Saturday, March 18, 2006

Blending Voices... Mind of Jesus Spirit

by Dale Shumaker

(The 8th Habit, “Blending Voices—Searching for the Third Alternative,”Chapter 10)

One of the most profound concepts in The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey is what he calls finding the Third Alternative. That is combining ideas to create an idea that is better than any one person’s idea. It is getting a consensus from the group that they will work toward building solutions, bigger than any one person. This manifests a distinctive synergy, transformational Third Alternative.

To get there, Covey discusses the following skills that must be in place and functioning in a healthy way in a group.

“Communication is without a doubt the most important skill in life…” This includes reading, writing , speaking and listening. Most of our communication time is listening. Covey notes that no more than 5% of us have had more than two weeks of formal training in how to listen.

Listening has five levels… ignoring, pretend listening (patronizing), selective listening, attentive listening…. But the ideal level is empathic listening… that is listening within the other’s frame of reference.

Perception skills are critical for effective emphatic listening. He outlines four important things to learn about communication through the perception experience.
1. We have to be sincerely open… the foundation for arriving at third alternative solutions.
2. Take into consideration others’ life experiences and allow time to explain “why” they see it that way and what has led to it.
3. There isn’t just one way to interpret something. Each vision needs shared and merged.
4. Most communication breakdowns are products of semantics…how people define words from their experience.

One good listening rule is to use the Indian Talking Stick. It is an artfully carved about 5 feet high stick that Indian chief’s used in discussions. The only one who could speak was the one holding the Talking Stick. And the Talking Stick was not passed on until the person speaking felt understood by everyone else. You explained back to a person what he said until the person with the Talking Stick felt you understand him. When that person was satisfied that you understood him, you were given the Talking Stick. And then, you could take your turn and share your ideas, while holding the Talking Stick.

Over 90% of all communication problems are caused by differences in semantics or perception. What I think you are saying may not be what you mean, based on my experiences in contrast to yours. No one knows the experiences that have brought you to the conclusions you have, unless you explain them. For true understanding this must be sorted out.

According to Covey, to reach third alternatives, ideas better than the combination of each person’s ideas, these two rules apply.

1.Would you be willing to search for a solution that is better than what either one of us have proposed?
2. Would you agree to a simple ground rule: No one can make his or her point until they have restated the other person’s point to his or her satisfaction?

This forces discussion into a group synergy that kindles harmony and ground-breaking ideas higher than any one person of the group. This is a very powerful concept that pushes groups, or any discussion by any number people, to higher resolve and outcomes with exceptional impact.

The power of Blending voices was acknowledged at Babel, in the Bible. The people of ancient times wanted to build a tower that reached up to the heavens. And God said because they are one people, one language, “nothing will be impossible for them.” God made man to have great power when united as one voice.

If they worked together as one, all the power of God's created universe was at their disposal and everything they set out to do would be done. God’s Spirit built this system of Spirit in His human creation. Their motives were self-centered, void of respect to God, their creator. So God scrambled their language so they would not be one voice and have unconquerable power.

In Malachi, its says those who feared, respectfully honored, the Lord spoke to each other and God responded to what they were talking about.

To the Corinthians, the Apostle said, “we have the mind of Christ.”
"We" as one unit, have the mind of Christ. As one mind, we are transfigured into the Mind of Jesus Spirit, the Ultimate, Unmatchable Spirit.

Jesus emphatically requested of God that we be One.
"That they be One, just as We are One. I in Them and You in Me, that they may be perfected into One." If all of Jesus Spirit is in "Us" and all of the Spirit of God is in Jesus, we then walk with a huge armory of Power. All of God's world creating Spirit is with us.This is what makes this principle so powerful.

When we are one, we have the mind of Jesus and His Spirit is with us... works on our behalf because it is His mind governing thoughts, directing widespread, prevailing actions. When as One Voice, we come together, taking all we say and blending it with others, we blend into the Mind of Jesus in what we discuss. While on the human level, one voice brings power as noted in Babel.

We see on the Spiritual level even greater Power, which yields unexplainable results by being One voice.

In Jesus Spirit, which is all of God's Spirit, and we as One are all of what Jesus is. This principle brings us astounding possibilities.

Paul the Apostle cautioned, exhorted believers that they avoid, at all costs, being divided over minor issues. As one mind, one voice, you are a complete benefactor of Jesus Spirit. Divided minds, voices kills power potential. The dividing spirits of jealously, bitterness, envy, self-centeredness, pouting just kills Power.

