This blog is to share ideas and comments about the application of the techniques and philosophy of Neuro Linguistic Programming to the classroom, together with any associated and complementary methods, perspectives or approaches.
Pioneers in training with NLP in Education.
Giving you ideas and a space to reflect, develop, grow and thrive in the classroom!
Thursday, 14 February 2013
RT News Nº 121
Laura A. Szmuch
A magazine on Neuro Linguistic Programming in Education
No 121 February 13 2013
Welcome back to another school year. We hope you have had relaxing and interesting holidays and are refreshed and ready for work.
We have various courses and projects on the go this year.
Firstly, we will be holding a new workshop on Saturday 9 March called “Nourishing effective working teams” in which we will explore some of the more subtle aspects which contribute to the good functioning of a group from an NLP perspective. Details below.
As always we are offering our full-length Practitioner course which will begin on Saturday April 6 with groups in both English and Spanish. This course provides training in the many tools and strategies NLP has to make exciting changes to your classroom and to serve you in other aspects of your life.
And we kick off today with a reflection on some of the factors that make a difference as to whether a group or team is effective or not.
Laura and Jamie
1. The finer points of working in teams 2. NLP Workshop – Nourishing Effective Working Teams
3. NLP Practitioner Courses start April 6
4. Calendar of activities for 2013
5. Workshops and coaching
6. Subscribing/Unsubscribing to our e-zines in English and an invitation to visit
1. The finer points of working in teams
Team work has been one of the most researched and discussed topics in management in recent decades. Experts such as Peter Senge and Stephen Covey have pointed out the value of a good balanced team to get top results. A variety and balance of talents and abilities is the optimum combination for success because it means you have the resources to handle any aspect that may emerge. If the team members only share the same abilities and the same outlook and personality probably there are things they will miss or fail to identify, or simply will not have the flexibility and know-how to adapt to any contingency. Senge dedicated part of his research and application of such skills to educational organisations, knowing how important it is to create learning organisations in schools, colleges, universities as well as in business.
Those of us with an educational background have probably had little intensive work on operating in groups and yet this is an essential part of our day in the classroom or educational establishment.
Of course we give emphasis to group work but usually it is a case of asking students to work in pairs or groups simply because it makes a large group easier to manage and gives students more opportunity to participate. Our focus is often on the mechanics of managing the groups and perhaps on how we divide students (according to level, mixed ability, common interest, gender, age, etc).
But how much do we really consider how a group actually operates and how we can help them to better their performance? One common complaint is that one or two students end up doing all the work and the rest just look on. How effective is this for learning? Getting a finished product might be helpful for us to be able to tick a box but have we really perceived the process each team member went through during the task?
Is this not also similar in many of our professional groups? Very often the instruction is “do it” but not how to and not how to manage the disparate talents and motivations in any team nor to register where each team member is at. As football coaches know, it is a real art to get a flowing functioning team and the secrets to achieving this is something that we teachers could study in order to borrow ideas for our classrooms. In fact, many sports coaches now use NLPas a motivational and group-bonding tool in their work.
One of the most important features of understanding effective group work is to know what theexpectations are of the members. What do they want to get out of this activity? Is it just a good grade? To have fun with their friends? To keep the teacher/parent happy? To really learn something about the subject?
What role do they perceive themselves as playing? Do they see themselves as leader of the pack, a hanger-on? Dispensable or indispensable? What role are they being allowed to play by the others?
We tend to assume we see a task or project in the same way and seldom spend time exploring the many ways others may view it.
Then there are the other factors that affect a group: Are the members proactive people orreactive? Do they tend to focus on the past, the present or the future and how does this affect their performance? It may also be relevant if they tend to move towards goals or away from problems. Some groups have enormous difficulties getting things done because they only work well at the last minute, but that is not always helpful for creating a good finished product. Some are so bound up in the present that future deadlines have no meaning for them. Often a group includes a mix of all of these and friction occurs because one part can’t understand thepriorities of the other.
Another educator who has been instrumental in breaking down the operation of teams and groups into manageable chunks is Spencer Kagan. He has developed cooperative learning tools which give students specific roles and tasks that often take practice and training before they become second nature. Usually, we are comfortable with what we like or do well but in order to maximise our performance, we need to learn to do things that are not our first choice. The versatility we gain from this means we can adapt to many more situations in life and play more roles with ease. Once, this was called being a good “all-rounder”, a term we don’t hear so often these days. Today, everyone seems to need to be a specialist in something, but there is great value in having the skills of an all-rounder which allows you to grow and learn by doing a variety of things. And, as sports coaches know, an all-rounder is gold in most sports as they can play effectively in any position.
