Today I had the internet access installed at the lake. I thought I would be able to leave connectivity for a while…even a year but it’s no use.I have succumbed to the threat of 3G bills and installed something on my roof that ensures that I can see the world and the world can see me. Even at the lake. I guess that’s alright.

It was nice to be “offline” for a couple of weeks. At least in my own mind I was off-line and feeling pretty self-righteous about it too. I found myself bragging about not having internet. How weird is that? Our society has shifted so much in the last decade or so that you are odd if you are ‘offline”.

We are a connected world. I’m not sure how much that is helping us though. A hundred years ago we were not as connected and yet there was a “shot heard round the world” that resulted in a world war. Now every shot is heard around the world and there are so many on a daily basis that we are becoming numb to the destruction and the loss of human life. It all seems hopeless and we feel helpless to do anything except stay connected … at least to our friends and family and to those we care about.

Although I can get TV programming through my internet I have unplugged from my daily fix of CBC news. In my apartment in St Albert the CBC news keeps me company. Here at the lake the birds and the wind in the trees keep me company. I have all of the conveniences of home here and yet … as those of you with cottages and cabins can attest … a home away is both of those things…home and away. There is a different pace and a different feel here. I like it.

It is not as if you can forget that world is once again on the eve of destruction. It’s just that it seems further away and not so immediate. I hold out hope for mankind. Songs of the sixties are ringing in my head and I realize how much they influenced my stance on war and sex and drugs and rock and roll. I am encouraged when I hear remakes of those old tunes and see the fashions of that time coming back. I so hope that the thinking comes back too. Bring back the revolution. “Give Peace a Chance”

We are connected. We are the world. Let’s make a difference.

When I first starting thinking about Checklists I associated them with routine and ritual.  Now I know that the reason you have a checklist is because something is NOT routine and you do not have a ritual that matches it.  Checklists are for those things that are not natural.  They are best used to guide you through processes that are counterintuitive like the PULSE Frame.

This week on Friday I will be presenting a free webinar on Checklists and the different applications for PULSE.  I have been thinking a lot about the way that I use PULSE and how often I can use it to analyze what went wrong in a social exchange.  What did I forget to say or do that I might have got had I been deliberately using my checklist?  It is always there.  Someone tells someone something from a conversation that I believed to be confidential.  Not having spelled that out ( “I would like to keep this confidential until I talk to so and so.”),  the other person shared the information with so and so who then made assumptions which he acted on and the inevitable confusion around miscommunication and interpreted intentions ensued.

With something as simple as the PULSE Frame, something I am sooo familiar with, I thought I could wing it.  I wasn’t even consciously using my mental checklist.  The thing to remember is that although PULSE is simple and easy to use, it is also complex and deliberate.  If you  miss something you are in danger of creating more conflict rather than avoiding or mitigating it.  If you want to keep people in the Green Zone, the friendly zone where relationships are enhanced then take my advice and USE THE CHECKLIST.

It is not always important in every social exchange to state the purpose, protocol and process. BUT you should at least think about why or why not you are doing those things.  It is not always important to STATE the five guiding questions but you should have answers for all of them before you complete your exchange.  Follow the formula to get sustainable results.  When you don’t get sustainable results you can usually trace it back to a missed piece of information or question.  Press rewind and try again.  This time USE the Checklist.

Here are two versions.  One for a two-way conversation and one for a three-way with an intervener guiding the exchange.  Make them work for you.  They represent a fast and proven method to get sustainable outcomes form any social exchange.

© 2008 Dr. Nancy Love of the PULSE Institute
PULSE Two-Way Conversation Checklist
PREPARE FOR THE PROCESS: “How will the conversation proceed?”
(10 minutes)
􀂆 Set the Tone and describe the Purpose.
􀂆 Describe the Process:
􀂆 Establish Protocol: GHOST.
􀂆 Establish Confidentiality (audience).
􀂆 Confirm Authority.
􀂆 Roles.
􀂆 Confirm Time (1-2 hours).
􀂆 Transition: “Are you ready to proceed?”

UNCOVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES FROM THE PAST: “What are we here to resolve?”
(10-15 minutes)
􀂆 Ask: “What are you here to resolve today?”
􀂆 Listen. NO NOTES.
􀂆 Acknowledge. “Thank you”.
􀂆 State what you are here to resolve.
􀂆 Reframe to Neutral Title for the conversation.
􀂆 Confirm and write circumstance on chart:
􀂆 Remind the other party that circumstances can be added.
􀂆 Transition: “Now is our opportunity to learn from each other.”

