dimanche 29 janvier 2012

How to apply the Principles of Alfie Kohn as a parent (cooperation instead of competition)?

How to apply the Principles of Alfie Kohn as a parent (cooperation instead of competition)?
Summary of the book :

Alfie Kohn's book "No Contest" had a definite influence on my way of thinking about competition (see link above). The competition is not negative in the game. There is no shame in wanting to win a football match. But why apply the principles of play in the education of our children, leading to increase this idea in the world of our business. In a football, there is only one winner at the end.

The book A. Kohn makes us understand that competition is destructive to self-esteem of our children, they interfere with learning. But the world is competitive. This constraint exists and will exist when my children will have 20 years. The question to ask is how to raise our children in a competitive world?

The answer is not simple. The response from our parents does not seem satisfactory : “I give my child how to be competitive in order to survive in the world”. The education system has led us to the competition. Our quotes in school, our extracurricular activities, our entrance examinations were held at university to build competitive men. I do not blame my parents, these beliefs they were taught. Although the work of Alfie Kohn has been made in the 80's, it’s still underestimated in today's world.

So what? Teach these theories to my children ... but certainly and modestly at home, we share with my wife these principles:

• Do not compare the performance of our daughters with another child
• Do not to use words that reinforce competition : Who plays the best … ?

• Do not bargain your love... against an outcome. “If you do this, you will be the nicest girl in the world”.

• Do recognize your role model knowing it’s a learning process…


Even if sometimes I forget one of these principles, my dear wife is always there to remind me.

Let us be aware of ? Stop cheating !

The value of the competition was founded on myths. There is a better way for our children to work, play and live.

dimanche 22 janvier 2012

Asking good questions

Asking good questions is key for any system thinker to adress his paradigms or managerial and systems paradigms. It's a way to adress the conventional way we 've to do project, to create, to innovate, to solve problems or to improve a system.  We don't learn by receiving advices, directives, but we learn by looking for the answers...We don't learn though questions that confirm opinions, beliefs but we learn from questions that let us experiment.  We don't learn by Command and Control questions as "have you think that...?...

It requires for many of us  not only skills and methods but also practices...
From questions about tasks  to questions that lead us to understand the whole (as purpose, measure and methods,...), some framework should help. 

Even if the last 10 years, I've learned to ask questions.  I don't know much about asking good questions.  I feel that asking good questions requires more than good questions...and it will take a long time to master. 

A link from HRB : http://blogs.hbr.org/ashkenas/2011/08/the-art-of-asking-questions.html