Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
IN THIS ISSUE
Breakthrough
"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.

Breakthrough
Newsletter
VOLUME XI ISSUE NO. 8  | AUGUST 2019 
From Ignorance to Awareness: Candid Direct Communication
By George Pitagorsky



Ignorance is a poison that makes for unskillful decisions. Unskillful decisions lead to unskillful action. Let's explore how you can shine the light of knowledge to eliminate the shadow of ignorance through candid and direct communication.

As pointed out in last month's article, when you accept things as they are, there is a foundation for responsive and responsible action[1]. Ignorance gives the impression of acceptance, but it is not the same. Acceptance is a conscious decision. Ignorance leaves no room for conscious decisions. Ignorance leaves action open to the whims of habits and unconscious reactions. Awareness enables choice. 
Scroll Down to continue reading
How to be Happy Even When You Are Sad, Mad or Scared: 
A story about a boy who wanted everything to be the way that he thought it should be

By George Pitagorsky;   Illustrated by Tracy Pitagorsky 

This book tells the story of a child who learns how to use imagery to manage his anger.

It helps children to use the power of their mind to experience their emotions and frustrations while avoiding being driven to reactions like temper tantrums and meltdowns.
 
The book is for children of all ages ( even if they are in adult bodies) who are learning to manage   their emotions so they can be in touch with the light within  and around them - the calm, clear spaciousness that is   always present behind thoughts and feelings. 

Please post a review and let your friends know.

Top 130 Project Management Influencers
George Pitagorsky
made DPM's 130 Top Project Management Influencers of 2019. 
DPM publishes a list of the brightest minds and influential thinkers who are shaping the project management industry today.
From Ignorance to Awareness - Continued 

Candid and Direct
A recent article[2] ended with the following:
"The old clich√© is wrong - ignorance is not bliss. ... Our research shows that what people don't talk out, they will act out in the form of resentment, turnover, apathy, or deference. The path to results is paved with candid and direct communication. ..."
 
Aware of Causes and Motives
An example: you decide to take off a few pounds. You are motivated. Yet, when confronted with the need for a sweet your resolve crumbles and you are off your diet. You experience this time after time. At some point, someone advises you to be mindful of what motivates you to go for the sweet. Next time you are tempted, you give in, but start thinking about why you gave in. You have overcome ignorance - you have become aware that there are unconscious thoughts and feelings driving your behavior. You still don't know why you crave the sweet, but you are no longer completely asleep.  
 
In other cases, for example, being replaced in a job or the breakup of a personal relationship may be the wake-up call that helps you cut through ignorance. Candid and direct communication about what led to the breakup coupled with the shock enables you to understand why what happened, happened. That knowledge makes it possible for you to act differently in the future. Without it, you are likely to repeat the behavior that caused the breakup.
 
Ignorance and Bliss
Ignorance is a failure to recognize the way things are; it is a condition of being uneducated, asleep, uninformed and unaware. It is like being in a box completely cut off from everything, unaware that there is an entire world outside of the box. Inside the box it is very comfortable. There is certainty. But then something happens that disturbs the peace - the box starts to shake or a small hole appears exposing a peek at something outside the box.
 
Is Ignorance bliss? Bliss is a sense of perfect happiness, ecstasy, joyfulness. When it is lasting in the face of ever-changing conditions, it is flourishing happiness. When you recognize it as a basic quality of awareness, it is unconditional happiness. Ignorance may feel good but is the feeling sustainable? Does ignorance support optimal performance and flourishing or unconditional happiness? 
 
The expulsion from Eden, opening Pandora's Box, and transitioning from childhood to adulthood support the idea that ignorance is bliss. Well, in case you haven't noticed, we have been expelled; the box is opened. You can either go to sleep to avoid reality or open to it, accepting things as they are.
 
The opposite of ignorance is knowing that something is happening or exists. This is a prerequisite for conscious acceptance and choice. Knowledge of causes and conditions enables healthy relationships and performance.
 
How You Can Overcome Ignorance
Ignore a problem, and you perpetuate it. The problem gets pushed down under the radar of conscious thought. Dysfunction is accepted. Often, over time, things get worse. For example, personal relationships become strained as unaddressed behavior persists and becomes increasingly annoying until a breaking point is reached. It's like boiling the frog - gradually turning up the heat so the frog doesn't notice it until it is too late. The frog is boiled, the relationship broken.
 
Ignorance has been a powerful force in the world for thousands of years. It has survived in the face of ignorance-caused disasters like wars, famines, massacres, failed civilizations and organizations. It is resilient and persistent. So, overcoming it is not easy. But it is possible. And, surprisingly simple.
 
To begin with, accept the fact that, unless you are a Buddha or God, you are ignorant of some things, some of the time. Question everything, even your most dearly held beliefs. Immediately, you have overcome the ignorance of ignorance. Often the acceptance of your own ignorance is triggered by an event or confrontation that makes it clear that there are things you don't know or are not aware of. You finally see how something you are not conscious of is driving your behavior. That is where candid communication comes into play.
 
Relieving Ignorance with Direct and Candid Communication
Saying the truth about things as they are, confronts ignorance. If the people involved are open to it, they will be able to choose and act wisely. If they are not ready, they will deny, close, "shoot the messenger" and be lost in ignorance, until something wakes them up, or perhaps, forever.
 
Candid and direct communication creates an opportunity to become aware. It does not guarantee awareness, but it does make it more possible to see things as they are. Anyone can ignore input from others, but at least there is a chance that the input will make a difference.
 
Ignorance disappears in the light of knowledge. Candid and direct communication bring knowledge to the situation. Self-reflection lets the knowledge in.
 
To peacefully combat it, acknowledge that ignorance is at work and commit to doing away with it. Internally, let the underlying causes of those feelings come to the surface; seek and consider feedback from others.
 
In relationships, promote candid communication. Be ready to offer it with sensitivity and the knowledge that those who are lost in ignorance (including yourself) may not be awakened as quickly as you would like them to be. Be open to the idea that you may be ignorant of why you are doing what you are doing and to the input from others that can help you with your own blind spots.  
sws
________________


© 2019 George Pitagorsky
                                                  Top
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.

  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