Social Engineering, Boon or Bane?

There is considerable documentation on the implementation of social engineering in the U.S. school system.  The academic shift from the transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next to social engineering parallels the descent of U.S. academic achievement from number 1 in the world 45 years ago to 27th today.

Now, social engineering is invading the business community.  Or perhaps the two have been intertwined for much longer.

Before I continue, I want to ask you a question:  How many times have you arrived home from work and said to yourself, “I accomplished nothing today and when I wasn’t doing nothing I was screwing up.  Boy, that felt good!!”

Anyone?  Ever?

“R. D. Ingthorsson states that a human being is a biological creature from birth but is from then on shaped as a person through social influences (upbringing/socialisation) and is in that sense a social construction, a product of society.”[1]

There is a great deal of information on social engineering in the workplace, in the school system, in government and in criminality.  The idea is to create an ideal social construct for maximum prosperity and happiness in society or, in the case of the criminal, for oneself.

Now, to short circuit a great deal of time and study, let’s look at what engineering entails.  In order to design and manufacture a product, an engineer must have mastery over the materials with which the product is made, the technology supporting the product and the underlying  physics and theory.

The social engineer, like the mechanical engineer, believes he has and is entitled to mastery over his raw materials, technology and theory, i.e., of fellow human beings, you.  He thinks he knows what is best for you better than you do.

Doesn’t this sound like the same character flaw that afflicts racists, sexists and other-o-phobes;  believing he/she is better than the other guy.  I confess I tried to study psychology.  I couldn’t get past the sheer meanness of Pavlov’s dog experiments.  It appears that I have more respect for dogs than social engineers have for human beings.  I don’t know about you, but I find that chilling.

Look at your life.  Were your finest moments when you were coerced, manipulated or cajoled into behaving against your inner nature?  Were they moments when you were swept along with the momentum of the crowd?

Or, were they moments that sprang unbidden from the heart and inspired you to action, true to your nature?  Were they rather moments when you stood apart fearlessly defending an undeniable truth, large or small, regardless of group opinion?

Social engineers and others who feel entitled to define and control you would say these experiences are just anecdotal.  It is a convenient term to dismiss your personal knowledge and experience, to dismiss you.

What if, flaws and all, you’re a finer person than the other guy thinks you are?  What if you are stronger, kinder and wiser than the social engineer can even imagine?  Do you want to live down to his expectations or up to yours?

In your interactions with other people, do you want to control them, to place yourself above them?  Or, would you rather inspire them to unleash their talent, ability and potential?

I know it’s much easier to be the lab rat of someone who has vastly superior education, credibility and authority and the very best of intentions.  I just don’t know if it’s much fun being someone else’s deliberately engineered social construction or if there’s anything real to gain from it.  I rather fear that instead, your finest talents and abilities are crushed in the pursuit of predictable and perpetual mediocrity, the epitome of every bell curve.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_(political_science)

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Feminism and the Patriarchy Crutch

Unhappily, the early feminist movement married itself to socialism in the 1800’s. Even then, women did not feel they could make their case on their own.

Today’s feminists insist that for them to be free and equal, men need to change. Doesn’t this reek of complete dependence on men? If men need to give women equality, women are arguing from a self-imposed subordinate position. Now hear this: You cannot win when you negotiate from a position of weakness.

As it happens, nearly a century ago, women received the right to vote, to equal education, to own property and inherit. In short, all of the laws that kept women dependent upon men were eliminated.

I had a great aunt who was born in the late 1800’s. I remember questioning her about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) when I was in my teens as it was one of the great debates of the time. She was opposed to it. Women were already equal in the eyes of the law. There is not a single word in the U.S. Constitution that subordinates women. The term “man” as used in the Constitution, she explained, is short for “mankind” which inherently includes women.  For that reason she also felt the 19th Amendment was unnecessary to establish women’s suffrage.

