Category : PULSE Conversations

BEACHs, PULSE Conversations, Social Exchange
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Alberta and Cowboys

Today I drove from Edmonton to Canmore.  That’s nothing new.  I do it all the time .  Today was different.  It was a bright , crisp blue sky and the snow covered mountains were calling so I turned off Highway 2 and drove to Rocky Mountain House so that I could wander back through the foothills to Cochrane and take 1A into Canmore.

If you have ever done that drive you know the vistas are beyond spectacular. The Rockies are majestic and today you can see Mount Lougheed from Sundre.   The road is mostly straight through the rolling hills and the small towns are so typically small town-ish.  I saw one sign that offered hand crafted gun racks and sewing alterations in the same facility.  It was a great day for a drive.

I was on what is known as the Cowboy Trail.  I love cowboys and the idea of cowboys.  The quiet confidence and humility that comes from working with animals on the land tells me that they learn something out there.  There is a rugged individualism with a sense of down home manners and sensitivity that is likely a stereo type.  It could also be a myth.  Who cares.  This is fantasy.  What is for sure is that there is a mystique in those mountains, on those ranches and in those fields that you can’t really find anywhere else.

Today I was reminded of a question I was once asked by a teacher from Hong Kong.  We were at a teachers of gifted children conference ( Not to be confused with a Gifted Teachers Conference) when the subject of attraction to the opposite sex came up.  I walked into a conversation and was asked rather suddenly.  “What kind of man do you find sexy?”  I was a little taken aback because I hadn’t really thought about it but there it was just falling out of my mouth….”There is just SOMETHING about a cowboy…”   I smiled in reply. The debate raged.  Suits were sexier.  Doctors in Lab coats.  Fighter pilots. Sailors on the high seas. Oilmen.  Academics.  Everyone had an answer that worked for them.  It was another example of the individual nature of humans in cultures.

Not sure why that conversation stayed with me but there was a raw emotion attached to it that has lingered.  Driving through the beautiful Alberta Foothills today with the Rockies shining in the background, I thought of cowboys today and it made me smile.  It always does.

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Blog post, PULSE Conversations, Social Exchange
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A Bio I Like

 

Dr. Nancy Love

Dr. Love is the founder of the PULSE Institute and the author of PULSE Conversations for Change and The Complex PULSE. She is passionate about giving people the courage and confidence they need to make a change in their lives and a difference in the world.

As Executive Coach, a Consultant and Teacher with the PULSE Institute for the past twelve years, Dr. Nancy Love provides her clients with structures and skills for managing social exchanges.  She believes in PULSE as a core competency for leaders or anyone who does their work in conversation.  If you are vicariously responsible for the work of others, she can help with her quick and proven methods.

Nancy came to this work after she was a principal of a high school she affectionately calls “The Crucible”.  Her story of struggle as she overcame resistance from ALL parties to the running of the school is compelling.  She quickly became a student and then a master of how to have difficult conversations, how to help others get along, how to create a shared purpose and process, how to create a peaceful productive workplace for staff in service of the client. Her experiences have led her to a life dedicated to improving the quality of social exchanges in organizations and in the world.

 

Nancy Love PhD

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Blog post, PULSE Conversations, Social Exchange
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Checklists – For People Who Do Their Work in Social Exchanges

When I first starting thinking about Checklists I associated them with routine and ritual.  Now I know that the reason you have a checklist is because something is NOT routine and you do not have a ritual that matches it.  Checklists are for those things that are not natural.  They are best used to guide you through processes that are counterintuitive like the PULSE Frame.

This week on Friday I will be presenting a free webinar on Checklists and the different applications for PULSE.  I have been thinking a lot about the way that I use PULSE and how often I can use it to analyze what went wrong in a social exchange.  What did I forget to say or do that I might have got had I been deliberately using my checklist?  It is always there.  Someone tells someone something from a conversation that I believed to be confidential.  Not having spelled that out ( “I would like to keep this confidential until I talk to so and so.”),  the other person shared the information with so and so who then made assumptions which he acted on and the inevitable confusion around miscommunication and interpreted intentions ensued.

With something as simple as the PULSE Frame, something I am sooo familiar with, I thought I could wing it.  I wasn’t even consciously using my mental checklist.  The thing to remember is that although PULSE is simple and easy to use, it is also complex and deliberate.  If you  miss something you are in danger of creating more conflict rather than avoiding or mitigating it.  If you want to keep people in the Green Zone, the friendly zone where relationships are enhanced then take my advice and USE THE CHECKLIST.

