Category: collaboration

Positive Psychology: Raising Happy, Kind Children Evolutionarily Adaptive

By , March 5, 2010 4:34 pm
Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Do Kinder People Have an Evolutionary Advantage?
“Positive psychology” research indicates that the kinder you are, the more likely you are to survive — and evolve. Quoted from March 4, 2010 article from AlterNet, by Yasmin Anwar:

In contrast to “every man for himself” interpretations of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, Dacher Keltner, a UC Berkeley psychologist and author of “Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life,” and his fellow social scientists are building the case that humans are successful as a species precisely because of our nurturing, altruistic and compassionate traits.

They call it “survival of the kindest.”

“Because of our very vulnerable offspring, the fundamental task for human survival and gene replication is to take care of others,” said Keltner, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. “Human beings have survived as a species because we have evolved the capacities to care for those in need and to cooperate. As Darwin long ago surmised, sympathy is our strongest instinct.”

…While much of the positive psychology being studied around the nation is focused on personal fulfillment and happiness, UC Berkeley researchers have narrowed their investigation into how it contributes to the greater societal good.

One outcome is the campus’s Greater Good Science Center, a West Coast magnet for research on gratitude, compassion, altruism, awe and positive parenting, whose benefactors include the Metanexus Institute, Tom and Ruth Ann Hornaday and the Quality of Life Foundation.

Christine Carter, executive director of the Greater Good Science Center, is creator of the “Science for Raising Happy Kids” Web site, whose goal, among other things, is to assist in and promote the rearing of “emotionally literate” children. Carter translates rigorous research into practical parenting advice. She says many parents are turning away from materialistic or competitive activities, and rethinking what will bring their families true happiness and well-being.

“I’ve found that parents who start consciously cultivating gratitude and generosity in their children quickly see how much happier and more resilient their children become,” said Carter, author of “Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents” which will be in bookstores in February 2010. “What is often surprising to parents is how much happier they themselves also become.” Read whole article

See our own Creative Edge education model, teaching basic “emotional literacy” self-help skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening to increase creativity and empathy throughout life.

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (TM) (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

Resources: Free Articles, Training, Classes

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

HARD-WIRED FOR COLLABORATION: PHYSICAL TOUCH INCREASES PERFORMANCE

By , March 1, 2010 1:23 pm

In Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life (Norton, 2009),  Dacher Keltner of UC/Berkeley discusses the relationship between physical touch and performance: a supportive touch on the shoulder can increase participation in classrooms, and new research by Michael Kraus and co-authors Cassy Huang and Keltner, soon to appear in the journal Emotion, shows that basketball teams where players touched each other, in a supportive way, performed better than those with less touch. Highest performing players were also those giving the highest number of supportive touches. As summarized in a recent article by Benedict Carey of  The New York Times, “Touchy-feely sports teams have edge, evidence suggests,”:

“A warm touch seems to set off the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps create a sensation of trust, and to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In the brain, prefrontal areas that help regulate emotion can relax, freeing them for another of their primary purposes: problem solving. In effect, the body interprets a supportive touch as ‘I’ll share the load.’

‘We think that humans build relationships precisely for this reason, to distribute problem solving across brains,’ says James A. Coan, a psychologist at the University of Virginia. ‘We are wired to literally share the processing load, and this is the signal we’re getting when we receive support through touch.’ ”

More evidence for the assumptions of Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s model for Creative Edge Organizations, where more “feminine” values of support, empathy, listening, colleagiality, and attention to relationships feed the bottom line, encouraging creative problem solving through collaboration.

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (TM) (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

Resources: Free Articles, Training, Classes

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

TRANSITION TOWNS: LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

By , May 15, 2009 6:57 pm

In the Transition Towns movement, www.transitiontowns.org,  political action is thoroughly integrated at the local level, building local sustainability and community as a basis for the “resiliency” needed to affect long-term, global change. But even more importantly, skill training for emotional and personal growth and conflict resolution is built right into hands-on, political action. 

