A Shift in Thinking

As I moved through the different positions in my work the opportunity was given to me to learn and expand in many areas. However, three not only expanded my understanding of others but opened my heart to appreciate the humanness of others as well as myself.

For a time the agency embraced Structural Family Therapy as a service to families and I was blessed to be involved in the training. My mind and soul were introduced to systems thinking as a way of working with families. It was one of the most invigorating times in my career and led me to begin to view the world from a systems rather than linear perspective. It changed the way that I looked not only at families and their problems but how I looked at the workplace and the world. It also gave me such an appreciation for the pioneering work of Salvador Menuchin and Virginia Satir.

After that experience the county embraced the practice of management across all departments through the Total Quality movement. I was trained as a facilitator and given the opportunity to work with several departments other than my own. Although the mathematical, chart making side of it was not to my liking, the people side of it was exciting and interesting. Helping teams look at their work and explore ways to improve it put me in a position of learning nonjudgmental facilitation and gave me a tremendous appreciation for the work people were doing.

Flowing into this time and after was an introduction to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) for looking at how we prefer to function in the world and the use of it with teams. My own MBTI score was so accurate it was amusing and I wanted to know more. Several wonderful staff in the Human Resources training division worked with me and let me co-facilitate some team building with them. Then amazingly several teams within the agency asked me to work with them on team building. During this time I was highly energized when doing this work. Not only did I learn so much about why I react in certain ways to others but I began to appreciate differences and how we need differences to effectively get a job done as well as make the world interesting.

These opportunities expanded my understanding of my humanity and the humanity of others. It nurtured the growth of compassion and as well as the growth of my desire to work with groups of people to help them see their significance here on earth. Although the dream did not fully appear at this time the curtain over it began to part.

Have you ever experienced a shift in the way you look at yourself or others? What happened to cause the shift? How do you feel as you think about it now?


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