Taking Our Series of Online Courses as a Group

A MESSAGE FROM RALPH KILMANN ABOUT BLENDED LEARNING:
HOW TO COMBINE OUR ONLINE COURSES WITH LIVE DISCUSSIONS

The members of the same work group (whether a department, task force, project group, cross-functional team, or process improvement team) will gain extra benefits from taking our series of online courses AS A GROUP. Rather than members of an organization taking our online courses separately and thus independently, learning key principles and practices with your workplace colleagues will not only enhance what every member learns from our online courses, but will also make it much easier to apply what is learned back on the job—where it counts.

Basically, when all group members (1) learn the same language and the same concepts, (2) review the same assessment tools and their personalized results, (3) analyze and discuss the same business cases, and (4) follow the same guidelines for effective behavior—BECAUSE all these principles are fully shared in the group, they are more likely to be put into practice when challenging problems and conflicts appear in the workplace.  

On this page, I outline how a work group can take full advantage of all the valuable materials in our series of online courses. The unnumbered paragraphs describe what members are asked to do on their own, such as watch the course videos, take assessment tools, or complete work sheets in their course manual. Meanwhile, the numbered paragraphs provide the detailed steps for learning the material through face-to-face or virtual group meetings. Depending on the unique circumstances and needs of each group, this process for blended learning can be adjusted or expanded. Nevertheless, the combination of unnumbered and numbered paragraphs serves as an effective framework for enabling work groups to acquire the most useful knowledge and skills from our online courses:

 

00. Expanding Consciousness Course

0. Quantum Transformation Course

1. BASIC Training in Conflict Management

2. GROUP Training in Conflict Management 

3. ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management

4. Culture Management Course

5. Critical Thinking Course

6. Team Management Course


Many times I've been asked: "What (or who) defines the membership of a work group?" While organizations often assign people to a work unit (whether full-time or part-time assignments), the key question is: "Whom do you interact with on a daily basis?" Often times, it's worthwhile to include people who informally participate in the group's meetings, even if they are not "officially" assigned to the team. Moreover, there are increasing instances of virtual teams that interact mostly or entirely via online platforms (such as Skype or GoToMeeting.com).

But here is the really challenging question that's best to address up front: When should the immediate supervisor, manager, or "boss" be included in the group's learning process?

When the health of the culture is in doubt, I suggest that only peer groups participate in the first six online courses (from Quantum Transformation up to and including the Critical Thinking Course). Why? For effective learning to be achieved, it is imperative that every member feels safe to voice his true opinions and feelings during all group discussions that take place in these foundation-building courses. Otherwise, the leader might wind up doing most of the talking, while other members (to protect themselves from either real or imagined repercussions) might keep their views to themselves. Such withholding of participation, and thus withholding of different perspectives, would severely limit the potential benefits of taking these first six online courses as a group.

The safest approach, therefore, is to use peer groups at the start: Non-supervisory members meet in their peer groups for the first six online courses, just as their supervisors meet in their relevant peer groups. And the department heads then also meet in their peer groups, and so on, all the way up the management hierarchy. (Perhaps only the senior management team would necessarily meet in a non-peer arrangement by including the senior vice president or president of the business unit or whole organization.)

Naturally, if it's apparent that a healthy, open, and candid culture already exists, then all group members, including the relevant leader, can take our series of online courses from the start—as a whole group. But if it's evident that using peer groups is the best way to ensure effective learning during our first six online courses, keep in mind that our seventh course, Team Management, provides a carefully planned series of action steps (including detailed work sheets) for reuniting leaders with their group members in a very gentle, smooth, and effective manner.

Occasionally, as implied, the "boss" can effectively guide his or her direct reports through our online courses (including all group discussions) in a candid and forthright manner. Most times, however, an expert consultant, trainer, or facilitator will be in the best position to ensure that the work group gains the most knowledge and skills from taking our series of online courses. In the end, it's up to the "powers-that-be" whether the immediate boss or an expert facilitator guides members through the learning process. Hopefully, such a far-reaching decision will be based on an accurate assessment of the culture of the group and the skills of its leader.

NOTE: During some of the online courses, I suggest when it’s a good time to take a ten or fifteen-minute break from my presentations and the group discussions. But please feel free to either skip or add breaks, depending on what works best for the learning process. And during the group activities outlined below, I also suggest the typical amount of time that might be necessary for each group discussion. But please adjust these meeting times to best suit the group's needs—which will partly depend on the size of the group and the depth of the discussion.

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00. EXPANDING CONSCIOUSNESS COURSE

Expanding Consciousness CourseThis course has the unique designation of double zero, since it provides the essential groundwork for the further evolution of human consciousness. In the process of exploring how members can expand their mind/body/spirit consciousness and then bring that greater wisdom and creativity into their organization, this course necessarily includes an overview of the eight tracks of quantum transformation—which are subsequently examined in detail in our remaining online courses. In addition, this course also provides an overview of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Model, since it's necessary for members to first resolve their four foundational—inner—conflicts, before their organization can fully benefit from their expanded consciousness. But it's not necessary for members to take the TKI assessment until later in the course, unless they would like to know their specific TKI results before they learn about the TKI Conflict Model in general.

If it's important for group members to first get some “hands-on” experience with the TKI assessment and how to improve conflict management in the workplace, they should instead proceed with either (1) BASIC Training or (3) ADVANCED Training, as described below. But be sure the group first completes either of these two courses before proceeding with (2) GROUP Training, since it's best for members to learn how to interpret individual TKI Profiles before they attempt to interpret the more intricate Group TKI Profiles.

NOTE: If the group decides to skip the Expanding Consciousness Course (and, for the same reason, also the Quantum Transformation Course), members should still take our "double zero" and "zero" courses after they've completed all of our other online courses on conflict management and change management—since our two foundational courses will then tie all the theories and methods together.

When the group is ready to proceed with expanding their consciousness, all members—on their own—watch the first few video sections in the course, which covers pages 1 to 20 in the Course Manual for Expanding Consciousness. In a sixty-minute meeting, members address these numbered paragraphs:

00.1 As a group, members share their understanding of the Complex Hologram and how this “big picture” captures the surrounding systems and processes that powerfully shape individual behavior in an organization. Can they change and improve one aspect of an organization without affecting (or being constrained by) all the other aspects? What is the significance of presenting the Complex Hologram in context of the swirling quantum waves and particles that make up all forces and forms?

00.2 The members should then review their understanding of the five conflict modes, as defined by the two underlying dimensions: assertiveness and cooperativeness. If members have previously taken the TKI assessment, they might share what they learned about themselves: which conflict modes they might be using too much or too little (based on the TKI’s normative sample). The members should also review their understanding of the three diagonals on the TKI Conflict Model, which provide deeper insights into the workings of conflict management: the protective, distributive, and integrative dimensions.

00.3 Group members should then consider the impact of high stress on their choice of conflict modes, especially since the total space of the five modes, under high stress, shrinks to these three reactions: fight, flight, and freeze. Besides these defensive reactions, there is little opportunity for compromising, let alone collaborating. Members should try to provide examples of how they have previously reacted to conflict situations when they and others were in highly stressful situations.

00.4 Members next discuss their knowledge of the different revolutions that have occurred in the past and, in particular, what exactly constitutes a revolution. If some members have previously taken the Quantum Transformation Course, they might consider how a revolution is the same or different from a paradigm shift. Members should then consider how often a revolution takes place and why revolutions seem to be occurring more frequently than ever before. And most importantly, what is their understanding of the consciousness revolution and why the information revolution undoubtedly provided the necessary foundation for consciousness to expand across the planet?

00.5 Group members can share their understanding of mind/body/spirit consciousness and why a sequence (much like the eight tracks) is more efficient in the long run than piecemeal or out-of-sequence attempts to expand consciousness. Do members see how the systems in organization can either support or thwart their efforts at self-discovery?

On their own, members watch the next three video sections, which correspond to pages 21 to 53 in the manual. Then, in a sixty-minute meeting, members discuss these numbered paragraphs:

00.6 Members are invited to share their personal experiences with actively participating in various mind/body/spirit modalities, whether listed on the slides (pages 23 to 25) or other such modalities for expanding consciousness. In most cases, members discover that they have explored self-understanding in their personal lives, but have rarely, if ever, discussed these “outside” or “personal” experiences with their workplace colleagues.