She knew whereof she spoke. Instead of marrying, in the early 1900’s she got a good education, I believe she was graduated from college. She started a business school for women in Georgia and ran it successfully until she retired. The difference between her and today’s feminists is that she didn’t need or ask for anyone’s permission nor was she dependent upon anyone else’s cooperation or respect. No one tried to stop her. She was already liberated, merely by her own volition.

Women who lack that volition are subordinating themselves, not the patriarchy. The “patriarchy” is the feminist social construct concocted to blame men for their lack of self-respect, initiative and competitive advantage.

Nothing any man ever does can liberate you from the self-imposed constraints of your own belief system. But for some reason, feminists believe that they are entitled to change men’s minds. Think about that.

As long as you see the “patriarchy” as the cause of obstacles you encounter, you will never overcome them because you will never take responsibility. Whether you know it or not, men encounter the very same obstacles that women do. They just don’t have the sexism/discrimination. . .patriarchy crutch and blame the other guy or gal. Some take corrective action, acquire more skills or market themselves or negotiate more aggressively. Others just accept their circumstances.

I know this for a fact because I have coached several men and women in doubling their incomes or finding jobs after years of unemployment due to the tech bubble burst in the early 2000’s. Please note, every one of these people was under employed or under paid. You cannot reasonably expect to double your income if you are already working at the peak of your skill level at market value. If you want more money, you need to make yourself more valuable.

Those that followed my advice succeeded, those who were not willing to do the extra work did not. One single woman with a Masters Degree told me it was easier for me because I was a divorced mother of three with only a high school diploma. I was suddenly enlightened. I had not realized those were competitive advantages in the marketplace. But maybe, just maybe, if you are determined and believe in yourself, just being whoever you honestly are is a competitive advantage.

Over the course of my various careers, I probably encountered more sexism than I realized.  I really didn’t care because I never saw it as an obstacle. I still don’t. People who are sexist or racist are not the best and brightest among us. Why on earth would I want to work for a company that put such an intellectually inferior person in any decision-making position? Sounds like a dodged bullet to me. There may have been companies that hired me or hired someone else for sexist reasons. But by far the vast majority made their hiring decisions based on good business sense. In fact, if I am offered more than 1 in 3 positions/contracts I interview for, I bump up my rate until I hit the 1:3 ratio.

You can control and change yourself. That is what freedom is. In a free society, you do not have the right to control or change others nor are you obligated to allow others to change or control you. Those who feel entitled to use the government to impose their will upon others are a danger to our liberty and individual sovereignty.

At a personal level, while tilting at imaginary windmills instead of improving your circumstances, you will either never achieve your potential or never recognize and appreciate it if you do. Use your freedom. No one can take it from you without your permission.

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On Abortion

In my late twenties and early thirties I didn’t think much about abortion one way or the other.  I knew I did not want to take that route, but I didn’t see it as my right to impose that decision on anyone else.

Then, after bearing two healthy children, I had a miscarriage.  About the time that baby would have been born, I had another.

The grief overwhelmed me.  I could not understand it.  I had experienced death in my family before and finally realized that I was in mourning.  Though their tiny incipient bodies were not sound enough to survive, I was mourning for people I had never met.  I was in mourning for people whose life experience I would never share.

How was that possible?  They were just “clumps of cells”.  No.  They were my unfulfilled children.  I mourned them as deeply as any other beloved family member.

A few years later, my third child was born.  As he gazed dauntlessly into the world around him, I knew I had to protect him.  I knew I could not control him.  As his eyes locked with mine, I knew I could not not love him.

He was the light of my life as were his sister and brother before him.  But he did not restore or replace his siblings who were lost.  He was of himself and somehow survived the maelstrom of genesis.

Some years later, during a rare quiet moment, I realized what abortion was.  I heaved, shuddered and wept at the decision to forfeit one’s own child.  May God have mercy on us all.

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A Critique of Critical Thinking

It hit me like a sledge hammer when my children became adolescents. Suddenly everything I said or did needed to be challenged and debunked, just because I didn’t have the necessary scientific equipment to “prove” the sky was blue or that it’s dangerous for young people to be out late at night.

