23rd February 2014

 On Monday we began the class talking about last weekend. Silvia asked us about what would we erase from our weekend? I answered her I would definitely erase the EUDE conference on Sunday. It was supposed to be related to business protocol but it was just protocol. I don’t really care about what is the right position for flags….It was disappointed because I had wasted my time and I don’t like it at all!!

We continued the class with an exercise in groups. We had to prepare a presentation about what the Personal Management Interview is. We were the first group that presents the topic. We said that the main objective of PMI is to create a bond with the employees using supportive communication, offering tools to them for their own improvement and also giving them solutions for their daily problems. We talked about the stages of PMI, we thought it’s needed to start with a compliment or asking about personal things not related to work, for example how the weekend was. After that we can made an open question in order to give employees the chance to explain us the situation and how they feel about the job. In this moment of the PMI, we would have two different situations: 1. If the employee said there is a problem, you both could try to find out the solution together. 2. If the employee said there isn’t any problem, you could objectively show him/her that the problem exists and then goes to step 1. We think it is very important to verbalize there is a problem and what kind of problem it is. To finish PMI, we said that, although there were a problem, it would be a good end if we given a positive feedback. As a result of all of these, the relationship between manager and employee would be reinforced.

After all the presentations, Silvia continued with theoretical part of the class about PMI.

The next class on Wednesday began with a Silvia’s question: Have happened something wonderful today? YEEEEEES, I said. Very early in the morning, I had attended to a discussion session in the BBVA Innovation Center. It was very interesting for me because it was called “Health 2.0: new communication models” and I want to start up a company related to this business area. The organizing company is “mpg School of Health” and they will begin a Master on April. The discussion session was the opportunity to promote the Master. I had the opportunity to meet the teaching staff and talk with them about the program. Finally, I decided to study the Master and I guess it’s a good decision for my future.

After few of us shared our positive experiences, Silvia started the explanation about Personal Management Interview. She described the agenda in minute detail. There was something that attracted my attention: When PMI is finishing, both parties must sign a summary of the interview as an agreement in order to ensure both clearly understood their assignments.

The next topic was the power of expectations. We talked about Pygmalion effect, that it is the phenomenon in which the greater the expectations placed upon people, the better they perform.

We saw this video and we also made a personal exercise to resume. We had to think in something that we can’t change and we think is bad for ourselves. We have to write several reasons why we think that. I wrote “I’m bigmouth. I speak a lot about everything”. I always have problems with people because of words and I suffer a lot. Many times I am focused in others willing. I try to please everyone and it’s a huge waste. I share all of my opinions with my family and sometimes my parents are concerned for me in excess. In the other hand, I used to say what I think in a direct way and others get offended.

And after thinking and writing, Silvia told us to give reasons for the opposite. In spite of reasons written, I enjoy discussing. I used to talk when nobody wants to. I have a lot of things to share and I want to do it. And finally, I think you can love me or you can hate me. It’s your choice.

While I was writing I remembered a boss I had in a great company, he told me about this topic mostly every day. The big hand I clapped it was in his honor!!!!

We finished the class with a motivational video I’ve already seen few days ago.

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16th February 2014

We started the class taking a Card of the Universe from Silvia’s bag. Mine said:

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“We either make ourselves MISERABLE or we make ourselves…STRONG. The amount of work…is THE SAME”.

I don’t remember if I was thinking in a specific thing. It was fine for me on Monday because during the weekend I had been reflecting on how to take advantage of the opportunity to study. For me and my family means a lot of effort. So the amount of work we put on it has to be rewarded and it has to make ourselves STRONG. After sharing everybody Cards, we finished self reflections with Bill Gates quote: “If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss”. Silvia wanted to continue with theoretical class but anyone wanted. It was related to the principles of supportive communication, which they are:

Congruence: both verbal and non verbal messages match exactly what the individual is feeling. In my opinion, when you perceive that someone doesn’t respect you it’s because there is a mismatch between the content of your words and your feelings or thoughts.