00.7 Group members then discuss how talk therapy (any form of psychotherapy for mind consciousness) is fundamentally different from experiencing the energy flows in their body, let alone their transpersonal connections with the universe outside their mind and body. Often times, discussing the differences between reading self-help books or psychotherapy and what might be experienced with Holotropic Breathwork (as defined, illustrated, and described on pages 27 to 30) are helpful in distinguishing mind modalities from body or spirit modalities.

00.8 Members now have the background to discuss their understanding of the various stage models of consciousness on pages 31 to 42 in the manual: How are the four models (Wilber’s, Hawkins’, Epstein’s, and the chakra system) similar and different? How do these models complement one another? Do members “prefer” one model to the others, regarding the ease of becoming more aware of their own stage of consciousness and what the next—higher—stages would be like?

00.9 Group members should discuss what their organization (and group) would be like if they could all expand to a higher stage of consciousness—in terms of how conflict and change would be experienced and managed. Members should try to present examples of how various conflicts and interactions were approached at the lower, middle, and higher stages of consciousness—so everyone is clear how life in the organization is affected by what stage of consciousness is being radiated and expressed.

00.10 Members can now discuss how the different stages of consciousness map onto the TKI Conflict Model, thus showing their similarity and overlap. Do members see how the lower stages correspond to the protective dimension, the middle stages reflect the dynamics along the distributive dimension, and the higher stages are relevant to the integrative dimension? Members can be encouraged to provide additional examples of how the stages/energies/emotions of consciousness propel people to address conflict on one diagonal dimension or another.

00.11 Group members should now explore the meaning of temporal and spatial boundaries, and why these boundaries are so important—and sacred. Members can be asked to provide examples of how the different spatial boundaries can be violated and how the different temporal boundaries determine if people can have a healthy relationship with the present, or be stuck in the past, or be oblivious to the future consequences of their present behavior. Do members recognize the two-way exchange of energy and information across all their temporal and spatial boundaries?

00.12 Members can now consider what happens during an interaction when people (such as themselves) are radiating different energies/emotions, particularly at the lower, middle, and higher stages of consciousness? Can members give examples of when one person’s higher energies can have a dramatic impact on those who might be stuck at a lower stage of consciousness? What would it be like if more members in the group (or organization or society) could radiate at a higher stage of consciousness?

On their own, group members view the next four video sections of the course on (pages 54 to 89 in the manual), which cover the four foundational conflicts that emerge during the self-exploration of mind/body/spirit consciousness. Then, in a ninety-minute meeting (making sure to maintain a relaxed—non-stressful—atmosphere at all times), members discuss these numbered paragraphs:

00.13 Group members should share their understanding of the first foundational conflict: Are you a physical body or an energy body? For example, do members realize how either extreme might restrict their choices for health, happiness, and success? They can then discuss how (a) avoiding the physical/energy conflict on the protective dimension (at home and at work) will prevent them from resolving this conflict altogether; (2) choosing either a physical or an energy body on the distributive dimension could offer them a temporary solution, but certainly not a long-term—fully resourceful—solution; and (3) finding a creative way to experience themselves as both a physical body and an energy body will likely lead to the best of all worlds—short term and long term. Members should be encouraged to share what mind/body/spirit modalities have already helped them resolve this foundational conflict and why bringing this dialogue directly into their organization will empower everyone with greater choices, creativity, passion, meaning, and success.

00.14 Members now consider the second foundational conflict: Are they governed by their ego or their soul? Members should share their written statements of (a) what their ego most wants from them and (b) what their soul requires them to do, based on the instructions given on page 64 in the manual. As in the prior step, members should next examine how approaching their ego/soul conflicts on the protective, distributive, and integrative dimensions will yield different experiences and outcomes for themselves and their organization. In addition, they should discuss how gradually raising their stage of consciousness (via such group discussions, as supported by mind/body/spirit modalities) will make it much easier to move their ego-soul conflicts from the protective to the distributive and, ultimately, to the integrative dimension.

00.15 Group members next discuss the third foundational conflict: Is their self (as their ego and/or their soul) separate from their surrounding systems (culture, strategy, structure, rewards, the group, leadership, and the influence of external stakeholders)? Or are these systems, in fact, an important aspect of their inner self? Using the TKI Conflict model and the three diagonals, in a non-stressful atmosphere, members should examine how the different ways of addressing their self/systems conflicts will lead to vastly different outcomes for themselves and their organization—thus illustrating how different stages of consciousness allow everyone to approach such conflicts on each of the three diagonal dimensions.

00.16 Members now explore the last of the four foundational conflicts: Have they resolved their primal relationships—or not? Although such a discussion is not meant to be individual or group psychotherapy (which can only be done with a licensed therapist external to the work group), members can nevertheless be invited to share whether their primal relationships (parents, guardians, siblings, relatives, neighbors, strangers, classmates, etc.) have previously wounded their temporal and/or spatial boundaries and in what manner these unresolved relationships might still be sabotaging their current focus, energy, passion, and potential. Members should discuss the “Nine Stages for Resolving Primal Relationships” (pages 80 and 81 in the manual) in order to provide examples of what allows people to successfully resolve and heal their wounded boundaries, including what next steps might initiate a healing process that has been avoided for years...or even decades. Although members can be invited to share their experiences in resolving their primal relationships, no one should feel pressured (especially in a relaxed, non-stressful setting) to share or participate in this discussion in any way. Most times, however, given the recent examination of the three previous foundational conflicts, a few members will initiate a sharing process that helps everyone open up and discuss how unresolved relationships robs them of being fully human in the present moment. As before, the TKI Conflict Model should be used to suggest how the truth of what happened between two people in the past can be differentially addressed on each of the three diagonal dimensions. Lastly, members should explore the meaning and purpose of “addiction” (pages 88 and 89), just to be sure they don’t unconsciously fall into such a harmful trap.

On their own, group members view the next video section, which carries the name of the course: Expanding Consciousness in People and Organizations (pages 90 to 109 in the manual). Then, in a ninety-minute meeting, members address these numbered paragraphs:

00.17 Group members should discuss how the sequence of eight tracks affects every aspect of the Complex Hologram (the Big Picture), including self-aware consciousness. Do members understand the relationships among the first three tracks, the middle two tracks, and the last three tracks? More specifically, what is the rationale for first establishing quantum infrastructures before proceeding with improvements in the formal systems? And why is it important to then improve the work processes that flow within and across the informal and formal systems? Looking at the slides on pages 93 to 95 in the manual, members should discuss how each set of tracks augments the self-aware consciousness of all members in the organization.

00.18 Members should next consider how the striking polarity of a Newtonian—Pyramid—Organization versus a Quantum-Circle—Organization will lead to different systems for members, depending on whether they approach that polarity on the protective, distributive, or the integrative dimension. Specifically, members should discuss how a solution to this polarity on the distributive dimension (using the combining mode) is very different from a systems solution that's developed on the integrative dimension (using the synergizing mode). Regarding the latter, the members should discuss their understanding of the Problem Management Organization (PMO), since that synergized solution provides the best means possible for not only further expanding their consciousness, but making sure that their expanded consciousness is effectively utilized in the workplace, 24/7.

00.19 Members should carefully examine how their resolutions for each of the four foundational conflicts would enable them to establish a fully functioning PMO that allows team members to connect with the Holographic Universe, as needed. At this time, members can also discuss how resolving their foundational conflicts on the integrative dimension would enable them to make better use of the PMO than if they'd addressed their inner conflicts on the distributive dimension. Members should make sure that they fully understand how implementing the first three tracks of the eight-track program, in sequence, would enable them to create the necessary conditions for fully incorporating the PMO into their expanded self-identity, which would include their resolution of their ego's desires and their soul's purpose, all within an integrated physical/energy body.

00.20 Lastly, the group should consider why at least one of its member should eventually become "a leader in expanded consciousness" and what impact such informal leadership would have on the subsequent functioning of the group, as it addresses its most important problems and conflicts.

On their own, group members can take the optional Final Exam for Expanding Consciousness, by clicking the link on the video page, under the heading: 6. Taking the Exam. Although Kilmann Diagnostics does not award a "certificate of achievement" for this course, receiving a score of 88 or more points (out of 100 possible points on twenty-five, multiple-choice questions) signifies that members have passed the exam and have thus learned the material.

