Category: conflict resolution

Focusing and Architecture: Designing From The Inside Out

By , December 14, 2009 7:17 pm

In The Not So Big House and Creating The Not So Big House books, Sarah Susanka (amazon link) advocates leaving the vaulted-ceiling mansions that have become the hallmark of house design and returning to designing houses that are specifically tailored to the very personal and unique needs of the homeowner who will live in the architect-designed home. Quality replaces quantity; intimate detailing replaces square footage.

Recently, as my husband and I hired an architect and began the schematic design process for our future retirement home, I found myself in the midst of an “archetypal” battle. I see it as defined by the clash of “masculine” vs. “feminine,” “Thinking vs. Feeling” modes of being, based upon psychiatrist C.G. Jung’s descriptions and psychological tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter (see “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory”  for explanations and Creative Edge Focusing Personality Tests for links for some free versions of these tests).

My husband and I had agreed, after seeing the book New Minimalist Houses (this is Amazon link for great bargain price, $50 reduced to $15!), that Minimalist could describe the kind of house we wanted — lots of glass/concrete/steel, as little as possible between us and the surrounding nature of our 20-acre forest on a ridge. But, it turned out, this was about all we agreed on!

Mind you, both the architect and my husband are feminist, egalitarian, good listeners. And I am a Ph.D. scholar.Yet, there was something about this opportunity to design from a blank slate that engaged all of us in visions to which we desperately wanted to cling, making it almost impossible to “hear from” the opposing view .

The architect followed a method he is known for, going to the home site, hiking for hours, sitting for hours if needed, until he came up with an inspiration for the design of the house, knowing some about us but a lot about the site and location. He ended up discovering a totally different and much better site location for the house, in our twenty acres of forest, and offering creative and striking designs for a one- and two-story version of our house.

The architect’s proposed one-story design was much like The Air House in the Minimalist book — a long rectangle of glass, spread along the ridge, with views and light from North and South. My husband fell in love with it, as it let light enter every room from both north and south.

Okay, I thought, I can live with that, but I want the Guest Area/Project Room/Full Bath closer to the rest of the house, not across a breezeway, I said. I said the Garage and Shop can go across the breezeway. I knew that, at a distance, I would not use the space for Projects, and it would be empty, wasted square footage except when Guests came.

I also wanted the Full Bath to be shared with the two Studies at that end of the house, so that the three spaces, Guest/Project, Study, Study could function as bedrooms, if our future aging needs or future buyers needed such a constellation. I thought my husband would be happy with the striking southern views and light he could have from his shop. And he was okay with this compromise.

And here the epic struggle began. The architect would come back with his original design, saying “the house” needs the Guest/Project/Bath across the courtyard, or “there needs to be a living space across the courtyard to balance the design.” I would counter with “I” need them on this side of the courtyard, so they can function together as three bedrooms, if needed.

And yet his design would come back again, modified some but still with Project/Guest/Bath at a distance from the rest of the house (given geographical distance, we were communicating by email, not ideal!). Finally I said, “You keep trying to ISOLATE this space, and I am trying to CONNECT it.”

I also mentioned casually to my husband that I would like a Front Porch, where I could sit and watch nature go by, and where visitors could find a sheltered entry.

Reading Susanka, I also found some confirmation for my wish for some bay windows to serve as alcoves at the edges of the minimalist open floor plan. I was afraid that flat, rectangular expanses of glass wall would not “draw us in” to the view, would seem cold and distant.

And my husband, usually very mild-mannered,  freaked out: “No! No bumps! The house is to be sleek, sleek, not full of bumps and lumps.”

It seemed to me that each of them, husband and architect, were quite comfortable with accommodating the needs of the residents to the needs of the design, the conceptual needs of “the house.” They could look at a floor plan and fall in love with it.

I however, could not imagine living, feeling alive, in a house that was like a shell laid over and against my actual living, constraining me into a particular shape.

Through an epic struggle coming close to divorce and firing of the architect, we have come to an understanding, a compromise which I call “cozy minimalism,” incorporating Susanka’s sensitivity to the human longing for enclosed, sheltered “alcoves” at the edges of open floor plan spaces with the flying visions, open spaces, and angles of minimalism.

We are entering a period of design where the architect will mainly LISTEN as my husband and I articulate our intuitive sense of our own wants and needs, and then come up with creative, unique ideas and methods for incorporating, aned compromising, those needs.

Out of this new dialogue, already a possible “roof garden” and “sunroom/breakfast nook” alcove have arisen to soften The Air House into an individualized home, yet keep the soaring aspects of the architect’s inspiration.

For more on The Not So Big concept, designing from “the inside out,” from careful attention to the unique needs of the homeowner, see the Susanka books cited above.

For more on learning to Listen To Yourself through Intuitive Focusing and Listen to Another through Focused Listening, see the many resources and free downloads 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

 

 

 

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

CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN BUSINESSES: TEACHING INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING

By , March 16, 2009 2:31 pm

Creative Edge Organizations, using The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid  for application at all levels,  incorporate Interpersonal Focusing for conflict resolution as well as Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening to facilitate creative, innovative problem solving. Interpersonal Focusing can take place in a separate session or right during the flow of a Collaborative Edge Decision Making (CEDM) meeting. But how do you teach Interpersonal Focusing in an actual business or organization, if there are no conflicts evident? How do you introduce it without the stress of a full-blown conflict?

Interpersonal Focusing can involve the use of a Third Person Listening Facilitator mediating between the two people in conflict. Download the entire Interpersonal Focusing Chapter from Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group. Order the complete manual and multimedia Self-Help Package .

From a Certified Focusing Professional bringing the CEDM model, and Creative Edge Pyramid, into two businesses:

“Can I ask you a question? I have tried to teach the same group that was so happy about CEDM, your Interpersonal Focusing, when people disagree about something. They find it hard to practice the method, without two people really having an argument. Do you have any suggestion how to “train” this skill, listening to another that you have an argument with?

Because the people I teach, they say something like “No, I could never listen in a Focusing way when I am mad at someone”. Maybe just practicing focusing is the best?”

My response: The question is a good one: how do you teach Interpersonal Focusing when there is no conflict going on?

  1. Sometimes I have worked instead on even when one person in the group has strong positive feelings about someone else, like “Wishing I could be like you,” “Thinking you are so self-confident,” etc.  Even hearing this kind of positive information about oneself can be difficult to hear and provide a good exercise in Focused Listening to emotional material.
  2. And you can decide to have a discussion about a topic likely to bring up some conflict. E.g., it is not difficult to find two people who have differing views about politics, for instance, or any other controversial topic.
  3. If this is a group that works together, there can also be a fear of uncovering any negative feelings or interpersonal conflicts, so saying “Oh, we don’t have any of those.” Maybe done the road they would feel safer.
  4. Usually, when I have an ongoing 10-week group, I look for small conflicts we can practice on, as simple as whether we should invite new members, or whether we should have tea and snacks.
  5. Also, if I see a conflict happening, I drop the lesson for the day and practice Interpersonal Focusing right then instead.
  6. You could also have a Focuser work on their feelings about someone outside of the group that makes them really, really mad — so, as Listener, people could at least have the experience of Listening to someone who might be really angry, but it would be less threatening than working on their problems with each other. I think this is a great idea! Getting people used to being around anger when it is not directed at them, getting them used to just reflecting it.