It is not always important in every social exchange to state the purpose, protocol and process. BUT you should at least think about why or why not you are doing those things.  It is not always important to STATE the five guiding questions but you should have answers for all of them before you complete your exchange.  Follow the formula to get sustainable results.  When you don’t get sustainable results you can usually trace it back to a missed piece of information or question.  Press rewind and try again.  This time USE the Checklist.

Here are two versions.  One for a two-way conversation and one for a three-way with an intervener guiding the exchange.  Make them work for you.  They represent a fast and proven method to get sustainable outcomes form any social exchange.

© 2008 Dr. Nancy Love of the PULSE Institute
PULSE Two-Way Conversation Checklist
PREPARE FOR THE PROCESS: “How will the conversation proceed?”
(10 minutes)

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PULSE Conversations, PULSE Revival, Social Exchange
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PULSE Change – Saving lives with PULSE

How can you change your PULSE?  Pulse rates are usually pretty stable and predictable but once in a while your pulse rate changes. What are the triggers for that?  Could be physical exertion or it could be emotional response or it could be your brain creating threats for you … real or imagined.  What can you do to lower the impact of perceived threat and normalize your physiological response?

One of the most important outcomes of using PULSE to structure your conversations is that you rarely get so excited by words that your PULSE changes.  Because you have a clearer understanding about what to do or say and how and why to do it you are less likely to trigger the physiological responses of fight, flight or freeze.  You might be curious about what is being said and why.  You might find the courage to ask the question in your head and test that assumption you  might be making.  You might feel confident enough to feel compassion and a real connection with the other party which moves your body to relax, release and relate, thus lowering your pulse rate.

Learning PULSE definitely keeps your blood pressure and your heart rate healthy.

How can I say that?  That is a pretty wild claim.  How can a Frame for Social Exchanges change your life?

I know that getting excited  rather than curious can change your physical state.  I also know that remaining calm and in control is a lot easier if you have a plan and a structure for the difficult conversation you are in.  When you have confidence in a peaceful sustainable outcome because you know what to do you are less likely to feel threatened by any situation.  You are more likely to use your training to de-escalate and resolve thus lowering everyone’s heart rate.

Like the CPR training you took to help people having heart failure, your PULSE training takes you into situations to calm emotional responses so that people can get the blood back into their brains.  CPR gets the heart going again.   PULSE slows it down.

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PULSE Conversations, PULSE Revival, Social Exchange
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Fast and Proven Results with PULSE

I am working through Cd’s from Experts’ Academy with Brendon Burchard.  He is dynamic and  interesting.  I like him.  Some of the points he makes are insightful and informative and I would like to publically thank him even though I am not finished with my instruction on how to be an expert.

Brendon makes a point about what I would call operationalizing your expertise.  He suggests using frameworks and checklists.  Hmmm.  We do that.  He says that one mistake that experts make is to offer conceptual approaches to solving people’s problems rather than the “fast and proven” step by step method.  That got me thinking.  When I talk about what PULSE is I know I stay at the conceptual level.  Rarely do I say ” PULSE is five easy steps for managing any social exchange.”  That is what PULSE is… Five easy steps

1. Prepare by setting Purpose and Protocol for the exchange

2. Uncover the Topic

3. Learn the Criteria for a wider future

4. Search the possibilities that meet the criteria

5.  Explain a plan of action

You can do this by using five easy and proven questions to guide each stage of the exchange:

1. What is the purpose of this exchange?

2. What do we need to address today?

3. What about that is important?

4. What could be done in a perfect world?

5. What are we/you committed to doing next?

Collecting the answers to these questions gives you a sustainable outcome.  The process can be applied in any situation.

Using the PULSE Frame gets FAST and PROVEN results.  It improves the quality of conversations, relationships and organizations.  It gives individuals the courage to make a change and the confidence to make a difference.  It contributes to peace and harmony in the workplace or  in the family with a deliberate five stage approach to any social exchange.

Thanks, Brendon, for helping me think through what expertise we have at PULSE and forcing me to identify the operational advantage, not just the conceptual one that the PULSE Frame offers to those who use it.

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BEACHs, PULSE Conversations, PULSE Enneagram, SHIFT Happens
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The Wizard of OZ and PULSE

I am not sure why but this morning I have been thinking about the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”  I think at the Academy Awards they recognized the 75 th of anniversary of the film.  I remember P!nk singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  Maybe that is why it is with me.

