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Navigating the Levels

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Learning and understanding the levels of perception can help you reduce stress, get better results at work, create stronger relationships and become a more effective educator, mentor, parent and boss.  First a few basics – the levels or perception are a collection of references you have, they are your own personal library of how you like the world. I think of the levels like the neural connections in the brain – a bunch of things all wired together.  They are formed from the lowest level (most basic) to the highest level (most complex). Each higher level is developed by combining different perceptions from the levels below.  For example the color red, a somewhat round shape, a stem at the top, a dimple at the bottom, may be combined to become “apple,” at a higher level.  Learning is about creating and connecting the lower levels and moving your way up.  Think of learning math.  You learn to understand what the symbol “5” represents - later you learn that 5+5 =10 then you are taught t…

Preventing Forest Fires in an Organization of Dead Wood

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One of the greatest challenges in embedding a new innovation is – what do to with the dead wood.  Do you clear it, minimize it or leave it be? This discussion always reminds me of forest management, in which there is a debate as to how much dead wood is healthy for new growth and biodiversity.  One side of the argument is that the dead wood creates fertile ground for disease and increases the risk of wild fire.  The other side of the dispute is that deadwood provides healthy compost for new growth, acts as shelter for animals and other new forms of growth.  In fact a nurse log is a fallen tree which, as it decays, provides ecological facilitation to seedlings. 
“Dead and dying trees play a key role in the functioning and productivity of forest ecosystems through effects on biodiversity, carbon storage, soil nutrient cycling, energy flows, hydrological processes, and natural regeneration of trees.” (UK Forestry Commission 2002) Still – how much dead wood can a forest sustain and still b…

Calling All Zombies - WAKE UP!

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In 1932, Victor Halperin directed White Zombie, a horror film starring Bela Lugosi sharing his view of zombies. The film depicted zombies as mindless, unthinking henchmen under the spell of an evil magician. Although Zombies are rather on trend, thanks to The Walking Dead, far too many individuals spend their days powering through life, racing from email, to text, to twitter, oscillating between online and real time, unable (or unwilling) to slow down. Mindlessly pushing through the day. There are far too many zombies out there, and unfortunately education is full of them.  Recognizing who they are and realizing that if you can wake-them-up they can move an initiative far faster and deeper than almost any other group in your organization. Zombies are often the unofficial power brokers of the school.
Teachers who have taught the same lesson for the past 20 years.  Students who only do as much as is required to not get into trouble. Parents who see education as the total responsibility…

Never Attack a Naysayer

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