Thursday, October 29, 2009

Facilitating Change: Engaging the Hearts and Minds

It’s an unending, perplexing struggle to which humanity has no real answer in the practical sense; only a plethora of theory that is occasionally found—by experience—to be in truth i.e. in this world, backed in science.

This struggle has ensured that there have been whole professions and entire scholarly demographics’ constructed as a means of answering this eternal dilemma—the struggle with the human condition as it meets the world—a world that chews us up and spits us out as quickly as it looks at us.

And it seems that we’re at least close to some plausible answer (to the ‘eternal dilemma’) when we begin to play with the notion that we human beings are extremely limited in many of our capacities, particularly our mental capacities.

You’ll already know we’re very imperfect—therefore, why would we unreasonably expect so much?—of ourselves; of others; of our employees, employers, family members, friends...

It is predicted by science (some might say it is therefore ‘fact’) that of the 1,850 bits of information our brains process every 1/18th of a second (yes, that’s 33,000 bits of ‘binary’ every second!) only 0.3 percent is consumed in, or available as, conscious thought.

(Mind you, do the math; that’s still a fair bit—that’s one hundred pieces of conscious information per second. Still, this shows how much is going on mentally at any given moment!)

As change agents and facilitators of enhancement for the global enterprise of goodness, we must bear in mind that it’s the hearts and minds we must engage; it never has and it never will be any different.

Given our conscious minds can only absorb and process so much, we’re best to focus on what’s really relevant—that which captures the attention.

Remember DIPI:

- Dangerous

- Important

- Pleasurable

- Interesting

Information containing the above formula, or attending to it, is much more likely to be heard.

The rest is screened out—of no use to the conscious brain; it slips, therefore, into the subconscious and then away into the ether! Recall the term, ‘In one ear, out the other?’

When we deal with the eternal dilemma of the frail, yet paradoxically powerful, human capacities and condition, we learn to keep things simple and to the point.

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

Acknowledgment to Dr. Ali Dale of Sentis for information on DIPI and the processing speed of the brain.

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