NOTE: The optional Final Exam for every course can be taken as many as five times, since its purpose is to encourage members to learn the material—not to add stress to their life. However, if someone else purchased these courses for the group, the sponsor (for example, the employer) might require group members to pass each exam as an indication that they've learned the material. But Kilmann Diagnostics will not share any exam results if a member happens to score less than 88 points on any occasion for any course. We'll only inform the sponsor when members pass their exams. Click to see Sample Questions on Each Final Exam.

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0. QUANTUM TRANSFORMATION COURSE

Quantum Transformation CourseOur Quantum Transformation Course has that unique designation of zero, since it provides the grand overview of all our online courses and assessment tools—including the integration of conflict management with change management.

If it's important for group members to see THE BIG PICTURE early on, so they can see how all the pieces fit together, they should next take the Quantum Transformation Course. But if members first want to get some “hands-on” experience with the TKI assessment and how to improve conflict management in the workplace, they should instead proceed with either (1) BASIC Training or (3) ADVANCED Training, as described below. But be sure the group first completes either of these two courses before proceeding with (2) GROUP Training, since it's best for members to learn how to interpret individual TKI Profiles before they attempt to interpret the more intricate Group TKI Profiles.

NOTE: If the group decides to skip the Quantum Transformation Course (and, for the same reason, also the Expanding Consciousness Course), members should still take our "double zero" and "zero" courses after they've completed all of our other online courses on conflict management and change management—since our two foundational courses will then tie all the theories and methods together.

When the group is ready to proceed with Quantum Transformation, all members—on their own—watch the first few video sections in the course, which covers pages 1 to 26 in the Course Manual for Quantum Transformation. In a sixty-minute meeting, members address these numbered paragraphs:

0.1. As a group, members share their views of conflict: What’s good about conflict, what’s bad about conflict, and can conflict ever be removed from human society? Members should similarly discuss their views of the dialectic and under what conditions it promotes stagnation or transformation—whether in a work group or for society as a whole. Essentially, members should share their understanding of conflict, change, and transformation, and how these fundamental dynamics affect their daily life.

0.2. Next, members review the Big Picture, also known as the Complex Hologram: How is each element in the diagram related to every other element? Can you change and improve one aspect of an organization without affecting (or being constrained by) all the other aspects? What is the significance of presenting the Complex Hologram in context of the swirling quantum waves and particles that represent spacetime? What is the difference between a formal and informal system? And what flows among all these systems (as represented by all the double arrows on the diagram)? Why does the Complex Hologram define the root cause of all conflicts in any organization? Members should then suggest some of the dialectics that occur inside their own group, since they surely have different perspectives about the various systems and processes in their organization—and how these can be improved for all concerned.

0.3. How can the sequence of eight tracks address every aspect of the Complex Hologram, including self-aware consciousness? Do members understand the relationships among the first three tracks, the middle two tracks, the last three tracks, and the systems and processes that make up the Big Picture? More specifically, what does each track have the potential to bring to an organization?

0.4. Members should consider how scheduling the tracks is different from implementing the tracks. Then they should discuss what stages of quantum transformation must precede and follow the stages of scheduling and implementing the tracks, so any concerted effort at quantum transformation will more likely succeed in closing the gap between the two dueling paradigms.

In the next video section, on pages 27 to 33 in the manual, each member completes and scores the twenty-item survey: Assessing Your Paradigm. On their own, group members watch the end of that video section (concluding with page 35 in the manual). In a forty-five to sixty-minute meeting, members address these numbered items:

0.5. As a group, members calculate an average score for Assessing Your Paradigm and compare it to the three ranges defined on page 33 of the manual: (1) If your score is below 30. (2) If your score is between 30 and 70. (3) If your score is above 70. The first range of scores characterizes a quantum organization, while the third range of scores suggests a Newtonian organization. The middle range reveals a mixture of both quantum and Newtonian attributes. Besides the average score for the group, members should take note of the range of scores (the variation around the mean), since perceptions can vary from person to person.

0.6. Members then discuss what the average and the range of scores mean in terms of the quantum versus Newtonian aspects of their organization. In the case of a wide range of scores, why do members experience the same organization so differently? Members should share their experiences in terms of how these organizational characteristics affect their performance—short term and long term—as well as their job satisfaction. By going back to some of the individual items on the survey (any of the twenty items on Assessing Your Paradigm), members can recall specific events that blocked their performance or eroded their satisfaction on the job.

0.7. The meeting concludes with members listing the attributes of an organization that encourage them to do their very best, which naturally means bringing all of their wisdom, talent, and experience into the workplace.

On their own, members watch the next video section in the course, Defining a Paradigm, which covers pages 36 to 49 in the manual. The group then meets for about forty-five to sixty minutes to discuss these numbered paragraphs:

0.8. As a group, members develop a consensus on the meaning of a paradigm (mental categories and the relationships among these categories) and the impact that old paradigms (and thus old categories) have on changing and transforming an organization.

0.9. Key question: Do members see that their paradigm (whether it’s old or new, simple or complex, conscious or unconscious) shapes all their perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and behavior? And since language is the primary means by which we are able to label and thus talk about our experiences, how can group members develop new words (along with new categories) to talk about the unwritten cultural rules and subtle attitudes that get in the way of bringing all of themselves into the organization?

0.10. Members should recall their scores (the average and the range) on that short twenty-item survey, Assessing Your Paradigm, and now develop those additional words for distinguishing a Newtonian and quantum organization. Are there any examples of a quantum organization (other than a self-employed person) that would illuminate the qualities of this kind of new organization?

0.11. Referring to pages 45 to 49 in the manual, members should discuss their understanding of what is involved in establishing quantum infrastructures throughout their organization, so all subsequent change initiatives (or educational programs) can achieve their objectives.

On their own, group members watch the next video section in the course, Expanding Self-Aware Consciousness, which is covered on pages 50 to 60 in the manual. The group then has a two-hour meeting to discuss these numbered paragraphs:

0.12. As a group, members share their experiences and knowledge about the Western and Eastern approaches to self-awareness, ego energy (Freud) and spiritual enlightenment (Buddha), respectively. Often, particularly with our increasingly diverse workplaces, if people are willing to share, there is usually a lot of valuable—personal—experiences in the group with different approaches to the mandate: “Know thyself.”

0.13. On the topic of ego energy, members discuss their answers to the five questions on page 52 in the manual, regarding (1) self-identity, (2) self-competency, (3) self-value, (4) self-worth, and (5) self-responsibility. Ideally, members would also take the time to discuss their answers to the more detailed questions about these five self-concepts, which appear on pages 53 to 57 in the manual (as well the five additional questions on ego energy processes on page 58). As long as a comfortable, safe, and trustworthy environment can be established for discussing these very personal questions, members will significantly (1) expand their self-aware consciousness, (2) augment the quality and quantity of the categories (and words) in their mind/brain, and (3) deepen and secure the interpersonal bonds among group members.

0.14. Members review the diagram on page 59 in the manual and share stories on how they moved through the seven stages, after one or more change initiatives created LOSS. It would also be helpful if members share specific examples of when they were stuck in the “doom cycle” versus when they were resilient (as supported by the five self-concepts of ego energy) and thus how they were able to move to the “growth cycle” in a “reasonable” period of time, once the normal grieving process had taken place.

0.15. After reviewing the diagram on page 60 in the manual, members share their experiences with seeing themselves as more than a skin-encapsulated ego: as being connected with every other person, thought, and thing in the universe. Being in a diverse group might make it easy for some members to share their non-Western roots and philosophies about Mother Earth and the cosmos, and our intimate connection with ALL. Perhaps members can then discuss how seeing themselves as interconnected and a part of everything might change how they interact with others, both inside and outside the formal boundaries of their organization.

On their own, group members watch the video on the Organizational Influence Survey, which starts on page 61 in the manual. This video provides the background and instructions for members to complete the survey, score their results, and graph their four scores. Also on their own, members then watch the next video, Defining Four Influence Domains, which covers pages 89 to 92 in the manual. Afterward, members convene for a forty-five to sixty-minute meeting to discuss these numbered items:

0.16. As a group, members calculate their average four scores from the Organizational Influence Survey and graph these scores on page 77 in the manual. As described in the instructions on page 76, the same can be done for a department and for the entire organization (if members have access to this information). For each influence domain, members should also take note if their scores are noticeably different from the group average, since individual perceptions about needing to have more or less influence on the key aspects of their organization can vary from person to person.

