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About the Book/Book Review
Leading with an Open Mindset to Maximize Potential
Ann Van Eron
Open View Press (2016)
New Book Offers Five-Step Process for Open-Minded Relationships
If you’re experiencing conflict in the workplace because of miscommunication, then OASIS Conversations may just be the book you need to make peace and move everyone forward beyond the communication barriers. But what if you’re having a conflict not in the workplace but in communicating with your spouse, your parent, your child, your sibling, your hairdresser, your doctor, or any other human being on the planet? Does the mere thought of trying to talk to certain people make your blood boil? Then the secret of how to have OASIS Conversations will benefit you as well.
Author Ann Van Eron, Ph.D., understands the frustration of miscommunication, and she has developed a means to overcome it. As the founder and principal of Potentials, a global coaching and organization development consulting firm, Van Eron has coached business leaders and their teams in how to create positive environments for over twenty-five years. She knows that only when people have open-minded conversations can there be positive and productive results. And her advice can be applied not only to the workplace but also to the home and everyone you need to communicate with.
The idea behind having OASIS Conversations is actually quite simple. Imagine yourself in a desert, where you are hot, thirsty, and probably also feeling cranky and desperate. Then you see an oasis and experience instant relief. OASIS Conversations can do the same thing for you in your relationships. It will bring you and the person you need to communicate with or with whom you need to resolve conflict to a place of agreement and understanding.
In this book, Van Eron shares her tried-and-true five-step process for creating OASIS Conversations. The process follows the OASIS acronym that defines five key words, one for each of the steps: Observation, Awareness (of assumptions, emotions, and background), Shift (to being open), Importance, and Solution. Van Eron spends one or more chapters on each of the steps so readers can absorb this simple and memorable process. Besides explaining the process, Van Eron offers numerous scenarios and examples to illustrate each step. Many of these are in the shape of dialogues and then Van Eron analyzes what was said and how it could be said better so that conflict can be turned into an oasis where open communication can flourish.
I found many of the scenarios Van Eron presents to be relatable. For example, I once had a coworker yell at me for interrupting her train of thought just because I had said “Hello” to her when I entered the office. Van Eron looks at this type of situation from the expectations of various people in the workplace and whether or not they want to be greeted and why they would hold such a preference. Rather than telling us what are right or wrong responses, she asks us to put ourselves in others’ shoes and be open to understanding where they are coming from. She also talks about issues like “respect” and shows how the definition of what constitutes respect varies among individuals.
Throughout, Van Eron draws on scientific brain research, including emotional intelligence, to justify her methods and explain why people react and respond the way they do to certain scenarios. She also draws on years of personal and professional experiences so that this book is far less about theory and more of a hands-on methodology to help readers achieve their communication goals.
Each chapter ends with a Practice section with several activities to reinforce what was learned in the chapter. I thought the practices were one of the most helpful aspects of the book so readers can apply what they have learned and take baby steps toward absorbing the ideas into their daily lives. A Practice example in relation to respect is: “Pay attention to what you identify as respectful behavior. Keep a list and then notice how your background experiences and conditioning influence you to identify, for example, holding doors open for others as respectful.” When it comes to observation, one Practice idea is: “Look for patterns in your observations. For example, do you tend to notice people who need support, or do you always notice the time people enter a meeting?” And when it comes to communicating that you want or need something, a Practice is: “Notice when you are making requests or offers. Be specific about what you are going to do, when, and how you will follow up. Pay attention to when you and others are vague in your requests, offers, and commitments.”
Personally, I thought Van Eron’s style was engaging and insightful. I kept feeling like little lightbulbs were going off in my head as I read her ideas and saw how rephrasing certain ways of speaking could make a huge difference in communication. There was also plenty of humor in some of the scenarios so that my attention never drifted.
