A laugh, A lesson, and A blessing from Doug and Mildred Ramsey at positivepresentations.com Part 4 communications series

Hello Friends!!!!

What if you could lead interactive group meetings and harvest the very best ideas from the group in a minimum amount of time??????

 This newsletter will show you how........

Optimizing Group Communications


This month's Optimizing Group Communications .......the fourth in our series, introduces Dr Edward de Bono's "6 hats" tool to help facilitate interactive group sessions like, team meetings, creative brainstorms, classroom training, e-mail, internet,and phone. We also demonstrate using the simple but powerful technique in a lively simulated meeting. If you find this interesting and want more in depth training on "6 hats", we are introducing two new in-house seminars featuring Jay Wenburg, a master trainer for de Bono and long time friend of Mildred........... Highly recommended........next issue "Mildred's secret tips on public speaking"

Super Supervisor Communication Skills Series:

1. Breakthroughs in Communications.(a historical overview and a peek into the future)
3 - D Communication skills. (Connecting with team members' body, mind and spirit using Mildred's employee triangle).
3. Effective One way Communication Skills (using FAD technique for one on one or one to group reporting)
4. Optimizing Group Communications (this issue) (Applying de Bono's "6 hats" to interactive sessions like, team meetings, creative brainstorms, classroom training, e-mail, internet, phone).
Mildred's secret tips on Public Speaking. (Tips that have made Mildred Live! seminars so successful)


A Lesson Optimizing Group Communications
A Laugh Thinking Jokes "laugh and the world laughs with you cry..."
A Blessing "Kyle's Story" (may need handkerchief)
We've got Mail from you "Mildred's message "a blessing to chemical company"

What's up and what's new Mildred on National TV, Two new on-site seminars, prices for SS gold pins slashed, and new downloads

4 Quotes for the Month"JF Kennedy, William James, Mildred on training soldiers for Iraq
Mildred's Super Supervisor Challenge Practice "6 hat" thinking
Featured Product: "2 new on-site seminars featuring Jay Wenberg"
FREE Downloads : "New section "
Positive Zone Back Issues: "Super Supervisor 12 people skills series
Contact us: "contacts, copy right and privacy policy"

The Super Supervisor


Someone once said "The whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts" and group thinking can be better than that of any single individual. How many times have your ideas been enlarged and improved upon by the ideas, thoughts and suggestions of others?

If this is true, then why have we all experienced group meetings that were a waste of time, fell short of expectations, or worse, counter productive.

Three of the main causes of breakdowns and waste in group communications are:
1. Ideas get shot down before they can hatch. (a terrible waste)
2. People are not on the same page. (leads to mass confusion)
3. Arguments lead to wasted time, boredom sets in, and less dominant participants leave. (mentally if not physically).

Leading companies like Motorola, Nokia, HP, Campbells Soup have discovered Debono's amazingly simple "6 hats" tool can prevent breakdowns, eliminate waste, and harvest the group's best thinking in less time....Let's see how the tool works.


The "6 hats" tool for facilitating group thinking
Debono defined 6 kinds of productive thinking and assigned a colored hat to "wear" for each kind of thinking. See table below:


6 kinds of productive thinking that goes on in a group:

The process (eg agenda, objectives, harvesting effort, etc)


Sharing background facts and information


Creating alternative ideas


Examining positive aspects of alternative ideas


Examining negative aspects of alternative ideas


Gut feelings


Blue hat thinking
White hat thinking
Green hat thinking
Yellow hat thinking
Black hat thinking
Red hat thinking

Using "6 hats" tool to facilitate a more productive meeting
Pretend you are the facilitator for the group and hence you will wear the blue hat (thinking about process) all through the meeting. To guide the group thinking simply ask members to imagine putting on the appropriate hat and then harvest the best ideas from the group. This "parallel thinking" keeps everyone focused and on the same page (or wearing the same hat). It also eliminates arguments, premature squashing of ideas, and encourages less dominant participants to contribute. The general flow for a meeting is from left to right in the table above, but as Facilitator you can apply the hats in any sequence and as many times as necessary until you have sufficiently harvested the groups best thinking, then you can summarize and close.......let's review how this process might work in practice.