0.17. Next, members discuss the meaning of their results: Why do members need more or less influence in one or more influence domains in order to improve their performance and satisfaction? Why do some members see that they need more influence, while the average suggests that all is well? In the process, members can share incidents when they couldn’t get access to the resources and information that were needed to successfully complete a job on time, which also frustrated them. Other experiences might be recalled when members were required to do something that could have been handled much more effectively by another department or senior management (as in wanting less influence on that aspect of their organization). As this discussion unfolds, members can also consider what they are learning about the “balance of influence” in their organization, which they hadn’t considered before.

0.18. Toward the end of the meeting, members discuss: Should we wait for permission to get what we need (given our job responsibilities)? Who or what determines what influence we have? When and how can we exert more influence in our organization in order to improve our performance and satisfaction?  On this topic, members can share stories about when they proceeded to bypass formal systems, group boundaries, or informal rules in order to get something accomplished—and what were the consequences of engaging in such "unauthorized" influence?

On their own, group members watch the video on the Organizational Courage Assessment, which begins on page 93 in the manual. This video provides the background and instructions for members to complete the assessment, score their results, and graph their observe score and fear score. On their own, members then watch the next video, Defining Four Types of Organizations, which covers pages 119 to 125 in the manual. Afterward, members convene for a sixty to ninety-minute meeting to discuss these items:

0.19. As a group, members calculate their average two scores from the Organizational Courage Assessment and graph these scores on page 107 in the manual. As described in the instructions on page 106, the same can be done for a department and for the entire organization (if members have access to this information). For the resulting type of organization, members should take note if their type is noticeably different from the group average, since individual perceptions about observing possible acts of courage and being afraid of performing those same acts of courage can vary considerably from person to person.

0.20. Next, members discuss the meaning of their scores: Why have they observed (or not observed) the behavior that leads to long-term organizational success? In particular, what decisions and actions should, ideally, be observed more regularly in order to improve performance and satisfaction? Is fear preventing the work group (or entire organization) from doing what needs to be done? What are the long-term consequences for the organization if members do not engage in those success-oriented behaviors?

0.21. If it is apparent that fear is getting in the way, members should consider how they could reduce their fear, which will allow them to do the right thing without stress? In order words, what kind of personal transformation will enable members to either reduce their fear (especially if it is not based on reality) or act despite the fear (the defining quality of courage) in order to achieve long-term organizational success and personal satisfaction?

0.22. Whether or not the members proceed with a personal transformation, what are the opportunities for an organizational transformation? In other words, how can the various systems and processes be revised, so members can do what is needed for success without having to bypass procedures or ignore informal rules? And if group members are given the opportunity to participate in a program to change various systems or processes, will they become actively involved in the improvement program or will they remain skeptical and cling to the past?

On their own, group members can take the optional Final Exam for Quantum Transformation, as explained on the last video section of the course, Congratulations, on page 126 in the manual. Although Kilmann Diagnostics does not award a "certificate of achievement" for this course, receiving a score of 88 or more points (out of 100 possible points on twenty-five, multiple-choice questions) signifies that members have passed the exam and have thus learned the material.  

NOTE: The optional Final Exam for every course can be taken as many as five times, since its purpose is to encourage members to learn the material—not to add stress to their life. However, if someone else purchased these courses for the group, the sponsor (for example, the employer) might require group members to pass each exam as an indication that they've learned the material. But Kilmann Diagnostics will not share any exam results if a member happens to score less than 88 points on any occasion for any course. We'll only inform the sponsor when members pass their exams. Click to see Sample Questions on Each Final Exam.

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1. BASIC TRAINING IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

BASIC Training in Conflict ManagementRegardless of whether group members first took the Expanding Consciousness Course and/or the Quantum Transformation Course or decided to save these two foundational courses for later, it's best for them to take our BASIC Training course if they haven’t had much previous exposure to conflict management and the TKI assessment. Our BASIC course is a great introduction, a warm-up if you will, in preparation for the more advanced topics on conflict management. But if members have already had considerable experience with discussions on conflict-handling behavior in their group, they can skip BASIC Training and proceed with ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management. Nevertheless, members should take either BASIC Training or ADVANCED Training before proceeding with GROUP Training in Conflict Management, since they'll first need to learn how to accurately interpret their "Individual TKI Profiles" before they can meaningfully interpret their more complex "Group TKI Profiles."

Before beginning the BASIC course, each member should first complete the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) with these modified instructions:

INSIDE your group, how do you usually respond when you find your wishes differing from those of another group member?

When members are about to take the TKI assessment, instruct them to IGNORE the standard TKI instructions that appear on their computer screen or Internet tablet. Instead, they should keep in mind the modified TKI instructions (and the members of their group) as they respond to all 30 A/B items on the assessment.

Even if one or more members have taken the TKI during the past year, it's still important to have a group-specific assessment of conflict-handling behavior, rather than to rely on a possibly out-of-date assessment that was administered with the TKI's standard (non-situation specific) instructions. The latter assessment might introduce irrelevant conflict-handling experiences into the mix of members' responses to the TKI, while the modified instructions will encourage members to focus exclusively on conflict management within their work group. As a result, using the TKI with modified instructions is the best approach when taking these online courses as a group for the purpose of improving performance and satisfaction in the workplace.

After all group members have individually reviewed their personalized TKI Report and, on their own, have also watched the entire eighty-minute course while making good use of the Course Manual for Basic Training in Conflict Management, I recommend they discuss the following numbered paragraphs in a sixty-minute meeting:

1.1. As a group, members spend a little time making sure everyone understands the TKI Conflict Model, especially the dimensions of assertiveness and cooperativeness, and the integrative, distributive, and protective dimensions of conflict behavior. Then members share examples of using each of the five conflict modes effectively and suggest whose needs get satisfied in the process. Next, members review the eight key attributes of a conflict situation that determine when each mode is most likely to achieve the most satisfaction for all key stakeholders (internal and external to the organization). Then members discuss the best approach to conflict, given all the principles and practices discussed in BASIC Training in Conflict Management.

1.2. Based on each person’s TKI report, make a tally of how many members scored highest or tied for highest (in the high 25%) on each of the five conflict-handling modes. Also make a tally of how many members scored lowest or tied for lowest (in the low 25%) on each of the five modes. Then plot these results on the TKI Conflict Model on pages 16 and 17 in the manual. Then group members should discuss: Are the identified HIGH or LOW modes actually being used too much or too little? Or are those HIGH and LOW modes actually being used effectively, since these conflict-handling behaviors fit the key attributes of the group's situation?

1.3. Discuss why approaching workplace problems with a different set of conflict modes (having ALL five modes available to every group member) would likely result in different experiences and outcomes for the group. And how would the organization and its external stakeholders benefit if group members used different modes for their recurring workplace conflicts?

1.4. Develop an action plan to encourage more discernment in using conflict modes more consciously—and purposefully—in the workplace, so as to maximize personal satisfaction and value-added contribution to the work group and the organization. TAKE NOTE: Which variety of conflict modes did members use to develop this action plan—and what were the consequences of using these modes on group performance and member satisfaction?

1.5. How will the work group implement its action plan and then monitor the results for the purpose of ensuring that workplace conflicts are being managed effectively and efficiently? In a subsequent course, ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management, group members will recognize these processes as the steps—and errors—of problem management.

On their own, group members can test their knowledge of the key principles of this course by taking the optional Final Exam for BASIC Training in Conflict Management. Although Kilmann Diagnostics does not award a "certificate of achievement" for this course, receiving a score of 88 or more points (out of 100 possible points on twenty-five, multiple-choice questions) signifies that members have passed the exam and have thus learned the material. 

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2. GROUP TRAINING IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

GROUP Training in Conflict ManagementAs noted previously, it's best for group members to first take either BASIC Training or ADVANCED Training before they proceed with GROUP Training, so they'll have a foundational knowledge of conflict management and how to interpret individual TKI Profiles before learning to interpret the more complex Group TKI Profiles. 

