Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid

PDF: La Piramide de Borde Creativo

Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid: Two Core Skills Applied In Seven Methods

Creative Edge Focusing ™ is unique in that it solves problems at every level, from individual to organizational, and at home as well as at work.

The  two Core Skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening , central to the PRISMS/S Focusing Process , are integrated into seven Applied Methods called Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid :

PyramidFocusing Alone for Personal Growth
Focusing Partnership for Ongoing Creativity
Interpersonal Focusing for Conflict Resolution
Focusing Group/Team for Innovative Problem Solving
Collaborative Edge Focusing Decision Making for Win/Win  Meetings
Focusing Community To Facilitate Diversity and Mutual Support
Creative Edge Organization To Motivate People For Collaborative Action

Each method is free-standing, and can be learned independently, but, together, they create innovative organizations.

From Focusing Individuals To Focusing Organizations

The methods start with personal use of Intuitive Focusing and build to the integration of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening into interpersonal, group/team, community, and organizational interaction:

1. Focusing Alone (or with the help of a CE Focusing Consultant or Focusing Professional) for Personal Growth:

Intuitive Focusing allows individuals to pay attention to the Creative Edge, the “intuition” or “hunch” which contains the sense of “the whole thing” and to articulate this sense into innovative ideas, artistic creations, and totally new actions, instant “Ahah!” experiences.

Intuitive Focusing also allows individuals to pay attention to the Creative Edge under repetitive, “irrational,” self-defeating or confusing behavior patterns and, out of this Creative Edge, to create new responses, experiencing Paradigm Shifts that lead to new behaviors.

A Creative Edge Focusing Consultant or Focusing Professional can help an individual learn and use Intuitive Focusing by providing Focused Listening responses and coaching in how to develop the Inner Listener, to recognize and deal with the voice of the Inner Critic, to turn a Caring Feeling Presence toward one’s inner experiencing, and to resolve conflicts between different aspects of the Self. See Case Study 1 .

2. Focusing Partnership For Ongoing Creativity

Through the Focusing Partnership method, Focused Listening by a partner helps an individual to use Intuitive Focusing to articulate new ideas and to change problem behaviors. A weekly meeting to exchange Listening/Focusing turns as equals, be it for creative ideas or emotional healing, allows partners to follow a theme of problem solving consistently.

In organizations, learning the Focused Listening skill in this peer counseling context also provides a seamless interface to Focused Listening with customers, clients, and consumers, uncovering true wants and needs which can be served by the organization.  Whether friends, employees, or customers, people are more willing to listen to our perspective and cooperate with us when they first feel deeply understood. See Case Study 2.

3. Interpersonal Focusing for Conflict Resolution

The Interpersonal Focusing method provides a structure where  people in a conflict can exchange Listening/Focusing turns. In interpersonal conflict situations, the Focused Listening skill makes a space for Intuitive Focusing, where individuals can tap into Gendlin’s “felt sense,” The Creative Edge, in the middle of interacting with another person.

While Focusing, each participant can come in touch with the Creative Edge, the deeper, “subconscious” meanings driving the conflict. While Listening, each comes to understand and empathize with the Focuser. A third person can serve as a Listening Facilitator.

Through the Interpersonal Focusing method, Focused Listening allows individuals to understand each other, avoiding disagreements based on mistaken assumptions, prejudice, and stereotyping. Misunderstanding is replaced  with empathic understanding and respect for the unique perspective of the other.

Whether conflicts are interpersonal, inter-group, national, or global, Interpersonal Focusing allows the creation of new understandings which lead to creative resolutions. See Case Study 3.

4. Focusing Group/Team for Creative Problem Solving

In the Focusing Group/Team method, participants come together to “check in” on progress since the last meeting and to break into pairs or triads for the equal exchange of Listening/Focusing turns. For emotional healing, the Focusing Group provides ongoing support. For team support in a work environment, Creative Edge Focusing Groups generate feelings of collegiality and mutual support, rather than aggressive competition, and provide ongoing networking and support for creative problem solving.

The Focusing Group/Team method teaches every individual how to run a group meeting, whether for emotional or creative problem solving. Groups follow a simple format involving a timed “Check In” by each person, a short time for Announcements/Business, then break out into Focusing Partnerships for the exchange of Listening/Focusing turns as peers. See Case Study 4.

5. Collaborative Edge Focusing Decision Making for Win/Win Meetings

The Collaborative Edge Focusing Decision Making Method, with its components of  Shared Leadership, Coordinated Collaboration, and Creative Edge Impasse Resolution  techniques, provides concrete methods for insuring the protected space needed for articulating new ideas and resolving conflicts at decision making meetings. Whether in group, community, organizational, or international decision making and conflict resolution situations, Intuitive Focusing within meetings allows participants to contribute new ideas from the Creative Edge, generating innovative solutions. Focused Listening moves polarizing conflicts to win/win solutions. See Case Study 5.

6. Focusing Community To Facilitate Diversity and Mutual Support

In The Focusing Community method, Focusing Groups/Teams go beyond exchanging Listening/Focusing turns and incorporate the Interpersonal Focusing and Creative Edge Decision Making Methods for conflict resolution and win-win decision making. Community, whether for emotional, social, or organizational purposes, involves individuals working together toward a common goal. Community depends upon being able to incorporate a diversity of personalities, skills, and view points and to make decisions which meet the needs of the whole group. Conflict is inevitable and, seen as representing a Creative Edge of innovation, is part of the added creativity which comes through collaborative endeavor. See Case Study 6.

7. Creative Edge Organization To Motivate People From The Bottom Up

In the Creative Edge Organization method, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening norms protect and nurture “intuition,” creativity, and innovation at the personal, individual point of each participant’s own internal passion and motivation. Apathy is the enemy of creativity. Motivation from the bottom up is ignited through Focusing Partnerships, Groups and Teams which engage each individual’s Creative Edge.  Experiences of empathy and community, as well as participation in collaborative decision making, create ownership and commitment to future action.

In organizations, the exchange of Listening/Focusing turns creates ongoing support for innovative thinking and creative, collaborative problem solving. When  PRISMS/S, with Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, is used in interpersonal, group, or organizational problem solving situations, win/win decisions are created out of polarized conflicts, and innovative thinking is unleashed.

The “One Small Thing” component of Creative Edge Organization uses PRISMS/S to discover the One Small Thing which will ignite action, ownership, and “buy in” at every level in the organization. Whether in community building, volunteer organizations, corporations, or participatory democracy, motivation depends upon finding, as a first step, that “one small thing” which each and every person is willing and able to do. See Case Study 7.

Forty Hours of Listening/Focusing Training for Human Literacy

In approximately forty hours of training, CE Focusing Consultants  teach everyone involved the PRISMS/S Focusing Process, with its two Core Skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and how to use PRISMS/S in Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid of Applied Methods. Students, parents, teachers, physicians, executives, managers, employees, or community members, in approximately 40 hours of training, can acquire the “emotional intelligence” skills to:

  • Create new ideas
  • Change problem behaviors
  • Listen to another
  • Resolve interpersonal conflicts
  • Start a support group
  • Build supportive community
  • Create innovative solutions
  • Create win/win decisions in groups
  • Motivate others for collaborative action

In our Case Studies section, you will find specific examples of each of the seven applications of Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.






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These materials are offered purely as self-help skills. In providing them, Dr. McGuire is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.