LEARN THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT:
“What’s important to us about the situation?”
(20-30 minutes)
􀂆 Remind of the GHOST protocol.
􀂆 Ask: “What is important to you about …”
􀂆 Listen. NOTES.
􀂆 Trust in the process.
􀂆 Talk Gently, Honestly, Openly and Specifically: “What is important to me is…”
􀂆 Support Conciliatory Gestures when left unnoticed by the other party.
􀂆 Reframe – BEACH (Beliefs, Expectations, Assumptions, Concerns, Hopes)
􀂆 Confirm and write on chart:
􀂆 Summary Goal Statement: “Given that…”
􀂆 Transition: “Our opportunity now is to generate options that would meet the criteria and
resolve the circumstance.”
SEARCH POSSIBILITIES FOR THE FUTURE: “What could we do?”
(10-15 minutes)
􀂆 Ask “What could we do? 10-12 options work best”.
􀂆 Stand at chart and Listen.
􀂆 Reframe all Options as positive verb phrases in scattered bubbles.
􀂆 Offer positive actionable ideas.
􀂆 Check Options against Criteria: “Do these options meet our criteria?”
􀂆 Check for feasibility and authority: “I’ll circle those that are feasible, doable and within our
authority for further consideration.”
􀂆 Transition: At the chart “Now I will act as scribe as we agree on the contents of the plan for
the future.”
EXPLAIN THE PLAN FOR THE FUTURE: “What do we agree do?”
(10-15 minutes)
􀂆 Ask “What would we like the plan to say?”
􀂆 Listen.
􀂆 Scribe detailed behaviourally specific circumstances: “Who agrees to do what by when?
How?”
􀂆 Confirm the plan by reading it out loud.
􀂆 Confirm Commitment to the plan: “What if expectations in the plan are not met?”

CLOSING:
􀂆 Review the Purpose.
􀂆 Review the Process (PULSE).
􀂆 Review Protocol.
􀂆 Tear up the notes to confirm CONFIDENTIALITY. “Does anyone else need to see the plan?”
􀂆 Confirm feasibility and Authority to implement the plan.
􀂆 Roles: Invite the opportunity to use the protocol and the PULSE process to deal with other
circumstances that may arise between you.
􀂆 Conclusion: “Thank you.”