Conveniently, by having first taken either the BASIC or ADVANCED course, members have already completed the TKI assessment with these modified instructions: 

INSIDE your group, how do you usually respond when you find your wishes differing from those of another group member?

For the purpose of developing Group TKI Profiles, however, it's necessary for members to again take the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), but this time with these modified instructions: 

OUTSIDE your group (across all other settings in your life), how do you usually respond when you find your wishes differing from those of another person?

Just before group members take the TKI assessment a second time, remind them to IGNORE the standard TKI instructions that appear on their computer screen or Internet tablet. Instead, they should keep in mind the second modified TKI instructions as they respond to all 30 A/B items on the assessment.

On their own, group members watch the first few video sections, covering pages 1 to 26 in the Course Manual for GROUP Training in Conflict Management. Afterward, the group holds a sixty-minute meeting to discuss these numbered paragraphs:

2.1. Discuss all the distinctions in the Complex Hologram, as they specifically pertain to the topic of this course: The Individual (what each person brings to the group in terms of styles, skills, and conflict-handling modes); The Organization (the formal systems that shape their group’s behavior); CULTURE (the unwritten rules that dictate “how things are done around here”); and The Group (how the members manage their daily stream of problems and conflicts, making use of their individual styles and skills, as shaped by their organization’s strategy-structure, reward system, and those unwritten cultural rules). Members should also discuss how all these interrelated aspects determine whether their organization can effectively respond to The Setting, which ultimately produces The Results.

2.2 Either the group performs a self-diagnosis of the effectiveness of its conflict-handling behavior or an external consultant (a trusted member from the HR department or an outside consultant) performs an independent diagnosis. This “conflict management diagnosis” is conducted through one-on-one interviews with members and/or through a group interview with or without the immediate boss present—based on the prior assessment (see my earlier discussion) on whether the group’s culture would allow for an open and candid dialogue with the boss present. Regardless of how the diagnosis is conducted, however, it’s important to establish whether conflicts among the members are being approached according to the specific guidelines on pages 11 to 18 in the manual. Basically, the diagnosis stipulates if the group is already handling its conflicts in an effective manner or, instead, if significant improvement in conflict management is necessary before members can fully contribute their wisdom and experience to their most important problems and conflicts. Incidentally, this diagnosis will be used in subsequent steps to select specific action recommendations to implement, once the Group TKI Profile has been developed and interpreted.

2.3. Discuss the difference between the standard TKI instructions and the modified TKI instructions, the latter having guided how members responded to the TKI on two different occasions: the initial TKI assessment for INSIDE the group and the second TKI assessment for OUTSIDE the group (across all other settings in a person’s life).

2.4. Discuss the various factors that determine if there are similarities or differences between a member’s INSIDE and OUTSIDE results across those two TKI assessments. Refer back to the Complex Hologram and all those interrelated forces operating on The Group.

2.5. Discuss the special impact the leader or co-leaders have on the group, with regard to how conflicts are addressed and resolved. Does the leader’s behavior have an overwhelming influence (as is the case with the metaphor of the “rectangular table” for an old, large, autocratic organization)? Or does the leader’s behavior join or blend with all the other members in the group (as is the case with the “circular table” for a more egalitarian or quantum organization)? And which arrangement, rectangular or circular, best fits with the types of challenges the group regularly faces—as in simple or complex problems?

On their own, and before they actually tally and discuss their collective results on the two TKI assessments, members watch the next two video sections, Developing Group TKI Profiles and Interpreting Group TKI Profiles, covering pages 27 to 42 in the manual. In a sixty-minute meeting, members develop and then interpret their Group TKI profile by following these steps:

2.6. As a group, using the HIGH and LOW ranges for the five conflict-handling modes on page 27 in the manual, members enter the relevant counts on page 34 for their HIGH and LOW scores, both INSIDE and OUTSIDE their group. At the bottom of that same page, they also enter the number of members who were present for these counts (realizing that this number of group members will not equal the total number of HIGH or LOW scores, since several members may have more than one HIGH or LOW score on their TKI results).

2.7. Once the members have developed their Group TKI Profile, they should assess the "situational similarities" or the "situational differences" that appear across the INSIDE and OUTSIDE perspectives for both HIGH and LOW scores. If there are striking differences between these two perspectives, does this finding help group members understand their challenges in managing conflict? Alternatively, if there are clear similarities, members might consider if their INSIDE versus OUTSIDE settings are truly the same or if members, in fact, have not previously recognized the significant differences in complexity that exist between what is needed for success in their work group versus what conflict-handling behavior is effective in all other settings in their life?

2.8. The members next discuss whether the HIGH or LOW modes INSIDE their group are being overused or underused, respectively, or if the use of these modes represents a good fit with the key attributes in the group’s unique situation.

2.9. The group should then discuss whether the leader’s conflict-handling behavior supports or hinders how members address their daily problems and conflicts. As an aid to this discussion, the group can examine the leader's HIGH and LOW scores INSIDE and OUTSSIDE the group (identified by the numbers on the Group TKI Profile with lighter shades of gray) and see if his or her scores are essentially the same or different from the scores of most other group members. Naturally, if the leader's approach to managing conflict is much different from the rest of the group, this finding might explain some of the "conflict-handling conflicts" in the group (especially when the boss has undue influence on how members address their complex problems).

2.10. Now the members discuss the impact of The Organization (particularly the reward system) and CULTURE (the unwritten rules) on the group’s use of conflict modes, particularly if there are situational differences between the INSIDE and OUTSIDE perspective.

2.11. The members might also consider if their group has unnecessarily and unconsciously adapted the organization’s culture for their group’s culture, realizing that there can be a difference between the two (as will be discussed subsequently during the Culture Management Course).

On their own, members watch the next two video sections, Troublesome Patterns in Conflict Management and Improving Conflict Management in Your Group, covering pages 43 to 53 in the manual. In a sixty-minute meeting, members then discuss these numbered paragraphs:

2.12. As a group, members discuss the extent to which their Group TKI Profile reflects HIGH on avoiding or accommodating and LOW on competing or collaborating INSIDE the group, while a very different pattern exists OUTSIDE the group. If the Group TKI Profile suggests this most troublesome pattern, members discuss what they can do to overcome this debilitating result, especially if the group is facing increasingly complex problems.

2.13. Now the members further discuss which conflict modes are essential for resolving complex problems versus which modes are sufficient for solving simple problems—and what they can do to ensure they'll always use the most effective modes to match the complexity of the situation.

2.14. By studying the figure on page 52 in the manual, referred to as the Conflict Management Matrix, members then locate the quadrant that best captures the initial diagnosis of their group's conflict-handling behavior (effective versus ineffective) as well as the INSIDE/OUTSIDE patterns of their Group TKI Profile (situational similarities versus situational differences). Members should then develop and implement measures to improve conflict management in the group (if the initial diagnosis suggested that improvement was indeed necessary); or members can transfer their conflict-handling wisdom to other settings or diagnose other aspects of their group's functioning (if the initial diagnosis revealed that the group’s conflict-handling behavior was already effective).

On their own, group members watch the last video section, Congratulations, which is covered on page 54 in the manual. At that time, they can test their knowledge by taking the optional Final Exam for GROUP Training in Conflict Management. Although Kilmann Diagnostics does not award a "certificate of achievement," receiving a score of 88 or more points signifies that members have passed the exam and have thus learned the key principles of this course. 

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3. ADVANCED TRAINING IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

ADVANCED Training in Conflict ManagementIf the work group has already developed considerable wisdom in conflict management, it can bypass BASIC Training and begin with ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management. Once the group learns how to interpret "Individual TKI Profiles," it should then take GROUP Training, which will explain how to develop and interpret "Group TKI Profiles." But if the group took BASIC Training, it’s still necessary to proceed with ADVANCED Training, since this higher-level course provides the vital knowledge of psychological type, group process, problem management, and the Problem Management Organization (PMO)—all of which are thoroughly woven into our subsequent courses.

In those cases when the group skipped the BASIC course, however, each member should first complete the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) with these modified instructions:

INSIDE your group, how do you usually respond when you find your wishes differing from those of another group member?

When members are about to take the TKI assessment, instruct them to IGNORE the standard TKI instructions that appear on their computer screen or Internet tablet. Instead, they should keep in mind the modified TKI instructions (and the members of their group) as they respond to all 30 A/B items on the assessment.