Here is a short definition of  Transition Towns from a Facebook Event page announcing an Introductory Workshop and the 2009 Transition Towns Conference in the UK:
           “The Transition movement is a fast-growing, bottom-up response to peak oil and climate change. There are now thousands of communities around the world using this model, and it is being widely acknowledged as a positive, solutions focused approach, ‘more like a party than a protest march’.”
        
From the Transition Towns website, www.transitiontowns.org :

…A Transition Initiative is a community (lots of examples here) working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:

“for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

After going through a comprehensive and creative process of:

  • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
  • connecting with existing groups in the community
  • building bridges to local government
  • connecting with other transition initiatives
  • forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
  • kicking off projects aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
  • eventually launching a community defined, community implemented “Energy Descent Action Plan” over a 15 to 20 year timescale

This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we’ve lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community’s carbon emissions drastically.”

I like the actual example of a transition town which you can experience at Transition Town Westcliff. You’ll get a taste for all the fun and educational and hands-on gatherings, meetings, celebrations as a town works together for local sustainability affecting global change. “More like a party than a protest march,” indeed! I can’t wait to build or to join such a community.

I like the emphasis upon personal and emotional growth, mutual support, and conflict resolution skill training added into the more specific political goals of building local resilience as part of changing global problems of peak oil and climate change.

I have offered copies of my manual, Focusing in Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group, as one model of peer-based support which teaches core skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening,  that can be applied to  emotional, personal, interpersonal, and group-level growth and community building.

There is a handbook for starting a transition town, The Transition Town Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience,written by founder Rob Hopkins. You can order the book at the link.

Find out all about Transition Towns, and the 2009 Conference in London, UK, May 22-24, 2009 at www.transitiontowns.org . The conference itself sold out immediately, but you can still sign up for evening Introductory events and pre- and post-conference workshops.

The Creative Edge Focusing(TM) Approach To Community Building

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

GRASSROOTS GREENING: PLANTING GROWS COMMUNITY

By , May 7, 2009 12:13 pm

The “One Small Thing” method of Creative Edge Focusing (TM) helps organizations find that one small step people will take to become motivated and engaged. Building Community through Listening/Focusing Partnerships/Groups/Teams  is an easy outgrowth of these first collaborative efforts. Below is an example of the “one small thing” that turned a traffic lane into a green and walkable neighborhood.

“Grassroots Greening —  Two Bike Lanes, 3 Miles of Green Space, and a Hundred New Friends: How One Woman Transformed a Neighborhood” (Sunset magazine, May 2009, pp.46-49) tells how Gillian Gillett, who bought a home on a busy intersection and six-lane thoroughfare in San Francisco, created a neighborhood community by starting with “one small thing” — she collected 300 signatures on a traffic calming petition” needed by the city to consider safety improvements. “While the traffic slowed down (the speed limit was reduced from 40 to 25), her plan to make her neighborhood more people-friendly sped up.”

By Fall of 2004, Gillett had received a $75,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for neighborhood revitalization. She got bike lanes added and traffic lanes reduced from six to four. She got a traffic light installed. Now she and others could cross the street to the nearby hospital! This “one small step” now allowed the area to become a walkable “neighborhood.”

Gillett and her husband found themselves now the core of a group of activists, including neighbors, schools, and merchants, all suddenly seeing themselves as part of this neighborhood. Gillett and her husband Jeff Goldberg started looking for the next step in building a community. Research and canvassing pointed in the same direction: planting trees, plants, greening a neighborhood builds a community.

They got permission to plant the highway median, the only greenspace available. At the same time, the mayor of San Francisco got on board, proclaiming that 5000 trees a year be planted in SF and appointing a “green czar” to help it happen.

The first planting, of two blocks of median, had 126 participants. The next, 400.  “We do the plantings as a block party with a band and food and participation of local merchants, “Gillett explains. “Before this project, traffic was so heavy that people didn’t really know their neighbors. It’s really contributing to the resiliency of the neighborhood.”

And another quote from the article: “This project connected me to the neighborhood,” Gillett says of her now seven-year quest to improve not only her own block but her entire community. “This was never about plants. It was about making a neighborhood I could walk in. Drivers in their cars think of this road as a way to get to the highway. We think of it as home.”