Working in groups is also a recognition of placing community goals over individual ones and this is surely one of the features of schooling; preparing students to share the work towards an objective thereby preparing them for the type of situation most of us face in life.
For some, this skill is hard to incorporate and that may be because on one hand our education system often expects students to compete against each other and as a consequence we tend to grade them individually and yet on the other hand we expect them to work harmoniously in groups. It is not always clear to the student what role(s) they are being expected to play nor is it always clear which skills are most propitious for each role.
We know that few things are ever achieved in a totally individual fashion. We need the help of others to make our personal dreams come true and learning how to cooperate effectively with others and contribute to something bigger than just the construction of our individual life is going to be increasingly important in the future.
In NLP, we look at what happens when people do something very well. One thing we can do then is to learn from those cultures which place a high priority on teams and groups. Perhaps the go it alone individualism of the American culture which has pervaded Western culture in the last few decades has led us to ignore that many other cultures have a long history in people working together towards a common goal. While the “I” culture of the North American civilisation has been good to highlight the importance of developing individual talents we must also remember that everything we do is in a context and our actions affect others.
Many countries such as India are now giving increasing importance to soft skills or behavioural competencies. They regard them as being as important in many professions as the hard skill or technical qualification in the field. For example, nowadays a doctor without the ability to establish rapport and communicate effectively with his or her patients is likely to find it harder to progress or succeed as the communicative element in the doctor-patient relationship has become much more significant. Teamwork skills are among the foremost soft skills and it will be very beneficial for us to pay more attention to them so that we can both use them in the groups we belong to and model them in our work with our students.
2. NLP Workshop – Nourishing Effective Working Teams
Resourceful Teaching presents:
Nourishing Effective Working Teams
Using powerful NLP tools we will discover how to integrate different motivations, working styles and objectives into successful learning results with groups
With Jamie Duncan and Laura Szmuch
Saturday 9 March 10.00 – 13.00
What makes one group function effectively and another one struggle to achieve anything?
These and other important questions will be explored in this workshop.
We will be using practical NLP tools and technology to:
· find out how to identify the motivations and beliefs of group members,
· understand their working styles and expectations
and most importantly,
· we will see simple, easily applicable techniques to help integrate group members with elegance, establish clear consensual objectives, turn ideas into action and distribute the workload fairly, taking advantage of the talents people bring to a group and what they canlearn from being part of one.
Our next Practitioner Certificate course starts on April 6 and consists of 16 modules to be held on Saturdays on a monthly basis in 2013 and 2014. This first level of training involves between 130 and 150 hours of direct training in the form of practical activities and guided practice. It gives students acquaintance with the methodology and many of the techniques comprising NLP and leads to an internationally recognised certificate as Practitioner of NLP in Education.
The Practitioner certificate with Resourceful Teachingoffers you the chance to get an NLP certification andpractise your English at the same time!
Venue: Versailles, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
Time: One Saturday per month 9.00 – 17.00
Start Date: Saturday April 6
Investment: 500 pesos per module
The course includes written material and a full bibliography and morning and afternoon refreshments. As much as we encourage reading, the real value of NLP is the putting it into practice and our students have constant opportunities to employ what they learn in their daily work and lives.
NB: This course is also being offered in Spanish
4. Calendar of Activities 2013
We are publishing below a list of the main events for Resourceful Teaching for the next few months. As each date gets closer we will give you more information and we will of course be updating the calendar with new dates as they arise.
March 9 2013 NLP Workshop - Nourishing Effective Working Teams, Versailles, City of Buenos Aires
April 6 2013 Practitioner Certificate in NLP applied to Education, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The courses in English and Spanish commence on this day.
5. Workshops and Coaching
If you would like a workshop or training in your city or town, please contact us soon as we have only a few dates available on weekends each year.
Laura is also available for Coaching. If you wish to advance in your career or personal life and wish to design a plan of action to do so, why not have a coaching conversation with her. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Subscribing/Unsubscribing to our e-zines in English and Spanish and an invitation to visit
To subscribe simply send a mail to: email@example.com your name and city stating 'subscribe' in the subject box. To unsubscribe, follow the same procedure but write the word 'unsubscribe'. We only send this e-magazine to those who have expressed the desire to subscribe by the above means.