Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BCU Paddlesports Performance Awards

For those who paddle ‘general purpose’ kayaks and those who use an ‘open’ canoe in a 'traditional' context. The star awards are a requirement for entry into the BCU Coaching scheme.

1* concentrates on the basic strokes and can be assesed in any craft

2* develops boats handling skills in both canoe and kayak

3* looks at boat handling competence in specific disciplines – Whitewater, Sea, Surf, Canoe or Touring

4* and 5 * awards require experience and expertise in undertaking self-contained journeys and the leadership of others - Whitewater, Sea, Surf or Canoe

Get in touch should you wish to do any of these courses

Further information can be obtained by visiting the British Canoe Union website

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday Morning Wave

Photographer: Chris Klopf

Jason 'Ratboy' Collins salutes the sun with his own flash of brilliance. Photographer Chris Klopf says of this shot: Sundown sessions with five of your friends do still happen in northern California.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BCU Foundation Safety & Rescue Training

This one day course is designed to provide the hazard awareness and rescue skills needed for safe paddle on flat water. It includes theory modules and practical activities. The FSRT is a prerequisite for the BCU/ UKCC Level 1 and 2 Coach awards.

Areas that would covered include:

* Group management and communication.
* Safety and rescue protocols.
* Bank based rescue techniques.
* Boat based rescue techniques.
* Self rescue techniques.
* Rescuing an unconscious or entrapped paddler.
* Advice and familiarisation with safety equipment and its use.

Get in touch should you wish to do this course

Further information can be obtained by visiting the British Canoe Union website

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Morning Wave

Photographer: John Callahan

Swift as the wind, Steady as the mountain

- Sun Tzu, The Art Of War -

Sam Bleakley in peaceful warrior pose, somewhere in the western Sahara.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Levels of Learning and Change - 2

First Level Change (or single loop learning)

First order change and learning takes place within accepted boundaries; it is adaptive learning that leaves basic values unexamined and unchanged. Emphasis is on information.

First order learning is about changing our actions, which includes changing the way we speak and behave. This results in a traditional approach to problem solving that relies on cause and effect thinking, known as survival or routine learning. If things fall apart we tend to try harder. If our actions are working for us there is no incentive to learn new skills or change our behaviour. However, if we don't produce the results wanted there are three main options:

1. We stop doing it.
2. We modify our actions to do the same things better
3. We do something different

Photographer: Stephen Bond

Second Level Change (or double loop learning)

By contrast, second order change and learning involves critically reflective learning, when we examine the assumptions and values that influence first order learning; this is sometimes called ‘learning about learning’ or ‘thinking about our thinking’.

We look to extract the patterns, principles or rules that will deliver different outcomes. This helps to induce new ways of thinking. Second order learning requires a new observer with different views or the same observer adopting a different way of looking at things. This may require a different way of listening and interpreting experiences. NLP refers to this process as "reframing", a mechanism for changing what we pay attention, how we perceive things or what motivates us.

Photographer: Stephen Bond

Third Level Change (or triple loop learning)

At a deeper level still, when third order learning occurs, it requires a reinvention of identity or a different ‘way of being’ that produces outstanding results. It's not about changing behaviour or our thinking, but coming intuitively to adopt another state of consciousness.

Thinking becomes more strategic as it reflects a multi-dimensional perspective. It is creative, and involves a deep awareness of alternative world-views and ways of doing things. It is, as Einstein suggests, a shift of consciousness. It is this transformative or strategic learning, both at individual and collective levels, that can generate a radical move towards the sustainable change that's required.

At each level it is possible to see more possibilities for taking effective action. Where you stand matters. To understand how you look at things you need to become a more conscious observer of the way you perceive and make distinctions. It takes more courage to think about how you look at things than it does to just try new actions (2nd level). It's even harder to reflect on how you are being and in what ways you need to reinvent yourself (3rd level). This is where so many personal and cultural change programmes fail. They stimulate and measure activity, but not the inner change that will deliver the transformational change in the whole person that's needed. The result is little or no sustainable change. To do what you have always done will only deliver what you always got before. Real change requires you to become conscious at all three levels - body, thought (language) and mood.

Robert Greenleaf, orginator of Servant Leadership, invites people to consider a domain of leadership grounded in a state of being, not doing. It's not an action (1st level), it's not something that you think about (2nd level), it's an expression of who you are (3rd level). The choice is to serve others or realise your goals through others. We are what we know and know only what we do. So, problems, possibilities and solutions do not exist 'out there' they exist within the minds of people. What is a problem for one person goes unnoticed by others. It is the different moods, concerns, distinctions, intentions and interests of different observers that creates problems, possibilities and solutions. We cannot know everything so we will always be blind to something. Looking 'out there' for someone to blame is futile when the answer lies within ourselves. This is a difficult, sometimes frightening idea for some people to accept that they may be wrong or their model of the world is only partial and full of assumptions.

Photographer: Stephen Bond

Monday, May 11, 2009

Words of Wisdom

Life should not be measured by the amount of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Levels of Learning and Change - 1

According to Chris Argyris and Robert Putman (1986), we can learn and change at three main levels:

1. Most often we learn new information and skills and thereby change our behaviours consequently performing tasks more effectively - 1st level. This is sometimes refered to as ‘single loop learning’.

2. Less often we learn at the reflective and thinking level, seeing things from a different angle, reframing and changing our perspectives - 2nd level. This kind of change in our mental framework may be called ‘double loop learning’.

3. Further more, transformational or ‘triple loop learning’ is can be even more profound, affecting not only our behaviour and thinking but our identity. This occurs when the way we see ourselves and our relationship with the world shifts - 3rd level.

Many ancient traditions and modern management processes relate to these three levels of learning or consciousness. In the Kabbalistic tree of life, for example, ‘malchut’ represents the physical or body level (behavioural). “Vasod’ refers to self-awareness or language level (thoughtful) and ‘tifereth’ the inner energy or mood level (transformational). These states of consciousness can be found replicated as ‘orders of learning’ sometimes referred to as 'loops'. All three states are required to create a coherent ‘sense of being'.

We can easily get ‘locked-in’ to our preferred ways of viewing the world, our epistemological and ontological perspectives, that forces us into a rut. To achieve higher levels of consciousness and achievement our goals must be more than just an extension of the same old story, that challenge limiting beliefs and tap the emotional energy needed to let go and dream of new possibilities. These higher virtues belong to the spiritual world, not unlike the ‘pure form’ world of the Buddhist or the ideas world of Plato.

It is at this third level that we might experience synchronicity, where a state of being that is so grounded in deep commitment it draws in other people. Just being able to be there for others and to listen to them is one of tyhe most important capacities a Change Coach has. It calls forth the best in people as they discover real purpose and want to do the inner, reflective work that brings about transformational change.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Monday Morning Wave

Surfing equates to living in the very moment of 'now'. When you ride a wave you leave behind all things important and unimportant, the purity of the moment is upon you

- Bill Hamilton -