The article ends with a listing “Green in the hood” community-based greening projects around the West : Seattle’s www.groundswellnw.org , Portland’s www.cityrepair.org , LA’s www.laguerrillagardening.org  , national urban forestry support at www.treelink.org/nucfac , and Gillett’s organization, www.sanjosequerrero.com .

See the article, at www.sunset.com , for details.

You can share your own experiences of being the “first” in your neighborhood with greening at readerletters@sunset.com.

See Empowerment Organization at Creative Edge Focusing (TM) for more examples and “The One Small Thing” Focusing exercise.

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

BOTTOM-UP EMPOWERMENT: PENNY HARVEST ENGAGES SCHOOL CHILDREN IN SERVICE-LEARNING

By , April 20, 2009 4:47 pm

 Empowerment Organization is a method for motivating people “from the bottom up.” It includes “The One Small Thing” exercise, looking for a small action that many people will feel able to take as the first step in building grass-roots, bottom-up empowerment and community involvement.

 Here is a wonderful example of “One Small Thing,” The Penny Harvest fund-raiser sponsored at elementary schools throughout the USA  by the Common Cents Organization. Begun in 1991 when four-year-old Nora Gross asked her father, co-founder Teddy Gross,  for help in feeding a homeless man, since then, over $7 million in pennies has been collected by school children and used to found a variety of projects in their local area.

Not only are pennies collected throughout neighborhoods, but then the students spend weeks  learning about the grant-making process from the bottom up, eventually deciding on their own where Penny Harvest grants will be made.

I quote from the article written by Darcy Tomky for the Holyoke Enterprise (MA) newspaper , “Elementary Students Explore The Penny Harvest Grant-Making Process” (I have removed the names of students mentioned):

     With 1,020 pounds of pennies collected, Holyoke elementary and high school students have dived into the second phase of the Penny Harvest philanthropic project.
     The students have the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a non-profit organization. Now the question is: who should receive the money?
     A roundtable committee made up of 14 elementary students has been formed to answer that question. Meeting once a week with high school sponsor T_____ and her high school leadership class student coaches, they are learning about the grant making process…
     …The students have devoted themselves to being “a group of committed people working together to help meet important needs in the community.”
     On their fourth week of the project, T_____ noted the students have learned about the democratic process by taking oaths and assigning roles such as president and secretary. They have also explored terms like community and philanthropy.
     According to high schooler B_____, the project is not just about giving away money; it is also focused on service. One of the objectives of the Penny Harvest is to improve neighborhoods through service projects the students will plan and execute in addition to awarding a grant.
     The next step in the grant making process is to “identify the issue the kids as a whole care about,” said T____. The roundtable discussed the question, “What do you see around you that you want to see changed?”
     The roundtable developed a survey to find out what issues other elementary students care about. The survey, distributed by roundtable members on Thursday, March 5, gave students several options of who they would like to receive the funds such as sick animals, people without homes, disabled children and elderly people.
     Once the issues are narrowed down, students will research the them to find what causes the problems and ways to solve or improve the situation. The high school coaches will also research specific non-profit organizations that address those issues.
     The next step in the process will be to conduct an application and interview process with the non-profits. Students will follow up with letters of acceptance or decline.
     Once a non-profit is chosen, the roundtable will finish up by planning a celebration party for elementary students and the recipient of the Penny Harvest grant. They hope to award the check in late spring.”

This is bottom-up motivation: everyone can donate and collect pennies. With that first step comes community involvement in the larger project, helping students learn about service and providing services for those in need.

See Empowerment Organization for more examples and “The One Small Thing” Focusing exercise.

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

THE CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING PYRAMID IN BUSINESS SETTINGS: FOCUSING, LISTENING, AND COLLABORATIVE EDGE MEETINGS

By , March 15, 2009 6:07 pm

In the Creative Edge Focusing (TM) model, The Creative Edge is the bodily-felt, intuitive “something-more-than-words” that anyone can find if they simply pause, for at least a minute, paying attention in the center of their body for the “intuitive feel,” the “bodily-felt sense” of any issue or idea or problem to form.

The PRISMS/S Focusing Process  shows how Intuitive Focusing, often coupled with Focused Listening, can allow this non-linear, right-brain, intuitive knowing to unfold.

