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Personal Development Institute Guidelines

PDI Advisor - PDI Chapter

"We believe Individuals should not be pushed from behind, but rather pulled ahead by their own Aspirations".


Advisor Team Philosophy

The Greek philosopher Socrates taught his students by asking them questions and then pointing out the contradictions in their answers. This same method plays a prominent role in the advisors' disciplines.

The Goal

Each coaching session has three general goals: first, to determine the participants objective; second, to uncover any barriers to timely and cost effective achievement of those objectives; third, to overcome the barriers.

What do we mean by Barriers?

One way to look at barriers to your personal development objectives is to think of them as contradictions. You may be contradicting yourself by not doing what you are supposed to do. In this light, serving you means helping you correct these contradictions.


PDI Meeting Guidelines

The meetings serve as forums for discussing issues related to self-inquiry and self-definition. This is a tricky proposition -- using the mind to understand the mind. To expedite the process, a PDI Advisor directs the discussion.

Typical meeting formats are round-robin style, where participants have an equal amount of time to air their views. The object of this airing is to help each person clarify contradictions, tracing them back to prides and fears that cloud our mental processes. One of the ways of doing this is a friendly mode of challenging, or confrontation, not of the person but of his or her assumptions, beliefs, values and ethics. The Advisor is not to be confronted, as this disrupts the flow of the meeting.

A successful interchange relies on the cooperation of all participants and their willingness to "play the game." No one should preach or be subject to preaching. As much as is humanly possible we should try to:

  • Listen actively, without interrupting, maintaining a felt connection with the speaker.
  • Keep the focus on each participant in turn, avoiding the temptation to shift the attention to ourselves -- either out of a desire to rescue the person from tension or a desire to be the center of attention ourselves. When such a shift occurs, the facilitator or other participant should point it out.
  • Try to understand the speaker's point of view and challenge him to question his own thinking, not argue with him or try to sell our views.

Insight Workshops

Generally, on alternate weekends, to strengthen the bonds of friendship and stimulate self-inquiry. We employ a variety of techniques including writing, meditation, and questioning each other regarding the previous  discussion and other topics. Other activities include viewing and discussing videotapes and going on outings.

A meal (costs to be shared if served in someone's home) and socializing often follow the informally-structured session. A $1 donation is requested of participants in the discussion meetings and weekend workshops to help defray the cost of materials, refreshments, and Chapter Membership dues.