Thus began my quest to identify the source of this intellectual scourge that had been perpetrated on my beloved children.

After considerable research, I finally found it. It would appear that Critical Thinking, the holy grail of our education system and Critical Theory, the driving ideology of the Frankfurt school, have conjoined to perfect our children in spite of themselves and their parents.

Education has morphed from a method to transmit knowledge from one generation to the next into a process for training children “how to think rather than what to think”. But, unhappily, “critical thinking” is the only “how” they know. Traditional education never did teach children what to think. It delivered to them the skills, knowledge and information with which to think.

Our education system used to be the distillation of 10,000 years of human thought, knowledge, observation and experience designed to permit each generation to “stand on the shoulders of giants”, to enable them to lead civilization forward.

At first exposure, “critical thinking” sounded like an innocent enough generic phrase, probably meaning “essential”, “fundamental” thinking. Unfortunately, simplified for children, with just a dash of Critical Theory, it becomes little more than “fault finding”. The key criteria for acceptance of any thought or concept was that it has been scientifically proven, otherwise it was just opinion, prejudice or discrimination and therefore immoral.

From The Critical Thinking Institute

http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/our-concept-and-definition-of-critical-thinking/411

 

“The Problem

Everyone thinks. It is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or downright prejudiced. Yet, the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.”

This underlying premise is probably the most destructive aspect of the application of Critical Thinking in our school system. Children are first taught that their normal thought processes and their instincts are downright prejudiced. They are quite literally taught to distrust their own thoughts and to resist the temptation to trust anyone else either. The only unbiased opinion is no opinion.

This premise flies in the face of human nature. It fails to distinguish between actual prejudice and mere personal preference. It uses the natural condition of being more comfortable with the familiar than the unfamiliar to demonstrate to children how prejudiced they are. It does more to undermine thought than to engage and elevate it.

A key error of the Critical Thinking school is the fallacy that it is the highest order thought process. Actually, it is one of the lowest.   Have you ever had a close relationship with a 5-year old child? If you have, you have been outsmarted by that child. It is the first thought process children engage in or display upon getting a fundamental grasp of language. It is the behavior which no doubt sparked the old adage “children should be seen and not heard”.

They question and challenge everything with a complete lack of judgment or understanding in the absence of accumulated experience and knowledge. It can be forgiven an innocent child who is eager to acquire the experience and knowledge necessary to survive. But in an adolescent in the throes of self-definition, it is downright dangerous.

The whole principle of critical thinking, as practiced in our education system, is to indiscriminately challenge everything, which is just about as useful as indiscriminately accepting everything. Even worse, it is a formula that will suffocate other more productive thought processes such as analytical and creative thinking.

Think about it for a minute, if no thought or idea that has not already been proven is worthy of consideration, no new thought can be generated because it cannot have been proven since it is new. One is lost in the circular logic of the impossibility of everything. Bye-bye creativity and innovation.

Can you name even one brilliant innovation that was not first met with rejection and ridicule? That is not to say that inspiring ridicule should be an objective, only that it should not be allowed to be an obstacle. At one time, coming of age included the ability to hold one’s own against the onslaught of peer pressure. That milestone, that first breath of independence and individual liberty, has been successfully stripped from the growth experience of all too many of today’s youth. They are instead conditioned to rely upon consensus.

Take it one step further, if one engages exclusively in “critical thinking”, something must first be there to criticize. Even at its best, it is a completely reactive thought process not a proactive thought process. Locking young and inquisitive minds into such a cage is an unfathomable disservice to them and to the future.

The impact on judgment and morale of always focusing on the negative is even worse.   It is more important to identify and fortify strengths and positives than to eliminate negatives.   Why would someone put any effort into anything if it’s predisposed to be wrong? If you really want to destroy production in yourself or anyone, focus only on the flaws. Morale and production will fall out the bottom and level out at the lowest common denominator.