The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid shows how these simple self-help skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be incorporated into all levels within a company or organization, as well as for stress relief, conflict resolution, and emotional problem solving at home:

Focusing 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

Creative Edge Organizations  benefit from the innovation, creativity, commitment, and collegiality which come when each person is engaged at their own Creative Edge and sharing and supporting Creative Edge exploration in others. Read Creating At The Edge: The Culture of Creativity

Here is feedback from a Certified Focusing Professional teaching Listening, Focusing, and Collaborative Edge Decision Making (CEDM) in two companies:

“I am teaching two small companies focusing and I also have workshops and individual sessions for everyone interested. I have also done a few talks on focusing, and I want to develop that more. I want to develop everything more!!!
 
I just want to tell you that the people at the companies, were really amazed about your method for decision making. I translated it all and made sheets for them to work with and it all went so well. We have done it twice in two different groups, and the next two weeks we will try it again.

Afterwards one woman said: “I feel like I have a lot of energy after the meeting, usually I am all tired and out of energy.”

Another one said: “I am a slow person, and have often been told, just hurry and pick the word and say what you want. But I don’t feel like doing that, it just makes me feel so stressed. I rather just stay quiet.” And she really enjoyed this kind of meeting.

I could “feel” the stress disappear when everybody understood that they were going to have their piece of the time for saying what they wanted.

And when I told them that they all had the same responsibility for creating a meaningful meeting, it sort of started twinkling in their eyes.

Most amazing of all was that the ones that volunteered for the timekeeping both times we did this, were two people that usually have a hard time being on time (according to the others in the group). Strange, isn’t it?

And more:

“Thank you for the links you gave me here. I am thinking about translating both “5 minutes of grieving” and “Active Listening: Short-Circuit Angry Confrontations”, they are so good, and the people I work with do need something very “resolute” to get started with Focusing in their daily work … there is really a need for a tool that is respectful and very human. (that’s a need everywhere of course!)”

“The staff that I am teaching Focusing are more and more getting it in to their daily routines. They all say: When we start the morning with some Focusing, there is a calm feeling throughout the day! No matter how much stress they are facing.

So now they are trying, at least in one of the companies, to have at least 10 minutes each in the morning, just Listening to what is inside them right now. And at least once a week they do a longer Listening/Focusing turn two and two. And their meetings have really changed!”

See my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed below:

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

EMPOWERMENT ORGANIZATION: MOTIVATING FROM THE BOTTOM UP

By , February 16, 2009 12:53 pm

Thank You, Volunteer Firefighters

Thank You, Volunteer Firefighters

Every organization needs top/down and bottom/up forms of motivation, community-building, and creativity. See Interest Areas Creative Edge Organizations and Building Supportive Community for Creative Edge Focusing(TM) models for incorporating collaboration into hierarchy. Here is the Introduction to “The One Small Thing” method for bottom/up empowerment from The Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website:

“Motivation = Engagement : Apathy Is The Enemy!

You are charged with finding that “one small thing” which will get every employee or volunteer or citizen fully engaged in your larger projects. No apathy allowed in a Creative Edge Organization! You want to become alert to noticing apathy, people at any level who are not caring, not involved, and then work at involvement. You want every person actively involved at The Creative Edge, the lively, creative, energized “intuitive feel” of being a living, thinking, involved  Co-Creator or Collaborator.

Finding “One Small Thing”

In the ongoing life of your Creative Edge community or organization, the weekly exchange of Listening/Focusing turns in Focusing Partnerships and  Focusing Groups or Teams will keep individuals involved at their own personal, unique Creative Edge. However, in addition, or perhaps first or independently, you can use the “One Small Thing” method to find one over-arching project that will get everyone involved.

You want to find “One Small Thing” that every person in the community or organization can become involved in with minimal effort but maximum sense of satisfaction in contributing something to the larger mission.  If the first step of involvement is too big, too difficult, then most people won’t be willing to do it.

So, you have to keep looking until you find something so small that everyone can do it, easily, willingly, yet so important that it will feel like a real contribution, a first step of commitment to the larger cause. Then, you can invite these involved, engaged people into further Collaborative Decision Making about the project.

