Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Power and "Influence" of Positive Television

I have always believed that television, and popular television, in particular, is an untapped resource for education. Shows like "Bewitched," "Kung Fu," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "The Bionic Woman," and "Life Goes On," as well as many, many others, hold insight for for us all. And I make the attempt to present that insight with my TV & Self Esteem Seminars (which I offer to schools, colleges, business organizations, and senior and community centers).

In their wonderful book, titled, INFLUENCER: THE POWER TO CHANGE ANYTHING (McGraw-Hill, 2008), co-authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler point out just how amazing an influence the power of positive television may and does have.

Early in their book, they point out how TV producer Miguel Sabido, of Mexico City, has created a method for influencing hundreds of thousands of people at a time. They write:

"Sabido has perfected strategies for changing how people think and bheave by producing life-changing soap operas - of all things. At one point, when Sabido aimed his popular TV show Ven Conmigo (Come With Me) at improving literacy (a problem that had remained intractable for decades), his TV characters propelled over a quatger of a million viewers into the streets of Mexico City - all in search of free literary booklets that were shown on the program. Sabidio's work in entertainment education has now been replicated in dozens of countries with remarkable success. A careful review of his work helps us understand how to use one of the world's best tools for helping others willingly change their minds."

And yet INFLUENCER: THE POWER TO CHANGE ANYTHING does not just detail and verify the positive influence that a TV producer and his show may have in one particular city. It remains true to its subtitle, as explains and validates the positive influence that any one of us may have with any one of our singular lives and ideas - be it personal or professional - in our families, work environments or with anyone, anywhere - around the world.

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