Category: collaboration

INTEREST AREA: Building Supportive Community – Ten First Steps

By , October 31, 2007 12:38 pm

Community: Core Creative Edge Focusing ™ Concepts

  • Sharing from The Creative Edge creates feelings of empathy, a deep understanding of the validity of the other person’s unique point of view
  • Sharing from The Creative Edge also creates feelings of connection, a deep understanding that, underneath our uniqueness, we share a common humanity
  • The Focusing Partnership method creates a sense of community and shared humanity similar to the Greek concept of the love called Agape, the Christian love of The Christ Within each person, and the compassion of the Buddha for the Universal Oneness underlying everything
  • This Agape is the glue which binds us into a human community, providing the motivation for overcoming conflict at all levels in society
  • This creation of Agape, creation of love, can happen when the Focusing Partnership method is used for the purpose of building Focusing Groups/Teams  or Focusing Communities, or it can arise in Creative Edge Organizations as Focusing Groups/Teams do problem-solving toward a common goal
  • Call it “buy-in,” “commitment,” “loyalty,” “full engagement,” but an essential by-product of shared creativity and collaboration is a sense of being deeply connected to other people and working toward a common goal
  • The creation of Community has benefits for conflict resolution within interpersonal relationships but also within organizations and at the national and  international level      (See Creating At The Edge/Culture of Creativity at for full underlying concepts of Creative Edge Focusing™ )

Building Supportive Community

The Building Supportive Community Project brings the Creative Edge Focusing ™  Model, with its two Core Skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and seven Applied Methods of The Creative Edge Pyramid, into existing support groups and communities, as well as starting new Focusing Communities.

Some applications are 12-Step Groups, Support Groups, Community Mental Health , Religious and Spiritual Communities,  Hospitals , Prisons , Schools , Conflict Resolution, Participatory Democracy ,  and Collaborative Work Groups and Collectives. See (PDF file) Focusing and Twelve Step by Steve Crawford , and  Recovery Focusing by Suzanne Noel at for an integration of Gendlin’s Focusing theory and the 12-Steps.

Community means a felt-experience of interconnection and mutual support as well as the capacity to work together toward a common cause. In a community everyone can belong, respected for their uniqueness or their role but working toward the common good.  For community to work, people need ways to respect and to capitalize on differences and to resolve interpersonal conflicts.

Community can be built starting with people who initially come together for mutual emotional support, as in a support group. That experience of sharing can build outward into an actual community which can organize toward a common goal, for instance, advocacy.

Or, community can be built starting with people who initially come together to accomplish a shared goal, as in a grass-roots campaign or a non-profit or for-profit organization. The good feelings created through collaboration can end up having also created feelings of mutual care and supportive community.  

Dr. McGuire’s  manual, Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group (in Spanish, Focusing en Comunidad: Como Empezar un Grupo de Apoyo de Escocha Y Focusing)teaches the basic skills needed.  Audio and video tapes and phone sessions and workshops enhance this learning.  The Creative Edge e-discussion/support group connects you with other people throughout the world who belong to Focusing Communities (join from the sidebar at .

The above is excerpted from Creative Edge Focusing’s website. Continue reading about Building Supportive Community in both Support Groups and Task-Oriented Groups at

You can also read the following articles:

  • The Focusing Community at
  • Changes: A Peer Counseling Model for Community Mental Health at
  • Listening and Focusing In Supportive Community at
  • Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

    Creative Edge Focusing TM


    By , October 30, 2007 10:24 am

    Empowerment Organization: Motivating from the bottom up

    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. See Interest Area: Creative Edge Organization at for a full introduction to the model.  

    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. Every employee filmed three minutes of “something so personal it would take years to discover it.” Ross had new and old employees hungrily viewing the CD. They quickly became bonded into one, new group, “infused…with a close tightness essential for innovation.” Ross had found the “One Small Thing.”

    Example Two: Revitalizing the PTO at a public school

    The PTO of a public school was languishing. A handful of parents wer doing all the work. A new property tax bill dramatically cut funding to the public schools, wiping out PE teachers, art, music, librarians, nurses….The parents suddenly had to raise a whole lot of money from a population of middle to low income parents.

    The small group of committed parents started selling Grocery Store Gift Certificates. The PTO could purchase the “scrip” at a 5% discount, resell it to parents to use to buy groceries, and make a 5% profit on something parents had to buy anyway. Everyone had to buy groceries!  They sold “scrip” in the front hallway before school and at school events and PTO meetings.

    Suddenly, everyone was buying “scrip” – grandparents, neighbors, as well as parents and teachers. People were coming into the school to purchase “scrip” and staying to paint walls or help with reading. The only people who were unhappy were parents who were on food stamps – they were furious that they couldn’t contribute!!!! The PTO had found the One Small Thing that allowed everyone to become involved.

    Now, parents had a “stake” in how the money would be spent. Attendance at PTO meetings grew to thirty, making decisions about how to distribute the funds, how to enlarge the “scrip” program. Teachers came to present proposals for funding.

