Saturday, May 26, 2012

How do you see people? Part 2

Last post I talked about the training I went to from The Arbiger Institute.  I thought it was really powerful since it helped me realize that how I unwittingly see people affects me and my relationship with that person.

I still think the best way to learn about what they teach is to get one of their books, but I want to put down my notes for future reference.

So in review from Part 1, I wrote about if we betray our desires to help, or do something for or with someone, then we have a need to justify our own behavior to our self.  We justify our self by convincing our self that the person is worse (or maybe even better) than they really are and we are better (or worse) than we really are.

When we see others as objects we are basically inviting them to see us as an object too, and when that happens we enter into a cycle of collusion, which means that we continually betray our inner senses/desires and are continually needing to justify ourselves and we  continually  behave in that regard which feeds the other persons need to be justified so they behave in a a way to us that justifies what we convinced ourselves of the other person.  Or in other words, its a back and forth exchange of negativity.

Getting out of the box

There are 4 steps to getting out of the box.  

Step 1: Look for signs of the box

When we're in the box we think and act in certain ways that are red flags that we're in the box.  Some common signs are:
  • I need to feel justified
  • I feel victimized
  • I blame others
  • I horribilize (make someone out to be horrible)
  • I exaggerate values ("I'm just being honest")
  • I get defensive
  • I focus on myself
  • I must be right
  • Avoiding someone
And the list goes on and is different for each person.  We need to recognize our specific red flags.

Find an out of the box place or person

Once we recognize that we're in the box towards someone we need to change our surroundings to something that does not feed our box.  That might involve talking to someone that you aren't in the box towards about the person you are in the box towards (without trying to seek out allies to put them in the box too).  Or, it might just be a place where you can think quietly.  

Ponder the situation anew

As we come to realize that we're in the box we need to think about how the person or group that we're in the box towards really is.  To do that we can ask ourselves certain questions.
  • What are the person's or group's challenges, trials, burdens and pains?
  • How am I, or some group I'm a part of, adding to the challenges, trials, burdens and pains?
  • In what other ways have I, or my group, neglected or mistreated the person or group?
  • In what ways are my better-than, I-deserve, worse-than, and must-be-seen-as boxes obscuring the truth about others and myself and interfering with potential solutions?
  • What am I feeling I should do for this person or group? What could I do to help?


As we realize we're in the box and see the other person or group out of the box, we have a sense or desire to do something for that other group or person.  Remember, if we don't act on that sense/desire we betray our self and we need to feel justified and we start the cycle all over again.  

So, in order to stay out of the box we need to act on our sense/desire.  This might be something as simple as an apology letter or a lot more than that.  Every situation is different.  

Helping things go right

Another main argument from The Arbinger Institute is that we spend most of our time fixing things that are going wrong, when in reality we should be spending most of our time helping things go right.  In their books and lessons they have a nice pyramid that helps to understand this concept better, but they divided this pyramid into different layers.  From the bottom to the top the layers are:
  1. Get out of the box/Obtain a heart of peace
  2. Build relationships with others who have influence towards the person you want to help influence.  Such as your kid's friends.
  3. Build the relationship with that person.
  4. Listen and Learn
  5. Teach and Communicate
  6. Correct.  This might be putting your kid in timeout or some other corrective behavior.  
With the pyramid also comes 3 main lessons:
  1. Most time and effort should be spent at the lower levels of the pyramid.
  2. The solution at one level of the pyramid is always below that level of the pyramid.
  3. My effectiveness at each level depends on my way of being.  At war, or in the box, or at peace, out of the box;


I've read a quite a few leadership type books and truthfully I've enjoyed them all and have found that I've become a better person because of it.  I think the main difference between what The Arbinger Institute teaches vs the other books I've read is that The Arbinger Institute breaks it down to the very fundamental layers of how we maintain meaningful relationships that include philosophy and psychology (or at least as near as I can tell).  

So for more information visit The Arbinger Institute

No comments:

Post a Comment