Descriptive, not evaluative: we made a role-play about it. The conclusions were that we need to be objective, as much as dispassionate as possible, we have to concentrate on facts avoiding subjective interpretations and we need to describe the consequences of the behavior and to suggest an acceptable alternative. It was very interesting. I will offer myself as a volunteer for the next time! As I said before, I want my effort makes me strong!

Problem oriented, not people oriented: as the item before, we made a role-play about it. And the conclusions were that managers must focus on problems, not on people. I guess I wouldn’t be this kind of boss in the future. Unfortunately I had some unpleasant and painful experiences.

Validation: means be understood, recognized, valued and accepted. We saw a video about validation.

On Wednesday we started the class with the Cards of the Universe. This time I have no question for the Universe. It said:

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“A frightened captain…makes a frightened crew…”

I used to post a photo in Instagram and the caption I wrote was “Am I a captain?” A friend of mine answer “Yes, you are! But not frightened at all !! ;)” Maybe this day I don’t feel a captain and Universe made a wake-up call to me.

We shared Cards and started discussing about languages. I mean, which is the better language to start studying, which one is the easier, why Chinese is so difficult, etc…

In spite of the interesting discussion we were having, Silvia wanted to continue with the explanation of the principles of supportive communication:

–  Specific, not global: avoid extremes and absolutes with specific statements.

Owned, not disowned: accept responsibility for our statements and behaviors. Managers must use the reality therapy in order to guide subordinates from disowning responsibility toward owned behavior.

Conjunctive, not disjunctive: there has to be equal opportunity to speak. It means not to interrupt the other and not to speak at the same time. Pauses can’t be extended. Managers must control timing, turns and topic in order to be perceived as competent and powerful. Even more, in order to be competent and powerful.

–  Listening: I think this is the hard part of the supportive communication because the previous items are related to the message you deliver and listening has to be with pay attention and responding to the other people involved.

San Valentine’s Day was coming and Silvia wanted to celebrate. It was very nice. Everyone talked about their own description of what love is. For me, LOVE builds up my life. It makes me happy, complete and a better person.

We read a sheet about the origin of this celebration and we also saw a video that mix all of the legends and supposed origins.

9th February 2014

Silvia started the class on Monday as she does weeks ago. She made a question that was the beginning of discussion: What do you omit from your life? In that moment I said I would omit doing exercise because it is disgusting. Helena said she wouldn’t omit anything. I think it twice and I agree with her. Everything you live, it makes you as you are. After the little discussion, Silvia offers us the Cards of the Universe. While I chose a card, I was thinking about a project I want to put into practice with a friend. And the card said:

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“It’s up to you. You have the resources and the tools. Keep it simple!” It was great, I like it!

Then we saw a video about “Millenians” and Silvia encouraged us to choose well our fell of endeavor.

She told us almost every class that the sooner we start the better! She is right, I’m nearly in my forties and it’s my time to do my own business and what I really enjoy. Although I always enjoy, I’m sure now that I have to take care of myself.

On Monday we also worked in groups about Ana Botella’s speech for twenty twenty Olympic Games. After writing up a new speech, every group did their presentation. Renzo’s was the first one and the most emotional too.

The next class began with the Cards of the Universe, again it was perfect for me.

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“One day you will wake up and there won’t be more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. DO IT NOW”. – Paulo Coelho

We shared the message and we started discussing about prejudices. We used to standardize and categorize people based on our previous experiences and also because of our insecurity. I do appreciate that Rose Marie told us about her experience at school. It’s not easy to talk about these kind of things.

Relating to prejudices, Silvia showed us a video called MIA born free.

It’s fiction but it was impressive! Everybody in class was fliped out. With this video Silvia wanted to commemorate the birth of Rosa Parks. She was the first black person who refuse to give up the seat to a white one.

The theoretical part was related to communication, about how accurately we communicate with other people. She introduced the concept of supportive communication to us. This is the type of communication that managers have to practice because it seeks to preserve, enhance and strengthen positive relationships between them and employees.

Silvia also spoke about Coaching and Counseling that are focus on abilities and attitudes respectively. She perfectly explained the problems in the daily management practice. I mean Disconfirmation and Defensiveness. When they come and how to resolve? It has to be with the principles of Supportive Communication. But we hadn’t enough time to go over all of them.