But, you are correct, the more people practice Focusing, in the sense of “owning” their own internal reactions, and Listening, being able to set aside one’s own reactions and really “hear” another, the more these skills will be available when a conflict arises— 

For more on dealing with anger, see  my “yelling at the wall” component in the Passive Listening Turns model  and my Active Listening Turns short article.

Five Minute Grieving might be helpful (what to do if a patient, client, friend, colleague starts crying) and bring up interesting discussion about the role of emotion in business settings.

These are all Instant “Ahah!”s in the sidebar of my website homepage and also in the free download, Instant Ahah Mini-Manual, which you can find below.

Especially in businesses whose work is helping and supporting and healing others, it is important to find a way to nurture those who are trying to help others. That, to me, has always been the great gift of teaching Listening/Focusing to staff — that they can choose to use it to support each other as well!

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

FOCUSING IN THE WORLD: INTERPERSONAL, GROUP, COMMUNITY, AND ORGANIZATIONAL MODELS FOR CREATIVITY AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

By , November 24, 2008 5:10 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual 

Focusing Out In The World: Interpersonal, Group, Community, AND Organizational models
 
There is an explosion of interest within those practicing Focusing as an inner problem solving technique toward bringing Focusing, and its companion, Listening, out into the world. How does Gendlin’s Focusing look when it moves from a largely internal practice to an interpersonal, group, community, organizational model?
 
This e-newsletter addresses some models developing directly out of Focusing and Gendlin’s Philosophy of the Implicit, www.focusing.org, as well as other models that integrate well with and are enriched by a Focusing-Oriented perspective.
 
CREATIVE EDGE ORGANIZATIONS: ENGAGING THE “FELT SENSE” OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO OVERCOME APATHY, INCREASE CREATIVITY
 
Central to my own Creative Edge Focusing ™ model for innovation, Creative Edge Organizations, is the awareness that, through the careful integration of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening at all levels, every individual can be engaged at the Creative Edge of their personal passion while contributing to the overall goals of the organization. Read all about it 
 
EMPOWERMENT ORGANIZATION: THE “ONE SMALL THING”
 
“Motivation = Engagement : Apathy Is The Enemy!
 
Central to the Creative Edge Focusing ™ model is finding the “One Small Thing” which will allow every individual to take that first step toward involvement in civil action or corporate “buy in.” Find several examples from business and social action and try the “One Small Thing” exercise.
 
INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING: GREETING ANGER WITH EMPATHY
 
“If you view an angry person as a hurting person, you are well on the way toward an empathic, or Listening, way of dealing with interpersonal conflict.  When a person is screaming with anger, she is saying “I perceive you as treading on one of my essential needs, and I am hurting”. 
 
If, through Focused Listening, you are able to help the person to a more direct expression of her vulnerability and need, it is likely that your own defensive reaction will change to what is called “relational empathy”:  even though you are in conflict with the person because she is keeping you from getting your basic needs met, you will be able to see it as it looks to her, to acknowledge the legitimacy of her need, and to care deeply for her in that. 
 
Then a resolution of the conflict can arise as an attempt to find a way in which both of you can get your needs met, rather than as a defensive competition to see who can “win” or be proven “right”—
 
So begins  my own Chapter on Interpersonal Focusing in the Focusing In Community manual, available as an immediate download in English and Spanish, and as part of the multi-media Self-Help Package at Creative Edge Focusing(TM). 
 
You can also find the Interpersonal Focusing Chapter as a free download, using links at the top of the page of the linked blog.
 
Also, for a thorough introduction to internal and external conflict resolution, see my section on Conflict Resolution at the Creative Edge Focusing website.
 
INTERACTIVE FOCUSING: THE DOUBLE EMPATHIC “GOLDEN MOMENT”
 
“What is the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing?
Most simply said, the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing is to allow you to touch into your direct experience in the presence of another person and through your direct experience in the safe, empathic, accepting and compassionate environment which you create together to become aware of and to share your inner truths thereby building bonds of intimacy.”
 
So states Janet Klein’s introduction to the website for the self-help skill called Interactive Focusing, created by Janet and Mary McGuire.
 
See the website for free downloads of manuals for using their protocol.
 
ROSENBERG’S CENTER FOR NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION
 
On the Focusing Discussion List of The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org  (subscribe under category “Felt Community,” then “Discussion Lists”, and access the recent archives), there has been an outpouring of collaborative thinking about the “crossing” between Focusing and Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication methods. Many Focusers have also been involved with Rosenburg’s model since the 1970’s and 80’s, and they are writing passionately about their experiences of contrast, comparison, and complementarity between the two models.
 
There seems to be agreement that, while Gendlin’s Focusers have been the masters of articulating the inner landscape for the last 30 years, Rosenberg and his followers have been masters of articulating the interpersonal communication styles which either alienate us from each other or maximize true “meeting” and understanding.
 
Here is a quote from The Center For Non-Violent Communication website:
 
“The Center for Nonviolent Communication
A global organization helping people connect compassionately with themselves and one another through Nonviolent Communication language, created by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

What is Nonviolent Communication?
Imagine connecting with the human spirit, in each person, in any situation.
Imagine interacting with others in a way that allows everyone’s needs to be equally valued.
Imagine creating organizations and life-serving systems responsive to our needs and the needs of our environment.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps connect us with what is alive in ourselves and in others moment-to-moment, with what we or others could do to make life more wonderful, and with an awareness of what gets in the way of natural giving and receiving.
NVC language strengthens our ability to inspire compassion from others and respond compassionately to others and ourselves. NVC guides us to reframe how we express ourselves, how we hear others and resolve conflicts by focusing our consciousness on what we are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting.
Nonviolent Communication Language: It awakens empathy and honesty, and is sometimes described as “the language of the heart.”
 
You will find many instructional materials and resources at the website, including lists of words capturing Feelings and Needs. Print out these two lists to expand your communication capacity greatly!
 
To join the Focusing and NVC collaboration group, sign up for a free Google account, log in, and then request to join the Online NVC and Focusing group .
 
COLLABORATIVE EDGE DECISION MAKING: QUICK, EFFICIENT MEETINGS
 
My own method for Collaborative Decision Making Meetings uses structures which prohibit interruptions, moderate turn-taking, and encourage Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing to resolve interpersonal conflict and group-level polarization. Leadership tasks are rotated so that all group members learn to run efficient, creative meetings. Here is a description from The Creative Edge Focusing website:
 
Coordinated Collaboration: The Best of Consensus and Hierarchy 
 
“Here are some Task-Roles  and Impasse Resolution Procedures , for use when a group has a limited time to make decisions. This model can also be used, as Coordinated Collaboration, as a way of gathering information and input, in work groups where there is a boss, a Project Manager, or a Coordinator who will make the final decisions.