If your “One Small Thing” project is not having the desired effect, then the step is too big, requires too much motivation or commitment. If that is the case, then you need to look for a smaller step until you find the one that works.

Example One: Achieving Corporate Buy-In

At Old Navy (Business Week, June,19, 2006), Innovation Champion Ivy Ross, catching the MySpace-type lifestyle of today, used a facebook-style CD in an effort to bind old and new employees into one new group.”    Please read more and  find “The One Small Thing” exercise at our website.

Spaghetti Binds Community

Here’s another recent example from my own experience:

For two years, my rural fire department (I am on the Board) has been trying to find a volunteer, a “strong leader,” to head up a federal program called Citizen’s Emergency Response Teams (CERT). Candidates appeared but chose not to proceed.

I wanted to do a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser, start at the grass roots, with the community I knew that we did or would or could have easily: people who were willing to bring spaghetti sauce or desserts and help out at a the dinner.

I put out sign-up sheets at community events, built up an email network of willing volunteers, and got it all going. Firefighters and their spouses and families, Town Council members and spouses, Board members and spouses and church volunteers, teenagers, lakeside and rural and town people, all pulling together for a fun community event.

Two weeks before the event, a massive ice storm hit, wiping out the town’s electricity. I continued contacting my volunteers by phone, hearing their ice storm stories, meeting new people.

Along the way, I discovered that the husband of one of the spaghetti volunteers was a retired Fire Captain. I put out feelers: “Would he be interested in helping with the CERT Program?”

By the evening of the dinner, 40 volunteers were involved, 100 people came, we had located two possible co-chairs for the CERT program, and neighbors who had been through the ice storm together were ready to mobilize into CERT Teams. We fed 150 people (including many free volunteer meals) for $210.37 and raised $1000+, including tickets for a drawing for a gift basket and outright donations.

But equally important, we had planted the seeds for community involvement, appreciation for the Fire and Rescue Department, and citizen’s emergency response.

So, starting from the bottom, with the “One Small Thing” of bringing food to the fundraiser, we started the motions to accomplish a larger community goal.  Try the “One Small Thing” Focusing exercise here.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

FOCUSING AND BUSINESS: BUILDING COMMUNITY AT WORK

By , January 30, 2009 12:14 pm

In Creative Edge Organizations, everyone learns Intuitive Focusing ( PDF: Focusing Intuitivo: Destreza Basica) to access the intuitive, right-brain Creative Edge of their thinking and problem solving, and everyone learns Focused Listening ( PDF: Destreza Basica: Escucha Focalizada)to help others articulate from the Creative Edge and to hear deeply the views of another instead of arguing.

The exchange of Listening/Focusing Partnership turns leads, not only to creative, innovative problem solving, but also to feelings of “buy in,” “loyalty,” and “collegiality.” The workplace becomes a community,  encouraging diversity and creativity rather than competition and backbiting.

Here is part of my recent article “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community“:

“— Businesses and Organizations ARE Communities

 

Doing my own Thinking At The Edge (TAE) process, I realized that businesses and organizations ARE communities. By their nature, coworkers are “trapped” in a face-to-face, interdependent situation which they cannot leave.

 

Some absolute essentials for workers:

 

• learning to work out their interpersonal conflicts

• having a successful model for making and implementing group decisions

• having a model for creative, innovative thinking and problem solving and for

 communication between themselves and their clients.

• For co-workers: the ability to work in teams, tolerate their diversity, and make

 the most of their “differing gifts.”

 

Businesses cannot afford the constant turnover and need for retraining that comes from irresolvable conflicts.

 

 The model I developed for Focusing Communities, articulated in the Focusing in Community manual (1981, 2007), included all of these things: not just Focusing Alone for creative problem solving, but also Focusing Partnerships in the context of Focusing Groups or Teams, Interpersonal Focusing for resolving conflicts, and Collaborative Focusing-Oriented Decision Making for task-oriented groups. Here was a “package” of skills and methods that could be brought into businesses and organizations.