Interestingly, I’ve found that while deliberately seeking the positive, all of the negatives are exposed in high relief. It’s actually easier to locate the flaws while searching out strengths, because you don’t stop at the first one and chew it to death ending with dismissiveness. Even more important, those flaws are then seen in perspective and it is easy to distinguish major or fatal flaws from minor anomalies to determine how much corrective effort will be productive.

So “admiration” is the antidote to chronic critical thinking. If you think you may be engaging in too much critical thinking, try admiration for a few weeks. Discipline yourself to deliberately seek out and identify the admirable and admire it. Though nothing is perfect, every person, place, thing or thought contains elements worthy of admiration. After a few weeks, write back and tell me what you think, or more importantly, what have you discovered?

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Keystone Pipeline – Let’s Have an Honest Discussion of Slavery

The immorality of slavery is secondary to its economic viability.

The creation of cheap mechanized labor via mechanics and electricity is the great liberator. Elimination or substantial reduction of that inexpensive energy source will necessarily revive slavery as a viable economic tool.

Slavery was not vanquished in the 19th century because it was wrong, it was vanquished because it was no longer necessary and profitable, with muscle power being vastly inferior to mechanized power. The South lost the Civil war because it relied on slave labor or muscle labor which was simply not as productive as the mechanized energy utilized in the north. The South could not produce enough resources to sustain a prolonged war, not in a society where a pastoral life of ease for a few requires the work of hundreds to sustain.  In the North, with manufacturing roaring and the use of mechanized labor, it could vastly out-produce the South.

This is not to disparage or minimize the people who gave their lives to eradicate slavery in the U.S., but merely to note that slavery is as old as recorded history.  Great achievements from the great pyramids to the Roman aqueducts to the great cathedrals required the backbreaking toil of thousands living at subsistence to produce what can be produced today by a few hundred highly paid and skilled laborers who have a standard of living that would be the envy of kings of yore.  Slavery was not invented in the US. It was conquered in the U.S. by the availability of inexpensive mechanized energy.

If you have to till your soil by hand with a hoe, you will be lucky if you can produce enough food to feed your family, much less produce an abundance allowing for the sale or trade of foodstuff to obtain the other necessities of life.

Any substantial reduction of mechanized energy will inevitably increase the amount of manual labor required to produce food and other products and will eventually make slavery profitable again.

Think the thought through, it is self-evident. It need not be proven, though it could be. Perhaps it should be to deduce the exact level of mechanized energy output that would make the subsistence provision for a fellow human being in exchange for their labor necessary and profitable. Because, I assure you, that is the goal of the green movement and the liberals who are striving to eliminate the cheapest means of energy production. If that energy is continuously reduced, the threshold at which slave labor again becomes viable will be breached.

Until the US releases its true energy output via oil, coal and nuclear power, we will remain on a steady course toward tyranny and slavery. It is not a side effect, it is the objective of all opposition to inexpensive energy. It is about force, power and work, who does it and who controls it. Those who seek to control power, force and work, seek to control you by reducing your access to those very commodities.

World English Dictionary

energy (ˈɛnədʒɪ)

— n , pl -gies

1.            intensity or vitality of action or expression; forcefulness
2.            capacity or tendency for intense activity; vigour
3.            vigorous or intense action; exertion
4.            physics
a. the capacity of a body or system to do work
b. E a measure of this capacity, expressed as the work that it does in changing to some specified reference state. It is measured in joules (SI units)
5.            kinetic energy See also potential energy a source of power

[C16: from Late Latin energīa, from Greek energeia activity, from energos effective, from en- ² + ergon work]

erg
1 [urg] Show IPA, noun Physics.

the centimeter-gram-second unit of work or energy, equal to the work done by a force of one dyne when its point of application moves through a distance of one centimeter in the direction of the force; 10− 7 joule.

Origin:  1870–75; < Greek érgon work

dyne (daɪn)
— n the cgs unit of force; the force that imparts an acceleration of 1 centimetre per second per second to a mass of 1 gram. 1 dyne is equivalent to 10 -5 newton or 7.233 × 10 -5 poundal

[C19: from French, from Greek dunamis power, force]

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Are we looking at urban hunter-gatherer societies?

