4MAT Training Opening Activity: The Difference that Makes a Difference

I took along David Rock and Linda Page’s book, Coaching with the Brain in Mind, on a recent trip to an off-site train the trainer program. This is an excellent “textbook” for 4MAT trainers interested in learning the brain basis for effective transformation of behaviors. Rock and Page reference Bandler and Grinder’s work on paradigm shifts calling them “the difference that makes a difference”. They go on to give us metaphors for this shift including, “a curtain lifted”, “a light went on” or “I’m seeing with new eyes”. As I read this, I thought what a great 4MAT Connect step for a design. For example, imagine opening with this as a Connect activity:

 “We have all experienced a moment when everything  shifted for us. Sometimes this is a radical shift in our life: a marriage, a birth or a loss. Other times, it is as subtle as comment that someone makes in passing. This is the “difference that makes a difference”. When has a difference made a difference in your life?

Where might you apply this?

A customer service training focused on the little things that make a big difference.

A goal workshop focused on how incremental improvements create the progress.

A creative thinking workshop illustrating how a simple shift in perspective can radically change the view.

In the 4MAT model of design, we emphasize the bigger concept that overarches the content. Concepts transcend the content. Where else might you apply the concept of a “Difference that makes a difference”?

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