|Viewpoints - a Newsletter from INFINITE PERSPECTIVES Coaching & Consulting|
Volume 2, Number 9
Welcome! Our goal is to make this newsletter interesting and useful. Each month, we feature an overview of a different topic, some food for thought, and perhaps a smile or two. Enjoy! and please invite others to join the Viewpoints subscription list – it’s an opt-in list on our website: www.infiniteperspectives.com
This October-November issue continues with an overview of another of Thomas Leonard’s Principles of Attraction. Being critical is easy – being constructive is more difficult. But it is so vitally important! I hope you will find it helpful.
Charles (Charlie) Boyer
PRINCIPLES of ATTRACTION. The late Thomas J. Leonard, often described as the father of personal coaching, developed a set of principles and strategies that “… draw on wisdom from psychology, career counseling, management consulting, personal growth programs, motivational training, and good old common sense.” The principles Leonard developed have helped build an awareness of what it takes to attract abundance into your life. The more I study these 28 principles, the more it helps me to understand more about myself and my clients. I’ve found them helpful and insightful, and plenty of food for thought. I encourage you to study each of the 28 principles and decide for yourself whether they are helpful to you. In this issue, we’ll take a look at just one of those principles: Become Unconditionally Constructive.
The source material for the following is from: The Portable Coach: 28 Surefire Strategies for Business and Personal Success, by Thomas J. Leonard. New York: Scribner, 1998. ISBN 0-684-85041-9.
How to Become Unconditionally Constructive. It’s more than just being optimistic and looking for the silver lining. Being constructive requires you to DO something. Are you the one who always says “NO”? Do you find 50 reasons why “It CAN’T Be Done” rather than 2 ways to make things happen?
Forty-plus years as a teacher have taught me many things about working with people and encouraging their best efforts. I’ve learned what to do – and what NOT to do, but it hasn’t been easy. All people – children, adolescents, adults, seniors – learn best when they are guided rather than driven, encouraged rather than coerced. The real difficulty is in learning how to treat others to get the best from them.
The process of becoming unconditionally constructive requires a lot more work than you think. I’m not there yet after many years of trying, but I’m getting closer! Picture this scenario: a child slumping over a colorbook, intent on producing a crayon masterpiece. Noticing the child’s posture, the well-meaning parent says, “Don’t slouch.” Direct and to the point – and wrong.
What’s wrong? It’s a negative statement, containing two negative words, “Don’t” and “slouch.” It reinforces the negative, and doesn’t do anything to encourage the positive. What would be better? How about, “Please sit up straight.” Does that sound more positive, more constructive to you?
It takes time and lots of practice to become constructive when you are more accustomed to being critical. Thomas Leonard’s book includes a chapter on becoming a constructive person. He elaborates on each of the three principal words as follows (p. 259):
Are you becoming unconditionally constructive? Check your progress on these points:
Top 10 Ways to Become Unconditionally Constructive. Each of the main points in this “Top 10” was written by Thomas Leonard. I encourage you to get a copy of the book and read Thomas’ explanations together with the 10 points. Working from his list, I expanded on the basic idea and have suggested some things to think about and apply to your own life and experiences.
POINTS TO PONDER . . .
It’s been said that children laugh an average of 450 times per day, while adults laugh an average of only 15 times a day. If that’s true … how did we end up 435 laughs short of a good time? (Michael Port)
Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do. (Dale Carnegie)
Pay no attention to what the critics say … Remember, a statue has never been set up in honor of a critic. (Jean Sibelius)
How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct. (Benjamin Disraeli)
To praise is an investment in happiness. (George M. Adams)
You Are Invited to visit my new weblog, look over the short articles posted there, and post a comment or two, or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you think of it. Take a look! LeaderSavers Weblog can be found at: www.leadersavers.com
NEXT ISSUE: Bah! Humbug! and Ho! Ho! Ho! Just for fun - a tongue-in-cheek look at some holiday traditions and how we got there as we bid goodbye to 2005.
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