Unifying voices brings us the Very Mind of Jesus Glorified in Heaven. All Powers of Heaven are enacted. So when we meet, if we all share what Spirit is impressing on us, and we synergize all these thoughts, we raise ourselves to the level of Heavenly Power, Jesus Power. We form the mind of Christ. We function then in the Third Heaven. Here all is made, changed, created, wars won, Angels dispatched on our behalf, power manifested in our lives.

Paul the Apostle visited the Third Heaven and He was never the same after that. He saw the arena of Spirit where God, angels and all Spiritual Dynasty existed. (see 2 Corinthians 12)

This is the most gigantic principle in the Scriptures and for us to use in Becoming One in Mind and One in Spirit. By recognizing others’ ideas as God inspired and merging them into One, to a Higher level, into a Third Heaven, the Highest realm of the universe of unmatched Spiritual Force is dispatched.

Blending into God's Voice, and being one in Voice in all your encounters manifests Miraculous Powers.

In all relationships, business and others we can see life transforming power at work. In Spirit of Love, Kindness, Humility and Forgiveness... God's Spirit is thrust into motion in matters we discuss.

Blend to One Voice In Spirit.
The Super-Natural is released with vibrant, vigorous force.

Note: Archives, March 15, 2006

(References: Genesis 11; Malachi 3; 1 Corinthians 1, 2; John 17)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Blink: Knowing without Knowing...a Core Spiritual Gift

by Dale Shumaker

Blink: the Power of thinking without thinking by Malcolm Gladwell, writer for the New York Times, is about our abilities in rapid cognition. In just a few seconds we draw conclusions about everyday happenings using a unique ability of our unconscious mind. Since its release Jan. 2005, Blink has stayed on top of business book selling lists.

We all have an internal computer with an adaptive unconscious to quietly process a lot of data quickly… in a “blink” of the eye. Called rapid cognition, a knowing without knowing, we all make snap judgments within limited time and information… and in most cases with a great amount of accuracy.

“The adaptive unconscious does an excellent job sizing up the world warning people of danger, setting goals and initiating action in a sophisticated and efficient manner.”

Blink sets out to prove that “decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately.”

There are instances though that may betray us. Why? How can we train ourselves to be good at snap responses.? When should we trust our immediate instincts? Our unconscious processing system is very powerful with potential to create practical skills in rapid cognition. According to Gladwell, this power of knowing happens in the first 2 seconds. It is not a gift for a fortunate few, but an ability we can all cultivate for ourselves.

He lists many case studies to verify his book’s premise.

In war games, it is impractical to take time to analyze rationally when the enemy is pursing you. By the time you complete a calm rational analysis the enemy may have over taken you.

In an experiment several military strategist went up against some New York stock traders… who live a fast-paced rapid cognition decision making lifestyle. With their rapid cognition experience they actually defeated the war specialist in the first war game. In this case rapid knowledge outperformed shrewd analysis.

Although in the second war game, the military learned from the traders, applied the skill of rapid cognition along with their experience skills came back to take the next game.

There are times when wrong snap decisions are made. We call this prejudice.

To overcome prejudice in thinking, it takes retraining and taking in new experiences different from the past to implant new information in the unconscious mind. Like learning to play basketball, to develop rapid cognition requires training, rules, and rehearsal.

Then in real world scenarios we can respond with more refined skill. It gives a case for continued learning and perfecting abilities prior to impelling needs that trigger the rapid cognition process.

For more on Blink note Glidewell’s web link.

"Knowing:" A Core Spiritual Gift

The apostle Paul in the Bible said he wished we all would prophesy… to predict, reveal things from Divine origin.

Prophecy is much like Blink…to know without knowing. Prophecy works in connection with the universal mind of God, Spirit that is connected to all things.
“The Spirit searches all things” (1 Corinthians 2:10)
and Jesus said that the Spirit would tell us things that are to come. (John 16:13) He promised that we would have His Spirit in us, connected directly to God for living in all the potential of the Spirit.

That is the Spirit that created everything from the beginning, knows all things and orchestrates all things. Our mind works much like an internet Search engine… it searches all parts of stored data in the brain in micro-seconds, in response to everything… as Galdwell points out. The Spirit, since Jesus, was sent to do the same… but this connection is with the whole universe. Spirit knows what people think, their plans and can give us direction related to everything… based on its Infinite Connections.

It is the most powerful attribute of those living in Jesus Spirit, but its visible demonstration of existence is mysteriously not seen around too much. Why? I wonder the same thing. Why? Are we selling ourselves short on what we have available to us. Our society generally does not seem to recognize the possibilities here. Galdwell is on to something in Blink. This leads us to an even higher level… the Spirit Level.

