Psychoaesthetic advice to motivate human groups
Some thoughts drawn from Carles M. Espinalt’s advice:
- According to Goethe, when we treat man as he is, we make him worse than he is; when we treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, we make him what he should be.
- We need to think before we speak to motivate others. There is nothing worse than to think out loud when we need to give orders or motivation. Motivation does not allow improvisation. Motivation implies planning.
- It is necessary to set collective goals that include personal challenges as well. The vivacity of a group lies in the personal motivation of its individuals.
- It is necessary to have a confident, optimistic mentality. A combative attitude is not enough. Nobody will follow or engage with people they suspect are not successful.
- We must always lead by example, but be able to find the right moment and the best way to do so. We cannot misread the mood or underestimate when there is a sense of opportunity.
- We need to be sure of what we do so that we can persuade others to do it too. Persuasion breeds enthusiasm. There is no room for hedging or half measures.
- Rigidity does not motivate. Only flexibility allows a positive stimulus. Willingness, intelligence and heart are also needed to motivate others.
PEOPLE WANT SHEPHERDS
Let us analyse some facts about the sociopolitical life within a people or community. Usually, there is an arduous task to be undertaken by polititians, expert professionals and also volunteers, and this becomes the basis for social relations with a certain degree of culturalisation. There is a number of people, both who hold important positions and who do not, who are managing some key ongoing processes that make everything work efficiently in our everyday lives.
All these processes often lack the figure of “the shepherd”. What would he do? According to Carles M. Espinalt, the shepherd is acutely aware of who and what he represents, and so he must guide the herd with ability, select a good place for grazing, be aware of the role played by each of his sheep, defend them against the wolf, encourage them and not allow any of them to be sacrificed for any reason.
If we accept this, we will be also be accepting that any social leader – this may be a master or just an adult – expresses in his speech the idea of ‘doing this or that because it will enhance these values, because of this or because of that’. Of course all arguments must be well explained in a pedagogical sense, for the dignity and the self-fulfilment of the potential of the community.
As a matter of fact, it is extraordinary that this is so rarely done. On the contrary, very few people take responsibility for improving society. Very few worry about the educational and social responsibility implicit in their acts. The default way of thinking is: let the organising mechanisms work and the people will naturally evolve. There is nothing wrong with mediocrity and conformism. And so, immersed in this atmosphere, the people say ‘I do not like this, let’s vote and pay to change the leaders so that we like them and we can thrive. We do not want anti-heros. We do not want to waste time. We want good shepherds’.
I remember another lesson from my master. He said ‘keeping people uninformed generates ignorance and loss. Keeping people misinformed generates insidious ignorance. Keeping people well informed generates social iniciative, education and character. At the present time, people, feeling hopeless, are left with their resignation and anxious silence. Some people raise their eyes to the sky and say ‘I will look for my own good and I do not care about you. Do not ask me for my support. I do not trust you’.
What are the hidden reasons behind why we are so badly led? When I talked to the people I counselled in confidence I would tell them: many of our leaders have this well-established tendency to act like false PR people, like deceivers. It is such a shame that thay have been educated to become that. But you, you can become a new kind of leader, much more suitable for the prosperous Catalunya of the future. So that way of acting is deeply established in our society and everywhere. I am afraid. In the midst of such important processes, trying to give my best throughout my life, I cannot be led by these kinds of principles. If there is no deep change and improvement at a personal and professional level, the future of an independent Catalunya may be very difficult.
That is why, if you agree, we can keep in touch to give it all a deep connectedness, in terms of Psychoaesthetics. I had never heard of this concept of Psychoaesthetics before. I realise it is not only very Catalan, but also very useful for the progression of my projects. It gives me a sense of wisdom, it helps me to live through these times. Each time I have to pass a test in the future I do not want to regret having disregarded the figure of the good shepherd and a better psychology to go with it.