Posts tagged: Interpersonal Focusing

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

WWW.CHANGE.ORG: VOTE FOR TOP TEN AGENDAS FOR OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, INCLUDING DEPARTMENT OF PEACE, EMPATHY INITIATIVE, SUSTAINABILITY, ETC.

By , January 12, 2009 3:31 pm

Deadline: January 15, so please go now to www.change.org , register, and then Vote for your top ten agendas to be given to Obama at his inauguration and carried through throughout the years.

International votes are accepted, so have an influence on US public policy from abroad!!!!!

I am especially excited about the Empathic Communication initiative, which will mandate instruction in empathic , non-violent communication vs. aggression at all levels of government and diplomacy. It’s number 14, and needs 600 votes to get into the top ten! 

It is sponsored by the Center for Non-Violent Communication (www.cnvc.org ), has the backing of The Focusing Institute (www.focusing.org ) and Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) where I teach empathic, Focused Listening  and Intuitive Focusing as self-help skills which can be used at home, in the community, and at work to enhance communication and creative, innovative, win/win problem solving.

And this Empathy/Non-Violent Communication Initiative would take place within a Department of Peace at the cabinet level!

Please go to www.change.org and vote for the Department of Peace and for the Empathy Initiative and eight other agenda items you want to see the Obama Administration address!

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

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

FOCUSED LISTENING: WHY PRACTICE REFLECTIVE, EMPATHIC, ACTIVE LISTENING

By , December 13, 2008 1:08 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

WHY PRACTICE FOCUSED LISTENING?

So, yesterday I asked myself, “Why do I practice Intuitive Focusing?” and I answered from my “felt sense,” the “intuitive feel” that came in the center of my body in response to that question. Using Intuitive Focusing, I carefully went back and forth between any words/images that came and my body’s “felt response,” until I found symbols that were “exactly right” in capturing the “feel of it all.”

Today, I am asking myself, “Why do I practice Focused Listening?” and, as I use Intuitive Focusing to articulate the intuitive feel,” we will see what comes in answer — not from my “head,” the already-known I have said many times in the last thirty years of teaching Listening/Focusing, but from today’s fresh, bodily experiencing.

So, “Why do I practice Focused Listening?” (closing my eyes, going inside quietly, waiting for the “felt sense” to arise in the area of my solar plexis, and only then looking for symbols to describe it) —- Big sigh.

(long pause) — Well, without Listening, the whole world would fall apart! There is nothing more powerful, no better human response, than just showing another that you have heard them by simply saying back, or “reflecting” their own words to them.

And immediately people will want to scoff and laugh and say, “How silly — just stupid parroting.” But, when it actually happens to you, when you feel yourself completely understood, encompassed by your own words coming back to you — well, this is a Sacred experience (stopping to get “out of my head” and to wait again for the fresh, intuitive “bodily-felt sense” to arise so that my words come freshly from that “felt experience” — (big sigh). (long pause)

I am asking myself the Focusing Question, “What do I mean by the word Sacred?” — (pause for Focusing inward). Big sigh. —

I don’t want to “scare people away” by using the word “Sacred.” I could just say “It feels really good to be understood.” But, it really is more than that. Martin Buber, in his book I and Thou, spoke of those moments when we step out of I-It relating, seeing the other as an object to be manipulated and used, into I-Thou relating, where we meet each other without veils, in our essential humanness.

And I guess “essential humanness” is the same, somehow, as what many of us mean by The Divine, The Sacred within each person.

(pausing to “check in” with the “intuitive feel” — “something in me” is saying, “Yikes! Now you are really going to scare people away. You want BUSINESS PEOPLE to use Focused Listening among themselves!” So, now, I am going to pause and “sense into” this aspect, the “business application” of Focused Listening —- (Big sigh. Pause for “felt sensing” before speaking) —

What comes is that “Businesses need to be more friendly places, places where people can feel understood, can feel ‘seen’ for who they are, not just what they do.” (there is something tearful here, I am afraid to admit while I am trying to be business-like!) (pause to check with this teary feeling, “What is that about? What touches me about this?”)

People LIVE in their business settings! They spend more time there than anywhere else. They suffer stress and interpersonal conflict. They stay home rather than face another day. They change jobs too often to get away from a hostile situation.

Certainly we can stand to infuse a little Listening, a simple bit of empathic understanding, the small gesture of Active Listening to show a colleague that we value what they are expressing, even if we disagree with it.

And other days I will blog about how Intuitive Focusing, partnered with Focused Listening, can be used to articulate creative ideas and innovative solutions and to create a Culture of Creativity. But, for today, what comes is that people do want simple human kindness in the workplace.