"6 hats" in action (imaginary 30 minute meeting to decide if Debono's "6 hats" tool might benefit our organization?").
Let's pretend you have gathered your team for a 30 minute meeting to focus on "Could the "6 hats tool" benefit our organization".The Picture table below illustrates how you could use all 6 hats to quickly and thoroughly explore this topic in 30 minutes. Guiding Facilitator remarks are suggested (in blue). Notice in each picture someone is wearing a blue hat (that is you..the super supervisor leading the session and monitoring progress).

Imagine each picture represents the type of productive thinking going on within groups as follows:

Blue hat thinking

Process (eg agenda, objectives, outcomes)

Facilitator: "The focus for today's meeting is "Could the "6 hats" benefit our organization". Objective is to decide if it might be worthwhile for any of our group communications.........
1 minute Start meeting with your blue hat on, purpose, goal, etc

White hat thinking

Gathering and sharing all the factual data needed

Facilitator: " Debono found 6 kinds of productive thinking and assigned color hats to each type... "parallel thinking" (everyone wearing same hat) prevents breakdowns and focuses group thinking to get the best ideas....etc
11 minutes Teach basic "6 hats" to group, (this is white hat thinking)

Green hat thinking 

Creative thinking to get new ideas

Facilitator:"Let's put on the green hat and explore what kinds of group communications you think it might apply?.....(eg meetings, email, reports, new product brainstorms, etc)...
5 minutes Get them thinking creatively with the green hat

Yellow hat thinking

Examining the positive aspects of an idea

Facilitator:"Now let's put on the yellow hat to see what are some the benefits of "6 hats" tool for our organization .....(shorter, more focused email correspondence, more, better new product ideas, etc.)....
5 minutes Get them thinking about pros with yellow hat

Black hat thinking

Examining the negatives of an idea

Facilitator:"Now let's put on the black. What are some the negatives (time required to teach the concepts, dilutes individual genius, etc.)...
5 minutes Get them thinking about cons with black hat

Red hat thinking

Gut feelings

Facilitator:"Put on the red hat and tell me what are your gut feelings about it? (Like it, don't like it, etc)....

1 minute

Get their gut feelings about it quickly....no explaination required

Blue hat thinking

Process (eg agenda, objectives, outcomes)

Facilitator:"We introduced "6 hats" and consensus is that it may improve communications. I suggest we try it in email and meetings for one month...to see if it worked...then we can take it from there...etc.

2 minutes

Summarize and close with your blue hat


That's all there is to it......with a little practice you will master a simple but powerful tool to "unleash the best thinking from your team for your organization"

If you like the concept you will be interested in our new "6 hats Facilitator Skills" for Super Supervisors......an in-house seminar based on de Bono's "6 hats" tool featuring "Jay Wenberg" See Featured Product below or email or call Doug at 336-887-6426.

NEW! "6 hats Facilitator Skills" for SuperSupervisors. On-site seminar featuring Jay Wenberg

Facilitator skills help leaders unleash the human potential in their team mates. Edward Debono's "6 hats" tool teaches how to facilitate meetings that get 66% more useful ideas in 33% less time. Availible in half day or full day formats (Full day format includes de Bono's "Lateral Thinking" (advanced green hat) training to enhance creativity and innovation) .click here for more information.




Jay Wenberg:
Mildred's introduction
"I have had the pleasure of working with Jay many times over the years. In addition to my Super Supervisor, Jay teaches a seminar based on de Bono's "6 hats" that enhance supervisor facilitator skills so important to unleashing the human potential in workers. Doug attended Jay's seminars and liked them so much that we highly recommend them to our clients"
click here for Jay's Bio.

  A LAUGH ^top  

Thinking Jokes

Creative excuses for not doing homework:
I didn't do it because I didn't want to add to MY TEACHER'S already heavy workload.

I made a paper plane out of it and it got hijacked.

I put it in a safe, but lost the combination.

Some aliens from outer space borrowed it so they could study how the human brain worked.

I loaned it to a friend, but he suddenly moved away.

I left it in my shirt and my mother put the shirt for washing.

My little sister ate it.

A sudden wind blew it out of my hand and I never saw it again.

I was kidnapped by terrorists and they only just let me go, so I didn't have time to do it.

The lights in our house went out, and I had to burn it to get enough light to see the fuse box.

