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I have friends who post lots of pictures online. They use their hobbies as a way to inform their online friends as to what they are seeing. One friend is a bird watcher and posts pictures of unusual birds in unusual places. Another friend is a nature photographer who posts all sorts of beautiful pictures and usually gets a picture or two a week on the local television weather forecast. I always enjoy their pictures because I feel I live vicariously through their photographs. Their pictures also make me more aware of birds and beautiful scenery.

I’m not going to propose that we post a lot of Mandt pictures online. But, what about Mandt people watching? We could instill in our students the joy of going out into public and finding good and/or bad examples of people working with others. If we were to do this in a positive, supportive way we would not be judgmental about the people we are observing. We would, however, be using our RADAR to see Mandt concepts used in a ‘natural environment.’ The more examples we see, the easier it is to understand how our behavior affects the situations in which we find ourselves. The more aware we become of our behavior and how it affects others, the better staff we will be.

Expanding on this idea, if Mandt trainers become Mandt people watchers, what affect might that have? The more we see examples, whether good or bad, the easier it is to identify them. This would also give each of us more examples that we could use in our training.

How many times have you seen the parent beautifully working with a child in the middle of a meltdown? How many times have you seen the couple escalating an argument with neither of them really listening to the other? Keeping our RADAR on and seeing these examples allows us to bring them into the training room and show our students the applicability of Mandt. It should also help us to become more aware of our actions when we find ourselves in similar situations.

So, while we probably shouldn’t be posting a lot of pictures about our Mandt people watching activities, we can use the examples we see to help our students live vicariously (or learn vicariously) through our stories and observations.

Dr. Dale Shannon – Mandt Faculty

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