Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
FOCUS: Learning From a Penguin Trainer
Disciplines: Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Systems Thinking

"Appreciate that which you want to multiply"
Bill Veltrop

Psychiatrist Daniel Amen took his 7 year old son, whom we'll call Danny, to a marine entertainment park. Freddie the Penguin was their favorite show. Freddie did amazing things: He jumped off a twenty-foot diving board; he bowled with his nose; he counted with his flippers; he even jumped through a hoop of fire. The trainer asked Freddie to get something. Freddie went and got it and brought it right back. Amen thought, "Whoa, I ask my kid to get something for me and he wants to have a twenty minute discussion and then he doesn't want to do it! I know Danny is smarter than Freddie."

After the show Amen asked the trainer how she got Freddie to do all those really neat things. The trainer told him, "Unlike parents, whenever Freddie does anything like what I want him to do, I notice him. I give him a hug and I give him a fish."
The light went on in Amen's head. Whenever Danny did what he wanted him to do, he paid little attention to him, because he was a busy guy. However, when Danny didn't do what he wanted him to do, he gave him a lot of attention because he didn't want to raise a bad kid! He was inadvertently teaching his son to be a little monster in order to get his attention.

Amen says, "I collect penguins as a way to remind myself to notice the good things about the people in my life a lot more than the bad things. This has been so helpful for me as well as for many of my patients."
From Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.


1. Notice and reward the behavior you want in your kids, your parents, your partner, your co-workers, your boss, those you supervise, your friends, your neighbors.
2. Collect a penguin or two to remind yourself of this prescription.
3. Be amazed at the results.


Please join me for a 45-minute telegathering to talk in more depth about this penguin-training-way of influencing behavior. Call Thursday, March 3 at 12 noon EST (11:00 a.m. CST, 10:00 a.m. MT, 9:00 a.m. PST)
1-425-818-9401 X925 No need to register....just call at that time!

As an avid kayaker, I enjoy the challenge and the rewards of finding the navigable parts of the stream, moving through them smoothly, taking care not to get stuck. In the same way, I help people navigate the complex waters of their lives, avoid getting stuck and enjoy the ride. Call me for a free phone coaching session. 1-888-907-HOPE (4673)
Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their colleagues, families and friends. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

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