In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffer
Like you, I’ve been watching the economy (local, national, global) coming apart at the seams, and witnessing the devastating effects in my own community. The local paper keeps the fact of it in front of us. Cover stories about how the lumber yard and automobile dealers lost 30% of their business last year, and there’s no telling how far they’ve fallen from there since then, and how much worse off the people who depend on them are. Stories about layoffs across the valley, the state, the country abound.
At a recent dinner party, I heard the conversations people are having about worst case scenarios and survivalism. Talks of creating an alternative stock market, alternative currency, sharing homes and cars, because of the calamitous confluence of a collapsed economy, peak oil and global warming. I hear the fear in the voices of my coaching clients and see it in the faces of my audience: How will we survive all this?
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. -H. G. Wells
Here’s what I know for sure. I know that the more people focus on their fear, the more fearful they tend to become, and that fear can be a raging fire that consumes creativity and resourcefulness in responding to change. Most of what is changing right now is a psychological side effect to the loss of confidence Americans have in our currency (the symbol of our agreements about value) and our institutions (Education, Health, Finance, Business -the connecting points that hold our society together). Belt tightening is reasonable. Thinking ahead is reasonable. But hyper-fixation on money has a price of its own.
Blinding ourselves with perceived obstacles, scary statistics and fearful possibilities is certainly one choice. It’s understandable how good people fall into this bad option. We all know the cautionary tale of Noah warning his neighbors of a coming flood, their failure to listen and subsequent drowning. Nobody wants to make that kind of mistake.
Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back. -Chinese Saying
But there are other choices. Like facing the future, for example. Like realizing that we are creating our tomorrow today, and applying ourselves to creating today for a better tomorrow. If we change our minds about what all this change actually means, develop confidence in our ability to respond to change, see and embrace the opportunity in it first as individuals and then as communities of shared interest, we can influence what happens, and turn change into needed change, positive change, constructive change. To make that choice, you need reliable knowledge, dependable and appropriate skill and mental flexibility. Said another way, you need confidence in your response - ability.
Those who fare best in foul weather know how to move with change. Those who want to do well in our changing society must know how to deal with stressed out people, how to manage their own reactions, how to present ideas in a compelling way, and how to listen and build relationship and community.
I want to help, and I can. I have a treasure chest of skills that could and should make a real difference for people unwilling to play spectator on the sidelines of history or pour their remaining resources into worst case scenarios (think Y2K …never in human history have so many done so much to make nothing happen!) I’m eager to support anyone who refuses to be sidelined and is ready to play a part in defining the future. If you’re reading this, I want to work with you.
It is in fact a part of the function of education to help us escape, not from our own time — for we are bound by that — but from the intellectual and emotional limitations of our time. -T.S. Eliot
Like every other business, the business of training is also changing. In the past, it cost a lot of money to get needed training, and most people left the decision about that training to someone else. Their company or professional organization decided on the topic, bought and paid for the delivery of services that required travel and housing.
The new paradigm in training, in adult education and learning, is about accessibility and affordability. Desirable skills must be portable, so that if your work changes, you can take what you know with you to increase your options and odds of success.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. - Alvin Toffler
No question that there is lots of free skills-related information available to anyone willing to invest the time to seek it out, sort it out and absorb it (free information like the material on this blog, for example) But real education is almost always about the successful transfer of knowledge and skill from educator to student, and there’s just no substitute for personal guidance and direction.
I want to offer you training via telephone in the areas of change, communication, persuasion and life skills in a format that makes it possible for you to get what you need and me to sustain my ability to provide it. So I’d like to hear about your interests regarding topics, time frames, and what you perceive to be a reasonable cost.
He that teaches himself hath a fool for his master. - Ben Franklin
Would you give me 5 minutes of your time and take a brief survey? I’d sure appreciate your help!I’ve created a survey and you’ll find it here.
As always, I’d love to hear your questions and comments about training, teleclasses, and methods you are using and ideas you are having to help you adapt to the changing economy.