By , January 24, 2008 5:27 pm

As our “Felt Sensing” exercise these four weeks we are practicing turning a Caring Feeling Presence toward whatever arises inside during our Focusing and toward the Focuser when we are the Empathic (or Focused) Listener. What about turning a Caring Feeling Presence toward our co-workers at work?
Hmmm…do you have a reaction to seeing these words in the same line? Are “work” and “caring” incompatible?
Once I told my Business Professor husband that I was going to market what I teach to business people and that I was going to call it “Compassionate Awareness.”  He shuddered: “Awareness, yes. Compassinate? No. Compassionate people do not make good competitors. Compassion is exposing weakness. Business people do not want this.” And, in trying to “market” Listening/Focusing to business, I have changed the name from Empathic (who in the workplace wants empathy!) Listening to Focused Listening.
However, now, because of changes in the business world demanding skills at team work and collaboration, my husband teaches the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (recognizing differing “gifts,” differing personality and leadership styles) and Listening and other conflict resolution skills to students working in groups in almost every class, on almost every project. He even has a procedure whereby team members can get “a divorce” from a non-participating member!
When the newly elected President of Chile was asked, “What are you going to do for Chile?” by a Newsweek reporter, she replied, “I’m going to create love.”
In a recent edition of Consumer Reports on Health (Vol.20, No.2, Feb., 2008), the heading reads: Find Friends At Work:
“A study published in the American Journal of Public Health analyzed survey data of some 24,000 men and women and found a strong link between social support at work and overall emotional health. People who said they had few close friends at work were two to three times more likely to report depression than those with strong social ties. Other research has shown that good relations on the job can spill over to a happy home life too. So, if your cubicle enighbor invites you to lunch, say yes.”
You can find more quotes and statistics about the negative impact of interpersonal conflict in the workplace in the sidebar at Creative Edge Focusing.
Aggressiveness, competitiveness, one-up-manship, gossiping, back-stabbing: these are all negative emotions brought up in a workplace based upon competition.

Cooperation, mutual help, warmth, care, friendship, backpatting: these are positive emotions brought about when collaboration, not competition, is the norm.
Sound too “touchy-feely” for the workplace? Remember what it feels like to turn a Caring Feeling Presence, instead of a judgmental, critical attitude, toward your own vulnerable inner places. Now, imagine being greeted with this same Focusing Attitude, this same treasuring of difference, vulnerability, neediness at work. Not such a bad goal to strive for! And Collaborative Edge Decision Making Methods take a step in this direction. The direct goal: the most creative, innovative decisions imaginable, with the motivation to carry them out. The by -product: feelings of warmth, collegiality, empathy, and mutual support among co-workers. Read all about how collaboration instead of competition builds positive feelings in the workplace and find the “How To’s” for Collaborative Decision Making Meetings in our e-newsletter archive.

Download Dr. McGuire’s article, “Collaborative Edge Decision Making with bonus group handouts in the Appendix.

Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening  at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

Download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (”Ajas” Instantaneos en espanol) for ten exercises bringing Listening and Focusing into your everyday life starting today.

Download our complete Intuitive Focusing Instructions to start practicing Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, and Intuitive Focusing today!

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire in the Store.

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. 

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