…today’s secret…The ProSocial Six Trap. (Part 2 of 3)

‘Marginalized’ is a term that identifies groups of individuals who face social, economic, educational, physical, or mental, hardships (offenders, ex-offenders, at-risk youth, those on
public assistance, etc.)

Last week I identified six factors, the ProSocial Six, that measure how prosocial or functional a marginalized person is today.

The more people have in each of the six factors the better they work and play well with others.

The primary purpose of your organization is to help others. Your help, I believe, falls under one of these ProSocial Six factors.

And, admittedly, this is hard work.

Hold tight.

Here is the ProSocial Trap your organization may have fallen into…

…believing your work, under one or more of the ProSocial Six factors, is the direct route to unmarginalizing your chosen marginalized.

So, if we measure how prosocial, functional, or how well people work and play well with others by these six factors…it makes perfect sense to focus on helping people with one or more of these factors. Double Duh.

The problem here is that it is a lot like teaching students to the test.

Short term student performance improves, and the state is happy, but students have not necessarily improved their cognitive skills, such as problem solving and effective communications.

I’m a big fan of the ProSocial Six. However, these six factors only measure functionality, not produce functionality.

The ProSocial Six are tools to produce outcomes. They generate a series of processes for you organization to follow. They are filled with fixed events and repeatable systematic procedures with no end date.

Data is kept. Boxes are checked. Everyone feels good. Life goes on. Next.

Henry David Thoreau had it right.

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

Substitute a couple of words and you’ll better understand the ProSocial Six Trap your organization may be in.

“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of the marginalized to one who is striking at the root.”

Believing your ProSocial Six choice is unmarginalizing your chosen marginalized is only you hacking at the branches. Helpful, but not the real payoff.

Next week I’m going to show you how to keep hacking and start getting at that all-important root.

Grab an axe.