    In the first year, the PTO raised $11,000 (at the 5% net profit, gross sales of $220,000!) to hire a part-time PE teacher who would teach the other teachers how to run PE classes. The “scrip” program spread to other public schools and, ten years later, a large banner in front of the town high school reads “Buy Grocery Scrip”.

    But, more importantly, the entire school was revitalized.  The parents had to establish a “volunteer lounge” at the school to accommodate all the volunteers!

    Hypothetical Example: Global Warming

    You are Al Gore.  You want to get every day citizens involved in the issue of Global Warming. But most people feel apathetic: “Oh, there is nothing that one person can do…it is up to governments.”

    Well, maybe it is up to governments…but non-apathetic, engaged citizens are the ones to put pressure on governments.  So, you are looking for that “one small thing.” “What is one small thing that masses of people would be willing to do and which would act as a first step toward full engagement?”

    Here’s a possibility:  Purportedly, “idling” your car greatly increases the output of pollutants. Yet, everyone, without giving it a thought, “idles” at drive-up banks, fast food take-outs, school pick ups. What about a “Stop Idling! Stop Greenhouse Gases” campaign? With bumper stickers, flyers on car windows or handed out at drive-up locations….the double-entendre “Don’t idle and don’t be idle!”……

    If you can get people, all over the world, to “Stop Idling!”, you will have them engaged in thinking about global warming every day…and primed to engage in other actions which you initiate.

    Intuitive Focusing on “What is the One Small Thing?”

    Your Turn

    So, let’s use the Intuitive Focusing skill to find the “one small thing” to engage and motivate your target audience, be it consumers, citizens, volunteers, or employees. This could be the most important decision you make, so, one small session may not be enough, but it will start you thinking about Creative Edge engagement. It will put the pot on the burner so that creative insights can arise now or later.

    You can do this first step alone, by yourself, but even more productively with the appropriate group of problem solvers, benefiting from the Creative Edge Collaborative Thinking of many people.

    However, the best way to generate ideas for the “one small thing” is to initiate a Listening/Focusing Brainstorming process with the people at the bottom! We are not going to do that here, but it is essential to the process of motivating from the bottom up.

    As a group or individually, sit down and get comfortable, preparing to spend up to  twenty minutes letting right- and left- brain problem solving interact. Add another twenty minutes for group sharing. Keep a blank pad of paper in front of each person for gathering ideas.

    In a group, have one person read the following instructions aloud to everyone else. Everyone except the reader, close your eyes, focusing inward, on The Creative Edge…or, at least, look off “into space”. You want to access right-brain, intuitive thinking before you turn to more traditional “brainstorming” methods.

    Upon hearing the instructions, pay attention, inside, looking for the “intuitive feel” of answers – not what is immediately, intellectually known, but the right-brain, intuitive, murky, vague feel of what you know that is “more than words”…..leave at least a minute of silence between each instruction….(read more and find the actual Focusing Instructions at

    Dr. Kathy McGuire

    Creative Edge Focusing (TM)


    By , October 19, 2007 2:01 pm

    Metodo de Toma de Decisiones del Borde de Colaboracion

    Collaborative Edge Decision Making Method 

    (Download this article to read all about the Creative Edge Focusing (TM) model for creative and innovative task-oriented meetings )

    I believe it is at Google that every employee’s total work is put out publicly on a shared networking site, so everyone always knows what everyone is creating!  Wow! The opposite of competitive cubby holes.

    Also, at a number of businesses, they are tearing down walls between employees, enlarging “shared work spaces” with comfortable chairs and work stations to encourage sharing, breaking down walls between departments, and also between inside and outside, bringing many more outside consultants and consumers into the idea and product-generating process.

    The old model of static bureacracies is not adapted to this “niche” and consumer-driven market. Companies have to respond very quickly in creating new products to meet demands worldwide. So, they need the work teams down the hierarchy to be the “front line” in terms of responsivity… A Bottom-up model.

    Also, companies are sending employees out into the marketplace to observe the real lives of consumers — e.g., in terms of figuring out what kind of cell phone to create for a foreign market, employees travel there and observe how the people there use technology, use cell phones and computers , etc.

    Creative Edge Focusing is right in line with all of these collaborative and experiential directions! And we “own” the remaining new frontier: inner “felt sensing,” the “intuitive feel” of ideas and situations as a font of creativity and innovation.

    Malcolm Gladwell, In Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Little, Brown, 2005) legitimated the power of “intuition” and “gut feelings” for decision making.

    Certified Focusing Professionals of The Focusing Institute, and now Creative Edge Focusing (TM) consultants, have been exploring and teaching the use of The Creative Edge, the “intuitive feel” of situations and ideas, for over thirty years!

