Sunday, May 29, 2005

Think Win-Win or No Deal

Whenever we negotiate, we always have the mindset that one will get a better deal than the other. This is where the context of win-lose or lose-win comes to mind as stated by Stephen Covey in his 8th Habit book.

However, the ideal state should be a major win-win for both parties in the negotiation table. If this can't be achieved, then both should be ready to agree to have a no-deal in mind. Unfortunately, this is hard when the issues are too sensitive to handle and where one has to lose inevitably.

This is where leaders must look for the third alternative and achieve synergy between the parties in conflict. To get it started, the parties must be trained to listen and work hard to earn each other's trust. This is hard if some of the panel members have no ethos or credibility to begin with and have personal bias or gain if the party in conflict loses.

Getting the right people, preparing them through training, and agree on ground rules such as win-win or no deal, will help in resolving controversial conflicts.

For the young generation, educators must train them to listen emphatically in order to become broadminded, unselfish thinkers, and effective problem solvers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Ethos, pathos, logos

In the book "The 8th Habit", Stephen Covey talked about the Greek Philosophy of Influence called ethos, pathos, logos. Upon reading it yesterday, it reminded me of a recent event where a draft research output being presented was heavily lambasted by several well-known people in the audience.

The resource team gave a reaction but was not good enough in substance. A lot of it relied on their personal opinion and expertise. It almost reached the point where the reactors obviously showed no confidence on the methodology and reasoning used by the researcher.

Looking back, the team who did the research lacked ethos or credibility. Perhaps, they were not able to package themselves well, in order to be seen as trustworthy, by having the integrity and competence with the work that they do.

During the discussion portion of the forum, as comments and challenges were hurled, the resource team failed to demonstrate pathos or emphaty. They listened but at the same time defend their findings. No step was taken to truly demonstrate the intent to understand the concerns first. Instead, the research team pushed logos or logic immediately. Instead of calming the reactors, it spurred further criticism to the body of work presented.

The timing and sequence of execution between ethos, pathos, and logos is critical. No amount of pathos and logos will work if the team presenting was not able to establish their ethos first.

Logos, no matter how accurate and relevant, will be vaguely accepted if the participant asking was not given pathos, recognizing how they feel.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Making Sacrifices

In my DigitalFilipino.com adventures, I have a lot of initiatives that were pro-bono and unprofitable such as my publications and research reports. At some point, my concerned friends were questioning me for doing those things. I told them that this is all part of the sacrifices that one has to make in order to gain a bigger stake later on.

Usually, the return comes in triple-fold. This is where I had no regrets for coming up with the 10-StatsReport series (2002-2003). Even though the sales was not good enough to cover the cost of research work, the opportunity I gained in speaking at various international conferences had been most worthwhile and had put me at a different level.

As my current work does not give me the opportunity to be as hands-on in my research as in the past (where I personally do the face-to-face survey, answer validation, encoding, and analysis), I hope to able to resume with this work again as soon as I find the right person to help me out.

The same goes when I did a lot of advocacy work for the passage of the Y2K and E-Commerce Law. I spent no less than 40 hours a week, online and offline, lobbying for support from various groups, speaking at events, and talking to important people. The sacrifice I took then partly paid off as DigitalFilipino.com continuous to exist online.

This is also true with our physical health. Quitting bad habits now for the sake of living a longer & healthier life for our children is enough motivation, than just looking good on your next major event.

Taking sacrifices is important if we want to achieve our big picture goals. It is never-ending and I guess that is what makes our life relevant and meaningful.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Having an advocacy

I usually find myself having an advocacy at the time when things don't go well. In 1997, while I was having some uncertainty in direction, the opportunity in starting the Philippine Internet Commerce Society (http://www.pics.org.ph) came to life. In 2001, as my influence increased, the number of intrigues increased as well. As I mentioned in my earlier blog post, no one can hurt you without your consent.

As I decided not to be affected, the opportunity to start the Philippine Schools Cyberfair (http://www.cyberfair.ph) came to life. In its 5th year, the competition has gone a long way and started an important trend as far as integrating ICT in basic education. Earlier this week, I decided to start the Cyberfair blog (http://cyberfair.i.ph) to support a bigger campaign this year.

I believe that if each one of us will have an advocacy, whether as a lead or supporting role, our country can become a better place for all of us Filipinos.

Do you have an advocacy? Kindly share it here or in your blog. Will be glad to learn more about it. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Are you proactive?

