Empowering People at the Workplace – The Positive Discipline Way.
In fall 2018, I had the great privilege to participate in this workshop created and facilitated by the founder of Positive Discipline, Dr Jane Nelsen and Lead Trainer, Dina Emser.
With 40 participants coming from all over the world, we had fun, with moments of great inspiration and learnings. We were able to live and see how Positive Discipline can be applied to the professional world, beyond cultural or language limitations as this is about focusing on social skills, values and ethics!
The Foundation of Positive Discipline
The foundation of Positive Discipline is to be kind AND firm at the same time. Some leaders and colleagues are kind but not firm. Others are firm, but not kind. Many vacillate between the two – being too kind until their colleagues develop an entitlement attitude for instance, and then being too firm until they feel they gain limited support and shoulder all responsibilities.
With similar approaches to all Positive Discipline (PD) training and workshops, PD philosophy provides a step-by-step approach to sharing experiential activities to connect PD principles with professional audiences, who want to create a culture of mutual respect in the workplace.
Like all PD training, it emphasizes experiential activities to inspire deeper understanding and change. Below are some examples of key topics :
Listen So That Team Members Talk
We practised the way we listen, which directly impacts what people communicate with us. Exploring various listening and feedback styles and how these create open communication or build barriers is eyeopening and through activities and role-plays, we discovered the perspectives of all communicating parties. We realised how important it is to continue learning and practising relationship-building tools which build engagement and contribution for all members of the team.
Communicate Positively Even Under Stress
What response do you generate in other people when you are under stress? Have you sometimes asked yourself why people change under stress? Awareness of how you behave (often emotional, unconscious and uncontrolled) can help improve your leadership skills! We detected and trained stress-management strategies and how these can impact other people positively. More importantly, we defined action-steps to replace stress-inducing behaviours with ways to invite collaboration and moving forward.
Respectfully Resolve Conflicts – Together
Disagreeing positively spurs creativity and innovation. It is discouraging when it becomes a power struggle with a win-lose circumstance.
To establish a culture of cooperation in a conflicting environment is always a challenge for leaders. Hence, we identified practical methods to create understanding, identify feasible and helpful options, and select a positive way to encourage differences of opinion.
This is practising a ‘solution-finding process’ on a real-life user case proposed by a participant. When a diversity of opinions are encouraged positively, it is so inspiring for everyone!
For those who have followed the full Positive Discipline workshop for parents or in the classroom, all of the above may sound as very consistent. Yes, PD tools can be applied in the professional environment, and bring definitely more joy and inspiration when working with colleagues, teams, and clients! It’s a process and has to be practised together. That is why the workshops are so powerful.
By the way – Dina Emser, the founder of Empowering People at the workplace and PD Lead Trainer is coming to Geneva to give a 3-day workshop in June 2020 so watch this space.