ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

July 1999

Teams That Work And Those That Don't

Teaching Dollars And Cents Makes Sense

Cycle-Time Redesign

Baldrige Winner Wins Again

Be Careful What You Ask For

by Peter Block
Sorry We're Closed: Diary Of A Shutdown

Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Book Review

Site Unseen

The Quality Tool I Never Use

Book Reviews with a Twist

"Learning in Relationship: Foundation for Personal and Professional Success"
by Ron Short, Ph.D.

All organization change initiatives; TQM, self-managed work teams, reengineering, high-performance work teams, restructuring, balanced scorecards, build from the foundation of effective work relationships. Without a strong foundation, oftentimes change initiatives crumble or need constant shoring up throughout the effort. Ron Short's book is about how to provide this foundation.

Seeing The World Inside Out
"You see the world and others as outside of and separate from you when they are not."

This truth is central to the book. Short helps us experience the truth of it and builds on the reality that we create the world inside ourselves, all the while acting like the world is outside of us. Short helps us turn around and see the world from inside out rather than outside in. We often end up pursuing pre-packaged purposes that others "know" we need. We get lost, we stumble about because we have too many maps and no compass. This book is about your personal compass and navigation. It is all about you, your purpose, your perception, your freedom, your choice.

Patterns Are The Problem
"The problem … is often not the stated problem but the underlying patterns that keep the problem in place."

Throughout this book the reader will learn to bring more to relationships with others. You can recognize small patterns in your interactions, patterns you repeat perhaps hundreds of times a week, that do not serve you well. The book helps to recognize and alter those patterns.

If It's Broke, Fix It
"You create the impact others have on you. To understand others' impact on you, look at yourself."

Short's guidance on this is priceless. As counter-intuitive as it might feel, the way to fixing a relationship starts with you.

Tips for Improving Relationships
-Improvement starts with me, not someone else.
-I must be open to expressing what's inside me, behaving as I wish others would.
-I must name what's going on inside me to understand it.
-I must risk first; trusting comes later.
Simple and often uncomfortable truths will move the reader toward a deeper sense of responsibility in relating to others.

Bringing It Home
Short's lessons always come back to the reader:
-What's happening inside you?
-How do you process information you receive?
-What can you do to open your perception?
-What can you do in this relationship?

His questions are accompanied by plenty of specific examples that the reader will easily identify with and find easy to use. Short also provides exercises that allow you to practice what he's preaching.

All in all, this is a very useful book that applies to 90 percent of our waking hours. The author's years of experience show on every page; you can sense the life of study, experience and reflection that back this book. Short shows a remarkable talent for expressing what is behind or beneath what you think is obvious. He knows your struggles because they are his; his learning can speed up your own. Each book is accompanied by a self-awareness reminder booklet containing key points you need in your next encounter.

"Learning in Relationship: Foundation for Personal and Professional Success.Ronald R. Short, Ph.D. Learning in Action Technologies, Bellevue, Wash. ISBN #1-887259-00-7, pages 153, $19.95

Reviewed by Geoff Bellman, Bellman & Company, Seattle, Wash.
July '99 News for a Change | Email Editor
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