Consciousness lessons from the fireground

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Most of us do not make life and death decisions every day. However, we do make decisions that impact our well-being and the well-being of others. This presentation introduces the concept of flow-based decision making using the fire service as a model for training in active consciousness and situational awareness.

Presented at the First Annual Conference for the Society for Consciousness Studies held at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco on 5/31/14. www.consciousnessconference.org

Published in: Leadership & Management
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  • Desire to be a bridge between the conceptual (the abstract) and how people can practically apply knowledge
    Found CIIS: Googled Transformative Psychology
    Loved the transdisciplinary focus.
    AOI: How people make decisions
  • Clear goals and feedback
    Opportunities for acting decisively
    Awareness and action merge
    Concentration on the task at hand
    Confidence: The sense of control
    Loss of self-consciousness
    Temporal distortion (Claire and a number of others have mentioned this idea about the morphing of time.)
    Autotelic experience

    The dancer becomes the dance.
  • p. 21
    Many firefighters talked about knowing from their gut, having a gut feeling.

    F7’s church fire size-up (p. 73-74)
  • Importance of awareness
    Of self
    Of others
    Of the situation
    Importance of presence
    To be in the moment
    To attend to goals
    Importance of confidence as facilitated by
    Training
    Experience
  • Intention
    Creed
    Core Values
    Morning briefings
  • Combination of leadership and management
    A conscious, mindful way of facilitating and empowering others to achieve a collective vision, maximizing team flow
    Enabling others to achieve their own personal visions, maximizing personal flow
  • Culture change is initiated through symbols and “artifacts”
    People act their way into new values
    Content is about the specifics that are loosely shared. These bind people together:
    Specific approaches
    Priorities
    Assumptions
    Expectations
    Values
    Practices
    Ritual
  • Consciousness lessons from the fireground

    1. 1. Consciousness Lessons from the Fireground Judith L. Glick-Smith, Ph.D. 770-633-5582 www.mentorfactorinc.com judy@mentorfactorinc.com Twitter: @jglicksmith © 2014
    2. 2. How I Got Here 2
    3. 3. 3
    4. 4. Think of an Activity… 4 O Clear goals and feedback O Opportunities for acting decisively O Awareness and action merge O Concentration on the task at hand O Confidence: The sense of control O Loss of self-consciousness O Temporal distortion O Autotelic experience
    5. 5. Traditional vs. Recognition- Primed Decision Making O Traditional DM model O Boyd’s OODA Loop O “Thin-slicing” (Gladwell, 2005) O Depends on recognizing familiar situations and patterns (Klein, 1999) O Action is based on experience and training O Intuition grows out of experience 5 Observe Orient Decide Act
    6. 6. Flow-based Decision Making 6 O Awareness O Of self O Of others O Of the situation O Presence O Living in the moment O Attending to goals O Confidence as facilitated by O Training O Experience
    7. 7. Georgia Smoke Divers 7
    8. 8. The GSD Model 8 O Expression of intention O “Fractal” construction of training O Flat organizational structure O Commitment to infrastructure
    9. 9. The GSD Model (continued) 9 O Outward focus O Continuous transformation O Altered states of consciousness O Focus on ritual and honoring of the “ancestors”
    10. 10. Nuts and Bolts: Smoke Diver Core Values 10 O Competence O Honor O Integrity O Excellence O Mental Toughness O Passion O Commitment
    11. 11. “Fractal” Construction of Training 11
    12. 12. Servant Leader Orientation 12
    13. 13. Choose to be Happy 13
    14. 14. Work Hard / Have Fun 14
    15. 15. Be Prepared / Practice Your Craft (Stay Hydrated!) 15
    16. 16. Rest When You Get Tired 16
    17. 17. Take Time to Meditate 17
    18. 18. Teach and Mentor Others 18
    19. 19. Foster Community 19
    20. 20. Celebrate Success! 20
    21. 21. Csikszentmihalyi’s Transformation into Flow 21 O Unselfconscious self- assurance O Focusing attention on the world O The discovery of new solutions while focusing attention on obstacles to reaching goals
    22. 22. Georgia Smoke Divers 22 O Conscious leadership by example O Mindful management O Using history and ritual to bind the group O Facilitating individual and team success
    23. 23. References 23 O Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Finding flow: The psychology of engagement with everyday life. New York, NY: Basic Books. O Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York, NY: HarperCollins. O Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1988). Introduction. In M. Csikszentmihalyi, & I. S. Csikszentmihalyi (Eds.), Optimal experience: Psychological studies of flow in consciousness. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. O Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1993). The evolving self: A psychology for the third millennium. New York, NY: HarperPerennial.
    24. 24. References O Gladwell, M. (2005). Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. New York, NY: Back Bay Books. O Klein, G. (1999). Sources of power: How people make decisions. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. O Klein, G. (2009). Streetlights and shadows: Searching for the keys to adaptive decision making. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. O Weick, K. E., & Sutcliffe, K. M. (2007). Managing the unexpected: Resilient performance in an age of uncertainty. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley. 24
    25. 25. 25 Questions?

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