Charles Dickens Quest Quote – The March Choice

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” – Charles Dickens

This reminds me of being a kid and curling up in those warm spots in the sun amongst dry, old leaves. Then walking home on the shadow side of a hill and picking my way across old snow.

The same day, two very different experiences – summer and winter all in one. Today is like that for you and me. Which one will we choose – appreciation or complaint?

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The MBTI, DiSC, StrengthsFinder, Firo-B and Second Intelligence Smarts

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I use lots of different assessments with teams. Four that I use frequently are MBTI, DiSC, StrengthsFinder and Firo-B. If you’re wondering, out of those, the MBTI is my favorite, StrengthsFinder my second favorite. Why? That’s the story for another day. What I’m most interested here is what they give people.

These assessments give people a glimpse at what hides in plain sight, their second intelligence. The Persian poet Rumi says, “This second knowing is a fountainhead from within you, moving out… one already completed and preserved inside you. A spring overflowing its springbox.”

This second intelligence is in our DNA, as unique to us as our fingerprints are. But there is little to no reinforcement in external life to access this intelligence. When you feel empty, missing something, not-enough, not-good-enough that’s a sign your second intelligence is being ignored.

We’re often unused to putting our second intelligence in charge, or even knowing what that intelligence is for us. Personality assessments are a gateway into that world. Each person on a team begins to realize, “I am unique. I am different than these other people, and that’s a wonderful thing.”

The Medicine Wheel teachings say that each of us entered the world in a unique spot on the wheel. Your second intelligence has much in common with mine, but it is unique to you. Your MBTI result may have a lot in common with mine, or not, but it’s unique to you. And even if we have the same result, how we live in that neighborhood is uniquely different.

What unique way through your day will your second intelligence guide you through?

 

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

MBTI Team Quest – Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.
Firo-B – Unlock the mysteries of human interaction. Improve working relationships within a team and individual effectiveness.
DiSC – Help team members assess how they can best use each dimension of four behaviors – dominance, influence, steadiness, conscientiousness – to better communicate and work together.
StrengthsFinder – Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action.

 

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Which Intelligence is More Important, the First or Second? (Costa Rica Tales)

I traveled recently in Costa Rica, trying to navigate public transit and shopping for food in a Spanish speaking country. I last studied Spanish over a decade ago. So this was a chance to try out both intelligences.

The Persian poet Rumi says the first intelligence is, “one acquired, as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts from books and from what the teacher says.”

The other one? “This second knowing is a fountainhead from within you, moving out… one already completed and preserved inside you. A spring overflowing its springbox.”

The first intelligence wanted to get busy fast, learning and relearning as much Spanish as possible. That was helpful. However, when the time came to use it, when someone spoke impossibly fast to me, the first intelligence tightened up and froze.

It took a conscious effort to switch to second intelligence mode, to allow imperfection and even failure in as part of the process. The second intelligence was more relaxed, more interested in the unique moment than success. Real smiles came more easily on both sides, curiosity bloomed. And some dormant knowledge of Spanish loosened up – not always but definitely sometimes.

This process happened again and again, day after day. Every time the message was reinforced. The second intelligence is by far more important, more helpful, more enjoyable. The first intelligence is useful and even necessary at certain points, but it’s there to help the second intelligence do its job. The second intelligence needs to be the parent, the boss, in the driver’s seat.

When you’re in a moment of uncertainty, stress or trial in your day, play with having the two intelligences respond to the same situation. Which one is more helpful for you?

 

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success.
StrengthsFinder – Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action.
Strengths At Work – Gallup research says less than 20 percent of us have the opportunity to do what we do best everyday. Learn how to put your strengths in play for consistent, near-perfect performance.

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Snow By Vladimir Nabokov (Pocket Poem)

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Snow

By Vladimir Nabokov

 

Oh, that sound! Across snow –

creak, creak, creak:

somebody walking in long boots of felt.