PULSE Three-Way Conversation Checklist
PREPARE FOR THE PROCESS: “How will this conversation proceed?”
CONVERSATION MAP: Δ talks to the Parties (10 minutes)
􀂆 Set the Tone and describe the Purpose.
􀂆 Describe the Process:
􀂆 Establish Protocol: GHOST.
􀂆 Establish Confidentiality (audience).
􀂆 Confirm Authority.
􀂆 Describe Roles for Δ and participants.
􀂆 Confirm Time (1-2 hours).
􀂆 Transition: “Are you ready to proceed?”
UNCOVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES FROM THE PAST: “What are you here to resolve?”
CONVERSATION MAP: Parties talk one at a time to the Δ. (10-15 minutes)
􀂆 Ask: “What are you here to resolve today?”
􀂆 Listen. Look at the speaker. NO NOTES.
􀂆 Acknowledge after each party speaks: “Thank you”.
􀂆 Listen.
􀂆 Reframe to Neutral Title for the conversation.
􀂆 Confirm and write circumstance on chart:
􀂆 Remind Parties that circumstances can be added.
􀂆 Transition: At the chart “Now you will have an opportunity to speak directly to each other.”
LEARN THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE PRESENT:
“What’s important to you about the situation?”
CONVERSATION MAP: Δ Listens for criteria. Parties talk to each other. (20-30 minutes)
􀂆 Remind parties of GHOST protocol.
􀂆 Invite the Parties to Speak to each Other: “Tell each other what is important to you about …”
􀂆 Listen. Look at the listener. WAIT 10 minutes. NOTES
􀂆 Trust in the process. WAIT. Let them talk.
􀂆 Support Conciliatory Gestures when left unnoticed by the other party.
􀂆 Reframe – BEACH (Beliefs, Expectations, Assumptions, Concerns, Hopes)
􀂆 Confirm and write on chart:
􀂆 Summary Goal Statement: “Given that…”
􀂆 Transition: At the chart “Your opportunity now is to generate options that would meet the
criteria and resolve the circumstance.”
SEARCH POSSIBILITIES FOR THE FUTURE: “What could you do?”
CONVERSATION MAP: Parties speak to Δ, Δ acts as scribe. (10-15 minutes)
􀂆 Ask “What could you do? 10-12 options work best”.
􀂆 Stand at chart and Listen.
􀂆 Reframe all Options as positive verb phrases in scattered bubbles.
􀂆 Listen. Say nothing – WAIT.
􀂆 Check Options against Criteria: “Do these options meet your criteria?”
􀂆 Check for feasibility and authority: “I’ll circle those that are feasible, doable and within your
authority for further consideration.”
􀂆 Transition: At the chart “Now I will act as scribe as you dictate to me the contents of your
plan for the future.”
EXPLAIN THE PLAN FOR THE FUTURE: “What do you agree do?”
CONVERSATION MAP: Parties dictate to the Δ what to write in THE PLAN (10-15 minutes)
􀂆 Ask “What would you like the plan to say?”
􀂆 Listen.
􀂆 Scribe detailed behaviourally specific circumstances: “Who agrees to do what by when?
How?”
􀂆 Confirm the plan by reading it out loud.
􀂆 Confirm Commitment to the plan: “What if expectations in the plan are not met?”
CLOSING:
􀂆 Review the Purpose.
􀂆 Review the Process (PULSE). Stand at the chart.
􀂆 Review Protocol.
􀂆 Tear up the notes to confirm CONFIDENTIALITY. “Does anyone else need to see the plan?”
􀂆 Confirm feasibility and Authority to implement the plan.
􀂆 Roles: Invite parties to use the protocol and the PULSE process to deal with other
circumstances that may arise between them.
􀂆 Conclusion: “Thank you.”

Join us at 10:00 MST on Friday April 4th for a forty minute free webinar to learn more.

pulse frame poster

Reviving PULSE.

After a couple of less active years where I was working for Parks Canada or just busy writing, it is actually fun to have a schedule and to interact with PULSE professionals again.  This morning I did my second 2014 webinar.  PULSE Professionals from Red Deer, Alberta and the Washington DC area as well as from Ghana in Africa joined the session to review the Five Stages of the Frame and the significance, the theory and the skills associated with each Prepare, Uncover, Learn, Search and Explain.

Here is the link to the recording.  If you have 40 minutes for a quick refresher it might be fun.  ( Ignore the right brain/left brain bit…. I think I got it backwards which will not surprise those of you who know me well and know that left and right have never been easy for me.)

http://pulseinstitute.adobeconnect.com/p66aton3eer/

If you have comments or questions I would be happy to respond.

I have new appreciation for CPR – Cardiovascular Pulmonary Resuscitation, having witnessed it in hospital recently, when the patient coded and the staff spring into action.  At PULSE it has represented Content, Process and Response; the three aspects of an exchange that influence the outcome and although it can be vital to maintaining relationships, it is not critical to life itself.  CPR PULSE style is used to save relationships and revive the space between people and not as a life saving procedure in the case of cardiac arrest.

I do hope that our PULSE will be resuscitated, that it will come back to life.  I hope we can reignite the flame for the FRAME that helps people have successful social exchanges.  It is still simple yet complex like all of us. Today I reviewed the Process in some detail.  In future sessions we will indeed look at the Content of PULSE, the theory behind it and the Response of PULSE, the heart of it, the skills that make it work.  Our purpose is to show its relevance in today’s fast paced, digital communications.  Lives are changed with one text or one email.  If we can use the PULSE Frame to inform not only face to face conversations but also these electronic methods of social exchange maybe we can create a gentle, honest, open , specific transaction that won’t cost us relationships but will work to improve them as we interact using the Frame.

The next session will be on April 4th :  PULSE Checklists.  I will present and review with you at least 10 specific uses for the PULSE Frame and how to gently shift it to your purposes.  The link is on our website www.pulseinstitute.com on the calendar.

Hope you can join us.

Fun with words … themeless like seamless only different!!!

