What did training dolphins teach me?

 I used to train dolphins in college. I learned a lot through that experience. What were the main things I learned and carry with me? What I learned about humans by watching humans learn how to train dolphins. 

1) watching how people learn new information. Specifically, how people learn how to train dolphins and the stages they go through.  

The first phase: Some people when they first learn, watch and listen and don't act on it - are very hesitant. These become really great trainers.  Others are very hands on and dive in right away. These folks generally become good trainers but not excellent trainers.  When I am doing an onboarding, I pay attention to the people paying attention as these are the people who usually turn into my best employees.  It is easy to dismiss them and pay attention to the ones that dive in, but they aren't necessarily learning as precisely as the ones who observe first do. 

The 2nd phase is when people have learned enough to know mistakes when they see it and they start pointing out the mistakes of others. This is actually them learning and reminding themselves to not make those mistakes - even though it's annoying for the people being reminded to not do something. And a part of it is bolstering their own self esteem by reminding themselves how much they have accomplished/learned. 

The third phase of learning is enlightenment where the trainer is really good and also really calm and patient with new learners. They are confident in what they know and don't need to bolster themselves or remind themselves of things and so don't harp on the newbies.  People in phase 2 might be annoying, but if they are coached compassionately, they will eventually make it to phase 3. 

2) The 2nd important thing I learned what has to create unlearning through a behavioral technique called extinguishing a behavior. This is what I teach in my anti-bullying and anti-harassment training. How to untrain unwanted behavior - like bullying.  If you want to learn more visit: https://humanistlearning.com/category/bullyingharassment/

The world doesn't revolve around you! Practicing Compassion

 Understanding that other people have their own problems and interacting with them with compassion instead of selfishness - will change your life - for the better.

From the online course: Planning for Personal Success. https://humanistlearning.com/planforpersonalsuccess/

Do codes of conduct help people behave ethically?

 Whether and how do corporate codes of conduct for employees and codes of ethics for members of trade associations help organizations prevent or address crisis situations caused by their employees or members?

Short answer: Yes, but only if you use them.

Codes of conduct don’t prevent ethical problems from arising. They don’t stop unethical people from behaving unethically. What they do provide is a method to determine whether something is ethical or not and how to ethically deal with a breach of ethics.  Used correctly, a code of conduct is a code of ethics. If there is a problem people should invoke the code and ask, what is the ethical thing to do here. What is the ‘good’ outcome.  It is only possible to have an ethical discussion if there is some agreement on what constitutes good.

In order to be useful, codes of conduct have to be used. Not as a bludgeon, but as a way to focus a discussion on what is ethical and what is good and what to do about things aren’t are neither ethical nor good.

I am the founder of Humanist Learning Systems and a board member for the USA chapter of the International Humanistic Management Association. I am an ethical philosopher who teaches people how to apply their ethics in their daily lives and in their businesses.   



A New Year - a New You

 Consider Humanism!

Whatever it is you don’t like that is going on in your professional or personal life – you can change it. Things don’t have to be the way they are. We can change things and make the world a better place for everyone to live if we take responsibility to do it and approach our problems using a combination of love, compassion science and reason. 

The first course I created was a course on how to live ethically and effectively as a Humanist. It is called Living Made Simpler.  https://humanistlearning.com/livingmadesimpler1/ This 6 hour video course will teach you all about how a Humanist goes about living a happy and fulfilling life.

If you are learning about Humanism, or even if you have been considering yourself a Humanist for a while, people have really benefited from this program.  See some of the reviews below: 

“I am finding it is giving me a greater grounding in my decision making, along with explaining my reasoning to others. … I read the bible and went through all the other major religions looking of answers as a kid, but did not realize what I was looking for was ethics, not theology, to answer my questions of why we should do things.  I did come close though, I came across Confucius, and better yet, I found Mencius who was more coherent in explaining Confucius’s ideas. But, they too lacked a structured reasoning checklist as your “Be Compassionate, Be Responsible, Be Honest”, which I now filter daily issues with. Thanks for the guidance, every much appreciated.” – Jakers

“Thank you for a most interesting course that gave me plenty to consider and a chance to rethink/confirm my own beliefs” – J. McNally, Sarasota

“Thank you for your provocative and enjoyable presentation of this basic introductory course on Humanism. Your slides and lectures were excellent and your interactive style fostered provocative class participation. I highly recommend this course. I always thought of myself as a Humanist and insights from this course gave me a lot to think about.” – G. Deutsch, Sarasota FL

“Living Simpler was definitely an interesting review of fundamental aspects of life that can benefit much from the humanist worldview,  such as ethics,  critical thinking and personal responsibility.   Weekly themes of the course were well selected and clearly presented.  I really enjoyed going through the course.” – P. Franko, Brazil

If you have been struggling in any area of your life, stepping back to think through HOW you think about your problems can be very beneficial.  So go ahead and register today.  https://humanistlearning.com/livingmadesimpler1/

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