I emerged from college with a solid sense of the daunting scale of our world’s environmental challenges. Yet, I was comforted by the array of amazing systems, tools, and technologies that would be of much benefit to mitigating these issues: permaculture, green urban design, alternative energy technologies, and so on. However, I quickly realized that many of these solutions were not being integrated into society. And if they were, it wasn’t happening near fast enough. (more…)Read more
I was in my mid-twenties when I made the conscious choice to find the answers to some very important questions. An unexpected pregnancy had thrown me into an existential crisis and forced me to come to terms with my life choices. It became clear that I needed to begin to make decisions from my own moral compass and intuition rather than following others’ ideas and beliefs about what was right or wrong. Locating that inner compass took time. It also took practice to cultivate its sustainability. (more…)Read more
A few years ago, after working with a business coach, I decided that self-care would be the central focus of my work. I chose a group coaching model where I bought 20 women at a time through a 10-week self-care reconditioning. This process included web content, group phone calls, and culminated in a three-day in-person retreat. (more…)Read more
I have been trying to find purpose and meaning in my life for a long time. Looking back, I would say at least since high school. What is it that we, and in particular I, am here for? What is it that will bring me passion and fill my heart? I searched for it in my Mechanical engineering studies and found bits and pieces. I also looked for it in during my MBA, but didn’t find too much there. (more…)Read more
It’s easy to take evolution for granted when your team is standing at a whiteboard looking at a bunch of colored sticky notes.
But the very fact you have a whiteboard, that you are standing together, and that anyone in the group can move the sticky notes are all clues to the mysterious evolution of work culture and collaboration.
If we care about leadership, governance, and participation, we can’t afford to ignore the role of evolution in collaboration today. But let me back up just a bit.
One of my biggest insights (not an original insight, alas, but still a significant one for me and my clients) was the evolutionary development of culture. It revealed how to include more and make distinctions through increasingly complex perspectives on collaborations.
You might have already heard about Spiral Dynamics, based on the work of Clare Graves. It is a particularly useful outcome from decades of post-modern socio-cultural research and study, giving us the capacity to see aggregate structures of culture or group worldviews, to anticipate how they evolve, and to guide efforts to effectively work with worldviews and help support the healthy expression of each stage.
The worldview of a group influences what the group sees and what it leaves out. What it values, and how it makes meaning of what it perceives. Worldview greatly influences collaboration, because shared meaning is one of the essential ingredients in effective collaboration.Read more
For the past ten years, my work as a facilitator has primarily focused on diverse groups where multiple stakeholders need to come together around a shared purpose—often large international non-profits or multiple organizations.
A year ago, I had a client situation where two people had an intense conflict during a gathering I was facilitating and I felt terribly unequipped how to deal with the situation. I knew I needed more training in order to fully serve my clients amidst these kinds of intense, unexpected conflict situations.Read more
My Zen teacher, Genpo Roshi, once told me a long time ago, “You can’t work with a voice that comes up in the room if you don’t know that same voice in yourself.”
What Roshi meant is that anytime you are facilitating a group of people in a dialogue or group process, and a participant expresses a thought, a feeling, a perspective or “voice,” you as the facilitator need to quickly locate that same experience in your own interior awareness; that is, if you want to remain present, congruent, and trustable in front of the room.
This idea is not an entirely new idea in human development circles. Jung pioneered the idea of shadow work, which is the psychological practice of bringing the unacknowledged, marginalized, or shameful parts of experience into awareness. The same phenomenon occurs in forms of Tibetan Buddhist practice and in many shamanic rituals.
Likewise, philosopher Ken Wilber has repeatedly emphasized in his writing that anyone who wants to fully awaken should not not only meditate, but also find a method for including the difficulties of conditioned existence and acknowledge the disavowed “shadow” elements of his or her mind and life.Read more
I participate regularly in the Integral Facilitator® program calls. It’s an opportunity for program participants to gather with program faculty and explore what’s “up” for them. We share our experiences, challenges, and questions, and leverage new opportunities for growth.
I look forward to these practice gatherings because they are alive, emergent, inspiring and support us in playing at our edge. This intentional community consistently invites me into a deeper relationship with why I am here. We each bring a unique perspective, yet we’re all connected by our desire to participate fully and to be of service to an intention that’s much bigger than any of us.
On our most recent community call, Diane Musho Hamilton (Integral Facilitator® lead teacher) reflected back our aspirations to be of service. This triggered my thoughts; we want to serve the planet, make the world a better place, make a difference. Help our clients. Write that book. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Etc. etc.Read more