Please read “Guns, Germs and Steel”, by Jared Diamond.

This book is an interesting study into what happens when a food production society encounters a hunter-gatherer society.  One of the key differences between the two societies is that hunter-gatherer societies simply take or cajole what they need from the environment, whereas in a food production society, the members control the environment to produce what they need.

Diamond documents the rise of food production societies from hunter-gatherer societies and the environmental components necessary.   Race was not found to be a factor.  Throughout known history, in every instance he could document, Diamond found upon the collision of the two societies, the hunter-gatherer society would either be absorbed by the food production society (with its higher technology) or eradicated.

I did a little leap of logic from this study to an earlier work, “The Story of Civilization” by Will Durant.

In the 1600’s, a few experiments in communism were conducted by Jesuits in South America.  They created a few stable communes out of hunter-gatherer groups and were able to thereby convert them to food production societies.  Then, a neighboring group would attack and conquer them, ending the experiment.

I couldn’t help but wonder, if communism can be used as a stepping stone from hunter-gatherer to a food production paradigm, could it work the other way around?  Can socialism and communism be used to convert a free market, food production, technological society into a hunter-gatherer society?  Is this an inherent human mechanism that liberals stumbled upon and exploited to convert independent individuals to government dependents?

Is this what has happened in Detroit and all major cities where industry has been strangled by unions, and the resulting poor and minorities have been corralled into a government defined area and exiled from the food production society?

Think about it.  Have liberal policies simply created urban hunter-gatherer societies?

In an urban hunter gatherer-society, we see people doing whatever it takes to extract the wherewithal for survival from their environment, the government.  And in the absence of animal prey, the hunters hunt fellow citizens to harvest the resources they need.

If you look at the gangs and wildings that are becoming more prevalent in the inner cities, and areas they can reach by public transportation, look at them as hunters instead of criminals.  Could this be why there is no hew and cry against this behavior within our inner-cities.  In a food production society, such behavior is criminal; in a hunter-gatherer society it is a survival skill.

If that is what we are witnessing, will this help us to understand it better and resolve the conflicts?  While we all know that education is the key component, without first understanding their viewpoint, can we deliver a viable education?  Given that most of our academic programs promote socialism, is academia re-enforcing the hunter-gatherer paradigm instead of preparing our youth to be independent and self-supporting?  They perceive themselves as self-sufficient already at extracting resources from the environment with no awareness or moral objection to their dependence upon willing taxpayers – or that they are depleting the very environment they depend upon.

Now for a few statistics to put it in perspective: (http://www.statisticbrain.com/welfare-statistics/)

Total number of Americans on Welfare:    4,300,000

Percent of recipients who are white 38.8 %
Percent of recipients who are black 39.8 %
Percent of recipients who are Hispanic 15.7 %
Percent of recipients who are Asian 2.4 %
Percent of recipients who are Other 3.3 %

Total number of black Americans:  42,000,000
# of black Americans on welfare:  1,711,400
% of black Americans on welfare:  4.07%

While there are numerous other government assistance programs, this simple set of statistics belies the media narrative that black America is represented by the urban welfare society, which is a complete fabrication.  One of the problems we face is that both blacks and whites have bought into this false narrative.  The issues with the inner-city ghetto culture are not dominated by race but by the societal hunter-gather paradigm and functional illiteracy and cross all races.  The other two most significant statistics to be evaluated are the number of people dependent upon social security disability and food stamps – additional popular sources of “gathering” for the chronic (i.e., non-productive) poor.

As long as we consider this cultural divide as a racial issue, we will continue to bark up the wrong tree and only exacerbate the problems.  In fact, there are considerable vested interests who are actively working to sustain and escalate the social, cultural divide.

Are we merely witnessing yet another collision between food production and hunger-gatherer societies?  If so, why would they want to change?  What can we do to help?

Just a thought – what do you think?