    See (many of these books are available directly from The Store at The Focusing Institute, as well as )

           Gendlin, E.T. Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984)

           Cornell, Ann Weiser The Power Of Focusing (New Harbinger, 1996)

           Flanagan, Kevin Everyday Genius: Focusing On Your Emotional Intelligence

                  (Marino Books, Dublin, 1998)

    See also the website of Flavia Cymbalista, , and testimonial from George Soros about how the Intuitive Focusing skill helps with decision making in the uncertainties of financial markets.

    And, at our own website for Creative Edge Focusing (TM),,

    Core Concept: Creativity, ,

    Instant “Ahah!” Empowerment Organization: Motivating From The Bottom Up ,,

    Case Studies:Creative Edge Organization,,

    Core Concept: Intuitive Focusing,,

    Core Concept: Creating At The Edge: Culture of Creativity,,

    and, to sum it all up, Interest Area: Creative Edge Organization, 

    (if these links don’t work, go to our Blogroll and choose Creative Edge Focusing and The Focusing Institute! You’ll find the articles to download under Free Resources: Articles. I’m just learning how to do this blogging!) Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director, Creative Edge Focusing (TM)


    By , October 18, 2007 5:00 pm

    Here are the Core Concepts of Creative Edge Focusing (TM) 

    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

    Self-Organizing  Tendency…

    Read more and find the active links at

    Unequal Desire? Make Self-Satisfaction Completely OK

    By , October 15, 2007 2:09 pm

    Collaborative Edge Sexuality: Negotiation Among Equals For Win/Win Solutions

     In Unequal Desire? Try Erotic Massage a few days ago,   I spoke about unequal sexual desire and making three dates per week, starting with massage for the weary, if need be— Un-“Coupling” Desire and Satisfaction But what if desire is still unequal? What if one partner would happily have sex every day; the other much less frequently— What if your partner gets turned on just watching you undress for bed – and you are only thinking of going to sleep? You are not responsible for satisfying your partner’s desire—but, you should also not stand in the way.  Self- Satisfaction needs to become completely accepted, not to be hidden or scorned—It can be celebrated by the other, even if the other only wants minimal participation, or none—and, sometimes, it might surprise the other with their own desire— Only do what feels “okay” —but don’t be stopped by society’s “taboos” Check with your “intuitive feel,” your “felt sense” of each new situation (learn Intuitive Focusing at While your lover self-satisfies, might you be willing to do a slow strip-tease?—or dance for your lover?—or tease them with a feather boa?—or a touch on the inner thigh? Perhaps you are only willing to sit in a provocative pose while you read your book—or, perhaps, this day, you would rather leave and go check your email—or go to sleep—or perhaps your partner would rather go out into the garden, in company of the night sounds and breezes— Then or at another time, share from your “felt sensing” about “self-satisfaction.” We all have a lot of past history, taboos, and also sensuous experiences to share. 

    Sharing Sets The Stage And Keeps The Curtain Open

    At Creative Edge Focusing (TM), , you can download the free Instant “Ahah!” manual, in the sidebar after subscribing to our e-newsletter, but also in Free Resources under Long Articles. It gives you ten simple exercises you can incorporate into your every day life. Use Instant “Ahah!” #8, “Sharing Your Day: Instant Intimacy” to keep the door to further intimacy open. Use Instant “Ahah!” #3, “Passive Listening: Stop arguments” for five-minute uninterrupted turns to communicate about sex or anything else. Visit to learn about Intuitive Focusing, Focused Listening, and how to use Focusing Partnership turns and Interpersonal Focusing turns for ongoing communication and conflict resolution.Okay, I’m nervous about posting this, but, if you have comments, out with them!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.comThe 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 

    Unequal Desire #1: Try Erotic Massage

    By , October 12, 2007 4:34 pm

    Collaborative Edge Sexuality = Finding Win/Win Solutions Through Negotiating as Equals 

     Unequal desire for sexual intimacy? Try massage…

    • First, set the stage for greater closeness with Instant “Ahah!” #8 (p.27) –Sharing Your Day: Instant Intimacy practiced every day (download the free Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual at by subscribing to e-newsletter in sidebar or looking under Free Resources Long Articles — ten simple exercises to bring Listening/Focusing skills into your everyday life)
    • Make a date three times a week for sexual intimacy (e.g., Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30PM, Saturday around 9AM) –carry out at least two dates/week. You can set aside 1 1/2 hours, but 45 minutes to 1 hour can be plenty of time.
    • At your local natural foods store, stock up on massage oils and lotion…Jason brand is a good one, Lavendar always calming
    • If you can, buy a massage table for home; Earthlite portable at  is sturdy but inexpensive(well, certainly cheaper than marital therapy or a weekend away, and much easier on the back muscles)
    • At least on some “dates, the person with greater desire and energy enjoys massaging the front side of the other person…start with a foot/leg massage, erasing exhaustion,move on to the rest of body and, finally, erotic areas….at some point, make sure the “initiator” also gets a massage…Lover’s Massage and Ultimate Sexual Massage from are explicit DVD’s showing you how…be warned…the rest of that website can be overwhelming….

    More to come in future editions!

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

    Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

    Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

    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 

    Panorama Theme by Themocracy