2006: Issue 23
Honoring Our Right Brain
In the last two ezines, I have been sharing with you some ideas from Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind, in which he contends that our traditionally “left brain” thinking that has served us well during the Information Age will no longer be sufficient as we enter the Conceptual Age. Pink has identified six “high concept, high touch” senses for us to develop and sharpen as we live and work in this new era where the engagement of the right brain will be as necessary as the engagement of the left.
Design. Story. Symphony. And Play. Yes, play – one of those things we treasure as a child, and tend to leave behind as we grow up, assume more responsibility and translate that to mean no play time. A company successful in an industry where many are not, Southwest Airlines’ mission statement reads “people rarely succeed at anything unless they are having fun doing it.” A total contrast to the traditional work motto that work is work and play is play, frequently followed by I’m not paying you to have fun.
Pink tells us about Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician in India, who has quit practicing medicine to share laughter, as he spreads laughter clubs around the world, believing that laughter can “improve our health, increase our profits, and maybe even bring world peace.” His mission is to change the world by making us laugh--spontaneous or “thought-free” laughter meaning it is not necessarily sparked by humor. The fastest growing venue for his laughter clubs—the work place.
Empathy. Pink’s fifth sense, defined as “the ability to imagine yourself in someone else’s position and to intuit what that person is feeling.” Many researchers contend that we are born with the ability/gift to empathize, and that it is through life’s happenings we either sharpen or dull that ability. Arthur Ciaramicoli, Ph.D. a student of empathy contends that it is critical to our health not just our survival, empathy’s core purpose, according to researchers. “It (empathy) reduces tension, lessens the release of stress hormones and widens the lens with which we see the world,…”. Empathy is key to good relationships yet it is often under used and under valued.
Knowing my readers, I believe many of you have a strong empathy muscle; after all you are mothers, fathers, health care workers, service providers, etc. And I will also contend that in daily interactions, you tend to overlook it and thus, not benefit from its presence.
We are often quick to judge and to reach a conclusion which is in reality merely an extension of our own opinion or feeling, rather than a true measure of how “they” are feeling. Or we forget to engage our brain with our heart, and truly listen before acting. Empathy is about listening with our whole body, resonating with the person’s language and presence before offering a response. When we are the recipients of empathy, we feel it at the core of our being, and see it for the gift that it is.
Meaning—“knowing what your highest strengths are and deploying them in the service of something larger than you are.” Why many often seek out a coach, having more material things than they ever thought possible, and yet yearning for more, and in search of what “more” is. Discerning meaning is often about defining your purpose. It is a journey of self discovery, exploring possibilities, and ultimately aligning our life with our defined meaning through our actions.
Founded in 2003 and based in Roanoke, Virginia, Extra Ordinary Living works with individuals, organizations and teams to identify possibilities, create opportunities, remove obstacles and through deliberate action, optimize results.
Usually the first question we are asked, is why Tiberius? Our trivia friends can often identify the references……yes, Tiberius was the 2nd Roman emperor, and yes, Tiberius is the middle name of James T. Kirk from Star Trek. One of our life mottos and business principles is “to learn from the past, look to the future while living in the present.” Thus, Extra Ordinary Living.
As Professional Coaches, we are trained to listen, to observe and to customize our approach to our clients needs. We provide tools, support, structure and accountability to help our clients unleash their full potential and optimize results. The best thing about coaching is it is all about you – the client, and what you want. We may share our opinions and give you advice, but it is up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. We suspend judgment and will support you in your decisions.
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The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.
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