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Organization Analysis and Work Orientation

Following is a white paper that tea party members and leaders can use to hone their organizational and leadership skills.  I hope you find it helpful.

Executive and management skills are often viewed exclusively as talents, things that some people just do naturally.  But they are skills and anyone can increase their abilities to lead, manage and produce with a little effort.  All organizational and individual efforts require 3 fundamental orientations, or viewpoints from which to view and engage the activity to a successful result.  The skill with which one is able to apply these approaches to any endeavor determines your level of success.  You use these tools well in all areas where you are very successful, and not so well in areas where you are frustrated.

You can use this logic model to evaluate and improve your performance in any area of life and to provide guidance and leadership to others.

Three Fundamental Orientations

–        Task Oriented: A task is an action or series of actions.  It is production.  Workers are most comfortable with this work style, from assembly workers, to mechanics to pilots and doctors.  People who like to “do” things.

–        Process Oriented:  A process is the methodology of production; it is coordinating and managing resources as well as directing the flow of production, the way things are produced.  Managers are most comfortable with process oriented work.

–        Results Oriented:  A result is the end product of tasks executed to completion via an organized methodology.  It is identifying and naming the goals and establishing the vision.  Executives are most comfortable with results oriented work.

Orientation and Organization Analysis

Whenever an organization is experiencing frustration, discord, inefficiency or excessive emergencies, look for an imbalance in these three factors, and it will lead you to the source of the problem and help identify the solution to help increase efficiency, morale and results.

–        While most jobs are dominated by one of the 3 orientations, every job encompasses components of all three orientations.  Excellence requires the ability to use all 3 appropriately.

–        Most people have a favorite work orientation, with which they are most comfortable, but everyone can increase their ability to apply any of the 3 orientations to a given situation.  It is really just a point of view and anyone can change their point of view.

–        Using judgment and your existing expertise, you can use this analytic logic model to identify and improve any organizational sphere, from a single job to a large multi-group organization.

Some General Guidelines

New or young organizations tend to be weak in Management and Productions areas of  Process and Task Orientations.  It is critical for the group to adopt and broadly publish vision and mission statements to identify the Results desired.  Next, it will be necessary to develop programs and processes.  Many tea parties have members who have considerable executive or management skills, but who do not have sufficient time to engage in a leadership role.  Work to identify those individuals and see if they can provide consulting advice and guidance to the leaders.  Always assess the skills of your membership and make every effort to help members find a role within the organization for which they are well suited.  People always prefer to do things that they do well, and are much more willing to participate in activities outside their zone of comfort if they are also utilized in areas where they are already strong.   You wouldn’t use a sports car to move furniture, nor would you use a moving van to run a drag race.

More mature organizations can tend to get process heavy where people are changing too much for the sake of change.  Very mature organizations can lose sight of the vision, or once the initial vision is fulfilled to fail to generate a new vision and goal.    One of the best examples of this is the civil rights movement. After spectacular success, MLK’s successors never formulated a new vision and it is stuck in a time warp fighting a battle already won.

Examples of Misapplied Orientation

–        Worker responding to request with obstacles and reasons why it can’t be done:  Results orientation when task orientation is needed.  The worker wants the answers to the issues it is his job to address, but is delegating up, asking the supervisor to do his work.

–        Manager responding to request for necessary resources with demand for completion.  Results orientation when process orientation is needed.  If the worker does not have sufficient material, resources or authority to complete a task, it is the manager’s job to allocate the appropriate resources.

–        Manager practicing micro-management:  Task oriented when process orientation is needed.  The manager is only addressing the tasks, rather than assigning resources and directing overall process.

–        Executive engaging in debate over how a project should be executed:  Process orientation instead of results orientation.  The executive is doing the manager’s job instead of rejecting a proposal which is not defined clearly enough for an approval or rejection.

–        Worker delaying production until it can be perfected to an unrealistic or unnecessary level.  Process oriented when task orientation is needed.  Sometimes, the job just needs to be done.  The correct solution is to do the job and submit a report on problems with a recommendation for process improvement.