As with all the Applied Methods of Creative Edge Focusing ™, the procedures create quiet, protected moments where participants can pay attention to the “intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, and create innovative ideas and solutions.
The tasks can be rotated in a “shared leadership” model, where appropriate, each person on the team learning the various skills. Or, for instance, on the Board of a Corporation or Non-Profit Organization, the formal Chairperson might serve as the agenda keeper more regularly.”
 
Find the entire Collaborative Edge protocol for immediate use in decision making groups, and download a longer article explaining the model, with handouts for groups in English  and in Spanish .
 
DYNAMIC FACILITATION
 
Rosa Zubizaretta, www.diapraxis.com , combines her knowledge of Listening and Focusing with Jim Rough’s Dynamic Facilitation and other models for encouraging group participants to contribute from their Creative Edge with trust in the “self-organizing” capacity of groups. Her website is packed with Resources for a variety of transformational methods both for “At Work” and “In The Community.”
 
In facilitating creativity and conflict resolution in groups and organizations, the DF facilitator uses a form of active listening to draw out every group participant, encouraging speaking from the “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” as well as fully expressing emotions and divergent thinking. Miraculously, when participants are enabled to express themselves fully and really listen to each other, convergent solutions eventually arise.
 
Here is a quote from her introduction to the role and skills of the DF facilitator:
 
“WHAT WE MEAN BY “REALLY LISTENING”
 
In Dynamic Facilitation, the main role of the facilitator is to listen deeply, and to create a space where each participant can be deeply heard. To do so, he or she takes a very active and consistent role in supporting the emotional safety, unique perspective, and creative contribution of each participant.
 
As mentioned earlier, the facilitator is NOT leading the group through any prescribed series of steps. Instead, he or she is very involved on the “micro-level,” providing empathy, respect, and support for each participant’s contribution.”
 
You can find many links to resources and  Rosa’s  free manual for the DF procedure, in English and Spanish.
 
OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY AND SPIRIT IN GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS
 
Motivation, Passion, Creativity, “Buy In,” Esprit De Corps
 
Open-Space Technology, http://www.openspaceworld.com , is another modality which encourages maximum possibility and responsibility for each participant in group problem solving and creativity/innovation situations. Learn all about the approach at this extensive website. It combines well with Focusing in that each person is encouraged to act out of their alive, present “felt sense” of their creativity.  Here is a quote from the website: 
 
OPENING SPACE FOR PEACE AND HIGH PERFORMANCE
 
Rarely, if ever, have the Peoples of this planet had greater need for Peace and High Performance. Peace so that we may freely pursue the fulfillment of our potential. And High Performance for ourselves and our organizations so that our pursuit may be accomplished with energy and finesse.
 
The twenty year natural experiment with Open Space Technology has demonstrated that both Peace and High Performance are attainable. Hugely conflicted groups have found ways to respectfully deal with each other as they discovered workable solutions for their issues. Complex projects have been brought to fruition in breathtakingly short times, a clear example of High Performance.
 
Many people have viewed the results as counterintuitive, unbelievable, even magic. The results continue, however, in thousands of instances and 135 countries. But the “magic” is not Open Space Technology, but rather the force that underlies it — the power of self organization. You are invited to explore that primal power for purposes of peace making and enabling High Performance.”
 
And thanks to Simon for a quote from Harrison Owen (attributed as the developer of OST):
 
“We know that when Spirit is present in a group of people, wonderful things can happen. We also know that when Spirit is somehow absent or flagging, no amount of money in the bank, technology in the backroom, or executive talent on the roster makes much difference – nothing really seems to go right.
 
Of course there are times when precise statements about the quality and
nature of Spirit are important, but in the work-a-day world, it is usually
sufficient to acknowledge the presence of Spirit, by whatever name. Call it
what you like – team spirit, esprit de corps, Great Spirit of the Cosmos – sooner or later they all connect. I think. But the critical thing is to acknowledge Spirit  when we meet, and somehow summon it again when it is absent.”
 
Read the whole article.
 
FOCUSING, CREATIVITY, AND PERSON-CENTERED DEMOCRACY IN GROUP SETTINGS
 
Francesca Castaldi has written an article which grew out her experience at the first Movement At The Edge Event and other experiences about how the “felt-sense” of each participant can be kept alive in creating “person-centered democracy” in group settings. She states:
 
” Most professional gatherings are organized around content and leave little creativity for process-structure. Professional conferences also tend to foster our caution in presenting new ideas: we privilege what we know well and what we have tested with our experience, knowing that our reputation is at stake and a solid knowing “needs” to be upheld. Often it is only well-recognized celebrities in the profession who can afford the risk of presenting their work-in-process–the edge of their knowing, the exciting new hints and ideas that they are nurturing.
 
We as a community of Focusers have developed the ability to follow the edge of our knowing, to let it emerge in the actual moment and be responsive to our living: we have learned to support a subtle process of explicating that which is still incipient, tentative at first, still forming, and still vulnerable to overwriting by stronger impulses and habits.
 
Recognizing the power of the Focusing process and of Focusing partnership for protecting this incipient process of creation and explication can help us make room for Focusing in larger meetings and gatherings.
 
An understanding of the creative/creating process involved in any project can further help us see the place of Focusing in professional gatherings. Below I present what I consider essential phases in the realization of any project, and the ways in which our use or understanding of the Focusing process can help us in choosing process-structures that best support such phases.”
 
Read the whole article .
 
MEETING AT THE EDGE: FOCUSING AND BODY-WORK/MOVEMENT EVENT, Sept 22-26, 2009   Boldern Center, Maennedorf, near Zurich, Switzerland.
 
This will be the second MAE event. The first was celebrated as a model for collaboration, community building, and warm sharing among those interested in the intersection, or “crossing,” of Focusing with Body-Work and Movement. 
 
Here is the MAE website’s description of the structure of this workshop:
 
“Workshop structure

Our main objective in this residential workshop is to create an environment that is explorative, creative, and collaborative.  Rather than privileging presentations of already well established techniques, attitudes, concepts, or methods we are wanting to foster an encounter that supports the exploration of what is at the edge of your knowing, rich in fecundity and possibilities even when tentative and subtle.
  
The atmosphere of deep listening and open support that we will create as a group of diverse professionals generates its own creative energy.  We have found that when the program of the workshop is set well ahead of time, this creative energy does not have a chance to bring its fruits, as it remains “squished” into an already set structure and at most can leak out in breaks between presentations.

We intend to give central stage to the excitement and inspiration that takes place at the moment of our actual meeting and that is fully responsive to our living.  We have thus created a process-structure that can support a full spectrum of interactions and be responsive to the different needs we may have as individuals in our professional journeys.

