Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
"Productive insight; clear (often sudden) understanding of a complex situation."  Free Dictionary

Pop the bubble of conditioned thinking and emerge into the creative realm of "no absolutes," continuous change, uncertainty and unlimited possibilities.

Then, there can be innovation, adaptation and optimal performance.
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness
Open-minded: questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  

Mindful:  consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.


Managing Expectations: A Mindful Approach - 
Discussion and Book Signing with George Pitagorsky

Program Description: George's new book,  Managing Expectations: A Mindful Approach to Achieving Success ,   provides a compassionate, practical process for setting and satisfying expectations.  If you are going to have expectations or be in relationships with others who have them, it is best to work with them skillfully. The evening will include a brief meditation, a talk by George on expectations and the best way to manage them. There will be time for a Q&A dialog. Refreshments will be served.
Does Being Mindful Imply
Behaving Ethically? 
By George Pit agorsky

Christopher Titmus, a respected meditation teacher is quoted as saying: "I believe that ... defining mindfulness as being in the present moment in a non-judgmental way, inhibits any deep questioning by the staff of companies whose policies exploit people and the environment. This popular definition of mindfulness would make the Buddha turn over in his grave." Titmus goes on to say that "Mindfulness includes our capacity to make judgements in the present and act wisely and directly on those judgments." He points to the conflict that arises in individuals who are caught in organizations that teach mindfulness meditation and violate ethical boundaries. [1]
I can't imagine the Buddha turning over in his grave over anything, but that aside, let's look at the relationship among mindfulness, wisdom and ethical behavior.
While mindfulness can certainly enable people to make judgments and act wisely, it must be coupled with wisdom and a commitment to ethical behavior in order for one to deeply question exploitative or unskillful practices and take action about them. The Buddha's teachings on mindfulness and ethics clearly separate the two and connect them to wisdom - understanding and intention. Mindfulness alone is a quality that enables clear seeing - the ability to non-judgmentally observe whatever is happening within and around oneself. The ability to see what is going on allows one to be aware of the impact of his/her actions. But, clear seeing alone does not translate into ethical behavior. Mindfulness must be coupled with the values of loving kindness and compassion and a world view that recognizes the interconnectivity among all beings and responsibility for the results of our actions. Mindfulness provides the means for monitoring and managing behavior.
The idea that mindfulness is something beyond bare objective awareness seems to arise out of belief that everyone is ultimately driven by these values and understandings; that these are part of our intrinsic nature. I would not argue that point. Thousands of years of wisdom and more recent studies in neuroscience seem to point to it as being true.
However, even if it is true that we are in essence loving, kind and intrinsically aware of our interconnectedness and responsibility for our actions and their results, there are a great many people who are not in touch with that essence. Social conditioning as well as physiological factors cut some people off from their essential nature. For example, an individual may truly believe that dumping coal mining waste into streams in West Virginia is an ethically sound thing to do because it provides profits and jobs to stakeholders. That person may be so ignorant of the long-term effects of such action that there is no sense of guilt; no inner conflict. They are so sure of their moral right to make a short-term profit that they view people who oppose them as being unethical.
Mindfulness picks up on the thoughts and feelings that are symptoms (for example a queasy feeling, tension, sadness, frustration) of the conflict between values and actions. The symptoms motivate a reflection on beliefs. That can either 1) result in a reinforcement of the beliefs to do away, at least temporarily, with the symptoms or 2) a deep questioning of the beliefs leading one to a more "enlightened" view and possible behavioral change.
But what if the symptoms never arise. In the extreme the individual may be a very mindful sociopath, lacking a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. Alternatively, the system of ethics the person has adopted may be what we might consider to be "evil", unskillful or unhealthy. For example, children who turned their parents and neighbors into the Gestapo or North Korea's secret police for perceived unlawful behavior or speech may be so convinced of the need to protect the greater society that they have no sense of conflict or remorse.
If we want to promote ethical behavior that reflects loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity we must go beyond simply cultivating mindfulness. Cultivate a wisdom based value system. 
Mindfulness, is part of a system that combines wisdom, ethical behavior and meditation. Meditation, made up of effort, mindfulness and concentration, provides a foundation for ethical behavior but does not guarantee it. Wisdom informs us of our nature and the nature of the universe. Ethical values, informed by wisdom, set up our resolve to do no harm and, if we can, help. Mindfulness is an enabler that lets us know if we are following through and enables us to know why we may not be. Effort enables us to let go of old, unhealthy habits and beliefs. 
Most complex arguments seem to come back to the need for both-and thinking. Holding to opinions that limit the availability of mindfulness training seems counterproductive. Some mindfulness is better than none. At the same time, coupling mindfulness training with a deep examination of the ethical foundation of action is an important step towards creating a more desirable future.

footnote[1]  Wisdom at Work April 11, 2017, Joel and Michelle Levy, wisdomatwork.com

©  2017 George Pitagorsky
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness


questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  
 consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

  Learn More

New Book:
Managing Expectations: A Mindful Approach to Achieving Success   provides a compassionate, practical process for satisfying expectations in any situation. Essential reading for leaders seeking to ensure expectations are rational, mutually understood, and accepted by all those with a stake in the project. 

Managing Conflict in Projects
By George Pitagorsky
Managing Conflict in Projects: Applying Mindfulness and Analysis for Optimal Results by George Pitagorsky charts a course for identifying and dealing with conflict in a project context.

Pitagorsky states up front that conflict management is not a cookbook solution to disagreement-a set of prescribed actions to be applied in all situations. His overall approach seeks to balance two aspects of conflict management: analysis based on a codified process and people-centered behavioral skills.

The book differentiates conflict resolution and conflict management. Management goes beyond resolution to include relationship building that may serve to avoid conflict or facilitate resolution if it occurs.


Read More
The Zen Approach to Project Management 
By George Pitagorsky

Projects are often more complex and stressful than they need to be. Far too many of them fail to meet expectations. There are far too many conflicts. There are too few moments of joy and too much anxiety. But there is hope. It is possible to remove the unnecessary stress and complexity. This book is about how to do just that. It links the essential principles and techniques of managing projects to a "wisdom" approach for working with complex, people-based activities.

Home   /  Blog   /  About   /  Contact