 

Learn Focused Listening, Active Listening, and Passive Listening for conflict resolution at Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

 

 

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: AL GORE OF LISTENING TURNS

By , November 28, 2008 1:58 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

To “catch up” with this cycle, please read, from the e-newsletter archives Passive Listening Week 1: Can Listening Turns Save The World and Week Two: Does Passive Listening Work?  Anyone can also access the e-newsletter archives from the Free Resources submenu at Creative Edge Focusing.

Our Own Nobel Peace Project
 
I could spend this third week on Instant “Ahah!” #3 reminding you again to go through the instructions with your significant others and set up the “structures” necessary (a place to sit, a timer, a mutually-agreed upon “signal” word, like “popcorn”) so they will be in place if needed when argument starts. And I will ask you again to email any experiences you are having trying Passive Listening Turns to the CEF e-support group or to me.
 
But, I am going to spend today instead talking about what it would be like to start a “campaign” to get Passive Listening turns, or some other aspect of Listening/Focusing, incorporated into every household, every situation, in the world.
 
Al Gore, and the millions inspired to work with him, are doing this around the issue of Global Warming. Al Gore took it upon himself to take action, to respond to what he perceived as a life-or-death, urgent issue for all human beings.
 
That is how I feel about Listening/Focusing, especially as they can be used for conflict resolution, between individuals, lovers, parents, parent and child, in schools, in cities and communities, in governments, in national and international conflicts. And Passive Listening Turns is the most simple, small-step in that direction that I have come up with.
 
Brainstorm With Me To Find “The One Small Step”
 
Do you think spreading Passive Listening Turns is a good first step, if there were to be a campaign to bring listening/focusing, and the “creation of the new” that can come when people can speak from felt-sensing, to everyone, every situation, worldwide? Do you have a better idea? I’m open!
 
Can you imagine participating in such a campaign? What “one-small-step” might you be willing to do, or willing to encourage your friends, neighbors, colleagues, elected officials, school systems, doctors and nurses, etc., to do or to spread?
 
I’d like to imagine a bumper sticker campaign: “Listen, Don’t Lecture,” “Speaking, Not Arguing,”  “Popcorn!” Get Out The Listening Timer!”, “Passive Listening = Active Solutions” – got better ideas?!!! Certainly, I can use help!
 
A bookmark-sized handout that obstetricians, pediatricians, counselors, teachers could hand out, outlining the procedure (maybe with a magnet for sticking on the fridge!)
 
Maybe “Passive Listening Turns” isn’t the right name for the process. What would be better? “Timed Turn-Taking”? I can’t do this alone, but it would be fun to brain storm it! I know we would come up with something hugely creative.
 
So, for this week, besides setting up the structure and trying the Passive Listening Turns procedure if an opportunity arises, I’d welcome any consideration of the Passive Listening Turn “campaign,” how we might do our own Nobel Peace Prize effort to get Listening/Focusing Conflict Resolution known. Email Dr. McGuire with your ideas and reactions. Thank you!

The Basic Procedure
 
Here are the subheadings from the exercise which lay out the basic steps of this very simple procedure:
 
Agree on a signal during a peaceful time
Set a timer and take a seat
Use the timer to keep turns exactly even
Yell at a blank wall, if needed
Just keep going
Caution: Professional help needed?
Online support for conflict resolution
 
And those are the basics of this very simple procedure, which can be taught to anyone in five minutes. Find the entire exercise in your Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual or quickly online here, Passive Listening Turns.

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

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

DIVERSITY TRAINING: MYERS-BRIGGS AND KEIRSEY TEMPERAMENT SORTER

By , April 25, 2008 2:48 pm

INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES: PERSONALITY TESTS

Differences So Vast You Can’t Imagine

People are so different in their basic personality and learning styles, talents, and goals that you simply cannot understand anyone deeply without using the Focused Listening skill.

However, personality differences are actually so great that it can be as if the other person sees the world in a completely different way. Even Focused or Empathic Listening may not be enough for you to grasp how different the other person is from you.

At Creative Edge Focusing ™ , we use a variety of personality tests and measures of individual difference  like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or The Enneagram to make this point about individual differences and uniqueness. We are more interested in getting people to consider the depth and range of individual differences than we are allied with any one measure.

When you really become embattled with someone who is widely different from you, you believe that the person must be from a different planet. They must be crazy. They are evil.  All you know is that they are not like you – and that they are not okay. They represent a threat to how you see the world, and you have to get rid of them. This misunderstanding about deep personality differences, or basic differences in ways-of- seeing- the- world, is the root of much violence in this world.

Almost everyone has had such a clash, for instance the stereotypical clash between masculine and feminine, between Thinker and Feeler, between the responsible Ant and the playful Grasshopper as portrayed in numerous films. These clashes are violent. They destroy relationships, families, students, and business relationships.

In the weeks of this cycle, you will find descriptions of some of our favorite measures of individual differences  and links to online tests and more complete descriptions. We suggest that you try out lots of different measures and even several different versions of the same measure, building an “intuitive sense” of your own personality and style rather than rigidly forcing yourself into a pigeon hole, and also trying out various approaches to understanding your family, friends, and colleagues.