We invite you to nurture a sense of a project-something meaningful to you in your work-before coming to Boldern, noticing what in you wants to be shared in the setting we are providing.  By not formally sending in a presentation proposal you will be able to be responsive to the transformation that may occur before our meeting, and then sense freshly into the whole as we meet.”
 
Follow the link to the website for all information and an introduction to the special format and “culture” of these events.

I hope the above methods contribute to a dialogue on “How can we structure groups and organizations such that each individual can stay connected with their internal passion and creativity while collaborating toward a common goal?”

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

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

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-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

LISTENING/FOCUSING SKILLS: GREETING ANGER WITH EMPATHY

By , October 17, 2008 11:24 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

This month: From Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, p. 7, #2.Active Listening: Short-Circuiting An Angry Confrontation.

Radical Idea: Greet Anger With Empathy!!!!

As I’ve gone through the week, I’ve realized how radical this idea and how worth saying again: “An angry person is a hurting person. Try responding with empathic understanding (Active Listening) instead of attacking back.”

I guess I have become an expert on anger, hurt, and empathy because I am a person who can become really, really angry when I feel betrayed or otherwise blindsided by those that I trust. I’ve come to some understanding about this “personality style” by studying the Enneagram. Of the nine styles, I am an 8: The Challenger, The Boss. “How does an 8 Enneagram cross the river? She jumps in and starts swimming upstream.”

8s are great managers and bosses, but they can also scare people with their anger, assertiveness, bluntness. As an 8, I don’t really know how to “play games,” to be indirect. Give me directness, even anger, anytime! Let me know where you are coming from. Don’t hide or seem to go behind my back. You can imagine the vicious cycle for 8 bosses: they get angry because others are being indirect, seeming to hide, going behind their back — and their anger leads the others to become more indirect, more hidden.

Anyway, from a lifetime of experience, I can tell you that the angry 8 is just a hurting child underneath. While the 8 can look terribly strong and take on any battle, this strong front takes a toll. Like anyone else, the angry 8 responds to empathic understanding (see Enneagram links to find your own personality style).

Read through the examples in Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual #2: Active Listening again. What if the husband had attacked back when his wife came at him with anger: “Shut up! You can’t imagine what my day has been like.” Now, two people with their hackles up, attack and attack back (until one of them can respond with empathy: “Okay, I get it. You’re saying you had a really bad day and are needing some empathy and understanding.”(you can download complete chapters on the Interpersonal Focusing Protocol here, from the links at top of page, English and Spanish.

Practice Active Listening In Non-Stressful Situations

Of course, in order to respond with Active Listening in an emergency, you’ll want to practice it in less stressful situations until it can become an automatic response. You can do this through our Self-Help Manual and Demonstration DVD. And you can also learned Active (or Empathic or Focused) Listening as part of a Listening/Focusing Level l class. See Resources for teachers below

Self Help Package

To really learn about Reflection, read Focused Listening at Creative Edge Focusing (TM). To begin practice in a serious way, purchase The Self Help Package, a manual,CDs, and a DVD with four Listening/Focusing Sessions you can study. The manual will help you to find at least one other, and, hopefully, a small group with whom you can start a Focusing Community, supporting each other as you practice Listening and Focusing.

E-Support Group

If you haven’t, also use the sidebar icon at Creative Edge Focusing to join the e-support group so you can share your experiences, ask questions, and participate in demonstrations.  

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

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

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-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

DIVERSITY TRAINING 2: FOCUSED LISTENING AND THE ENNEAGRAM — MEETING YOUR SHADOW SIDE

By , April 28, 2008 6:58 pm

DIVERSITY TRAINING: UNDERSTANDING PERSONALITY DIFFERENCES

Within this strand on Interpersonal Focusing, I am going to place the emphasis upon Personality Style Instruments, coupled with Empathic, Focused Listening, as a method for Diversity Training within organizations.

Listening/Focusing Turns To Increase Empathy

Besides educational material and workshop experiences typical of Diversity Training workshops, Round-Robin Listening/Focusing partnership turns in small groups can provide a safe place for co-workers to come to understand each other’s experience.

As Intuitive Focuser, one person “senses into” and articulates their experience in terms of ageism, sexism, racism, or their MBTI or Enneagram style, in a personal way. As empathic Focused Listener, the person next to them uses Focused Listening to “say back,” simply reflecting their understanding of the other’s words, learning to set aside judgment and prejudice and concentrate only on hearing how it is for the other person, their inner world.

Turns can proceed around the circle, each person having 10-20 minutes as Focuser and then as Listener for the next Focuser. Empathic understanding, a deeper form of change than any educational information, is the natural outcome of such exchanges.

Visit my blog Learning Listening/Focusing Partnership and look at the top for link to a free download of Chapter Three from my self-help manual, Focusing in Community (Focusing en Comunidad), which gives explicit instructions for exchanging Listening/Focusing turns. Order the complete Self-Help Package for only $39, including the manual, CDs with Complete Focusing Instructions, and DVD demonstrations of Focused Listening.

Understanding Personality Differences Can Bridge The Gap

We tend to think of Diversity Training as coming to understand “the other side” in terms of gender, ethnic, and age differances. However, exposing co-workers to understandings of differing personality and leadership styles can loosen their prejudices and broaden their appreciation of all kinds of different people.

For instance, while 60-70% of males score as Thinkers on the Myers-Briggs (MBTI), that leaves 30-40% of females who are also Thinkers, having this in common with the opposite gender. Same for the 30-40% of males who score as Feelers on the MBTI — sharing their experience as Feelers can bridge the gender gap.

The goal-oriented, organized Judging type can come to understand the creativity, spontaneity, and playfulness of the Perceiving type whom they have only judged as “irresponsible.” The Extrovert can come to understand the Introvert’s need for quiet escape during lunchtime and after work. Click here for Week One: Myers-Briggs and Keirsey Temperament Sorter for links to informal tests of these dimensions.

The Enneagram: Looking At Your Shadow Side

While the MBTI stresses the positive, our “differing gifts,” The Enneagram also helps us to take a brave look at our shadow side, our personal demon, and the motivations driving us. There are nine basic personality types, refined by degree of interaction with the other types. One author names them as 1.The Reformer, 2.The Helper, 3.The Motivator, 4.The Artist, 5.The Thinker, 6.The Loyalist, 7.The Generalist, 8.The Leader, and 9.The Peacemaker. However, complexities involve leaning toward one”wing” or the other and passing into a different type when ideal vs. under stress, etc.

My favorite new website for great insight into the Enneagram is by Dr. Mary Bast, long-time coach and Enneagram expert. Here is her introductory description from www.breakoutofthebox.com  :

“What is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram is a practical psychological system that describes nine different views of the world. Each of us has a central way to make sense of reality, a set of personality patterns that help us cope but also narrow our perceptions. If you’re not sure which of the nine worldviews is yours, click Personality Test on the right, but take the results of any test as tentative. I can help you confirm your Enneagram style and your blind spots as well as your gifts.”

Her website includes descriptions of the nine personality styles, charts showing the basic needs driving each style, the different variations within each style, and the interaction between them. A free PDF download gives a quick summary along many dimensions derived from a variety of Enneagram theorists.