The characters …Scarecrow, Tin-man and Lion … were all searching for something.  Even Dorothy was looking for a way home.  These characters represent our Head, Heart and Body.  Scarecrow was looking for a brain. What the Wizard gave him was evidence of his already being smart with a diploma.  The diploma gave him the confidence to move forward.  The Tin-man was looking for a Heart, ways to connect with other people.  The Wizard again gave him evidence that he already demonstrated the compassion he was seeking. The Lion was looking for courage.  He wanted to be brave in the face of present danger.  The Wizard gave him a medal as evidence that he had already demonstrated courage and bravery. Confidence, compassion and courage.   Head, heart and body.

Dorothy, too, discovered that she had had the power to return home all along.  All she had to do was click her heels together three times and say …”There is no place like home.”  Like Dorothy we all  have  the power we need within us to make a change and make a difference.  We can demonstrate confidence, compassion and courage under certain circumstances but we may not be very good at recognizing our own strengths.  Think about a time when you had the confidence to make a change and the compassion and courage to make a difference.

BE the Wizard today.  Give someone else evidence that they already possess confidence, compassion and courage.  Do it by noticing for them what they may not recognize in themselves.  Tell them their own story from a different perspective.  They will smile.

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PULSE Conversations, SHIFT Happens
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PULSE CPR

Reviving PULSE.

After a couple of less active years where I was working for Parks Canada or just busy writing, it is actually fun to have a schedule and to interact with PULSE professionals again.  This morning I did my second 2014 webinar.  PULSE Professionals from Red Deer, Alberta and the Washington DC area as well as from Ghana in Africa joined the session to review the Five Stages of the Frame and the significance, the theory and the skills associated with each Prepare, Uncover, Learn, Search and Explain.

Here is the link to the recording.  If you have 40 minutes for a quick refresher it might be fun.  ( Ignore the right brain/left brain bit…. I think I got it backwards which will not surprise those of you who know me well and know that left and right have never been easy for me.)

http://pulseinstitute.adobeconnect.com/p66aton3eer/

If you have comments or questions I would be happy to respond.

I have new appreciation for CPR – Cardiovascular Pulmonary Resuscitation, having witnessed it in hospital recently, when the patient coded and the staff spring into action.  At PULSE it has represented Content, Process and Response; the three aspects of an exchange that influence the outcome and although it can be vital to maintaining relationships, it is not critical to life itself.  CPR PULSE style is used to save relationships and revive the space between people and not as a life saving procedure in the case of cardiac arrest.

I do hope that our PULSE will be resuscitated, that it will come back to life.  I hope we can reignite the flame for the FRAME that helps people have successful social exchanges.  It is still simple yet complex like all of us. Today I reviewed the Process in some detail.  In future sessions we will indeed look at the Content of PULSE, the theory behind it and the Response of PULSE, the heart of it, the skills that make it work.  Our purpose is to show its relevance in today’s fast paced, digital communications.  Lives are changed with one text or one email.  If we can use the PULSE Frame to inform not only face to face conversations but also these electronic methods of social exchange maybe we can create a gentle, honest, open , specific transaction that won’t cost us relationships but will work to improve them as we interact using the Frame.

The next session will be on April 4th :  PULSE Checklists.  I will present and review with you at least 10 specific uses for the PULSE Frame and how to gently shift it to your purposes.  The link is on our website www.pulseinstitute.com on the calendar.

Hope you can join us.

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BEACHs, Blog post, PULSE Conversations, SHIFT Happens
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Re – membering PULSE

I have been working on combining the two PULSE books today.  They both include some of the history of PULSE and some clear distinctions that make PULSE unique. I love the five stages and how easily they occur in regular conversation.  I love how you can watch the patterns emerge and people move through orientations to the past, the present and the future all the while shifting directions from away from the other,  to with the other and toward the other in a kind of dance that fills the space between them.  Each social exchange helps them define their own social being.

I write about the patterns as a structure to use when the exchange is difficult, when there is conflict or miscommunication.  It is also so helpful in everyday life.  Whether it is a face to face or a voice to voice or a text to text encounter really doesn’t matter.  Social interaction guided by good communication that furthers the social capital of the sender and receiver always contains the five stages, anyway.  They occur naturally.   Prepare, Uncover, Learn, Search and Explain.