When looking at the New York Times recently, I saw the top 3 books in the “How-to" category were written by Spiritual representatives. The #1 and #3 books by pastors (The Purpose Driven Life and Your Best Life Now). The #2 book was by a psychic-medium (If You Could See What I See). What intrigued me about all this is the interest in “foretelling” the future and the source most are looking into seems to be the psychic world. I will say though that seeing into the future is not an exclusive capability of psychic-mediums.

In the Bible, many prophets are prominent. Here’s a few:

Jeremiah, the prophet, said, quoting the Spirit of God,
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will
tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
(Jeremiah 33:3, NASB)

Jesus, the Prophet and Teacher, said, "But when He,
the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;
for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears,
He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and
will disclose it to you.”
(John 16: 13,14, NASB)

Paul, Prophet and Apostle, said, “That your faith would not rest
on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit;
for the Spirit searches all things,
even the depths of God.
(1 Corinthians 2: 5, 10, NASB)

We serve a kingdom of Power as Paul says… it’s not about words, knowledge, clever strategies of our minds to do clever things. It is about pure Power.
(see 1 Corinthians 2 and 3).

It’s about Action, Not Talk. Spirit produces above human results… Super Natural results… beyond our ability to really understand exactly how it happens.

Above all, all this is part of us.
The Same Spirit that spoke to Jeremiah, Jesus, Paul IS in Us.
We are all made to prophesy… to see from Spirit what is to come and share with each other. It is ours to cultivate. As Gladwell discovered from "knowing" skills, developing Spiritual knowing requires the same…
belief in them,
training for them,
rules about them
and rehearsal … practice, practice, practice.

Jesus reminded us that it is according to our faith these things happen. Spirit works, when we let it and stay in stride with it. The Supernatural is with us, we have the ability to “know without knowing.” This is an unsung, under-rated, under-used, under-explored powerful dynamic available to us.

As Gladwell gave insight to potential of our mind’s abilities, I say the same of our Spiritual abilities. “It’s not a gift for the fortunate few,
it’s an ability WE ALL CAN cultivate.”

In Spirit, WE ALL have Predictive Intelligence.

This prophetic gift of “knowing without knowing,” advanced rapid cognition or what I call sensing, has worked a lot for me. When considering leading business books in the past, sometimes a new book would seem to jump out at me. Interestingly, more than half of these have ended up on the top ten of business book lists. It’s my rapid cognition skill. I, do though, spend a lot of time reading biz articles and books. So, like Gladwell observed, you build this skill.

More than this is, I know you can learn prophetic skills. I have focused a lot in this area. Through time you become more finely tuned in sensing when the Spirit is prompting, talking to you. The Scriptures very clearly implicate that we all have this potential in Spirit.
“Ask me and I will tell you some remarkable secrets
about what is going to happen.”
(Jeremiah 33:3, NLT)

Think on the impact this would have on our everyday lives, within our business ventures… daily decision-making and problem solving, creating new products and services, advancing into new markets, satisfying real customer interests…. “Spirit Searches all things” and gives you the best course of action.

Predictive Intelligence is a Spiritual Service at our disposal.
Geffry Fields writes more on this on his blog Jesus is Us… “Predictive Intelligence... a Spiritual Arsenal”. Here’s the link:

John, Prophet and Apostle, heard the Spirit say to him:
“Come up here
and I will show you what will happen." (Revelation 4:1,2)

In Spirit, he saw….

In Spirit, you will See what is to come…

Friday, March 03, 2006

From Dysfunctional... to Fabulous Power Nuclei

by Dale Shumaker

Our whole world is contaminated with dysfunctional relationships. Families have marriage divorce rates over 50 %, unwed families abound with single parent homes, individuality and looking out for #1 are hero-ized.

No wonder, with all this, it has fostered a dysfunctional worm that is cocooning in the marketplace, businesses and organizations everywhere.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni, deals with how to remove this relational virus while making your business, organization a functional family unit. You can melt down the dysfunctional factors which plague a business to become remarkably functional. This book has stayed on top of the business bestseller lists since its publication. It is fast becoming the “go to” book for business team building… of any size…. from partners to managers and teams they serve.

In a nutshell, here are the five dysfunctions that infect groups:

1. Absence of Trust
"Unwillingness to be vulnerable... not being genuinely open/honest make it impossible to build a foundation for trust."

2. Fear of Conflict
"Without trust there cannot be unfiltered, passionate debate”... fear of conflict creates "veiled discussions and guarded comments."

