Big Daddy: Kurt Lewin

Pronounced "luh-VEEN", this Polish-American scientist has rocked my brain since I first started reading his work about ten years ago. Known as a founder of social psychology, he coined the idea of Group Dynamics, totally relevant to anyone working with groups of people. I'm no expert on the guy, but here is an overview of some of his work that has changed how I approach my own.  

Field Theory:

B = f (P, E)

where B = Behavior, f = a Function of, P = the Person, and E = the Environment. So simple to remember and so useful to reinforce the notion that all of our words and actions stem from thoughts that are initiated by ourselves and the environment we are in (people, sounds, looks, smells, etc.).

Action Research Theory, a model for imporovement:

PLAN, ACTION, FEEDBACK (he also coined the term "feedback" as pertaining to people's behavior, where prior it was solely used for electrical feedback)

Force Field Analysis:

Regarding goals, there are always DRIVING FORCES moving us toward the goal, and RESTRAINING FORCES hindering our progress. The hindering forces are like a parking brake, applying drag to the efficiency of our forward progress.

Leadership Climates:

Democratic, Authoritarian, Laissez-faire

Change Theory:

UNFREEZE-CHANGE-REFREEZE. To learn new behavior we must unfreeze our mindset of inertia through confusion, mentally transistion, then refreeze our mindset to reset comfort with the new behavior.

This guy is a monument in the behavioral science realm. He died in 1947, so big ghost hugs to Kurt!