Even if one or more members have taken the TKI during the past year, it's still important to have a group-specific assessment of conflict-handling behavior, rather than to rely on a possibly out-of-date assessment that was administered with the TKI's standard (non-situation specific) instructions. The latter assessment might introduce irrelevant conflict-handling experiences into the mix of members' responses to the TKI, while the modified instructions will encourage members to focus exclusively on conflict management within their work group. As a result, using the TKI with modified instructions is the best approach when taking these online courses as a group for the purpose of improving performance and satisfaction in the workplace.

Before watching the videos in the ADVANCED course, members should also take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), if they haven't taken this assessment in the past few years or if they no longer have access to their personalized report. As a supplement to the MBTI, members might take Kilmanns Personality Style Instrument (KPSI), which measures psychological type specific to work situations (while the MBTI assesses a person's type across all situations).

After all members have individually reviewed their TKI, MBTI and KPSI results, they separately watch the first few video sections, which covers pages 1 to 37 in the Course Manual for Advanced Training in Conflict Management. In a thirty to sixty-minute meeting (the amount of time will vary whether or not the group skipped the BASIC course), members address this item:

3.1. As a group, members discuss the five numbered paragraphs (1.1 to 1.5) listed under the heading: BASIC TRAINING IN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT. The group's tally of its high 25% and low 25% conflict modes can be plotted on pages 22 and 23 in the Course Manual for Advanced Training in Conflict Management. NOTE: Even if the group first took BASIC Training, it might still be worthwhile to review what they have previously discussed before moving on to the more complex material in ADVANCED Training.

On their own, group members watch the next video section on Foundations of Psychological Type, which covers pages 38 to 63 in the manual. Afterward, the group meets for about thirty to forty-five minutes to discuss these numbered paragraphs:

3.2. As a group, members spend some time making sure that everyone understands the dimensions of psychological type (extraversion–introversion, sensation–intuition, thinking–feeling, and perceiving–judging) and especially the four middle two combinations: ST, NT, SF, and NF.

3.3. Based on each person’s MBTI (or KPSI) results, make a tally of the variety of psychological types in the work group. Indicate how many ST, NT, SF, and NF types are present, by writing the numbers onto the figure on page 41 in the manual. Knowing this distribution of types will be invaluable for the subsequent online courses as well as for all workplace discussions.

3.4. Make sure that all members examine how their psychological type might compel them to overuse or underuse one or more of the five conflict modes (see page 56 and 57 in the manual). With this knowledge, it will be much easier for group members to compensate for their natural tendency to rely on some modes more or less than others.

On their own, group members watch the video section on Group Process, which is on pages 64 to 80 in the manual. Following, the group spends about thirty minutes discussing these items:

3.5. As a group, members review the ten key principles of group process and the Process Observer (PO) Form (especially pages 77 to 80). Consider how to recognize the specific behaviors that either support or undermine those key principles in workplace meetings.

3.6. Discuss the process by which your group will appoint a Process Observer (PO) for every meeting and how the group will make the best use of the feedback that the PO provides at the end of the meeting (as outlined on page 76). The group should also consider the sequence by which members will take turns serving as the PO during workplace meetings. And the group should discuss what it means if they “forget” to assign a PO and thus fall back on their habitual (typically dysfunctional) group behavior.

On their own, group members watch the video section on Introduction to Problem Management, which is on pages 81 to 103 in the manual. Also on their own, they watch the video section on the Paul Marshall’s Case, which reviews the Work Sheets on pages 103 to 114. But members hit the PAUSE BUTTON soon after the video shows a beautiful clearing in the forest with a single wooden chair. If members haven’t done so already, they next read and study the case itself on pages 104 to 110. Afterward, they individually complete the work sheets on pages 112 to 114. Next, the members reconvene and discuss the following items in a sixty-minute meeting:

3.7. As a group, members review the instructions on page 103 (A Group Discussion on Problem Management), appoint the Process Observer (who makes use of the PO Form on pages 77 to 80), and then plan how the meeting will be conducted. Next, each group member shares the problems that were sensed and how to define them (page 112), what solutions are expected to close the identified gaps (page 113), and how to implement the chosen solutions and evaluate the results (page 114). After the individual sharing has concluded, the group members develop a consensus on their approach to problem management for this case study.

3.8. Toward the end of the group discussion, in five to ten minutes, the PO shares his or her assessment of how well the ten principles of group process were applied during the meeting. The group as a whole then discusses how it will improve its group process the next time it meets.

On their own, group members return to the video and hit the PLAY BUTTON, which was previously paused on the scene of a clearing in the forest with a single wooden chair. As the video begins, the scene switches to a serene path in the forest with a wooden fence on the right side of the path. At this time, I present my analysis of the Paul Marshall’s Case—which will have the most value AFTER the group has already completed and discussed the Work Sheets on Using Problem Management.

3.9. As a group, members list the similarities and differences between its analysis and my analysis of the case study. The group then summaries what it learned through this comparison (taking special note of any gaps) and then agrees on how to approach its workplace problems with these same principles and practices.

On their own, members watch the next two video sections, The Nature of Problems and The Problem Management Organization (PMO), which appear on pages 115 to 131 in the manual. Next, in a thirty-minute meeting, they discuss these items:

3.10. As a group, members review the process by which a PMO minimizes the most damaging errors in problem management for the most complex problems and conflicts facing an organization. Why is it so important to first magnify differences across the C-Groups before resolving those differences within an S-Group? Members then outline the key principles for designing and using a PMO, so this "collateral organization" has the best chance to succeed with all five steps of problem management.

3.11. How can these PMO principles and practices be applied in one work group of just three to ten members (or whatever happens to be the size of the current group)? Members then list some recurring workplace problems that would benefit from making use of these PMO principles and practices.

3.12. How will the work group implement some version of the first three tracks in order to make sure that it has a healthy behavioral (or quantum) infrastructure for problem management—and a PMO?

3.13. Did the group remember to assign a PO and plan the process BEFORE it proceeded with the content of this meeting? Did members remember to allocate a few minutes toward the end of the meeting to receive and discuss the PO’s feedback? If the answer is “no” to either question, members should discuss why they "forgot" to use this necessary method for improving group process.

On their own, group members can take the optional Final Exam for Advanced Training in Conflict Management, as described on page 132 of the manual and explained on the last video section of the course: Graduation. Upon successful completion of the Final Exam (receiving at least 88 out of 100 total points), each member receives the Certificate for Advanced Training in Conflict Management. Obtaining this certificate signifies that the person has learned the key principles of the course—and is now ready to apply them in the workplace.

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4. CULTURE MANAGEMENT COURSE

Culture Management CourseOnce the group compared its analysis with my analysis of the Paul Marshall’s Case, the importance of the culture track (the first of the eight-track program of quantum transformation) usually becomes apparent to all members. Furthermore, without first developing an open, supportive, and innovative culture, group members won't be able to transfer what is learned in an online course (or any workshop) back into the workplace where it belongs. But by taking our Culture Management Course as a group, not only will members better understand the nuances of culture-gaps (the difference between dysfunctional and supportive cultural norms), but they will also learn how to close these gaps—making use of the five steps of problem management.

On their own, group members watch the first few video sections in the course, which cover pages 1 to 17 in the Course Manual for Culture Management. Next, members watch my overview of the Work Sheets for Identifying Culture-Gaps (pages 19 to 40). Members then complete just the first part of the Work Sheets (pages 19 to 36), which allows each member to itemize his perceptions of the ACTUAL NORMS that are currently operating in the work group as well as the DESIRED NORMS that would help to improve performance and satisfaction—which thus define the group’s culture-gaps. When members have completed their lists of actual and desired norms, the group convenes for a sixty-minute meeting to discuss these items:

4.1. As a group, members review the instructions on page 18 (Group Discussion on Identifying Culture-Gaps), appoint the Process Observer (who makes use of the PO Form on pages 41 to 44 in the manual), and then plan how the meeting will be conducted. Next, each member shares his or her list of norms on pages 21 to 36. Naturally, it depends on the group’s plan whether all actual norms are first shared before sharing all the desired norms, or if each pair of actual and desired norm is presented as a unit—before going on to the next culture-gap. 

