Much has been written over the centuries about time.  Time impacts all things alive or dead.  Song writers have sung of too much time, others of too little. Some believe it keeps on ticking into the future which is probably why one song writer would like to put time in a bottle. Bob Dylan has reminded us that “times, they are a changing”.  Poets have described it also in many ways.  Shakespeare in Sonnet 19 calls it devouring, Maya Angelo describes it as passing and Emily Dickenson reminds us in ‘A Clock Stopped’ that eventually we will run out of it without the ability to start it again.  We have even enshrined time with famous architecture pieces such clock towers such as New Town Hall in Munich and Big Ben in London.  The idea of time inspires joy in some and fear in others, but it is the one thing that connects all things on earth. 

In The Mandt System we have the formula dignity plus respect plus honesty divided by time is how we get to healthy relationships.  We spend time discussing the importance of knowing real time verses psychological time.  Finally, we give recommendations of the time for teaching and restraining.  In fact, we use the word or its variation 378 times in the instructor manual.  Just like air, we don’t often think about it until we are impacted by it.  When I cannot breathe, I think about the need for air.  I also think about air when I feel its impact on my skin but often if there is no breeze I do not think about its absence because I trust it is still there. 

Just like air I can not control time. All I can do is manage it by managing how I interact with it.  I also cannot control another’s behaviors.  Positive behavior support plans take time to have impact.  Change in behavior does not happen overnight. I can manage my behavior and over time hope the impact of consistency and predictability in running the plan correctly and managing my responses has the desired impact.  Managing conflict in the workplace also has time elements.  Deciding the right time to address the issue at hand has an impact on outcomes of the workplace conflict.  Creating a safer workplace is all about time management both with the people we work with and those we support. 

I agree with the founder of Hallmark Cards Inc. Joyce C. Hall’s quote that “Time is everything. Anything you want, anything you accomplish-Pleasure, success, fortune-is measured in time.”  How are you spending your time with other people?  Building people up or tearing people down?  Perhaps you are not having any impact…good or bad. You are just marking time in place.  When I die, my connection with air is finished but my connection with time and its impact is not.  My impact on people will live on1 in those I leave behind both from a personal and professional standpoint.  I know this firsthand as those long since passed still have an impact all these years later.  The impact can be positive if I am building people up and assisting them to their greatest potential or, as we see in generational trauma, my impact can have lasting effects on the generations to follow.  How are you using your most precious gift?  Time! 

Tim Geels – Director of Implementation and Governance 

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