Bast includes Claudio Naranjo’s naming of the nine styles and their “Driving Force and Development Need,” their “shadow side” in need of transformation.They are:

1. The Idealist: Anger
2. The Mentor: Pride
3. The Star: Vanity
4. The Innovator: Envy
5. The Synthesizer: Hoarding
6. The Partner: Fear of Fear
7. The Futurist: Gluttony
8. The Advocate: Lust/Excess
9. The Diplomat: Indolence

Notice, for instance, that the 9.Diplomat, who may pride themselves on being the ultimate Peacemaker and harmonizer, has a “shadow-side” of Indolence, laziness, lack of engagement in living, loss of self-development in giving over to the opinions of others, not having an “opinion.”

The 8. Advocate, seeing herself as fighting for the rights of all underdogs, has a “shadow side” of Lust/Excess.

Which are you? What is your shadow-side? How about your boss, co-workers, family members?

You can find out at www.breakoutofthebox.com  . Bast includes many case examples from her life-time of coaching experience, showing some light-hearted ways to deal with one’s shadow side. For instance, an 8. Leader, who scares and overwhelms her staff with her overly assertive and confrontive style, is asked to hand out squirt guns to her staff at meetings so they can let her know when she becomes over-bearing.

Descriptive essays, and, best of all for me, poems by many authors help capture the “gist,” the “intuitive feel” of each personality style. Spend an hour or so on her site, and you will find yourself, your family, your coworkers exactly captured.
There are a variety of theorists with somewhat differing “takes” on The Enneagram. Riso’s book, Discover Your Personality Type: The New Enneagram Questionnaire (Houghton Mifflin, 1995) provides a simple description and test for exploring your Enneagram profile. However, Helen Palmer’s work with the Enneagram can lead to somewhat different results. Again, try several tests and see what you learn:
www.enneagramspectrum.com  (free quiz, good articles like “Enneagram Styles As Personality Paradigms”)
www.enneagraminstitute.com  (Riso and Hudson; free and paid tests; lots of info)
www.enneagramworldwide.com  (Palmer; $10 test; lots of info)
www.similarminds.com  (lots of free Enneagram-based informal tests; test combining Enneagram and MBTI)
www.pulsarnet.com/cw  (Great Enneagram Handbook download, showing how each style would “cross a river”; lots on Conscious Relationship as well)
www.breakoutofthebox.com  (Mary Bast’s summaries, case examples and poetry capturing the “intuitive feel” of each style)
Exercise for the week: visit the websites and take several versions of these tests, with friends and family and coworkers if possible, discussing varying personality styles discovered.

Intuitive Focusing Turn On Your Enneagram Style

If you would like, do a Focusing Turn on your “shadow side” and other learnings once you have guessed at your style:

1. Clear a Space: Relax and come into your body by following your breathing.
2. Get A Felt Sense: Ask yourself,” How is this personality style reflected in my life? How does this “Driving Force” manifest in my work and relationships?” Set aside any thinking and wait quietly, for at least a minute, for the “intuitive feel” of “that whole thing” to form in the center of your body, around your heart/chest area.
3. Find A Handle: Slowing look for some words or an image or gesture that exactly capture the “feel of it all.”
4. Resonate and Check: Go back and forth between any symbols that come and the “felt sense,” the “feel of it all,” until the symbols and “felt sense” fit exactly, with a sense of “Ah, yes” and some tension release.
5. Ask An Open-Ended Question: Ask a question like “And why is that so important to me?” or “And where does that come from in me?” or “And how do I feel about that whole thing?” and, again, set aside what you already know and wait quietly, at least for a minute, for the “felt sense,” the murky, unclear Creative Edge to form in your body.
Again Resonate and Check until you find symbols (words, images, gestures) that exactly “fit” the bodily-feel.
6. Receive: Take some time to receive and integrate anything new that has come, appreciating your body for sharing its wisdom, letting new insights settle in.

Then, you can choose whether to stop or begin another round of Focusing: Asking An Open-Ended Question, Letting a Felt Sense Form, Finding a Handle, Checking and Resonating until “Ahah!”, symbols and bodily-feel come together.

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

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 

INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING: KLEIN’S INTERACTIVE FOCUSING PROTOCOL

By , April 7, 2008 11:56 am

Interactive Focusing: The Double Empathic “Golden Moment”

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

For four weeks, we practice an actual exercise in three different categories: An Instant “Ahah!” to integrate into your every day life at work and at home, a Felt Sensing exercise to practice this step of Focusing, and a Complete Focusing Session. Actually doing the exercise which  arrives in each e-newsletter insures that you can call upon these new skills when needed!If you just joined us, you can “catch up” on this cycle, which is starting Week Four, by reading archived e-newsletters

Week One Instant Ahah! # 7: Sharing Your Day = Instant Intimacy and

MORE Interpersonal Focusing: The Third-Person Facilitator , plus

Week Two Sharing Your Day: Finding Your Partner Fascinating and

Interpersonal: The One Minute Apology plus

Week Three Increasing Sexual Intimacy and

Interpersonal: Group Conflict — DF vs. CEDM and

Week Four Instant Ahah!#7: “I Don’t Want To Share My Day!” and Re-Evaluation Co-Counseling

If you want to learn more about past teaching/exercises related to Interpersonal Focusing to resolve conflicts, see

Interpersonal Felt Sensing: This flower is beautiful TO ME Week 1,  

Interpersonal Felt Sensing Exercise,

Interpersonal: Non-Violent Communication Week 2 ,

Interpersonal: Verbal Abuse Vs. Focusing Protocol Week 3 , and Interpersonal: Myth of Dominance and Focusing Protocol Week 4 .

INTERACTIVE FOCUSING: THE DOUBLE EMPATHIC “GOLDEN MOMENT” 

 

“What is the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing?
Most simply said, the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing is to allow you to touch into your direct experience in the presence of another person and through your direct experience in the safe, empathic, accepting and compassionate environment which you create together to become aware of and to share your inner truths thereby building bonds of intimacy.”

 

So states Janet Klein’s introduction to the website for the self-help skill called Interactive Focusing, www.interactivefocusing.com , created by Janet and Mary McGuire.

 

And further:

 

“Interactive Focusing
Interactive Focusing develops directly from intrapersonal and transactional Focusing. Interactive Focusing requires that the participants get in touch with an unclear issue that is carried in their bodysense. It requires that there is a listener using reflective responding as their listening modality. But it further requires that the full experience is one that is created jointly and dependent on a balanced participation by both. Because it is a mutual experience, certain safeguards must be in place. Interactive Focusing has developed into a practice of empathy and compassion in a safe environment, and Interactive Focusing has become the mode for developing empathy, acceptance and compassion in a safe environment.”

 

Here is one version of the full Interactive Focusing Protocol :

 

Interactive Focusing Format

By Mary Melady, reviewed and edited by Janet Klein

Part One: The Focuser’s Story

A.