4.2. The group discusses and then lists its five to eight largest culture-gaps on page 37.

4.3. Group members then design their sanctioning system on pages 38 and 39 of the manual, which will help them close their largest culture-gaps. And on page 40, the group considers how to ensure that it, in fact, will USE its sanctioning system back on the job.

4.4. Toward the end of the group discussion, in five to ten minutes, the PO shares his or her assessment of how well the ten principles of group process were applied during the meeting (including what improved, stayed the same, or became worse since the last meeting). The group as a whole then discusses how it will improve its group process the next time it meets.

On their own, group members watch the video section on the Kilmann-Saxton Culture-Gap® Survey and then take the survey on pages 45 to 55, score their responses on pages 56 to 57, and graph their results on pages 58 and 59. Also on their own, group members view the video section on Defining Four Culture-Gaps on pages 73 to 82, the video section on Problem Management and Culture-Gaps on pages 83 to 87, and the video section on Work Sheets for Closing Culture-Gaps on pages 89 to 96. (When members have a chance, they might find it worthwhile to review the interpretive materials on pages 64 to 72 of the Culture-Gap Survey.) The group then reconvenes for a sixty-minute meeting to discuss these items:

4.5. As a group, members review the instructions on page 88 (Group Discussion on Closing Culture-Gaps), appoint the Process Observer (who makes use of the PO Form on pages 41 to 44), and then plan how the meeting will be conducted. After discussing the four culture-gaps and reviewing the Work Sheets, the members calculate and graph their group’s Culture-Gap Profile on page 90 and then follow the steps of problem management on the rest of the Work Sheets. On page 96, they consider how to expand the use of their sanctioning system in order to close their largest culture-gaps.

4.6. Toward the end of the group discussion, did the group remember to receive and discuss its PO’s feedback? If not, why is this vital step not yet internalized in the group’s culture? Does the group also forget to use a PO back in the workplace? If so, what additional safeguards and steps can be taken to make sure that the group actively applies the key principles and practices of these online courses?

On their own, group members watch the video section on Kilmanns Organizational Belief Survey and then take the survey on pages 97 to 105, score their responses on pages 106 and 107, and graph their results on pages 108 and 109. Also on their own, group members view the video section on Defining Three Beliefs on pages 119 to 129. (When members have a chance, they might find it worthwhile to review the interpretive materials on pages 112 to 118 of the Organizational Belief Survey.) Next, the group convenes for a thirty-minute meeting to discuss these items:

4.7. As a group, members appoint the Process Observer (who makes use of the PO Form on pages 41 to 44) and plan how the meeting will be conducted. Group members then proceed to calculate and graph their Group Profile on page 110 and 111 in the manual. The group next discusses the meaning of its results, including the variability in individual scores—and considers why some members have a stronger belief in Internal Control than others. Some time should then be spent on outlining the actions steps for developing a stronger—collective—belief in Internal Control, so the group will enhance its self-empowerment and thus will be more likely to achieve higher levels of improvement.

4.8. Toward the end of the group discussion, in five to ten minutes, the PO shares his or her assessment of how well the ten principles of group process were applied during the meeting (including what improved, stayed the same, or became worse since the last meeting). The group as a whole then discusses how it will improve its group process the next time it meets. Has the group internalized this process, so these PO instructions are no longer needed?

On their own, group members watch the last video section, Congratulations, which covers page 130 in the manual. At that time, they can test their knowledge of the key principles by taking the optional Final Exam for the Culture Management Course. Although Kilmann Diagnostics does not award a "certificate of achievement," receiving a score of 88 or more points signifies that members have passed the exam and have thus learned the key principles of the course. 

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5. CRITICAL THINKING COURSE

Critical Thinking CourseAfter having identified and then closed the group’s largest culture-gaps, the skills track proceeds (the second track in the eight-track program of quantum transformation). Building on a shared understanding of the five steps and errors of problem management (as covered in ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management), the skills track now helps all members learn critical thinking skills: How to surface and revise their false assumptions for their most complex problems and conflicts. Indeed, just as the group has learned to surface and revise its dysfunctional cultural norms, a similar process is used to write out assumptions that previously were hidden, which made them inaccessible and thus not manageable. (Incidentally, surfacing unwritten norms and hidden assumptions is an excellent way of fostering a collective belief in Internal Control.)

Furthermore, learning critical thinking skills (using the method of assumptional analysis) will enable all group members to make even better use of a Problem Management Organization (PMO), by learning how to debate assumptions across C-Groups before the S-Group can synthesize these assumptions into a new conclusion. The result? The likelihood of committing a defining error or an implementing error (the two most devastating errors of problem management) will be minimized for the benefit of all internal and external stakeholders—both short term and long term.

On their own, group members watch the first few video sections in this online course: A Brief Review of Problem Management (pages 6 to 14), Two Inquiring Systems (pages 15 to 21), and Introduction to Assumptional Analysis (pages 22 to 49)—all of which are covered in the Course Manual for Critical Thinking.

On their own, group members read the case study, Atwater County Hospital East, on pages 52 to 56 in the manual. The members then watch the video section that provides an overview of the Work Sheets on Using Assumptional Analysis on pages 51 to 66. But members hit the PAUSE BUTTON soon after the video shows a beautiful mountain scene with these instructions: Study the Case…Analyze the Case…. The group then reconvenes for a sixty-minute meeting to discuss these items:

5.1. As a group, members review the instructions on page 50 (Group Discussion on Using Assumptional Analysis), appoint the Process Observer (who makes use of the PO Form on pages 67 to 70), and then plan how the meeting will be conducted. After the group has had a chance to review its understanding of the case study, the group proceeds to complete the Stakeholder Table on page 58, according to the initial conclusion: “The culture of the hospital will be changed and improved as a result of sending a copy of the executives’ letter to every employees.” The members then complete the Assumptional Table on pages 59 to 61 by writing one or more assumptions for each stakeholder. Next, the group plots its assumptions on the matrix on pages 63 and 64, according to the importance and certainty of each assumption. Focusing on the assumptions that are known to be false, the group revises those assumptions on page 65 and deduces a new conclusion on page 66, thus completing its assumptional analysis of the case study.

5.2. Toward the end of the group discussion, in five to ten minutes, the PO shares his or her assessment of how well the ten principles of group process were applied during the meeting (including what improved, stayed the same, or became worse since the last meeting). The group as a whole then discusses how it will improve its group process the next time it meets—whether for this online course or for a workplace meeting back on the job.

On their own, group members return to the video and hit the PLAY BUTTON, which was previously paused on that beautiful mountain scene. Now I present my analysis of the assumptions surrounding the case study, which will have the most value AFTER the group has already completed and discussed the Work Sheets on Using Assumptional Analysis.

5.3. As a group, members compare their discussions and tables with my analysis of the case—with respect to listing stakeholders, writing assumptions, plotting assumptions, revising assumptions, and deriving a new conclusion. Although there is no right answer per se, the group will benefit by noting the gaps between its case analysis and my case analysis, so all the important lessons about the technique of assumptional analysis will be learned and internalized by every member in the group, and thus by the group as a whole.

On their own, group members proceed to watch the video section, The Problem Management Organization (PMO), on pages 71 to 80 in the manual. Although some of this material was presented in ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management, this review of the PMO highlights how assumptional analysis is used by the C-Groups and the S-Group in order to further minimize the errors of problem management. The addition of assumptional analysis to the PMO will improve the likelihood of fully satisfying—both short term and long term—the needs of all key stakeholders. Then the members watch my overview, Work Sheets on Applying What We Learned, which is covered on pages 81 to 94 in the manual (and also includes, on page 95, how assumptional analysis affects Seeing the Big Picture).

5.4. As a group, members appoint a PO (who makes use of the PO Form on pages 67 to 70), plan the meeting process, and then proceed with completing the Work Sheets on Applying What We Learned. Naturally, toward the end of the meeting, the PO provides feedback and the group discusses how to further improve its process—making effective use of all the lessons learned from these online courses.

On their own, group members can take the optional Final Exam for the Critical Thinking Course, as described on page 96 of the manual and explained on the last video section of the course: Graduation and Certificate. Upon successful completion of the Final Exam (receiving at least 88 out of 100 total points), each member receives the Certificate for the Critical Thinking Course. Obtaining this certificate signifies that the person has learned the key principles—and is now ready to apply them in the workplace.