Prepare for the social interaction by defining purpose, process, protocol, people.  Some times these are tacitly understood but if there is no clear understanding or assumptions are made that are not shared then things can go very wrong.

Uncover the circumstance that lead to the encounter … the past.

Learn what’s important about the circumstance  in the present and identify BEACHs to use as criteria for change.

Search possibilities for a future that will meet the criteria.

Explain a plan of action with enough detail to make it sustain able.

The guiding questions move us through past to present and future orientations when you need them .  The encounter map works to ensure that we use all of the directions.  People have an opportunity to move away, to move with and toward when the structure is followed.

Each stage has critical elements.  Mastering the elements takes time.  Learning to use the frame is a little easier.

In Prepare for example it is important to use GHOST – Gentle Honest Open Specific Talk.  It is important to be thorough and deliberate as you explain or have the other explain the rules of the game as you understand them.  This is where you take an Appreciative Stance and ACT AS IF the encounter will result in a mutually beneficial outcome.  The more you know about AI and how it works the better you get at Prepare. It is here that relational well being comes into play.

In Uncover it is important to listen deeply – with HEART – Hush, Empathize (feel their pain or joy), Attend, Reflect and Trust. Passive listening without judgement or bias, allowing the past to surface and sometimes change in the telling of the story with a different audience and allowing the shared title of the story to emerge. Emotional well being is important here.

In Learn it is important to prove that you are listening with POWER – Paraphrase, Open questions, WAIT, Empathize (name their pain or joy) and Reframe.  Social selves emerge as do rules for future encounters and redefining of past encounters as Beliefs, Expectations, Assumptions, Concerns and Hopes are shared, acknowledged and understood. Relational well being is again at play here.

In Search it is important to focus on creativity and possibilities and the future.  Patience is key as ideas are generated later to be vetted against the criteria of the BEACHs. Intellectual well being can make a difference here.

In Explain the other side of the brain, the analytical side is asked to perform as the details of the plan emerge and are tested to determine their sustainability. Again intellectual well being makes a difference.

Each stage requires levels of  intellectual, emotional, relational, physical and spiritual well-being.  More about that later.

Today was about remembering PULSE and the power of social exchanges.  It was about expanding that thinking to include not just conversation but any human social interaction that contributes to us knowing who we really are, or re-membering ourselves as part of a greater whole.

Remembering PULSE and RE-membering PULSE.

We are working on getting you back into the habit of PULSE.  Watch for a Newsletter next week and notice the changes on the website and join again if you can.  Making it membership based has been the plan for a year or two now and we are closer today.

Adding value for our members and adding to the list of those of you who read and learn is the PULSE 2.0 Purpose, to give you the courage to make a change and the confidence to make a difference.  The Process is to generate Products and Opportunities that help you gain the courage and the confidence you need to have successful social exchanges, when and where you need it.  The Protocol remains a gentle, honest, open, specific, talk approach, using PULSE to teach PULSE.  The People are PULSE professionals past, present and future with a shared desire to create the best social exchanges and build social capital for brighter futures.

Thanks for the member – ies. (smile)

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PULSE Conversations, PULSE Enneagram, SHIFT Happens
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Independent Spirit – SHIFT

So let’s continue the SHIFT approach to evaluating and perhaps adjusting your life to meet your needs with a discussion of what Independent Spirit means.   The middle finger represents relational intelligence.  I have chosen to use independence as a scale for measuring relational intelligence because having a sense of independence is so important to be able to manage yourself in any relationship.  An independent spirit means that you are fully aware that you deserve to be treated well, to have respect and consideration as well as to give it to others.  It means that you make decisions based on your own AND the others best interests. That way you are better prepared to manage the space between you and the other person.

It is less likely that you will become lost or stuck in a relationship that is toxic if you have a great measure of self-esteem to work with.  No doubt that self-esteem will come from high scores on all of the scales.  It is important to know who you are and that you can stand on your own two feet. Know, too, what you have to offer in the relationship whether it is a work environment or not as well as what you can gain from being in the relationship.

Learning about yourself in relation to others is important.  There are many psychological tests and self-help books that can help you with that.  I love the Enneagram for helping me understand the space between me and others and how I can manipulate my responses to get the responses that serve us both. Manipulate might be a strong word but it really means that you can adjust what you are doing to improve the interaction and make it healthy for both of you.