There’s always a better way of doing things, and communicating with our fellow human beings in a better way should always be at the top of our to-do improvement list. By reading this book, you will increase your emotional intelligence IQ, become a peacemaker, and learn leadership skills to help others move past difficult situations. All it takes is an open mindset and a willingness to learn the OASIS five-step method; then you’ll be on the path to knowing that a happier way of living is not just a mirage.
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and award-winning author of Narrow Lives and The Best Place
For more information about Ann Van Eron and OASIS Conversations, visit www.Potentials.com
Thriving Amid Differences and Uncertainty
In these uncertain times of disruptions, vast technological and collective world changes, and trauma, knowing how to be open to what is and being flexible is a critical skill. When you approach life with an open stance, you can clearly observe what is present without collapsing from stress or blaming others or yourself. An open stance will allow you to choose actions that will expand possibilities and bring you more vitality and joy.
Openness is contagious. When we model being open, we inspire openness in others, which supports resilience, wellbeing, and thriving for everyone involved.
Ann Van Eron, PhD shares the case for adopting an open mindset and stance. She explains a process for building mental muscle and shifting from being closed to open. Multiple practices are offered for embodying an open stance.
As an executive and team coach, Ann has spent decades supporting many organizations, including the United Nations, World Bank Group, CVS Health, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Ford Motor Company, adopt these open stance practices. Leaders, managers, coaches, parents, and influencers have all benefited from them.
Now it’s your turn to learn how to be mindful while interacting at home, work, and in your community to positively influence others.
Press Release (Download: PDF)
New Book by Psychologist & Leadership Coach Ann Van Eron Offers Five-Step Process for Eliminating Miscommunication
“OASIS Conversations” teaches business leaders how to replace misunderstanding with refreshing conversations
Chicago, IL Oct. 24, 2016— Political polarization of historic proportions, volatile markets, a surge in racial violence—the world is uncertain these days. From the dinner table to the office to the streets, closed-mindedness and miscommunication are at the heart of this uncertainty—doing damage to relationships, bottom lines and lives. But a new book released today holds the key to eliminating these misunderstandings –in all facets of society.
OASIS Conversations: Leading with an Open Mindset to Maximize Potential by psychologist, master coach, and top business consultant Ann Van Eron teaches readers, including business leaders, in simple and memorable terms how to replace misunderstandings with refreshing conversations. The method has already improved innovations and functions at places like the UN and GE Capital.
The book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
Van Eron, the founder and principal of Potentials, a global coaching and organization development consulting firm, draws on more than twenty-five years of coaching experience and scientific brain research to teach readers a simple five-step process for mind-opening connections with others, called OASIS.
“When we are in judgment, our amygdala is activated, and we don’t see as many possibilities,” explained Van Eron. “But if we are in an open and mindful state then we see more possibilities—allowing for more innovation and productivity within organizations.”
Leaders within global organizations and Fortune 500 corporations such as the UN, the World Bank, GE Capital, and New York Presbyterian Hospital have seen the OASIS method improve innovation, efficiency, problem-solving, engagement, and relationships.
The OASIS method aims to turn the desert of miscommunication that exists into an oasis where people can have refreshing conversations. It is an acronym for the five steps or moves: Observation, Awareness, Shift, Importance, and Solution.
Here’s how it works. Say you notice a team member repeatedly coming late to a meeting. You:
- Observe what is happening and separate it from your assumption that this person doesn’t care about the work you’re doing; become
- Aware of what you are assuming, how you feel (angry or disappointed), and what you expect (for them to come on time);
- Shift to being open realizing that you don’t have all the information, and believe the person has the best intentions; recognize the
- Importance of what the meeting means to you and the other person by asking them what is going on; and explore
- Solutions together, such as changing the time of the meeting.
“A lot of energy is wasted because we misunderstand each other. What we need most are open-minded leaders who are emotionally mature and self-aware, and who are willing to pause and withhold judgment long enough to arrive at a new understanding of ‘what is,’” said Van Eron. “OASIS is a simple reminder for when someone is in an interaction to check themselves to make sure they’re putting judgment aside and being open.”