Focuser:Tells a reasonable part of her story, always touching into the bodysense.

Listener: Listens from the bodysense and offers reflective responses throughout the story-telling.

B.

Focuser: Resonates the reflection for accuracy, to see if the inner experience shifts, to see if more comes. Gives Listener feedback, e.g. “I need more time with that,” “I’d like to hear that again,” “Yes—,” “No, it’s more like—,” “There’s another part I need you to hear —“

Listener: Reflects the feedback to acknowledge the correction and to let the Focuser resonate it, e.g. “So it’s more like —,” “It’s not —, it’s —“

C.

Focuser: Checks to see if she has come to a resting place with this part of her story.

Listener: Also, can check with the Focuser to see if this part feels complete.

Part Two: The Double Empathic Moment The “Golden Moment”

D.

Focuser: Invites the Listener to go inside to the bodysense to form the empathic response: How does the Listener get that it is for the Focuser from the Focuser’s internal frame of reference. At the same time, the Focuser checks inside to get the edge of where she is with her own story and to be gentle with what is there for her.

Listener: Goes inside: Takes time to let a bodysense form. Listens inside as if she were the Focuser. How might all that feel for the storyteller?

E.

Note: Usually the Listener goes first with the empathic response.

Listener: Offers the empathic response: The metaphor or image that has formed. It is usually brief and more poetic, capturing the essence of it.

Focuser: The Focuser resonates the Listener’s empathic response to see if it fits and gives feedback if needed, e.g. “That really captures it,” or “It’s more like — for me.”

F.

Focuser: Offers what came when she went inside to get how it is for her now in this new moment.

Listener: Gives reflective responses.

G.

Focuser: Quiet moment to savor how it feels to share oneself and feel empathically heard.

Listener: Quiet moment to savor how it feels to hear and take someone into your space, empathically.

Part Three: The Interactive Response

The pair switches roles

H.

The Focuser becomes the “new” Listener. Asks what got touched inside the “new” Focuser by what she just shared.

The Listener becomes the “new” Focuser. Checks inside to see what got touched by the first Focuser’s story.

They follow A-G above so the Listener has a chance to tell her story and feel empathically heard.

Part Four: The Interactive Closing – The relationship check

I.

Focuser and Listener: How do I feel about you now that we have shared all of that?

Focuser and Listener: How do I feel about myself after sharing all of that with you? How do I feel about us?

Summary: The Interactive Focusing Model Short form for Dyads

Part One: The Focuser’s Story

  • The Focuser tells her story
  • The Listener gives reflections
  • The Focuser resonates and gives feedback if necessary

Part Two: The Double Empathic Moment

  • Full Empathic Response by both the Listener and Focuser

Part Three: The Interactive Response

  • Exchange roles and repeat Part One and Part Two

Part Four: The Interactive closing, The Relationship Check

  • How they now feel about each other and
  • How they now feel about themselves.

On the website there is also an Interactive Focusing Program, based upon “Inside Me” Stories, to use as a social/emotional intelligence curriculum with children.

 

Best of all, books and manuals by Janet Klein, for Interactive Focusing with adults and children, are available FREE at

http://www.interactivefocusing.com/materials.htm

 

I do believe that Janet (and Mary McGuire, co-developer) have a role of Coach perhaps similar to the use of the Third-Person Listening Facilitator role in my, Kathy McGuire’s earlier model for Interpersonal Focusing.

The protocol as given above seems to rely on both the Focuser and Listener having a good degree of skill in speaking from an “owning,” felt-sensing place and being able to Listen without reacting.

The “Double Empathic” or “Golden Moment” does give a good moment for both parties to share their empathic understanding of the experience of the other and would make a nice addition to Kath McGuire’s Interpersonal Focusing Protocol.

EXERCISE: INTERACTIVE FOCUSING

Interactive Focusing can be practiced when there really isn’t any big misunderstanding The two people can simply develop the habit of one as Listener taking in what the other is saying as the  Focuser, reflecting it, letting the Focuser “check and resonate and clarify.”

 

Next, the Listener goes inside and senses into a deeper Empathic Response, trying to really grasp what it is like to BE the Focuser. The Focuser also checks deeply whether this Empathic Response “captures all of it.” This is the Double Empathic, Golden Moment.

 

THEN the Listener has a turn to use Focusing upon the new “felt sense” stirred in him or her by hearing the other’s Focusing Turn. This is different from the usual Focusing Partnership Turn, where each Focuser works on their own individual issue, not their bodily-felt sense “reaction” or response to the turn of the other.

Interactive Focusing can be used as a first, non-threatening step to learning how to deal with the “felt senses” in us that are stirred “interactively,” by the words of another. Develop the habit of Interactive Focusing so that the skill will be there when there IS a problem in the relationship.

Visit the website at www.interactivefocusing.com . Learn as much as you can and order the free books!!!!  Then, try it out with a partner or significant other!!! Or try it with several different people. And/or try it out with your partner every week! Then you will be ready, already having the habit of “empathy in relationship” when troublesome “felt senses” arise interpersonally.

NEED MORE PROFESSIONAL HELP WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

Dr. Kathy McGuire will work with you and your significant other(s) by phone, first as Third Person Facilitator, then teaching you to use her Interpersonal Focusing method with each other. Click here to see Item SES-9, Interpersonal Focusing offered in The Store  at Creative Edge Focusing (TM).

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

INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING: THE ONE MINUTE APOLOGY

By , March 20, 2008 12:15 pm

THE ONE MINUTE APOLOGY
 
Ken Blanchard, creator of The One Minute Manager idea, and Margret McBride wrote a lovely short book called The One Minute Apology: A Powerful Way To Make Things Better (William Morrow, 2003). It’s for executives and others (and their employees and friends!) who have made a big mistake.

First, I am going to walk you through Blanchard and McBride’s method. Then I am going to invite you to use The Intuitive Focusing skill to “work” the method in a deeper way. Intuitive Focusing allows you to take any question inside and, instead of answering from the “already known,” to go deeper into making fresh words for the “intuitive feel” of it all that is “more-than-words.”
 
The book tells a parable about an assistant who sees that his boss has made this kind of mistake and is trying to cover it up. Through conversations with a number of helpful people, the assistant finds a way to help his boss “fess up” and fix the problem.
 
It’s a message for everyone, a great holiday gift for everyone you know. Although perhaps the method has a lot in common with the 12-Step approach to recovery from addiction, what is great is that the book sets a new norm. It provides a rationale, it makes it acceptable, it makes it possible for executives and others who find it difficult to acknowledge weakness and error  to — just follow this simple method! Now, they could just walk into a Board Meeting and say, “I need to make a One Minute Apology.” The door has been opened.
 
Here is Blanchard’s summary of The One Minute Apology method:
 
“I ask myself the following questions, and answer truthfully:
 
What mistake did I make?
Did I dismiss another person, their wishes, feelings, or ideas?
Did I take credit when it wasn’t due?

