On August 1st, UMSL welcomed Dr. Andrew Kersten to the position of Dean for the College of Arts & Sciences. Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kristin Sobolik, said of Dean Kersten, “He has excellent broad-based administrative experience including growing and nurturing interdisciplinary connections and community. He understands the importance of student success and faculty development and will be a great member of our UMSL team.” Dr. Kersten was formerly the Dean of the College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences at the University of Idaho as well as a Professor of History.
Visit the UMSL Daily for more information regarding Dean Kersten. Human Resources welcomes and congratulates Dean Kersten, and thanks Dr. Terry Thiel, on her excellent service and leadership as Interim Dean for the College of Arts & Sciences.
Dana Beteet Daniels, UMSL’s Title IX Coordinator, was interviewed last week on St. Louis Public Radio’s program, St. Louis on the Air, along with other experts on the topic of Title IX. The program focused on increasing attention to Title IX, and the handling of sexual assault and discrimination issues by universities across the country, with mention of UM President Mun Choi’s recent message reaffirming a, ““commitment to institutional accountability, transparency and the protection of our students, employees, patients and visitors.”
On the way into work one day I was listening to a story on NPR that triggered a string of thoughts to the extent that I completely missed the last part of the story. This is especially easy to do in an age when most of our media comes with a ‘pause’ or a ‘replay’ button. So until we are able to hit ‘pause’ and ‘replay’ on our conversations with people, our only option is to stay present.
Being present as a leader means attending to the here and now, being and moving in concert with what is happening. It’s easy to drift away from presence – to shift into autopilot based on assumptions, to jump to conclusions or start building our response before a speaker has finished speaking. The problem comes when those responses set us up to play one of the roles in the drama triangle. The short video below explains each of those roles and it’s easy to think of times when we and others have been Hero, Victim or Villain. We cannot play one of these roles and be present at the same time.
The key to Presence and avoiding the Drama Triangle is to recognize when you are drifting and to claim a more productive role (Coach, Creator, Challenger). There are a number of ways to to shift back to Presence:
Adopt a beginner’s mindset: Reverse the order you do things, take a different route to work. This will help your mind to stay out of autopilot and help stay present in the moment of the task.
Use your opposite hand: Use your mouse, brush your hair, etc. with the opposite hand. You really really have to focus on your the task (literally) at hand!
Reorganize your books: stack them in a spiral, or organize them by color.
Pay attention to the full experience of walking: Focus on the sensations, the small and large movements you make while walking, how objects seem to move past you, the temperature, the wind, etc.
Pay attention to the full experience of breathing: The sounds, sensations, smells, etc. (this is a great way to get into a deep meditative state).
Play the A-Z game: As you walk, try to spot all the letters of the alphabet, in order, as you walk.
Periodically stop and smile: Become aware of the immediate physiological response in your body. Feels great, doesn’t it?
Conscious breathing: While you hold it, notice and name 5 things you can see, feel, hear.
Conscious listening: Put down the phone, mute the TV, look at the speaker and listen to understand.
The result of practicing the shift to Presence is that you will be aware when you begin to drift or when you are assuming a role in the drama triangle. When you are able to break out of the triangle and be present with those around you, you will find more possibilities, place less blame, feel freer to be you and find yourself making it to the end of more of those stories on NPR.
There’s still time to register to see Focus on the Future keynote speaker, Wes Hoffman of Treehouse Network. Join Wes as he delivers a thought-provoking and entertaining speech on mindfulness, motivation, and inspiration. Learn about how to develop a more positive outlook by becoming aware of thought patterns, letting go of the negative, and finding your passion within. The event is on Thursday, March 29th, at 3 p.m. in MSC Century rooms B & C.
Registration Instructions for Focus on the Future: Staff Enrichment week
1. Select the icon for “The Library” and the top of the page.
2. Click “UMSL” from the dropdown box. Listed under “University of Missouri Library”.
3. Select “UMSL Instructor Led Training” on the left side panel. Under “Categories”.
4. Scroll down the page until you find workshops titles that begin with “Focus on the Future. ” Select the “DETAILS” button for workshops you find most interesting. There are two pages.
5. To learn more about the course, select the “About” tab. Or by selecting “Details” on the “Sessions” tab.
6. To enroll in the course, select the “Sessions” tab and select “Enroll”. You may withdraw after enrollment, as well.
7. After enrolling you will receive an email to your UMSL account. You may add that appointment to your Outlook calendar so you don’t forget the event. Open the calendar icon next to “Message”.
8. Select “Save & Close”.
The Human Resources office has been reading The Innovation Code by Jeff DeGraff and Staney DeGraff. Using vivid examples, this rigorous but highly accessible guide offers four steps to normalize conflict and channel it to develop breakthrough innovations that are both good for you and your customers. This book helps you identify your dominant world view and teaches you how to communicate and work with those who have a different dominant world view than you.
This book can be read through myLearn by clicking here. If you are interested in more information about this book or any resource available in myLearn, contact Human Resources.
Congratulations to UMSL Police Department’s Tom McEwen, recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant! Lt. McEwen will manage the officers and supervisors in the Bureau of Patrol.
Those of you on campus during the last two decades are likely familiar with the longest-serving member of the police department. Lt. McEwen is now in his 24th year, having started in 1994. During his tenure, he served in the capacity of Police Officer until 2003, when he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Lt. McEwen has seen many changes to the University in that time. When he first started, there were no students living on campus, and nuns and priests occupied some of the buildings that now make up UMSL’s south campus. Over the years, Lt. McEwen has worked for five different Police Chiefs.
Lt. McEwen was instrumental in implementing the original UMSL Police Department bike patrol unit in 1995. In fact, he has even observed, pursued and apprehended a suspect who had just stolen a vehicle from the campus while patrolling on his bike! Lt. McEwen will continue to be a part of the bike patrol unit.
Lt. McEwen is married and has two children. In his free time, he enjoys long motorcycle rides exploring new areas.
On his “Leadership Freak” Blog Dan Rockwell explores the issue of Accountability. It’s one of those terms that sounds great but means different things to different people. As a leader, accountability should start with the question of how you hold yourself accountable before you can expect to hold others accountable. Until you answer the question for yourself your attempts to hold others accountable will sound to them like “How can I pressure you into doing what I want you to do and not be resistant?”. Rockwell shares the following three thoughts on accountability:
#1. Accountability is for people who row together. If you aren’t rowing in the same direction, accountability becomes threat and punishment.
#2. Hold yourself accountable before holding others accountable. Openly develop your leadership if you expect people to develop theirs.
#3. Focus accountability on personal growth and development that adds value to self, customers, and colleagues.
Each month, myLearn Spotlight will highlight an upcoming development opportunity offered through myLearn, UM’s online learning and performance support offered through myHR . This online tool is part of an ongoing commitment to the continuing development of faculty and staff. myLearn offers training resources in many areas, from highly technical topics to software application instruction, from business skills development to legal compliance awareness. With myLearn, you have thousands of professional and personal development tools at your fingertips, on demand any time.
For example, you can join the upcoming Live Event, “Creating Order Out of Chaos–Staying Afloat in a World of Too Much to Do,” where David Allen, founder of his own management consulting, coaching and training company, explains the five critical steps for getting anything more in control and focused. David will pass on many techniques that anyone can implement immediately, to gain greater stability, clarity, and, (yes!) time to engage with what really matters!