This is probably my “Jerry McGuire Mission Statement” post, of sorts.  It is the result of both accidental and intentional reflection, following a number of circumstances this past week, they being as well both accidental and intentional.  It is a statement of our belief and approach.

I am an educator by nature, experience and expertise.  I contend that education is a force for building strong cultures of excellence, growth and change.  With that in mind, I am called to share our philosophy and approach to our work in building environments where learning is flourishing and purposeful… resulting in excellence, growth and change.  If you are an educator, a coach, a leader or any growth and change agent, I hope these words resonate.  I have found great connection in the classroom to the boardroom if these are heard.

Preaching is important in getting our message across in as much as it is important for people to know where we stand.  It falls flat once it becomes a big stick with which we beat people.  Explaining your stance is powerful.  Destroying the stance of others in doing so closes all doors to hearing and is truly counterproductive.

Teaching is important in showing others a way towards something in as much as it is a method of guidance and leadership.  It falls flat when it becomes rigid and stubborn.  Teaching a path is powerful.  Making others feel somehow lesser or even stupid while doing so closes all doors to hearing… and is truly counterproductive.

Reaching is important in connecting and building bridges of understanding in as much as it allows us to meet people where they are, and they meet us where we are.  It never falls flat as it is our ultimate starting place for real learning and engagement.

So, we must needs preach and teach in consulting, coaching, educating, and leading; with the caveats noted.  Still, we MUST reach … and our experience says that there are three powerful ways to do so, if we truly want to have impact.

FIRST, read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  Better yet, take the course.  I taught the course from 1988 through 2001 and, while I have no vested interest in the program any longer, I wholeheartedly recommend it.  Dale Carnegie’s approach was not about manipulation.  It was about connection, influence and impact.  His 30 principles for human relations remain powerful to this day.  Read them.  Now.  Apply them; in your teaching, coaching, leading, blogging and more.  They are timeless and they will achieve more than any inordinate pounding of the drum or chest.

SECOND, learn about temperament and personality.  What has revolutionized my classroom experience, in large part, is a fundamental and practical understanding that we are all not the same.  Coaches who speak to accountability and duty and responsibility miss about 75% of their potential market.  Educators who speak to students with one style do the same.  You do not have to change your personality, but you must understand others or risk losing their attention and pulling whatever hair you might have out.  We do not see the world or our goals the same.  Go from old school to bold school and get better at diversity.  My work as a Certified Facilitator with Personality Dimensions® and my own body of work with the Five Tribes™ (book coming this year) has proven this to me over the years.  Optimize your understanding of diversity so that you can work with a larger selection of students, clients and/or staff.

Finally, understand what unites us.  As a Master Facilitator with The Virtues Project™ for 9 years now, I am ever increasingly aware of the one thing that unites us all.  Dale Carnegie referenced it as appealing to the nobler motives.  The nobler motives are our virtues and they are common across humankind.  Here are 100.  By appealing to these, Dale Carnegie inferred that we are calling to the biggest part of each of us.  It calls not to guilt or shame, but to honor.  Coaches, teachers, leaders and all can and should heed this guidance.  Our work with the 5 Strategies of The Virtues Project™ centers around how we speak this language, learn using it, set clear boundaries with it, honor each others spirit and effectively be present.  This is powerful and practical process if you are coaching, consulting, teaching, leading, writing…. you get the picture.

Truthfully, lovingly and assertively, I see too many educators, coaches and leaders struggling with the reaching.  You can tell in their frustration and loss of clients and attention.  You can see it in the drop in engagement.  I said this once and still believe it.

Working a common vision produces uncommon results.  Epic and real engagement demands both caring and commitment to a common vision; but if our people are not engaged then client and community satisfaction tanks, and prosperity vanishes. 

You engage with timeless human relations, understanding diversity and accessing the common character that unites us all.  You lose it when you do not.  Our choice at Epic Engage™ is to work these elements in our service; both its content and delivery… in our keynotes, seminars, workshops, courses, programs. coaching and consulting.  We suggest you might want to reflect on how you do the same.  Your client, classroom, company or community depends on it.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™


Some video notes of help….

Engaging Students with The Virtues Project™

The Science of Character