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Breakthrough
"Productive insight; clear (often sudden) understanding of a complex situation."  Free Dictionary

Pop the bubble of conditioned thinking and emerge into the creative realm of "no absolutes," continuous change, uncertainty and unlimited possibilities.

Then, there can be innovation, adaptation and optimal performance.
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness
Open-minded:questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  

Mindful: consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

Breakthrough
Newsletter
VOLUME VII ISSUE NO. 12 | DECEMBER 2015 
Shedding Light to Combat Ignorance
By George Pitagorsky
  
The winter solstice brings with it a diminishing of darkness and the return of light. This is a season for reflecting on miracles, love and renewal, yet we are facing a wave of fear based bigotry that will not go away if we close our eyes and imagine that everyone's hearts and minds will be filled with good will for all.
 
Confrontation is necessary when hate mongers spread their message and embellish it with misinformation. When we sit quietly in the presence of a person who is talking about the need to keep Muslim Syrian refugees out of the country to protect us from terrorism we fuel their ignorance and make it possible for them to convince others. The same is true for ideologues, politicians and racists who spout off based on one dimensional arguments that leave out inconvenient realities and bend the truth.
 
Confrontation, in this context, means speaking up and inserting facts and alternative views. It means shedding light to expose and combat ignorance.
 
Why Argue with a Bigot?
Recently, at a social gathering a seemingly intelligent and kind man in his late fifties was speaking to a small group of young people. He was going on about the need to stop Syrian refugees from entering the US. He cited beheadings in the US as evidence of the danger we faced as a nation.
 
Overhearing what he was saying, and after a moment of watching and letting go of my anger, disgust and compulsion to step in, I decided to add my two cents.
 
When I pointed out that there has been only one recent instance in the U.S. of a beheading by a Muslim, who was not a Syrian, not a refugee, and who had no known ties to jihad and that there have been at least two by Christian Americans, he became angry. His argument moved to the shootings in Paris and the need to protect our way of life. I asked how keeping out families and, particularly children, fleeing war and oppression would protect our way life; he got angrier. By the time I asked where compassion for the Muslim and Christian victims of ISIL fit into the recent Islamophobia he was sputtering. His daughter came to take him away.
 
What is the point of arguing with an ignorant bigot? The chance of bringing him to the light is small. More importantly, it is to contribute to a dialogue rather than bearing witness to a diatribe. To expose the truth, or at least, another version of the truth. To expose ignorance and demagoguery. It is what we must do when confronted with expressions of racism, sexism and the other isms that strengthen intolerance, denial and hatred.
 
Light Dispels Darkness
I am reminded by history that the fearful fall prey to the promise of security and simplistic certainty. They give away their freedom and common decency. In the end everyone suffers.

I am also reminded that historically progressive thinking and right action has triumphed, though the struggle has often been long and hard.
 
I can only hope that in this season and beyond a vast majority will reject the attachment, lies, hatred and ignorance that fuels the dark side.
 
May the force be with us and lead us to the light. And may the light lead us to wisdom and compassion.

Happy New Year, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, Yule, Dongzhi, Yalda, Festivus, and all the celebrations that remind us that there is hope for a bright future.
                                               
2015 George Pitagorsky                                                 Top
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness

Open-minded: 

questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  
 
Mindful:
 consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

 Learn More
Managing Conflict in Projects
By George Pitagorsky
Managing Conflict in Projects: Applying Mindfulness and Analysis for Optimal Results by George Pitagorsky charts a course for identifying and dealing with conflict in a project context.

Pitagorsky states up front that conflict management is not a cookbook solution to disagreement-a set of prescribed actions to be applied in all situations. His overall approach seeks to balance two aspects of conflict management: analysis based on a codified process and people-centered behavioral skills.

The book differentiates conflict resolution and conflict management. Management goes beyond resolution to include relationship building that may serve to avoid conflict or facilitate resolution if it occurs.

 

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The Zen Approach to Project Management 
By George Pitagorsky

Projects are often more complex and stressful than they need to be. Far too many of them fail to meet expectations. There are far too many conflicts. There are too few moments of joy and too much anxiety. But there is hope. It is possible to remove the unnecessary stress and complexity. This book is about how to do just that. It links the essential principles and techniques of managing projects to a "wisdom" approach for working with complex, people-based activities.

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