3. Lack of Commitment
When honest opinions are not aired, genuine buy-in doesn't really happen. Commitment is superficial and political.

4. Avoidance of Accountability
When there is genuine commitment, team members hold each other accountable to "behaviors that seem counter productive to the team."

5. Inattention to Results
Without accountability "team members put their individual needs" ahead of the team's goals.

When there is lack of trust, people don’t share the good and bad about themselves in an honest way. This creates a fear of conflict because the individual in a group feels he may not be accepted for who he is, so an atmosphere of artificial harmony is prevalent. This progresses to a lack of commitment manifesting as each person’s “honest” opinions, ideas are not heard. This then promotes ambiguity and making oneself deliberately vague so one can re-maneuver opinions and protect himself from authentic accountability. An avoidance of accountability grows out of this.

The disease spreads festering low standards. Consequently, an inattention to results surfaces as people become focused on self-survival, personal agendas to preserve status and build ego gratification. Instead of real contribution they fall back to a “Looking out for # 1” mentality and in attitude. Most of what is done then is skewed for self-interest and not for the well-being of the project.

Lencioni takes the reader through storytelling episodes that role play how dysfunction can be resolved by team members sharing history of their lives, personality profiling for understanding, acceptance of ideas, standing up for each other (versus “brown nosing” the boss so to be his shining star), and cultivating a team unit that “keeps each other" accountable.

A great book that would be a superb resource as a group retreat study to create greatness as a highly functional, productive team.

Spiritual dynamics are hidden all throughout
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team.
Lencioni's website (

Jesus said there are two great commandments:
love God with all your heart, Soul and mind.
And to love your neighbor as yourself.
(Matthew 22:37)

When love prevails, we know God accepts us as we are and chooses not to “remember” our faults. (Hebrews 10:17)

He prefers to accelerate our gifts.

As one in Spirit with others, we have a connection to others as if we are One person, in Spirit... making us the “same” in Spirit. So we naturally treat others as we would treat ourselves.

With God’s love we actually consider others more important than ourselves.

Knowing our "One" connection in Spirit,
we then love others AS ourselves.

Look at the process in the New Testament for building Oneness... Group Unity.

1. Share our weaknesses with each other.
When we share shortcomings, there is a natural tendency for others to build us up. (James 5:16, 2 Corinthians 12:9)

2. Avoid dwelling on others’ faults and shortcomings.
Pray for others so God can heal, help them as we desire to overcome our own shortcomings. (Colossians 3:13)

3. Do not say things that put others down,
but instead continually encourage and inspire others.
When we reaffirm others' abilities they become what we tell them. (This is a powerful group dynamic.) We build group synergy when we practice this in a group. (Hebrews 10:24)

4. Forgive each other and stay committed to each other.
When we love others as ourselves, we see ourselves tied to each other as One (One in Spirit). We support each other’s interests and a group’s interests. (Ephesians 4:32)

5. We use our talents to complement others and contribute our best to the whole project when love, Spirit, and kindness prevail. (Romans 12)

(In Spirit, we are literally part of each other… others are part of us…
we are One.)

The three themes for creating a powerful group, which Spirit can manifest itself beyond our own abilities, are…
and giving of what we have for the benefit of others.
(see Colossians 3:5-15)

As an “US,” we manifest power beyond what "one person" can do.
Spiritual math is greater than human math. 1 + 1 = a factor of 10, 100, or 1000. Unity in Spirit enhances our connection to Jesus Spirit. Incredible Universally-connecting power is dispersed. (Matthew 18:19-20)

The secret to true spiritual Power:
Love, interact with, dwell in the Spirit of God, with all your soul, mind, heart.
As your love relationship in Jesus Spirit expands, this Spirit in you attracts, magnetically draws others to you.

As your Spirit becomes One in the Very Spirit of God, your relationships with others automatically deepen, One in Spirit.…the unlimited Universally-expansive Spirit Power joins you.

With this power at our disposal, we can expect phenomenal results, advanced results not common to the-best-of-man’s efforts. Beyond the natural… to be Super Natural.

The Super Natural can be ours now naturally, when Universal Spirit Power ties Us into Spirit with each other.

With just two or three in agreement, same mind, heart and soul,
wrapped into the same heart, mind, soul of God’s World-Creating Spirit,
ALL things are Indeed possible.

Out of this Heart-of-Jesus Spirit world dreams are created;
within this Spirit Extraordinary outcomes are birthed from all things we set our hearts, minds, souls and hands to.

All the Power that Jesus displayed on earth
is released to Us…
when We team in Spirit.