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6. TEAM MANAGEMENT COURSE

Team Management Course

As compared to the prior online courses, Team Management spends relatively less time on presenting new concepts and theories. Instead, Team Management is designed to achieve two practical objectives: (1) to reunite the members of the group who might have been taking the previous courses separately and (2) to ensure that the key principles and practices from the prior courses are being used on the job. As such, the purpose of the team track—the third track of quantum transformation—is to transfer knowledge and skills that were learned in relatively safe workshops to the everyday realities of the workplace, thereby establishing an effective behavioral (quantum) infrastructure for all subsequent efforts at improving formal systems and business processes.

Building on what was previously learned about conflict management, group process, problem management, culture management, and critical thinking, the Team Management Course begins by providing some startling revelations on the crucial differences between time management and crisis management, including how to identify and then close time-gaps. But that’s the extent of "new" material presented in this course.

The focus of team management then shifts to reuniting the work group, which allows group members and their immediate boss to share and integrate what they have been learning in the earlier courses—organized into these four categories: Cultural Norms, People Management, Problem Management, and Time Management. If the group has gone through all the previous courses fully intact (with members and their immediate boss present at all times), the group discussions on “Reuniting the Work Group” can serve as a valuable review of all the material from our online courses.

Next, the group members respond to Kilmanns Team-Gap Survey, which identifies the largest gaps between the actual versus the desired ways that their group is functioning in those same four areas: Cultural Norms, People Management, Problem Management, and Time Management. Work sheets are provided that help organize the group discussion into the five steps of problem management: sensing problems, defining problems, deriving solutions, implementing solutions, and evaluating outcomes. These work sheets also enable the group to revise its all-purpose sanctioning system, as a valuable tool to help close the identified team-gaps in the workplace.

Lastly, this course suggests how intact groups can revisit their largest Team-Gaps by re-taking the Team-Gap Survey every few months (or at least once every six months). Additional work sheets are provided to help a group calculate the changes in its largest team-gaps (what has improvement, stayed the same, or has become worse, since the last assessment), which is then followed by the five steps of problem management to close the most stubborn team-gaps. Regularly revisiting team-gaps is one of the best ways to make sure that every work group is applying all the key principles and practices of The Complete Program of our online courses.

With this introduction to the Team Management Course, let’s proceed with going back and forth between course videos and live discussions:

On their own, group members watch the first four video sections in the course, which cover pages 1 to 30 in the Course Manual for Team Management. Members then watch the video section on Kilmanns Time-Gap Survey and then take the survey on pages 31 to 41, score their responses on pages 42 to 43, and graph their results on pages 44 and 45 (being guided by my instructions on the video). Members then view the video section on Defining Five Time-Gaps on pages 61 to 66 and the video section on Work Sheets for Closing Time-Gaps on pages 67 to 84. (When members have a chance, they might find it worthwhile to review the interpretive materials on pages 50 to 60 of the Time-Gap Survey.) The group then reconvenes for a sixty-minute meeting to discuss these items:

6.1. As a group, members review the instructions on page 66 (Group Discussion on Closing Time-Gaps), appoint the Process Observer (who makes use of the PO Form on pages 9 to 12), and then plan how the meeting will be conducted.

6.2. After discussing the five time-gaps and reviewing their individual lists on the Work Sheets, the members calculate and graph their group’s Time-Gap Profile on page 72. They then follow the steps of problem management on the remaining pages of the Work Sheets. On page 84, they consider how to expand the use of their sanctioning system in order to close their largest—most damaging—time-gaps.

6.3. Toward the end of the group discussion, in five to ten minutes, the PO shares his or her assessment of how well the ten principles of group process and time management were applied during the meeting (including what improved, stayed the same, or became worse since the last meeting). The group as a whole then discusses how it will improve its group process the next time it meets.

On their own, group members watch the next video section, which is covered on pages 85 to 90 in the manual. Next, members watch my overview of the Work Sheets for Reuniting the Work Group (pages 91 to 108). In a sixty minute meeting, the work group either proceeds (1) to integrate what the members and their immediate boss have previously learned in separate peer groups or (2) to review what the team has already learned from its prior discussions as an intact group during all our previous online courses.

6.4. A s a group, members review the instructions on page 90 (Group Discussion on Reuniting the Work Group), appoint a different Process Observer from before (who makes use of the PO Form on pages 9 to 12 in the manual), and then plan how the meeting will be conducted.

6.5. The intact group (whether using the Work Sheets to reunite itself or to review the material) complete pages 92 to 107, which helps the group identify and then close its largest gaps in those four major categories: Cultural Norms, People Management, Problem Management, and Time Management. On page 108, the group then discusses how to use its all-purpose sanctioning system to make sure it breaks its dysfunctional habits from the past and engages in behaviors that are likely to achieve organizational success in the future.

6.6. Toward the end of the group discussion, in five to ten minutes, the PO shares his or her assessment of how well the ten principles of group process and time management were applied during the meeting. The group as a whole then discusses how it will improve its group process the next time it meets.

On their own, group members watch the video section on Kilmanns Team-Gap Survey and then take the survey on pages 109 to 135, score their responses on pages 136 to 137, and graph their results on pages 138 and 139. Also on their own, group members view the video section on Defining Four Team-Gaps on pages 151 to 154, followed by the video section on Work Sheets for Identifying Team-Gaps on pages 155 to 168. (When members have a chance, they might find it worthwhile to review the interpretive materials on pages 144 to 150 of the Team-Gap Survey.) The group then reconvenes for a ninety-minute meeting to discuss these items:

6.7. As a group, members review the instructions on page 154 (Group Discussion on Identifying Team-Gaps), appoint another Process Observer (who makes use of the PO Form on pages 9 to 12), and then plan how the meeting will be conducted. After reviewing the Work Sheets, the members calculate (on page 156) their average gaps for each of the individual items that sum to the four team-gaps: Cultural Norms, People Management, Problem Management, and Time Management. Next, the members plot the four sums of these team-gaps on page 157.

6.8. On pages 158 to 159, group members rank order their five to ten largest gaps (from the individual items that make up each of the four team-gaps) and then proceed with the five steps of problem management. On page 168, the last page of the Work Sheets, members plan how their all-purpose sanctioning system can help them close their largest team-gaps.

6.9. Toward the end of the group discussion, in five to ten minutes, the PO shares his or her assessment of how well the ten principles of group process and time management were applied during the meeting. The group as a whole then discusses how it will improve its group process the next time it meets.

On their own, group members watch the video on Continuing Group Discussions on Closing Team-Gaps, which starts on page 169 in the manual. Members then watch my overview of the Work Sheets for Closing Team-Gaps, on pages 171 to 186, which provides the cycle for continuous team building in the future.

On their own, members watch the closing video, which is covered on page 188 in the manual. At that time, they can test their knowledge of the key principles by taking the optional Final Exam for the Team Management Course. Although Kilmann Diagnostics does not award a "certificate of achievement," receiving a score of 88 or more points signifies that members have passed the exam and have thus learned the key principles of the course.

Moreover, after members have successfully completed the four final exams for (1) EITHER Expanding Consciousness OR Quantum Transformation, (2) ADVANCED Training, (3) Critical Thinking, and (4) EITHER Culture Management OR Team Management, they'll receive a special recognition for mastering our series of online courses: Certificate in Conflict Management and Change Management.

6.10. Every three to six months, depending on the work group’s plan, members meet to re-take Kilmanns Team-Gap Survey and then complete the Work Sheets on Closing Team-Gaps (on pages 171 to 186), making use of the same process they followed previously (when they first completed the Team-Gap Survey and the Work Sheets on Identifying Team-Gaps). Indeed, this cycle might be performed a few times a year until the group has transformed itself into a self-managing team with insignificant team-gaps in Cultural Norms, People Management, Problem Management, and Time Management.


After having completed these online courses and live discussions, the group is ready to tackle its most challenging business, technical, and organizational problems. These complex problems include making significant improvements to their formal systems (via the strategy-structure and reward system tracks) and the processes that flow within these systems (via the gradual process, radical process, and learning process tracks). Becoming a self-designing and self-managing team is the epitome of quantum transformation and the further evolution of human consciousness.

Integrating Conflict and Change Management

 

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