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Showing posts from January, 2012

Roles, Relationships and The Art of Talk

by Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP
      In the early nineties, the Air Force achieved a 60% drop in accidents after implementing a program called Crew Resource Management (CRM)training – which emphasizes the “human factor” skills of communication,situational awareness, decision-making and team performance. The pre-CRM cockpit featured a “a traditionally rigid hierarchy with an autocratic captain and subservient flight crew. The cabin crew was not even considered part of the flying team. This tradition closely mirrored the maritime industry’s concept of the captain being “master of the ship.” Since adopting CRM, U.S. air disasters (not related to terrorism) have fallen from approximately 20 per year to one to two per year” ("Sustaining and Advancing Performance Improvements Achieved by CRM" Dynamics Research Corporation). Since that time, aviation professionals reached out to the medical/surgical field where CRM is gaining ground
Medical, surgical and aviation teams operate …

Changing For Good: Relationship Lessons From The Words of Dr. Martin Luther King

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that." Dr. Martin Luther King,
by Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP
February is Black History Month, and an opportunity to reflect upon Dr. Martin Luther King's unconventional and seemingly counter-intuitive approach to oppression and injustice and apply it to our daily interactions at home and work. He spoke stirringly about peoples' real and immediate suffering while inspiring them to work toward change they might never see in their own lifetime. He communicated with clarity and force about long-standing wrongs while encouraging civil, collective movement toward a new way of thinking for all of society. "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism," he said, "or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."
      Intimate partnerships and family life are a mini-society in that both are created by intricate weaving of our actions and choices with those of others. Both c…

When A Door Closes, Open Your Mind

“When a paradigm shifts, everything goes back to zero,” writes Joel Barker, author of Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future, in which he mentions the telephone and movies with sound as inventions that were disparaged and passed over by corporate giants. Digital Equipment (never heard of them? That’s my point) went out of business because they could not let go of an old idea about who could use or understand computers. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates changed history by re-imaginingthe computer as something anyone could own and use. What’s true in business, science and technology is also true in the way we think and live. When events beyond our control force us onto an entirely different course, letting go of the old is about the most important – and for many of us most difficult – aspect of thriving in the “new normal.”      A famous example of this – and the subject of the recent New York Times essay “Leadership Lessons From The ShackletonExpedition” by Harvard research historia…

Creative Courage: Improv and Freedom To Flail, Fail, Flop and Flounder

 Friday nights at 6 p.m. The Pit-NYC offers a free, drop-in improv jam they call Happy Hour. It has all the "you've-had-a-hard-week-just-have-some-fun" ethos of any conventional Happy Hour, minus the alcohol and the self-pity. Everyone puts their name in a jar. The host pulls 2 names. Those two people get up on stage. A suggestion is offered from the audience. Lights go out. A Beat. Lights go up. The scene begins, then unfolds through a series of offers and responses. Two minutes - lights out. Scene over. New names. New scene. And so on. This "anything goes" and anyone-is-welcome improv event is unpredictable enough to induce tension but warm and supportive at the same time; it provides exhilerating relief from the stresses of the week, the intensity of the city just a few feet away, and the thinking thinking thinking self that can never work it all out but never lets up.
   What makes this a kind of spiritual process is the faith required to do it. Faith that …