 

At about this time, I gathered up some books at a kiosk at the Northwest Regional Airport near Bentonville, Arkansas — home of mega-business giant WalMart. Everyone who is a vendor for WalMart passes through that airport, so it seemed to me that the books sold there would be cutting edge —” 

 

Read the entire article “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community in the 30th Anniversary Tribute Focusing Folio online at The Focusing Institute.

 

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

 

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! Today’s blog is part of the year-long e-course offered through the Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter.

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

 

INTEREST AREA: CREATIVE EDGE ORGANIZATIONS

By , June 12, 2008 12:40 pm

Interest Areas: Seven Places To Start Practice Groups !!!

The Interest Areas under “Is This You” at The Creative Edge Focusing website (www.cefocusing.com ) give the First Ten Steps you might take to bring the model of Listening/Focusing into seven whole different areas of living: Organizations, Support Groups and Communities, Relationships, Parenting, Education, Spiritual Communities, and Helping Professions (psychotherapy, counselling, medicine, body work, etc.).

In the next e-newsletters, I will introduce you to each of these Interest Areas and possible First Steps so that you might start a Listening/Focusing practice group in any of these areas.

INTEREST AREA: CREATIVE EDGE ORGANIZATIONS

Below you will find the Introduction to bringing Creative Edge Focusing into businesses, corporations, non-profits, volunteer organizations, any place that has meetings. From www.cefocusing.com  with active links to website descriptions of core concepts:

Core Principles of Creating At The Edge

The Creative Edge Organization Method ensures maximum creativity and motivation at every level by encouraging Intuitive Focusing by individuals and Coordinated Collaboration in groups and teams

Maximum motivation arises when people are encouraged to create their lives and solutions to problems from their own Creative Edge.

When organizational structures lose touch with The Creative Edge of individuals, apathy is created.

True change, at any level, from personal to global, happens by engaging The Creative Edge El Borde Creativo of individual human beings. There is no lasting way to impose change from the outside. Lasting change is empowered from the individual entering into collaborative action with other individuals.

The Core Skills of Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing provide the basic method for individuals, alone, in pairs, or in groups, to access The Creative Edge of thinking and experiencing from which totally new ideas and solutions can arise. They increase creativity and deepen communication and support in any volunteer organization or for-profit corporation.

The Creative Edge Pyramid

The seven methods of The Creative Edge Pyramid insure the application of the Core Skills at every level of organization:

Focusing Alone allows an individual to access the Creative Edge, anytime, anywhere.
Focusing Partnership provides a structure where pairs of individuals can help each other to articulate from The Creative Edge.
Interpersonal Focusing can be used to find The Creative Edge inherent in interpersonal conflicts.
Focusing Groups/Teams support continued Creative Edge exploration.
Collaborative Edge Decision Making provides structures for access to the Creative Edge during group and team meetings, creating innovative, win/win decisions.
Focusing Communities use Listening/Focusing skills to welcome diversity and overcome conflict.
Creative Edge Organization, including The One Small Thing component, insures motivation and “buy-in” from the bottom up, The Creative Edge of each individual.

Focusing and Group Decision Making

The fast-paced, argumentative, competitive nature of much group decision making discussion makes it impossible for anyone to pay attention to and speak from The Creative Edge, the right-brain, “intuitive feel” which can contain the newest, freshest, most innovative solutions. Given the energy expended on simply trying to interrupt and get a turn, participants cannot really listen to the contributions of others.

Under Instant “Ahah!” Collaborative Thinking, you’ll find the simple “How To’s” for groups which Dr. McGuire discovered when she undertook research to describe the difference between aggressive, competitive, and “listening” task-oriented groups. More on Focusing and Group Decision Making.

Win/Win Decision-Making

The most creative solutions, either in individual or in group decision-making, arise when the individual or the group is able to sit with polarized oppositions and wait until a newly-created “third way” can arise. We call this a “win/win” decision : instead of a painful compromise where each side really gives up more than they are willing to, and, later, finds reasons not to carry out the decision, a “win/win” decision, a totally new option, really does contain enough aspects from both sides to produce satisfaction, and thus motivation.