My previous blog post elicited an interesting response about work-related problems that gets posted in a public blog. Rather than discuss whether that is right or wrong, legal or not, I'd rather go back to the basics.

I think very rare would we find a workplace, even our daily lives, to be as good as we want to be. There will certainly be frustrations and disappointments. How you handle it is your choice. No one can irritate and harm you without your consent.

This is what I've learned.

In working with difficult supervisors and customers, take the initiative of understanding what they want and further clarify in case there is miscommunication. As you interact, don't explain yourself, just listen, ask questions, listen some more, validate by giving scenarios, and listen some more. Don't explain yourself until you are asked.

It is also productive to submit a weekly report of what you've done and work issues (urgent/not-urgent but important) you are having that will interfere the completion of your deliverable. Discuss this with your superior and build a checklist that shows pending issues and those that have been resolved as you submit your weekly report.

Most workplace stress is a result of poor communication. The above two suggestions, I hope, can help in its own small way.

Monday, May 09, 2005

A sense of purpose

After the iBlog summit, I started checking out the blogs of participants who wrote about it and posted messages expressing heartfelt thanks for their support.

I believe the greatest thing that a blog has given to Internet users today is a medium for each blogger's "voice" to be heard. I'm certain that the day will come where blogs will be used to raise the problems and pains that some of us are facing and take action. One great example in this regard is the PEP Coalition's Pacific Plans - Broken Dreams blog at http://www.pacificnoplan.blogspot.com/

In my time back in 1997-2000, discussion groups were most useful in lobbying for the passage of the Y2K Law and E-Commerce Law.

Today, blogs can serve as a powerful medium where individuals can synergize to push for a common cause. The Internet generation has so many choices available to get their voice heard. May blogs be used responsibly and affect change for the good of everyone.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Meeting Expectations

Last Friday, my E-Learning Workshop ended as I added all of my teacher students to my Friends list here. I hope they will carry on and continue their reflective thinking in the months to come.

The teachers gave me the challenge of making Cyberfair better by giving recognition to students as well. Actually, I've been thinking about it and the push made me determined to do something better in that area.

Yesterday, at the iBlog event, Dean Alfar shocked and awed me with his presentation. His humility is truly admirable. I believe that a person has reached his or her greatest potential when he or she begins looking beyond himself or herself and started helping other people become better in their craft. May Dean inspire more bloggers.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Patience and Understanding

In my work where I coordinate with people, it is hard when deliverables are not met at the time and day agreed upon. This is where flexibility is required and making up for lost time needs to be made as well.

Praying for patience and serenity has always helped me well. Perhaps because I have mellowed down for quite some now. When people miss their deadline due to other workload that interferes with mine, I try to move on after hearing them out and set another date. When nearly done, I strive to fill-in the gaps for as long as I'm capable of doing it.

When people disappoint us, remember that we are also human and sometime do the same to others even if we don't deliberately intend to. For as long as we are ready to listen and understand, we can work together to reach a compromise and help along the way.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Finding my way in the U.P Diliman Campus

It is quite embarrassing not knowing my way around UP Diliman despite the fact that I visit this place quite often. Yesterday, as I was having a discussion with two teachers in my e-learning workshop, they shared how amuse they are with the two jeepney routes. One is UP Ikot which does not pass by Computer Science Resource Center. The other teacher said, "You should take UP Toki". I looked at him and was a little confused. I asked, "What is TOKI? Is that a building?"
He said it is the reverse of "Ikot". TOKI takes the other route and passes by the Computer Science Resource Center.

The biggest lesson learned I had yesterday was from Paul Hubbard of YesPayments.com. A few months back, he was already warning me about the stability of Ikobo.com and was quite reluctant to heed as I was earning from it. Finally, alas, as I was going through my accepting online payments lecture portion yesterday, I finally realized that Ikobo was really having problems. But Paul, being a good friend indeed, came to the rescue and will provide me testing modules that my students can get their hands on.

Thanks Paul. You are heaven sent!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Reflective Thinking

Over the weekend, I'm glad that I finally finished reading John Maxwell's book, Thinking for a Change. It is one of the best book I've ever read. I decided to immediately put some of the things that I've learned into practice.

Yesterday, my 2-days Build Your Own E-Learning Workshop already started. This is part of the 5-day teacher training program for educators who participated in the Philippine Schools Cyberfair 2005.

All participants are required to blog at the end of the day and write about "What did I learn today?" It is intended for reflective thinking where learning observation has to be made consciously by the participant.

I find it to be an interesting experience and will do it regularly.