Another pupil fell in a lake, and I jumped in to rescue him but unfortunately my homework drown.

I used it to fill a hole in my shoe, you wouldn't want it now.

My father had a nervous breakdown and he cut it up to make paper dolls.

I didn't do it, because I didn't want the other kids in the class to look bad

Deep Thoughts
A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

Anyone who thinks he is too small to make a difference has never been in bed with a mosquito.

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and the world laughs louder.

  A BLESSING ^top  

Kyle's Story
(Every one knows someone like this.)

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books.

I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes

My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. " They really should get lives.

"He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.

I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our high school class. (I teased him all the time about being a nerd).

He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak

Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled.

"Thanks," he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.

Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends...I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.

"Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable." I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse.

  WE GOT MAIL.....FROM YOU ^top  
Mildred's message a blessing to Fortune 100 Chemical Company

Dear Doug,

I have heard nothing but great comments about all your mother had to say and the way she said it. Everyone was impressed with how sincere she is and the fact that she does not mind sharing her experiences in a effort to help others better relate not only to the people they work with but those outside the work place as well.

There is an old spiritual hymn that says "If I can help somebody, as I pass along this way, then my living won't be in vain"

I want you to know that I feel blessed to have met Mrs. Ramsey and yourself, may God bless you and smile upon you in your efforts to help change lives.

I want to preview the Super Supervisor video series with our team leader development team to see if it can work into our existing training program so please send it to me at your earliest convenience. (note from Doug....they liked the preview and implemented the Super Supervisor video series)

God bless.

If you would like more information on Mildred or the Supervisor please visit positivepresentations.com




Good News
"We found a new supplier for these pins with the same great quality for half the price....and we are passing this savings on to you. These make excellent course completion or incentive awards. Gold plated with black enamel...sharp. Now only $2.50 each in quantity of 50 or more. (was $5.00) click here to purchase.

JOHN F KENNEDY "on opinions"

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought".

ADOLF HITLER "on the average man's thinking"

"What luck for leaders that men do not think".

WILLIAM JAMES "on prejudiced thinking"

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

WARREN BENNIS "on the challenge for enlightened leadership"

"The major challenge for leaders in the 21st century will be how to release the brain power of their organizations".

MILDRED RAMSEY "on the need for people skill training"

"Sending a new front line supervisor to the job without people skills training is like sending a soldier to war (eg Iraq) without basic training" (from The Super Supervisor)



Practice 6-hat thinking:

1. Practice putting on the various hats the next time you write and email or report, or facilitate a meeting to make sure you have thought through all the issues.

2. Notice 6 hats thinking while interacting with people until it feels natural. (Blue when they are thinking about process (eg organizing a meeting), White when pulling together facts and information, green when thinking creatively, yellow and black for critically examining the positive or negative alternatives, and red for gut feelings).

  POSITIVE ZONE BACK ISSUES (exclusive to subscribers) ^top  


Links to the Super Supervisor 1 and 2 People Skills Series (12 Issue) Recap:

Attention trainers using the Super Supervisor1 and 2 videos: These Positive Zone e-newsletters correspond to each of the 12 people skills in the series, We recommend subscribing your class to the Zone and having them read the newsletters for homework.

Click here to learn more about our Super Supervisor people skills video training series over 200,000 books and 3000 videos in use

Below are links to Positive Zone e-newsletters dedicated to each skill

From Super Supervisor 1 video People Skills 101
1. Getting response instead of reaction from subordinates.
2. Meeting the emotional needs of today's workers
3. Building Good Will .........good will=good work
4. Motivating with Respect and Recognition
5. Being a Super Role Model
6. Operating in the Positive Zone
From Super Supervisor 2 video People Skills 102
7 . Looking like a Leader and Acting like a winner
8 . Managing the Superior/Subordinate Factor
9 . Creating a team spirit with the will to win
10. Winning your People's Minds
11. The Magic in Using the Light Touch
12. Building Unity in the Workplace



New flyer reviews contents of Super Supervisor 1 and 2 Video Training options, pricing, and faxable order form download.


  CONTACT US ^top  

Letters to the Mildred: [email protected]
Suggestions, thoughts and ideas and general inquiries: [email protected]


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