Today I attended another milestone birthday party.  My friend turned 60.  She is wonderful and bright and enthusiastic and talented and intelligent and fearless and I could go on and on.  I am honoured to know her.  There are many women in my life like her and I am grateful for that.  I know she enjoyed today’s festivities and I was able to connect with people I didn’t know that she knew.  It was a great party dedicated to celebrating a birthday with friends and yet themeless.

 am reading a book called Dropped Threads that Marjorie loaned me.  It is edited by Carol Shields and Marjorie Anderson .. no coincidence that the two women who are supporting me and my work right now are a Marjorie and a Carol …  I love this book.  The sub title is  “What we aren’t told” and is a collection of lessons – untold lessons – where the authors, some of whom I have had the good fortune to meet, reveal the secrets of aging as a women that they felt no one had shared with them.  “Nothing prepared me for this” is the theme and yet it is themeless.

I am doing a little volunteer work for my Federal Liberal Candidate, Jennifer Pollock.  She is a good candidate and I enjoy the supportive role that she is allowing me to play.  She is putting together a luncheon on Tuesday for all female candidates in the City of Calgary at a nice restuarant.  Janine Kreiber will be there.  She is a fantastic person and it was her idea to invite a non-partisan or cross partisan group of women to join for lunch to show the public how things might be different if more women were elected.  A great idea … a themeless lunch, an invitation to open dialogue and see what is possible.

Three ideas emerged in this entry, seemingly themeless until the theme emerges.  Women, celebrating their connection to each other.  The strength and power of the sisterhood, changing the world, one converstion at a time.

The title for this post has not appeared yet.  What I am thinking about is a little scattered but it definitely has to do with the DVD’s I watched on the plane home yesterday.  It was, gratefully, a rather uneventful return to Canada and Calgary.  The DVD’s were interviews with come of the people from the conference talking about how they type people and their were some interesting observations.  I was still left with the question “Why type at all?”  I remain of the firm conviction that you only need to know what BEACH they are on at the moment to effectively work with them so that they can manage their situation.  The rest is up to them.

Before I left the conference I attended a morning session which was based on improvisational theatre.  It was fun.  It reminded me that life and especially conversation is improv.  You respond to what is being said.  Your role is some what defined by your default Enneagram setting and Enneagram practitioners can see your type and your centre quickly with their observer eye.

I also chatted with some people who had attended my session on conversations who asked about why I had done things the way I did.  I explained the purpose of the one exercise was to show people, when they are present to the listening, they can quickly arrive at the essence, the BEACH of another person … in a two minute story. She related it to Blink, a book by Malcolm Gladwell and I said “Yes- the Theory of Thin Slices”.  Until then I hadn’t realized to what extent that is part of the PULSE practice.

During the session others had asked about the structure of the Frame.  I have been thinking alot about the PULSE Prism and so I began to explain my thinking aroung the four sides as Green Content or Thinking, Yellow Process or Doing and Red Response or feeling and that the base was the Blue of Insight.  That feels like the right names for the dimensions.  I also found myself talking about Appreciative Inquiry as the quide for the Green dimension, Brief Solution Focused Therapy – holding people capable as the quide to the Red dimension and the Zones of Perception which is based on Dan Dana’s retailiatory and conciliatory cycles and forces toward harmony as the quide for what to do in the Yellow dimension.  The base or Blue Zone of insight is quided by the knowledge of the Enneagram.  Understanding people and quiding them to their next level of potential is the goal and, more than a base, it is florescent bulb that runs up from bottom and lights  the whole prism, from the inside.  People come into the conversation as white light and are refracted to the many colours of the rainbow.  They see themselves and others differently on the other side.

Really this whole series of entries about the Enneagram and the illusions is that Blue Zone where we work to understand people and enlighten them as to thier own capabilities and potentials.   It is about myth and Illusion busting, about managing perceptions and reframing with the PULSE Frame the way people see and act, feel and think in the world.  And it happens in a 90 minute conversation.  Each time someone experiences the conversation they experience the path from stress to healthy to growth points on the Enneagram.  The conversation represents a microcosm of what they will experience through out their lives. The lessons will be repeated …  until they aren’t … until the illusion is finally understood as an illusion and the lesson about ‘self’ is learned.

All we can do for others is show them a path to that possibility.  We are guides, conversation guides, Delta’s… the Agents of Change.  Here’s to you PULSE professionals and practitioners.  Your work is important and you are changing the world and the people in it – one conversation at a time.