Stout, spirally twisted ice,

sharp points inverted, hangs from the eaves.

The snow is crumpy and shiny.

(Oh, that sound!)

My hand sled behind me, far from dragging,

seems to run by itself: it knocks at my heels.

I settle upon it and coast

down the steep, down the smooth:

felt boots straddled,

I hold on to the string.

Whenever I’m falling asleep,

I cannot help think:

Maybe you will find a moment to visit me,

my warmly muffled up, clumsy childhood.

 

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Rumi and the Second Intelligence

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Rumi and the Second Intelligence, that sounds like an 80s band doesn’t it?

I spent the last month focusing on what the poet Rumi calls the ‘second knowing’. I’m familiar all my life with the first intelligence – the one that gathers and acquires, the IQ workout. But “this other intelligence” is one that I am spottier at paying attention to. We all are.

Rumi says:

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,
and it doesn’t move from outside to inside
through conduits of plumbing-learning.

This can blow the first intelligence mind. Wait, it’s done already? We’re also culturally taught not to trust ourselves. Instead trust the rule of the family, the tribe, the government, the corporation.

Yet here we are. When we read those words, at least for me, they ring deeply true. That spring that is often covered with the world’s detritus gets cleared out in this moment and we can see our own fresh fluidity, our natural inner wisdom.

We can use other words for this. I call it “passion” in At Your Best. Positive Psychology calls this flow. StrengthsFinder calls these talents and strengths. Emotional Intelligence calls this the neocortex. Poets call this the heart.

This powerful force wipes away uncertainty, waffling. This is a knowing. And it inspires and engenders trust in one’s self. Nothing needs to be put in, acquired. It’s already there: 

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

We are so powerful, well beyond our knowing. We hide it well, it can seem safer that way. But as Robert Frost wrote, “So all who hide too well away, Must speak and tell us where they are.”

What’s the wisdom your clear flowing internal spring is ready to give you today? What new trust can grow from you listening to the ever-present fountainhead inside?

 

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

StrengthsFinder – Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action.
Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success.
Strengths At Work – Gallup research says less than 20 percent of us have the opportunity to do what we do best everyday. Learn how to put your strengths in play for consistent, near-perfect performance.

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March With Nature and Get the Work Done

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Ten days ago I was happily sledding on a sunny day with two feet of snow on the ground. Five days later? I walked the same sunny hill, no snow now, and no jacket, gloves scarf, hat – it was a t-shirt day.

Everything around us (and inside us) changes all the time. Some changes are more noticeable than others. March is a powerful change month. It’s the only month that is actually a command to action: march! The ground, the trees, the flowers, all will be quite different by the end of the month. And sweet Daylight Savings Time will return as well.

This change is well beyond us. Luckily for you I’m not in charge of the action of the seasons. (If I were, there’d still be a lot of snow on the ground right now!). The enormous focus that nature has to create change dwarfs us all. If you think we humans are powerful and numerous, what’s the ratio of trees to humans on earth? 60 trees to 1 human.

Nature’s grand focus elegantly gets the work done. I’d like you and I both to hop on board this amazing pipeline of purpose. Let’s take the inspiration that’s all around us and focus elegantly on what’s most important to our work and our lives. Nature’s grand focus elegantly gets the work done. I’d like you and I both to hop on board this amazing pipeline of purpose. Let’s take the inspiration that’s all around us and focus elegantly on what’s most important to our work and our lives. There are a thousand small cuts of distraction every day. Let’s get the work done – the real work, the work that matters, no matter how scary or seemingly overwhelming. What seed to you want to plant and grow?

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

How to Lead Change – Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts.
Change Quest – Time for you and your team to evolve quickly, whether you’re driving the change or the rest of the world is.
40 Days to Change For Good – Don’t just manage change, lead it. Create a successful forty-day blueprint to lead a change that lasts.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – Quix Pix

This big budget movie was probably hard to escape your notice when it was in the theaters. But if you skipped it, check it out. The big reason? Because it has so much heart, rare for mostly-cynically-manipulative big-budget cash-grabs. Also, J.K. Rowling has matured as a writer. And she had control over most major aspects of the film, including casting. The lead actors chosen are not Hollywood-bland/beautiful. There’s realness to them, and real magic to the story and location as well.