The book includes numerous scenarios and examples to illustrate each step, along with practice sections reinforcing lessons from each chapter. It provides a memorable process for how to interact with someone who has a different perspective (everyone). The key is adapting an open mindset and shifting from judgment to compassionate curiosity, thus opening minds for positive and productive relationships.
OASIS Conversations rave reviews:
- “I highly recommend this book for every executive who wants to make change real.” — Sean McGrath, Ph.D., SVP, Global Human Resources, World Bank
- “Imagine yourself in a desert, where you are hot, thirsty, and probably also feeling cranky and desperate. Then you see an oasis and experience instant relief. OASIS Conversations can do the same thing for you in your relationships. It will bring you and the person you need to communicate with or with whom you need to resolve conflict to a place of agreement and understanding.” — Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and award-winning author of Narrow Lives and The Best Place
- “The OASIS method has been a safe haven for me in an uncertain world.” — Kelly Wojda, Director of Diversity & Talent, Caterpillar
- “Whether one aspires simply to be more socially intelligent or a more effective change leader—or both—following Ann’s advice and suggestions will lead the way for such a worthy journey and set of goals.”— Warner Burke, Ph.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
- “UN leaders consistently report successful results using the memorable and practical OASIS process.”— Maryel Janson, Learning, Leadership and Organization Development, United Nations
For more information, visit potentials.com/books-resources/open-minded-conversation or OASISconversations.com
Leading with an Open Mindset to Maximize Potential
By Ann Van Eron
Open View Press
$27.95 hardback; 235 pages
ISBN hardback 978-0-9975136-0-8
Open Stance rave reviews:
- “As an executive coach, I know the first step to great leadership is being open to receiving feedback, understanding your team’s perspective, and staying open-minded to new ideas and suggestions. Ann has done a masterful job of walking readers through the process of staying open and reflective, allowing you to more easily pivot and respond to any circumstance. A critical book for every leader!” — Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Triggers, Mojo, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
- “In Open Stance, Ann Van Eron provides a practical and powerful method that synthesizes research and best practices for shifting from distracting emotions to a full-body sense of possibility and connection to the beautiful essence of life. The approach is elegant and easy to use. It is a nice complement to her previous book on how to have conversations that help others shift perspective. It is clear that Ann loves to bring joy to the world from her heart.” — Dr. Marcia Reynolds, Author of Outsmart Your Brain and President of Covisioning
- “During these complex and unpredictable times, Ann Van Eron has written a book that has us look into the way we think and the resulting impact that thinking has on the stress and pressure we feel. She offers a model for open thinking backed with science that can be used as a tool to overcome our predetermined mindset traps. Certainly, timely and useful for all.” — Sunita Holzer, EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Versik Analytics (previously CHRO with Realogy, Computer Sciences Corporation, Chubb, American Express, and GE Capital)
- “Ann Van Eron captures the need for centering ourselves in the midst of leadership challenges and provides us the most accessible of methods – our bodies – for reminding ourselves to be at our best. When we are fully present, sensing and not judging, we can be truly open. The wisdom we need is within us. With practice, we share our open stance with others for more trust and better outcomes in any interaction. We need more of this right now.” — Kelly Wojda, Global Learning & Development Director, Caterpillar Inc.
About Ann Van Eron:
Ann Van Eron, Ph.D., MCC, is founder and principal of Potentials, a global coaching and organization development consulting firm, with experience in coaching leaders and teams all over the world for over twenty-five years. She draws on scientific brain research, including emotional intelligence, to justify her methods and explain why people react and respond the way they do to certain scenarios. She also draws on years of personal and professional experiences. She is certified as a Master Coach and has a doctorate in Organization Psychology from Columbia University. For more information about Ann’s work and book, visit www.Potentials.com.