Many lay people and professionals haven’t explored EFT and other energy healing modalities because they’re waiting for scientific evidence and research. They want more “social proof.” Yet, go to the EFT Website and you can read hundreds of articles of how professionals and everyday people have used EFT to resolve all kinds of physical and emotional issues. Just how long is long enough to wait? Most likely, you’d be better off being a positive deviant today.
To give you a sense of what positive deviance is, here’s a story about malnutrition. In a small village, most of the children were malnourished. Yet in the same village some children who received exactly the same food cooked in the same way were well-nourished. In observing the behaviors of the parents as they fed the children, most parents served soup from the top of the pot. On the other hand, parents with healthier children dipped the ladles deep into the pot catching the vegetables and starches near the bottom. Here was a simple solution to a problem that could now be taught to the other parents to end malnutrition in the village. It resulted from learning from parents whose behaviors positively deviated from the norm.
If you’re reading this post and open to using EFT, good for you. Odds are, you’re a positive deviant. “Positive Deviance” is an approach to discover the uncommon practices and behaviors that enable some individuals to find successful solutions to common problems. The practice of positive deviance says that the solution already exists within the community, and the world’s experts on a problem are the people who live with the problem and have already solved it.
In every community, about 10% of individuals are positive deviants whose uncommon practices/behaviors enable them to find better solutions to problems than their neighbors who have access to the same resources. According to Jerry Sternin, director of the Positive Deviance Initiative, we should be getting our wisdom from those who are demonstrably, successfully already solving a problem. Sternin says the biggest problem he encounters in teaching organizations and communities about positive deviance is for leaders to relinquish their power to enable others to find their own solutions.
Here are the four “Ds” of the positive deviance approach:
- Define the problem, it’s perceived causes and related current practices (situation analysis). Define what a successful outcome would look like.
- Determine if there are any individuals or entities in the community who have ALREADY reached a successful outcome or exhibited the desired behavior or status (PD identification).
- Discover the uncommon practices or behaviors enabling the positive deviants to outperform or find better solutions to the problem than others in their “community.”
- Design and implement interventions enabling others in the “community” to access and practice new behaviors (focus on “doing” rather than transfer of knowledge).
And, here’s how positive deviance differs from traditional problem solving:
|Externally fueled (by “experts” or internal authority)||Internally fueled (by “people like us”, same culture and resources)|
|Top-down, outside-in||Down-up, inside-out|
|Logic driven||Learning driven|
|Deficit based “What’s wrong?”||Asset based “What’s right here?”|
|Begins with analysis of underlying causes of PROBLEM||Begins with analysis of demonstrably successful SOLUTIONS|
Articles and Information on Positive Deviance
- The Positive Deviance Initiative Story
- What is the Positive Deviance Model?
- Understanding the Impact of Positive Deviance in Work Organizations
- Positive Deviance: Tapping Into the Power of Your Hidden Change Agents
According to PD, although most problems may have complex, interlinked underlying causes, the presence of “positive deviants” indicates that it’s possible to find successful solutions now before all the underlying causes are addressed. Do you want to wait years for the research on EFT to trickle in or become a PD and discover practical ways you can put it to work for yourself today?