Pure consensual decision making can be extremely time-consuming, since no action can be taken until every member agrees to go along with it. The Collaborative Edge Decision Making (CEDM) method includes the use of Coordinated Collaboration as a method for brainstorming from the bottom/up without having decision-making bog down. More on Win/Win Decision Making.

Bite-sized Projects

The Creative Edge Organization method, with The One Small Thing component, continually breaks down projects to the level where as many individuals as possible can be actively involved in problem solving and decision-making from The Creative Edge and in carrying out projects.

This gives participants a feeling of “ownership” of the group’s work and also the benefits to community building of working together on a joint goal. Although top/down hierarchical structures can also be used for aspects of the work, The One Small Thing component works from the bottom/up to involve every person actively in action and decision-making where that is possible. More on Bite-Sized Projects.

See Instant “Ahah!” Empowerment Organization for a Focusing exercise to find “The One Small Thing.”

CLICK HERE AND SCROLL DOWN TO CONTINUE WITH “THE FIRST TEN STEPS FOR BRINGING LISTENING/FOCUSING INTO AN ORGANIZATIONS YOU BELONG TO”   

Tell me what you think at cefocusing@gmail.com or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

CREATING AT THE EDGE: THE CULTURE OF CREATIVITY

By , February 23, 2008 2:52 pm

  
(To catch up with this topic, see
Week One Empowerment Organization , Week Two Examples of “The One Small Thing”)
 
Motivation is a bottom-up, not top-down thing. Each unique individual must be in touch with their own Creative Edge, their own “felt experience” of aliveness and creativity.
 
Below you find an explanation of why taking the time to “sit with,” pay attention to the “intuitive feel,” the “something more than words” leads to maximum motivation as well as maximum creativity and innovation:


Core Creativity      Cultura De Creatividad

  • Every individual is born with a unique blueprint. Personal growth is the unfolding of this blueprint
  • Every problem holds within itself the exact next steps needed for solution
  • The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way
  • The Creative Edge is a right-brain phenomenon and is physically experienced as the murky, intuitive “feel” of the whole issue

Intuitive Focusing

  • Creating at the Edge involves a back-and-forth nonlinear process between left-brain “symbolizations” and right brain “felt experiencing”
  • The  Intuitive Focusing skill teaches specific steps which make problem-solving at The Creative Edge  and  “Ah, hah!” insights a predictable process 
  • Central to Intuitive Focusing is learning to silently “sit with” the murky, intuitive, preverbal “felt sense” underlying an issue before attempting to find words, gestures, or images as “symbolizations

Focused Listening

  • The Focused Listening skill is a powerful tool for helping another person to create symbolizations out of The Creative Edge and especially in finding the “intuitive feel” for each person in interpersonal situations, turning conflict into creativity
  • Focused Listening also allows for empathic understanding of the Other and the possibility for conflict resolution which comes from empathic understanding. 

Creative Edge Organizations

  • The Creative Edge Organization Method ensures maximum creativity and motivation at every level by encouraging Intuitive Focusing by individuals and Coordinated Collaboration in groups and teams
  • Maximum motivation arises when people are encouraged to create their lives and solutions to problems from their own Creative Edge.
  • Individuals are motivated when they are engaged at their Creative Edge. When organizational structures lose touch with The Creative Edge of individuals, apathy is created.
  • True change, at any level, from personal to global, can only happen by engaging The Creative Edge of individual human beings. There is no lasting way to impose change from the outside.
  • Lasting change is empowered from the individual entering into collaborative action with other individuals.

Paradigm Shifts

  • Paradigms are fixed perceptual schemata, or Gestalts,  which determine beliefs, emotional reactions, and behaviors
  • Paradigm shifts are the source of true creativity, innovation,  and change
  • Intuitive Focusing results in shifts at the level of paradigms. The kaleidoscope turns, a new Gestalt is created,  and new thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are able to arise
  • Paradigm shifts at The Creative Edge release blocked energy as well as creating new solutions”

Read on at this link  or en espanol  for the full model of how the use of Listening/Focusing turns within organizations insures motivation rather than apathy and creativity rather than stultification.

 Download Dr. McGuire’s article  Collaborative Edge Decision Making Method  en espanol

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 

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