 

I am a very proud Canadian.  I love my country.  I know that I am not alone.  I stood on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 1st, 1996 and sang O Canada with about 150,000 other proud Canadians.  Ottawa is my favourite city and I was proud to take my daughters there last summer so they could feel the electricity and pride of nation that exists in our capital city.  I lived there in the as a child in the 60’s, the Trudeau years and I met my husband Jim there at a political convention.  I love Ottawa, the city and the idea and the country that it has governed.

My dad spent more than 30 years in the Canadian Navy in all of its iterations over that time frame.  We lived in Halifax and Ottawa and Edmonton. He also served with the Blue Berets, the UN Peace Keepers, in the Middle East.  I learned many lessons from my dad; how to be a gentle leader, how to stand at attention, to be respectful of the Queen and my country and to appreciate the fact that people die in the name of our country.  I am not sure that I understood the meaning of “the ultimate sacrifice” the first time I heard it.  I was very young.  I knew, however, that my grandfather had made that sacrifice in World War II and was buried at Groesbeck, near Nijmegen in the Netherlands. One of my proudest Canadian daughter moments was watching my dad stand back and salute his father’s grave when we visited it together in 2000. Another was watching him on the big screen as the videographer focused on him in the crowd standing very tall and at attention while they played O Canada at my graduation when I received my doctorate.

Canada is home and the idea of Canada as a peaceful nation where two European cultures came together and made peace with each other and eventually with the First Nations here has been a source of pride for me.  I loved reading “Reflections of a Siamese Twin” by Jonathon Ralston Saul, my favourite Canadian Philosopher.  From a young age I was interested in my country.  It was important for me to learn French and understand First Nation and Métis cultures.  When I was young we visited Quebec often.  My grandmother lived in Montreal and for reasons I never quite understood she never really learned how to speak French.  I felt that it feel to me to come to Alberta and become a French as a Second Language teacher to rectify or balance that somehow.  I also studied and taught Canadian History and French English Relations in Canada and took Alberta students to Quebec so that they could learn about our country. 

When the referendum in 95 was so close and no one else in Alberta seemed to care, I ran for Parliament in the 97 election.  Someone had to make sure that Quebec stayed in Canada.  I didn’t think I could do it alone but I had to do something.  I lost that election and the one in 2006 but I did make sure that Albertans in rural Alberta who supported my vision of Canada, a united, peaceful Canada, had a place to put their vote.

Last summer, months after I had accepted the nomination to run again in a federal election, I had a serious talk with my friend and colleague from Ghana.  He, himself, had been a politician there.  His own ideas of how to serve his country had changed as a result of his experience in parliament. He made good arguments for me to leave the political scene and become focused on PULSE.  He argued that I could serve my country better as an ambassador for peaceful conversations all over the world and especially in Canada.  The two prime ministers with whom I had run for election and other countrymen, like Stephen Lewis, had devoted at least some of their political energies toward the African Continent.  Why couldn’t I?  He reminded me of how he had used the PULSE Discovery to settle long standing disputes between warring tribes in Ghana and how, with support and focus we could make a difference in other areas of the world as well.

Those arguments convinced me that maybe if I were to focus on a campaign to have people all over the world learn about the PULSE Discovery as a peaceful way to reach sustainable resolution, even in difficult situations, that I would contribute to the Canadian reputation as Peace Makers and Peace Keepers.  World Peace – One Conversation at a Time is a mantra you hear often at the PULSE Institute.  Contribution to my country and its reputation in the world is important to me.  I knew there were many ways to contribute to Canada and had chosen teaching and politics at the municipal, provincial and federal levels as the way for me to do that.  He was suggesting another way. I took him seriously.  So for this past year I have been away from politics and focusing on PULSE.  A book, video and 30 PULSE Professionals trained.  It is amazing what you can accomplish with focus.  Politics is never far from my heart.  I heard a politician say recently “Politics is a conversation”.  He is right and there are times when I miss the conversation and the protocol and the ceremony that contribute to our identity as Canadians. I am committed to continuing to contribute as best I can as the Peace Maker from Canada when I travel in the US and Africa over this next year.  My goal is to contribute and to make you all proud of this Canadian as she continues her campaign, not for political office but for PULSE – World Peace – One Conversation at a Time.

How are you contributing to your country??  Happy Canada Day