Byron's Babbles

Impossibility To Possibility Thinking

Posted in DTK, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Mindset Mondays by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on September 22, 2020

This week’s lesson in Mindset Mondays With DTK was entitled “Challenge What’s Impossible.” I loved David Taylor-Klaus‘ story of early in life deciding he would not become a father because he had come to believe in his high school Human Physiology and Anatomy class (with his favorite teacher, Mrs. Southworth, by the way) that there were just too many things that could go wrong in human development – it was just too high a risk. Bottom-line, he got past this “impossibility thinking” and has three healthy children who completely changed his life. David told us this is proof that the impossible is possible.

As I read this my mind went to how everyone, 192 days ago when the World Health Organization declared us in a Global Pandemic, went “owe my gosh, there is no way we will be able to read facial expressions, body language, or build relationships using virtual options for connecting. In the book The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives, author Shankar Vedantam taught us that when people lose the ability to read facial expressions, they also lose the ability to make quick, unconscious judgements about people and scenarios. Vedantam also discussed research from Rick van Baaran done in an Applebee’s in the Dutch town of Heerlen that showed a statistical significance in size of tip if the server repeated the order back exes actly as ordered. This research showed how people respond positively when they feel in sync with each other.

Well, let me tell you, believe we have made the impossible possible using virtual technology to connect. I’m not so sure I am not better and reading faces on Zoom than I was in person. In fact, I stopped a professional development I was doing to ask two participants if they were texting each other. They said “yes” and wanted to know how I knew that (it freaked them out a little). I explained that I was watching there expressions and could tell when one got the text from the other and smiled/laughed and then the other reacted to that reaction. It was not a problem that they were texting because actually they were talking about the content of the webinar, but I needed to see if my skills on reading people had improved that much. Additionally, I believe I am able to uses names (because they are attached to the video of the person on most all virtual connection platforms. So, while being in-person is still my preferred way to connect, at least for now, I, for one, and I know others who would agree, we can make the impossibility of building relationships, reading people, and getting in sync with each other using virtual technology to connect possible.

The lesson here: Way too often we quickly decide something is impossible and then live as if it is absolutely true. David Taylor-Klaus taught us in this fourth chapter that “Labeling something as ‘impossible’ is a close cousin to giving up all together” (p. 60). By believing we can make the seemingly impossible possible, we can create a completely different future for ourselves and those we serve.


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