Some might argue that interdependence should be the top of the scale for relational intelligence.  Maybe …. But a measure of  independence is a prerequisite for healthy interdependence.  Let’s start there.  Are my needs being met in the relationship?  If not renegotiate the relationship or leave it all together.  This may sound a little one-sided.  The other question of course is are THEIR needs being met?  If not what can I do to meet those needs and maintain the relationship?

You have heard me talk about the five As before.  Relational well-being really needs all five.  Appreciation, affection, approval, acceptance and allowing for both parties to gain a level of independent well-being within your relationships.

What I mean by independent spirit is better understood if you consider life as a talk show. You would be Oprah.  You are in charge of who the guests are on the show.  You control the conversation and when appropriate you give them the stage but you always maintain that independent decision-making about what’s good for the show.

It is the middle finger.  Use it if you need to to get what you need to maintain your relational well-being.

 

 

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Blog post, PULSE Conversations
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SHIFT happens

There are many ways to measure your well-being.  This week I have been thinking about one that is more portable … one you can keep on your finger tips for quick check ins when you are going through a rougher time in your evolution as a person.  I suppose this could become an APP but for now all you need is five fingers to set and remember the scales that will help you assess your state of mind, body and heart.  I have always talked about the three orientations that people.  Past oriented people are more likely to live in the heart and feel things deeply.  Present people are more likely to live in their body and fill the spaces they occupy.  Future oriented people are more likely to live in their minds, thinking deeply.  All of us have head heart and body so there is no escaping the past present future orientations.  Each can be identified as a Type of intelligence.  Many people are writing and study multiply intelligence and they do include head, heart and body kinds of knowing. I thought it would be helpful to have a quick assessment tool to evaluate where you are, how you are doing, by your own determination on these and two others.  Besides physical intelligence, mental or intellectual intelligence and physical intelligence I have added relational or social intelligence and spiritual intelligence to the Check In List.

Beginning with the mind, consider how SHARP your mind is today.  On a scale of one to ten, one being the foggiest day in your mind and ten being the brilliant day when you made great discoveries, how SHARP are you today? Use your preferred hand to slide that scale across your baby finger until you can feel and see how you feel right now.  If you are feeling SHARP you will end up near the tip of your finger.  If you are not feeling especially SHARP today you will be closer to the palm of your hand where the fingers come together to help each other.

Now on your ring finger consider the level of HAPPINESS you feel in your heart.  How joyful and happy are the emotions you are experiencing right now.  Again, slide your preferred hand up and down the ring finger of your other hand to determine a visual and sensational point to indicate that experience.  Closer to the palm is less happy than closer to the tip and truly joyous might be off the end of the finger.

Now for your middle finger.  This is a social intelligence measure and the scale relates to your level of INDEPENDENCE.  How independent of spirit are you feeling today?  I am not sure why I choose independence as the measure except that experiencing a sense of independence and confidence and courage allows you to develop relationships on your terms.  Closer to the palm means you are depending on others for your social well-being while closer to the tip indicates that you are in charge of your own social agenda.

The pointer finger or index finger represents your body and its level of FITNESS.  How FIT are you?  Closer to the palm indicates that work needs to be done to maximize the energy that our bodies can provide. I think of another acronym that I use as a reminder to myself about fitness.  RENEW – Rest, Energy, Nutrition, Exercise and Water.  These are the things that contribute to a healthy and fit body. Are you getting the right combination of these things to keep you fit?

The thumb represents the soul, the spiritual intelligence that connects us with mankind. Here the measure is TRUST.  How trusting a soul are you?  Do you have faith in mankind? Can you trust your fellow human beings or a deity that you have come to know as kind and loving?  Can you move beyond yourself in a way that benefits others and the planet?  This scale is about consciousness which can be raised if we trust each other.

Each time you use your preferred hand to measure the scales on your other hand you will notice that the results are not constant.  Where we are on a given day at a given hour can SHIFT.  Using the scales SHIFT scales can provide immediate feedback on the depth and direction of the SHIFT and can promote corrective action.  Keeping things on an even keel, especially in difficult times is key and working toward the tips of the fingers and beyond on all of scales can improve our attitudes, our perspectives and our lives.

On a scale of 1 to 10 measure your SHIFT.

Sharpness of mind
Happiness of heart
Independence of spirit
Fitness of body
Trust in mankind

Over the next week or so I will write about each of the areas of intelligence and suggest ways to change the results on each of the fingers.  Meanwhile please let me know if you use the scales and how they work for you.

MERPS – Mental, Emotional, Relational, Physical and Spiritual+ Well-being indices.

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