How Can I use this Information to become more effective

The best way to drill this information is to start with processes and tasks with which you are very familiar.  Select anything at which you are already very expert and break it down into Results (vision), Process (methodology) and Tasks (individual steps).

Make a cup of coffee:

Executive:  Vision of a steaming cup of hot coffee and the executive decision to obtain one.

Manager:  Ensure the necessary materials and supplies are available.

Task:  Prepare the coffee.

If you ask someone who is totally task oriented to get a cup of coffee, you might not get one.

If they only know the Corey coffee maker they can only get a cup of coffee if you have the equipment they are already familiar with.

A person who is totally task oriented will do the following:

  1. Put the coffee pack into the coffee maker drip container.
  2. Pour cold water into the water cavity of the coffee maker.
  3. Put a cup or pot onto the hotplate beneath the drip container.
  4. Push the Start button.

Someone who is totally task oriented and does not understand the process will be unable to make coffee if he/she doesn’t have one of the familiar tools, coffee maker, coffee pack, electricity.  But someone who truly understands what it takes to make a good cup of coffee will not be stopped by a lack of familiar materials.

Some things are essential.  In order to make a good cup of coffee, you need coffee grounds, water, a fireproof container and sufficient heat to boil the water, a means of filtering out the grounds.

You can boil water in a pan, pour in the grounds and let it steep then filter it through a loose weave cloth into a cup or pot.  And, you can do this with a camp fire and a pan, or you can get an espresso maker and go all high tech.

And someone who is really stumped with missing resources/supplies or broken equipment, will simply  get in the car and drive to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks or 7/11 and buy a cup.

There are a lot of ways to solve the problem, and the better versed a person is in the nature of coffee and availability of materials and resources, the greater the certainty that he will actually obtain the result.

In the areas where you are highly expert, you shift from Results Oriented, to Process Oriented to Task Oriented fluidly as necessary, without even thinking about it.  It has become second nature.  To learn these orientations, for 1-2 weeks, stop what you are doing 5-6 times a day and identify which orientation you are using at any given time.

Following are a set of drills to work on for 2 weeks each.  The assumption is that you will not be focusing your attention on this for more than a few minutes a few times a day.  A little attention a few times a day over a period of weeks will give you far more skill than drilling it intensively examining everything that you do against this logic.  Over-analysis of your own behavior will have you second guessing yourself and undermine the very skills and abilities the drill is supposed to enhance.

Week 1-2

Applying this logic to areas where you are already expert, will increase your ability with the subject matter.  You should feel confident that you can always identify which work orientation you are using at any given time.

Determine which orientation you enjoy the most.  Start paying attention to opportunities to utilize the orientations you don’t like as much.  The more familiar and comfortable you are with all 3, the more effective you will become at any endeavor.

Week 3-4

Start observing others’ activities and behavior.  What orientation are they employing in their various activities? Before you can even consider identifying which orientation they should use, you must first become proficient in identifying which IS being used.

Again, do not over apply this information lest you become hyper-critical.  Everyone is doing their best most of the time.  You are observing periodically throughout the day not constantly.  The idea is to develop a skill, not a habit.

Week 5-6

Start paying specific attention to problem areas and identify which orientation is being used, and which would solve the problem.  Now you can start troubleshooting activities based on this information.

When people tell you their problems, start applying this logic.  Is there a vision or an end result?  Does the person know what the result would look like if the problem were solved?  Has the person identified the proper resources and materials to achieve the result?  What needs to actually happen to produce the result?

If nothing else, using this methodology for problem solving will enable you to rapidly identify the person who revels in his/her unsolvable problems.  As you start breaking it down with the appropriate questions, the person who is savoring and enjoying their problem will start to obstruct and refuse to participate in identifying the solution.  You can breathe a sigh of relief…this is not a person in distress who needs your aid.  This is a person who uses problems to get attention or to delegate their personal responsibility to you, or society, etc.  You don’t have to worry about them, they are already in 7th heaven, and you can go about your more productive business with a clear conscience and light heart.

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