Monday, March 29, 2010

Social Networking and Air Kisses

I've recently been thinking about how the way we look at our environment determines our behaviour. I guess that is what Bandura was getting at with his Triadic Reciprocal Determinism.

Firstly a quote I like:
'We don't see the way things are, we see them the way we are' Anais Nin

I'll also follow this up with:
'..who cares is some one-eyed son of a bitch invents an instrument to measure spring with'. E.E.Cummings.

There was a recent post on the eLearning Guild (LinkedIn) that spoke about Change. A comment that resonated was that the reason most change projects fail is that they are based on rational arguments. Change is an emotional response that has very little to do with rationality. People change readily if they trust the messenger and see the benefits. The example given was that both a +5% raise and -5% cut in salary are changes - each eliciting different responses. However, even some Executives give themselves pay-cuts.

I don't know about you but I'd like to be in the trenches with this guy. He is the sort of leader you would charge into machine-gun fire for. Maybe this is why the Japanese could lead Banzai attacks in WW2, because the soldiers trusted their commanders. It makes a big difference to the German reliance on non-thinking automatic obedience, drilled into them from an early age. Maybe that's why the population allowed the Holocaust to happen - too many sheep. Apparently the best way to fool a German was to blow a whistle loudly - the local Burghers used them to control the civil population, and I guess it may contribute to the 'character' of Germans as the stereotype is measured, methodical, tempered, etc.

Anyway - getting off topic. Trust is such an holistic emotion that messages are less than 10% of the meaning taken by a listener. Apparently body language and tone have a lot more impact than the words themselves - an emotional response that is more whole body than brain.

But let me pull this back to my original post heading. I used to hate 'networking'. I saw it as a lot of self-serving arse-lickers looking for favours at little expense, so consequently I shied away from it. Then someone told me to approach it from the angle of how I can help the other person, and it made my conversation much more of an 'open questioning' style than the stilted ones I used with another lense.

You see I believe in reciprocity too. Here is my paradox - It is better to give than receive because ultimately you get back much more than you contribute in many subtle and varied ways. We do live in community, and Social Capital supports you, and provides nurture in many more ways than Human Capital can individually.

"Money's meant to be spread around. The more happiness it helps to create, the more it's worth. It's worthless as an old cut-up paper if it just lays in a bank and grows there without ever having been used to help a body"

Friday, March 26, 2010

Learning, Change and the Spare Jumper philosophy

I was listening to Dan Campbells' Learning Theory Podcast and I felt like commenting on my own reflection on Learning, Change and Comfort Zones.

I have recently moved, and while I still have fresh eyes I have been noticing that people who are not extending themselves, venturing into new territories and staying in well worn grooves of comfort are slowly withdrawing from wider circle of society. It's a paradox that staying in your comfort zone is really staying a danger zone. I had an old rugby captain who used to run around the field shouting 'no complacency' when we were winning. Easing off means you are cheating yourself of growth I feel. Pushing boundaries gives you greater space to play - expanding your Proximal Zone of Development (Vygotski).

We live in Australia, and although the image is of the sunburnt country, it does get pretty cold at night. My wife came up with the idea that you should never put on a jumper when you are out and as the sun dips, and a chill comes into the air. She reckons its better to save it until later at night, when the temperature really plummets. Her rational is that if you put on your jumper too early, you have nowhere else to go later when you really need it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gout is a real pain in the - foot

Living up in the hot summers of Northern NSW is giving me pause to reflect on diet and alcohol intake. I've been carrying a bad foot for more than a month now - usually I can get rid of the symptoms in a day or two with tablets, but sweating so much because I'm a fat bastard, and drinking too much, because I have good neighbours and been on holidays has led me to a rethink.

It's true that I'm good at telling people the solutions to their problems, but it's hard taking your own advice.

So I here make a public pledge to drink more water, drink less beer (and alcohol) and eat meals with less purine and lose 20kg!

Lets see how I progress over the next three months - let me go to the toilet and weigh myself.