Why did I do this?
Was it an impulsive, thoughtless act? Was it calculated?
Was it a result of my fear, anger, or frustration?
What was my motivation?

How long have I let this go on? Is this the first or repeated time?
Is this behavior becoming a pattern in my life?

What is the truth I am not dealing with?
Am I better than this behavior?
 
Then I do the following:
 
I begin my one minute apology with Surrender
I am truthful and admit to myself that I’ve done something wrong and I need to make up for it.
I take full responsibility for my actions and sincerely recognize the need to apologize to anyone I have harmed, regardless of the outcome
I have a sense of urgency about apologizing – I act as soon as possible
I tell anyone harmed specifically what I did wrong
I share how I feel about what I did with those harmed

I complete my one minute apology with Integrity
I recognize that what I did is inconsistent with who I want to be
I reaffirm I am better than my poor behavior and forgive myself
I recognize how much I have hurt another person by making amends and demonstrate my commitment not to repeat the act by changing my behavior

Use Intuitive Focusing As An Aid In A One Minute Apology?(20 minutes)
 
Intuitive Focusing can help you get to the deeper roots of a problem, to get below the rational thoughts that spin in your mind but don’t help you move forward or find out something new. Intuitive Focusing means pausing, for just a moment, and letting the “whole body feel,” the “right-brain, intuitive information” come as A Creative Edge, a something-more-than-words from which new, non-linear answers can come.
 
If this fits for you in anyway, you can use a modification of Instant “Ahah!” #1, Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering to spend some time sitting with the “intuitive feel” that comes to Blanchard and McBride’s basic questions, and then use their action suggestions to facilitate an apology:
 
Set aside some uninterrupted time and take a seat in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes if you can be comfortable doing that. Otherwise just stare into space —
 
Notice the feel of your body everywhere that it touches the chair, your feet on the ground, as a beginning step in going inside, becoming aware of your whole-body “intuition” —
 
Now just pay attention to your breath, just noticing the breath going in — and out — in — and out — in — and out —
One minute
Now notice where you have tension in your body. Massage those spots a bit with your hands if you want — your head and face, your neck and shoulders, wherever —
One minute
Now imagine that all that tension becomes a stream of water, running down your arms and legs and out of your body — just letting go —
One minute
Now ask yourself, “What mistake have I made that could benefit from a One Minute Apology? —-
“Is there something I have done which I carry as a weight, a fear, an unresolved tension?” —
“Have I dismissed another person, their wishes, feelings, or ideas?” —
“Have I taken credit when it wasn’t due?” —
These are just possibilities. Ask yourself, “Is there a mistake I have made?” Just wait quietly, as long as a minute, for the “intuitive feel,” the “felt sense” of that “whole thing” to form in the center of your body:
One minute or more
Spend some time going back and forth between the “feel of it all” and words or images or gestures that might capture it, until your body-feel says, “Yes, that’s right. That captures it. That captures my mistake” —
One minute
Now, if it fits for you, ask Blanchard’s next question: “Why did I do this? Some suggestions: impulsivity, thoughtlessness? Calculated? Out of fear, anger, or frustration? But ask yourself, “What was my motivation?” and see what comes inside, the “intuitive feel,” the not-yet words about the motivation for this whole mistake —
One minute
And, again, take some time to go back and forth between the “feel of it all” and words, images, or gestures which capture it —
One minute
And now ask yourself Blanchard’s question, “How long have I let this go on? Is this the first or repeated time? Is this behavior becoming a pattern in my life?” and see what comes — again, not the words you already know but the “intuitive feel” of the answer: “Is this the first and only time? How widespread is this behavior in my life?” —
One minute
And again carefully find words or images to capture “all of that” —
One minute
And Blanchard’s next question: ‘What is the truth I am not dealing with?” or “Is there a truth I am not dealing with?” and see what comes —
One minute
Go back and forth between the “intuitive feel” and words and images until the symbols fit and capture the “feel of it all” and your body says, “Oh, yes. That.” —
One minute
And ask yourself Blanchard’s question: “Am I better than this behavior?” and see what comes — not the known words but the “intuitive feel” —
One minute
And go back and forth until you find words or images to capture that —
One minute
And now spend some time with Blanchard’s action steps as listed above, asking yourself each time, “Am I ready and able to do this?” “What would be needed for me to take this action? What kind of support or help, if needed?” and make a list of how you are going to carry out these action steps. And then start your One Minute Apology!!!

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 

INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING: THE MYTH OF DOMINANCE

By , March 14, 2008 2:54 pm

Replacing The Myth of Dominance With The  Personal Power of Focusing
 
In his book, Beyond The Myth Of Dominance: An Alternative To A Violent Society, Father Ed McMahon, co-founder of the Biospiritual Focusing approach, makes the same point as Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication: our greatest power in trying to persuade another is, not coercion, but personal power: sharing from our own inner experiencing.
 
McMahon makes the additional point that “personal power” comes from becoming congruent with our own inner Selves. We have to know our own Selves thoroughly in order to communicate honestly with the other and to take responsibility for moral action.
 
Trying To Dominate Ourselves, Our Familiars, Our Global Neighbors
 
McMahon questions the idea of dominance when applied at all levels:
 
Intrapsychically, we try to dominate our own inner selves, telling ourselves what we should feel, instead of turning a Caring Feeling Presence toward all the different aspects of ourselves, our conflicts, and using Focusing to let the “whole” story unfold from our body’s intuitive knowing of the whole situation, being honest with ourselves.
 
Interpersonally, we try to dominate other people by telling them what they should feel, instead of vulnerably sharing our own perspective through Intuitive Focusing and using Focused Listening to hear the perspective of another until a mutually-acceptable solution arises.
 
As whole cultures and communities, we try to force people to conform, tell them what they should feel, invite them to “give their personal power over” to us and our institutions, instead of encouraging and facilitating “inner congruence with one’s own truth,” the root of conscience and personal power.
 
Dominance Erodes The Basis Of Civilization
 
In describing the rise and fall of great previous civilizations, McMahon says:
 
“However, the dark side of such a basically closed system of authority residing not in the people but in the preservation of ritual and in the absolute powers of the leader was that corruption and the abuse of people soon wormed their way into the system. Disintegration of the culture was inevitably not far behind. In all these civilizations, there was really no empowerment given to the ordinary person, and thus no lasting source for continuing growth and health in the society. When the power source became corrupt, the civilization fell to pieces” (p. vi)
 
Dominance Includes Trying To “Fix” Others
 
And in describing even the attempts of “social activists” to “fix” the world by telling people what they “should” do, he quotes a feminist learning about using Focusing to turn a Caring Feeling Presence toward the inner experiencing of herself and others:
 
“I have been active in working for women’s rights for years, and I can see now what a difference it would make in our effectiveness if we were as committed to caring for and listening to our own anger and hurt as we are to this important cause. I think it would change the ‘feel’ people have when they encounter many of us, as well as our tactics in trying to bring justice and peace into the world.” (p. 92)
 
Approaching people with confrontation and antagonism and blaming makes people defensive. Dominance disempowers the other. Sharing from your own “personal power,” your own vulnerability and experience of being-you-in-the-world allows people to listen instead of arguing back. At the same time, it strengthens your own “congruence,” your own capacity to take a stand for your own point of view. And refusing to dominate strengthens the personal power of the other.
 