 

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Amygdala or Neocortex? Fear or Love? Which Path is the First Intelligence Taking?

The first intelligence is, according to the Persian poet Rumi, the “one acquired, as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts from books and from what the teacher says…you stroll with this intelligence in and out of fields of knowledge.”

As with so many potentially helpful things, how you use it is more important than what you use it for. By how I mean: what’s the intent behind it?

Here’s an example from when I was preparing to travel in Costa Rica. There was an element of fear and anxiety as I attempted to cram Spanish in, hoping to stay safe by preparing more fully. The how here is from fear. The amygdala in my brain was in charge, working hard to stay safe and avert potential disaster. This is fear-based first intelligence. It’s a sad place to be – we’ll never prepare enough to satisfy the amygdala. We’re not ever going to be perfect enough.

The day after I landed I had a four bus ride to get to Cahuita, on the coast. I listened to Spanish lessons for several hours of that ride, dreamily staring out of the window as fresh and new landscape unfolded. I was relaxed, my amygdala was relaxed – it knew I was safe for a few hours. My neocortex perked up, the part of my brain that is interested in happiness and connection. It was excited to learn Spanish! And it didn’t care what kind of progress was made, it just felt like exploring. That’s love of something showing up.

The same Spanish lessons, two very different internal environments, two very different first intelligence experiences. Fear or love – two different paths through the same territory. I’ll take love!

 

 

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success.

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Jayne Hannah Fun Q and A

I feel extremely lucky. Why? I’ve got an all star joining the Quixote Consulting team. I have a new corporate events manager to introduce to you – Jayne Hannah!

Jayne has been a dear friend for two decades now. We’ve worked together in different capacities on events hundreds of times. She has been managing corporate events for over 30 years and always leads with her heart. Jayne brings a level of caring, flexibility and attention to detail that is unparalleled.

She’s the best event manager I’ve ever met – and I’ve worked with hundreds. I’ve never met anyone with that unique skill of simultaneously ensuring that the logistical aspects of an event are perfect, of forging a strong, personal connection with each client and making sure everyone involves smiles and laughs along the way to the completion of an amazing event..

I hope you get to meet and work with her this year. We’re ready and excited to work with you.

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Q and A With Jayne Hannah

What is the most meaningful part of your work?

I enjoy transforming our client’s expectations into the participants’ experience, and to see and feel that in action. There is nothing like seeing something being produced from the paper into the conference room, and to see the shift of energy and even perspective.

What is a great memory from a team building program?

A client contact who organized and participated in a charitable program, said to me at the end “I don’t want to leave this room, as it’s been such a positive experience.” She looked like a very happy child at the end of a “best day ever.” It was great to see such an uplifted face from a busy, successful CEO.

What quirky life experience(s) has been surprisingly helpful in your life and work?

Performing as Donald Duck in full costume – as it made me aware of communication and showing emotion through limited movement and without the use of your own voice and face.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

CHARLIE CHAPLIN – oh yes!!! He was in his nineties and in a wheelchair and I was a little girl.

What was your favorite childhood meal?

Steak and mashed potatoes.

Who would you most like to see in concert from the front row?

David Bowie.

What is the best way to spend a rainy weekend?

With George Clooney.

What historical time period would you like to visit? 

1920s for the jazz and gorgeous clothing.

When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up?

An actress or an air hostess.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments?

Being a care partner for my husband.

For what in your life do you feel the most grateful?

Friends and the ability to love.

If you could script the basic plot for the dream you will have tonight, what would the story be?

George Clooney, that’s all I can say.

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February Quest Quote

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it. ~John Burroughs, “Winter Sunshine”

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