A key concept of my Growing G.R.E.E.N. InterActions Social Literacy Program is that we have the human power to Think First, reaching for thoughts that can guide us to make our best action choices for ourselves and those with whom we live, learn, play and work: our Teams. By being guided to use these Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thoughts® to choose our best prosocial words and actions, we get to experience positive feelings from interacting calmly, respectfully and cooperatively with others. The positive reinforcement and positive consequences we get from acting in this positive way makes it more likely that we will act this way the next time the situation arises. This is a cognitive behavioral therapy approach in that our newly practiced positive thoughts allow for creating positive feelings, which can result in our displaying positive behavior. We can be guided to think positive thoughts and practice acting in related positive ways, leading to more positive G.R.E.E.N. interactions. I have been encouraging others to read and use the 36 Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thoughts that are in the Box of Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thoughts. These thoughts are discussed and practiced in the scripts within various chapters of the InterActive Lesson Book. I have also encouraged participants to write down their own guiding thoughts that are specific to their own Teams and situations. I encourage anyone to use these guiding thoughts because I find that they have worked to improve the lives of my clients and my own life as well.
ere are four printed Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thoughts that are powerful and personally relevant for me to think about and use:
I use feedback from my body to tell me to get calmer so I can Think First. – If I ever feel myself starting to feel upset because I think I have been misunderstood by someone, I stop to Think instead, to share more information and/or seek more information in a calm, polite manner.
I ask for help when I need it, especially to effectively share a point of view. I ask for more information in a calm manner to better understand someone else, or calmly ask to share more information so my point of view can be better understood by others. I have found that calmly asking for more information or calmly providing more information can help improve a Team interaction and help a Team achieve its goal.
I am patient and open-minded to learn what other people want or need. I keep my mind open to the possibility of things I might not have considered before.
I take turns listening to and talking with others on my Teams in order to have cooperative conversations. It is important for each person in a conversation to take a turn listening as well as being given a chance to speak so each person can feel heard. When I engage in an interaction, I strive to give the other person my full attention when they are talking, and I also request that the other person takes a turn to listen to what I have to say. The elements of calmly and respectfully telling what each person needs, respectfully and patiently listening to what each person needs, and respectfully and patiently using words to share ideas, making a plan to meet both people’s needs are the critical ingredients in cooperative conversations. This is discussed in chapter 26 of my InterActive Lesson Book: “Sharing Points of View”.
I have experienced the positive consequences of using these Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thought strategies to stay fully connected instead of drifting off by thinking that another person is not respecting or caring about me. or numerous other ways of thinking that can spin me out of a calm and controlled state of mind. Reaching for Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thoughts reminds me to be patient and give another person the benefit of the doubt that they can be trusted to interact with me in a positive way if we provide additional information to each other that can explain our points of view and any subsequent Team plan of action. Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thoughts can help us act G.R.E.E.N. which we then continue to do because it feels good when we take the time to think this way and act this way together. I strive to act this way myself, and enjoy guiding others to do the same when interacting with anyone on their own Teams.
Read more about Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thoughts in Chapter 9 of the InterActive Lesson Book: “Getting Power from Guiding G.R.E.EN. Thoughts”.
Read more about sharing points of view and cooperative conversations in Chapter 26 of the InterActive Lesson Book: “Sharing Points of View”.
Listen to my "Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thought Song" on Spotify or other digital music sites.
Get the Box of Guiding G.R.E.EN. Thoughts with 36 universally useful printed thoughts and a set of blank Guiding G.R.E.E.N. Thought stickies for your own personally relevant thoughts.
Meet the Authors
Herb and Joanne Hein