related cognitive distortions, and make better present moment choices. They make constructive and good decisions leading to positive outcomes.

Successful survivors choose behaviors with present moment awareness. They can identify the connection between behaviors associated with inordinate fears and criticisms and choose behaviors allowing them to live free, where they feel in control of their destinies.

4. Healthy Survivors integrate their "true" sense of self with validating / affirming healthier people. They choose to affiliate with people who share their values and beliefs, and who reinforce their positive identities.

Victims may isolate themselves, as their perpetrators prefer. As a result, they do not cultivate the supportive and constructive friendships needed to grow and evolve into healthy survivors.

Successful survivors form healthy identities by sharing secrets, identifying distortions, choosing healthy behaviors, and surrounding themselves with healthier people who affirm their positive identities.

The next entry will be written as a warning to perpetrators, and their supporting hierarchies; to those who think they are fooling us by projecting images of success, accomplishment, and affiliation when, in reality, their phoniness and destructive behaviors are very apparent. They will be exposed. Justice will be served.

They have little hearts, little brains, and little courage.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Catch People Doing Something Right

Did you ever have a boss who only made her presence felt when something went wrong? Seeing her walk towards me down the aisle made me think to myself, with dread: "damn, what did I do now?"

If a person is only told his faults, he has to learn twice; once to unlearn the wrong thing and once to learn the right way.

As a coach, leader, or manager, it's constructive, and productive, to have a positive association with your people. Imagine if every time I saw this manager I thought to myself, "wow, I wonder what I did right?!"

Brown's Professor Barrett Hazeltine practiced this with passion. If someone shared something insightful in class, he'd race across the auditorium and shake the student's hand, stating: "that's really good", or "wow, you're really smart", in a caring and sincere manner. The student beamed.

In my professional career, associate Joe McCarthy was adept at telling people the specific, wonderful, pieces of their work or contributions. People spent hours with Joe.

In both cases, their offices looked liked deli stands, where students and associates lined up, waiting for insights and, I suspect, an opportunity to be praised. I don't think I ever saw anyone waiting eagerly to meet with my old manager.

If the right behavior is recognized and rewarded, it's likely to be repeated.

So, instead of finding fault, catch people doing something right. It will reinforce the desired behavior, and it will make the receiver's day. It's most impacting when the feedback is specific, timely, and reinforces a core value or goal.

It's easier to attract flies with honey. Have Fun!