Last weekend I attended a PSI Basic Seminar. (http://www.psiseminars.com/)
I’ve heard of the organization before, but didn’t really have a strong desire to attend. Their website is old, their marketing seems antiquated but then my mentor and good friend really pushed me. He’s a true living and breathing example of what it means to live a fulfilling life. He’s grown is own company to nearly a $1B in sales and he pushed me to go. He mentioned they rarely visit Seattle and since I really didn’t have anything planned this weekend I knew there really wasn’t a strong reason not to go.
Listen to Successful People – All that plus I’ve learned over the years that you should take advice ONLY from people who are living examples of what you want in your life. I see so many people following financial and relationship advice from folks who are NOT living examples.
**SPOILER ALERT** Before I dive into sharing my experience I have to mention I’m going to be unfiltered and if you’re even remotely considering this event, you may want to skip this write up and simply go. You may have a better experience being less informed about the specifics.
The PSI Basic overall is a combination of several self-development themes. My experience would define the major topics as profiling both personality and behavioral, self awareness, group awareness, win-win, win-lose, thinking outside the box, and law of attraction concepts of intention and visualization integrated together.
My seminar was at a hotel conference room with roughly 50 attendees all of us facilitated by one PSI instructor Rob Rohe. I thought he did an excellent job. He had great energy, content and ability to manage the room and our flow. He stayed right on time and was very direct in his facilitation. Most of the class is a variation of listening as the instructor lectures, illustrates, and then getting into groups to do exercises and games and share feedback with the smaller groups, facilitator and entire class.
Quick video of Rob Rohe discussing PSI’s Men’s Leadership Seminar (MLS):
Grow or Die – To kick it off we went over growth / contraction philosophy of Socrates and Plato. We talked about our personal prejudices and biases. We went over course rules: Be on time, sit in a different seat with new neighbors each time you return , have nothing in your mouth except water, do not side-talk, wear your nametag in a visible place and keep phones off.
We discussed three types of listening 1) I agree 2) I disagree 3) Be here now, asking – what am I experiencing? We did some guided progressive relaxation with Dan Dorr.
Focus On What You Want – Rob asked us what we came for? I wanted courage, and ironically he said what you’re seeking is already inside you. The fact that you’re looking for it means you’ve already got it.
What Are People Experiencing – We formed smaller groups and had folks publicly riff off words that come to mind when experiencing us as individuals. My group listed off: dynamic, entrepreneur, energetic, leader, team, creator, outgoing, strong, innovative, approachable and forward. I thought that was fascinating considering we’d all known each other for about 2 hours at that point!
Behavioral Types – We did an exercise where all the members of the class split off into four quadrants of a personality profile breakdown. On the left side was more dominant while the right was going more with the flow. And towards the top was formal while near the bottom of informal. We then got into the respective groups that we thought we fell into for our behavior subset. As people joined their respective behavioral groups it was clear that I wasn’t in my group. The individuals there were indecisive and weren’t completing the task in a timely manor. As soon as I joined my group they had already done the task and it was quite humorous as we could see people move from group to group as they figured out where their behavioral home was.
Each group then listed off our “Strengths” and “Weaknesses” and then shared with the groups. My group, labeled “Controllers” are formal and dominant and we’re all about structure, rules, leadership, organization and avoiding lack of clarity, slackers, inefficiency and lack of progress. As all the groups shared I quickly saw members of my team and where they stood. This was valuable in understanding and communicating to them. And I found it incredibly powerful.
The interesting thing about the behavioral types is people rarely jump directly across, but they can often move side to side. So a controller wouldn’t cross down towards being a supporter, and a promoter would be unlikely to shift into an analyst role. That said they can date directly across so there was a lot to pick up in that experience overall.
Thinking Outside The Box – We transitioned into limiting beliefs with an introduction of a unique exercise. Below you see were to draw 9 dots, and the instructions were to connect all the dots by making 3 straight, connected lines to connect all the dots.
The “trick” is that you need to connect the lines outside the boundaries (you imposed yourself) on the 9 points. There’s a # of ways to do it, but for many of the students (myself included) we struggled to find a way to accomplish this because we were thinking “inside the box with this” both literally and figuratively. In life you’re the main authority keeping yourself inside the lines and this was a great refresher to not always think from the lines.
Your Programs – We talked about how we’ve grown up with mental thought processes and patterns. Programming we’ve been conditioned with from our childhood and adolescence. How awareness is a key skill to
Intention is Everything – When you think about achieving a goal, what percentage of it do you think is mechanism vs intention to get the result? It turns out intention is everything according to PSI. If you know what it is you want and you have a full, clear intention then the mechanism will follow.
Your Workshop of Your Mind – The mind is a fertile field that will create. We dedicated time to “creating our workshops” in our minds. A place, that we could go to whenever we wanted to solve challenges, heal individuals and visualize success.
Keeping Your Word – How often do you find yourself fudging commitments you’ve made, showing up slightly behind schedule or simply not following rules you’ve committed too? A big theme was keeping our word, where we checked in on our commitment and how we were keeping with the rules for the seminar. This was quite eye opening for me as well because there were little things, chewing gum, or eating a piece of chocolate or not being in your seat and not talking that came up. These were direct violations of the rules and we dove into the reasoning and why we tend to rationalize and justify not sticking to rules.
Realm of Now vs Realm of Meaning – Events happen in the now. The meaning we attach to them is the meaning WE give them. This is a theme we spend several hours covering in the final day. I’m no stranger to this concept, Tony Robbins mentions “Nothing has any meaning except the meaning that we give it.” That said it was powerful to see others connect this understanding as well.
Win-Win – (YOU WANT TO skip this if you’re attending – that said go anyway if you read because you’ll love seeing the dynamic) One of the absolutely most impactful parts of the event was when the room was divided and we were tasked with playing a game. The game was powerful because it directly baited individuals into win-lose vs win-win.
You could decide on moves that could “beat” the other team, or there was an option to win-win. The win-win option appeared smaller than the win-lose option though. Every one in your group had to vote and agree to the decisions you were making. We as a group saw the win-win right at the beginning and moved forward with our commitment to vote in that direction. Our counterparts were concerned for a bit and voted win-lose for a couple of rounds. In today’s society I often find myself thinking “competitive” thinking of how I can “dominate” or “beat” the competition. This was an eye opener b
Summary – Overall the group exercises and sharing were very powerful. When you can work with a small group of strangers and a facilitator who carries decades of years of experience helping bring to the surface programming it really brings to light how you’re projecting to the outside world. You also see how others are perceiving you as well as getting that feedback.
In business especially if you’re a leader it can be difficult for your reports and their subordinates to feel safe and comfortable to share critical feedback. I believe as a leader attending an event like this really helps to grow awareness and accelerate your growth of awareness which is critical to lead and support your teams. If you’re thinking about attending a basic, go for it! I think you’ll find it very hard not to come away with some valuable insights.