Being considered a professional is important. But most of us are 'old' professionals, not old in age, but old in thinking style and approach to living. Old professionals separate science and spirit and think in terms of either/or - 'you're either for me, or against me.' New professionals connect science and spirit and think in both/and terms. Please read: The New Professionalism: Connecting Science and Spirit, available at www.WisdomAtWorkUSA.com.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Stinking Thinking, Politics and The New Professionalism
Most of us consider
ourselves professionals.But we’re old
professionals, not in age, but in how we think about things. We rely on
rationality, science and our left brains to the exclusion of intuition, spirit
and our right brains. To relate to our work, families, communities and even
ourselves more effectively we need to be new professionals, using both science and spirit, left brain and right, head and heart.
Such a new professionalism would offer a way beyond using
only the cold technique and icy expertise of old traditional professionalism,
to enable us to include the enthusiasm, joy and compassion of our spiritual power,
what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the energy of the “divine circuits.”
We don’t have to put that energy into things, Emerson tells
us, it’s there already.To reach it in
ourselves and others, to have our personal and professional lives filled with
that glow, we have to get the blocks, what Emerson called, our “bloated
nothingness,” out of the way.
saying we’ve had it backwards all this time.Spirit -- enthusiasm, warmth, creativity and trust -- is the rule, not
the exception.If we can get our bloated
nothingness – our worry, fear, and solitary dependence on science and
rationality, out of the way, spirit is what’s left.
Three steps do that.First,
realize you have a bloated nothingness and it operates through your
conceptual frameworks (conframes), the invisible patterns connecting thoughts,
feelings and actions.Second, be
mindful of which of the four conframes you’re using.Third, consciously shift to the one
for the new professionalism, the one that interferes least with the
Shape Shifting Consciously
The shapes below represent the thoughts, feelings and experiences
produced by the four basic conframes.Since shifts between them are usually unconscious, if you become more
mindful, you’ll know which conframe you’re using (Step 2) and which to shift to
(Step 3).Only one conframe shape
represents the new professionalism and connects scientific expertise
with inner wisdom and spiritual power to provide the skill, enthusiasm, warmth
and creativity we want in our lives.Before going on, consider the shapes and see if you can identify which
When using the Blob,
you’ll have blah experiences.Everything
will seem the same, without meaning or significance.Nothing will matter very much and no thing
will be all that different from any other thing.Key word: one dimensional.
With the Dichotomy, things are
experienced as two dimensional.As in:
“you’re either for me or against me,” and, “things are either good or
bad.”Key word: either/or.With the Dichotomy there’s no middle ground.
Key words for the Pyramid are hierarchy
and scarcity.Judgments and rankings
are instantaneous and automatic.Best is
at the top, worst at the bottom.The
moment we experience something, we judge it.
The Continuum connects.Its keyword is both/and.By virtue of its shape alone, the Continuum
communicates a sense of wholeness and completeness; without barriers, levels or
other forms of separation.Striving and
proving are replaced by flow and intuition.It is the shape of the new professionalism, a relationship
with customers and others emphasizing trust and cooperation instead of the
strife and struggle represented by the Dichotomy and Pyramid.
Next time you reach the limits of your expertise or feel you’re losing
it with yourself or others, shift to the Continuum.And remember, shifting begins in the easiest
and hardest places -- your own heart and mind.
Easy because believe it or not, in spite of what your parents, teachers
or society did to you, your heart and mind are, and always have been, 100% your
own.And hard, because being 100% your
own, you have to face yourself and accept responsibility for what goes on
there.The most difficult journey is the
eighteen inches between head and heart.
Continuum Work for You
Though the Continuum’s best, it’s not
the most popular.Just as people thought
the world was flat in 1492, so now most people think professional relationships
and life in general, are best understood as a Pyramid or Dichotomy -- the
conframes of the old professionalism -- the bloated nothingness that blocks the
You have to consciously choose
the Continuum.It will not operate
automatically as our bloated nothingness, the Dichotomy and Pyramid, do.Here are a few examples that show both how to
use the Continuum, and it’s superiority.
water on a continuum of hot and cold.Ice at one end, steam at the other, liquid in
the center.You can differentiate
between them and simultaneously understand that they’re different forms of the same thing, water.The Blob couldn’t do that.
With the Blob, you’d perceive only
water and wouldn’t be able to make the very useful distinctions between its
solid form, ice, and its gaseous form, steam.The Dichotomy would reduce the three -- ice, liquid and steam -- to
two.And the Pyramid would arrange them
into a hierarchy with one at the top.
Here’s another.Put the skin color of human beings
on a continuum with one end being white, the other, black.Each color is visible but we can clearly see
the larger truth, all are part of the same thing -- humanity.The Blob wouldn’t detect differences at
all.The Dichotomy would focus only on
differences, missing the connections.While the Pyramid would include them all, but suggest some differences,
those at the top, are better than others.
Do emotions.With the Blob we’d have nothing but
emotions.The Dichotomy makes emotions either
good or bad.While the Pyramid
says some emotions are better than others, perhaps love at the top and hate at
Except during a war,
when it would be reversed.The Continuum
shows all emotions have a place.
The Continuum connects you, your client, and learners instead
of separating them.By adding warmth,
creativity and enthusiasm to expertise and technique it creates a new
professionalism, one that is more effective and life-affirming than the tired,
over-worked old professionalism we’re used to.
Become a new professional.Use the three steps.First, realize you have a
bloated nothingness and it operates through your conceptual frameworks.Second, be mindful of which of the
four conframes you’re using.Third,
shift to the Continuum.Put your
thoughts, feelings and experiences on it and let the Continuum’s level flow
become the pattern for your life.