Below, you’ll find descriptions and links for the MBTI and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. The MBTI is meant to be given by certified professionals expert in its administration and interpretation (although there are self-scoring versions available). The Keirsey is a user-friendly, less professional version based upon the same Jungian theory.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) : Differing Gifts

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), widely used in business and education, is one way to understand the “differing gifts” of each individual. Based upon psychiatrist Carl Jung’s theory, The MBTI measures two orientations (Introversion vs. Extroversion; Judging vs. Perceiving), and four psychological functions (Sensing vs. iNtuition ; Thinking vs. Feeling).

Scoring creates 16 distinct personality types, each described with four letters (INFJ; ESTP; ENTJ, etc.). However, there are further complexities. For instance, in each type, two of the four functions are introverted; two are extroverted . You need a chart to figure that out (click here to find a chart, along with Dr. McGuire’s summaries, in her article, “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory. For more on masculine and feminine, Thinking and Feeling, according to Jung, Gilligan, and Gendlin, see McGuire’sThe Body As A Source Of Knowledge ).

The MBTI has been administered to millions in education and business settings, and individuals are surprised to recognize themselves in the personality descriptions. Much research has also shown that MBTI personality types accurately predict career choices (Myers, Gifts Differing, Consulting Psychologists Press, 1980, link to Amazon.com). Even more importantly, the MBTI is widely used in business for personnel decisions and to develop teams that are balanced in terms of contributions from different personality types.

Personality Differences Are Vast, Inexplicable

At a workshop, the trainers had all the Introverts sit at a table together for lunch, and all of the Extroverts at a different table.  The Introverts ran out of things to say and excused themselves quickly, needing time to gather energy by taking a walk alone or taking a nap or meditating or reading quietly before the next session.

The Extroverts filled up every silence, competing for turns to talk rather than listening to each other. They could have talked forever, gathering energy from the interaction regardless of whether they understood each other.

The Association for Personality Types (www.aptinternational.org ) makes it clear that the MBTI should be administered by a trained professional who can appropriately explain and interpret test scores. However, for an informal idea of your Jungian personality type, we can suggest the following websites. Take several different versions of the tests for greater clarity:

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter: Four Basic Temperaments

Keirsey and Bates (Please Understand Me, Prometheus Nemesis, 1984) trace how, since earliest written reports, humans have continuously defined each other into four types, basically “fire, water, air, and earth” in many different versions.

Please Understand Me  (link to Amazon.com) includes a self-administered test derived from the Myers Briggs (MBTI) which produces the same 16 personality types marked by four letters (INFJ, ENFJ, ESTJ, etc.) as the MBTI. The book also includes excellent descriptions of learning, leadership, and relationship styles of the various types. This book is an excellent bargain, since it includes a test equivalent to the Myers Briggs plus user-friendly theory for about $15.

The description of the SP learning style, and its clash with the traditional SJ orientation of the majority of school administrators and teachers, provides a positive way of understanding children diagnosed as “ADHD” and their clash with traditional education.

In Please Understand Me II  (link to Amazon.com) (Prometheus Nemesis, 1998) Keirsey further develops  his own typology of the four basic “temperaments,” which he calls, after Plato’s categories, Artisans (The Fox), Guardians (The Beaver), Idealists (The Dolphin), and Rationals (The Owl). He discusses forms of intelligence, social roles, self-image, values, and interests of each temperament. His book includes the original MBTI-like test and a new one for his four temperaments. It also has chapters on Mating, Parenting, and Leading according to the different temperaments.

Keirsey, in describing the SP learner as his Artisan, provides a further positive description of the hands-on, active learning style of those called “ADHD” and “ADD” in our educational systems. His descriptions validate the many positive attributes of this “learning and personality style” which can be capitalized upon rather than denigrated. See Dr. McGuire’s article, “Don’t Fight ‘Em, Join ‘Em: A Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Failure, and Juvenile Delinquency for more.

Best bargain: buy Please Understand Me and get the test as well as useful information about the sixteen types. You can use the test over and over again with friends and family.

You can take a brief Four Temperaments test online for free, to discover if you are an Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, or Rational,  but, in order to also get your one of the sixteen Jungian-based types and a full report, you will be asked to pay a small charge. Keirsey’s website contains lots of interesting information, for instance, his ratings of personality types of US Presidents and other famous people:

http://keirsey.com  (short, free quiz; small charge for longer report)

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.

See blog Interpersonal Focusing and Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication and use the links at the top to download Dr. McGuire’s Chapter Five: Interpersonal Focusing, in English and Spanish, with complete instructions for using the Interpersonal Focusing method (from her self-help manual Focusing in Community (Focusing en Comunidad).

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 

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