The Interpersonal Focusing Protocol 
 
You can read the entire Chapter Five: Interpersonal Focusing, in English and in Spanish, from my manual, Focusing in Community (Focusing en Comunidad). Click here for a free download through my blog. It gives explicit instructions and examples. Also, you can read the Interpersonal Focusing Case Studies at www.cefocusing.com .

However, here is the simple Interpersonal Focusing Protocol as summarized in that chapter:
TABLE  5.1
 
HOW  TO  USE INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING
 
ALLOW TWO HOURS
 
FIRST STAGE:  CLARIFICATION OF THE ISSUE
                             (several five or ten minute turns)
 
(a)    Owning instead of blaming:
       “I feel —” instead of “You are —”
 
(b)    Behavioral specificity instead of
       generalizations:
       “When you  —” instead of “You are —”
       “When you do — , I feel —”
 
SECOND STAGE:  GOING DEEPER
   (one or more twenty minute turns for
     each person)
 
(a)     Use Focusing on your own hurt feeling:
       “What’s in this for me?”
 
(b)    Honestly try to discover your own
        part in the interaction:
       “Why does this bother me so much?”
 
(c)  The other person uses Focused Listening to respond
 
AN OPTION:  USING A THIRD PERSON AS A LISTENING FACILITATOR
The Third Person uses Focused Listening to respond to each person in turn
 
                                   (a)  Allows for the expression of angry
                                          feelings in a protected way
 
(c)     Protects against issues of distortion
       And mutual distrust

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 
 

VERBAL ABUSE VS. INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING

By , March 5, 2008 1:57 pm

 Verbally-Abusive Patterns of Speech: Dominance The Goal
 
In her remarkable book, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Patricia Evans walks us “blow-by-blow” through transcripts illustrating how an individual can use verbal abuse to establish dominance over another person.
 
She states that the verbally abusive person sees every interaction as a contest for dominance. There is no equality. One person will be one-up, the other person one-down. Verbalizations are used with this purpose, constantly establishing dominance: “I am better than you. I am more powerful than you. I am saner than you. I am more worthy than you.”
 
Often the abuser is not shouting but presenting a “totally rational” view: “Why are you being so emotional?” “Everyone knows that you are too dramatic.” “Such-and-such expert does it my way,” “You made the same mistakes with your previous husband,” etc., etc.
 
Read the transcripts in the book to see how the other, who may be approaching the conversation with a more egalitarian, vulnerable point of view, cannot understand what is going on and comes to accept the blame, seeing him- or herself as crazy and bad.
 
Evans has a second book, Controlling People: How To Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try To Control You.
 
Taking a Focusing Turn: Immediately Acknowledging “Ownership”
 
On the contrary, in an interpersonal conflict, as soon as I initiate “taking a Focusing turn to ‘sense into’ ‘How is this whole thing FOR ME?'”, I move from dominance into vulnerability and the use of “personal power,” the congruence of my own inner truth, instead of coercion, convincing YOU what to think/feel. The language of Intuitive Focusing immediately points to the existence of a “felt sense” in me, an “intuitive feel” that I can explore:
 
“Being the kind of person I am, I find this kind of situation controlling. Let me ‘sense into’ how that is for me, where that feeling comes from.”
 
“I don’t know how you are seeing things, but, for me, this is scary and anxiety-provoking. Let me take some time to ‘sit with’ that whole thing in me, and then you can have a turn to say how it is for you.”
 
“Something is going on here, in this group, I don’t know what it is, but I’m finding myself all balled up, unable to think clearly. I’d like to sense into ‘that whole thing’ and see what my body has to say.”
 
Yelling At The Wall: Space for Irrationality Can Lead To Felt Sensing
 
Although I like the power of Marshall Rosenberg’s rubric for Non-Violent Communication in illustrating that we create our own “felt response” out of our interpretations of the behaviors of others, I find that trying to use such a rubric to frame my communications in the actual moment of confusing interaction is too intellectual for me. It takes me away from my “felt-sensing” of the situation, the place for Intuitive Focusing.
 
Sometimes, I actually need to be able to start out screaming in a blaming way: “You — You — You — !”. Once I have stepped into the “owning” position of my own Focusing Turn, I can yell these blaming statements at the wall. I am already owning that they are my own “reaction.” Perhaps a third person Listening Facilitator, using Focused Listening, can reflect them back to me so that I can begin to take the reaction back inside of myself, find the “intuitive feel” of “How this whole thing is for me, being the person I am”:
 
“So, Kathy, you are so furious that you feel that Sally is doing this on purpose.”
 
“So, Kathy, the way you are seeing it, Sally really is trying to steal your husband.”
 
“So, Kathy, I’m hearing that, because of the person you are, you are experiencing this situation as a manipulation. WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO SENSE INTO HOW THIS IS FOR YOU, WHAT COMES IN THE FOCUSING PLACE INSIDE?”. 
 
And, here, because a Focusing turn points to and assumes each person’s own inner experiencing as a ‘felt sense’ which underlies their way of being-in-a-situation, there is a natural movement into “owning” and the vulnerability of sharing that personal inner truth. Often, as soon as a Focuser turns from blaming the other to “This is how it is for me,” the Focuser’s anger turns into the vulnerability of tears and hurt. Seeing this vulnerability, the other person becomes much more likely to respond with empathy and a willingness to work toward a mutual solution.
 
The Interpersonal Focusing Protocol
 
So, I prefer the use of the Interpersonal Focusing protocol, Listening/Focusing Turns for each participant.
 
 Because this issue of Interpersonal Focusing is so important to me, I have made the entire Chapter Five: Interpersonal Focusing, in English and in Spanish, from my manual, Focusing in Community (Focusing en Comunidad) available as a free download through my blog (see link below). In the chapter, you will find :
 
A perspective for seeing an angry person as a hurting person
 
Martin Buber’s view that the only appropriate “confrontation” has the goal of moving from “I-It” to “I-Thou” relationship
 
Complete presentation of the actual protocol for Interpersonal Focusing
 
Many examples of “felt shifts” in relational difficulties through the exchange of Listening/Focusing Turns.
 
For your exercise today, please read the entire chapter as your best introduction to the actual practice of Interpersonal Focusing, which we will consider in Week Four of this cycle.

Download complete instructions on using Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening Turns to resolve  interpersonal conflicts, turning conflict into creativity: Chapter Five: Interpersonal Focusing   Capitulo Cinco El Proceso Interpersonal  Order the complete Self-Help Package, multi-media help in learning Listening/Focusing Skills .

  (Read introductory philosophy “This flower is beautiful TO ME” and Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication )

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 

Panorama Theme by Themocracy