amazed by this life!! music, coaching, creativity, lateral thinking, transformation; my passion and joy

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The essence of Fierce Conversations

in searching for more on Fierce Conversations, I came across notes about a talk that Susan Scott gave at Microsoft Research, in April 2002 -- she gives the essence of her ideas and some very clear pointers (to inspire and challenge us in our conversations)!! I find some points for having conversations that are particularly valuable in the conversations we can have about the times of transition we are in.

(see this link or read more below)

Susan talked about her experiences that she has put into a book called 'Fierce Conversations'. She was a great and engaging speaker, and here is a brief summary of her talk.

"A fierce conversation is not me telling you what I think. A fierce conversation is one that is passionate, effective, direct, thought provoking, intense, powerful, robust, untamed, unbridled." A fierce conversation is a memorable one, that challenges ideas and builds relationships.

3 big ideas:

* Our lives succeed, or fail, one conversation at a time
* The conversation is the relationship
* All conversations are with, and sometimes they involve, other people

When people say 'don't take this personally' what do they really mean? Of course we are going to take it personally, otherwise what's the point? If you need to have a difficult conversation, (e.g. one that makes you worried enough to start with 'don't take this personally') the first 60 seconds are crucial.

1. Name the issue (and keep it to one! Shame on you if there's more than one issue been left too long to fix)
2. Give one specific example to illustrate the issue
3. Confess your emotion - shows that you are involved/affected by this issue and hence need to resolve it
4. Say what you feel is at stake - honestly, no matter how difficult. It gets attention
5. Confess what part has your DNA on it - what you contributed (or didn't) to create this issue
6. Say "I want to resolve this with you" - shows you want to move forward together, not point fingers of blame
7. Invite the person to give their take on the situation - and shut up! Don't defend or argue, just listen.

Tips on what not to do...

* Avoid the 'sugar coated spitball' approach where you are supposed to start with something nice before delivering the bad news. People will start putting on the armour whenever you start a conversation with something nice... Nice things should be part of every day conversations, not saved up for when you need to deliver some bad news! Are you paying a sincere compliment, or doing textbook 'good news - bad news'?
* Don't put pillows around the message to avoid hurting feelings (including your own). You can't avoid emotions so keep them open and the conversation honest
* And the opposite to the pillows - don't walk into a room, pull the pin, throw the grenade and exit without pausing to witness the carnage caused. Take responsibility for the emotional wake you leave. (Emotional wake is covered in much more detail in the book, this talk focused on the first 60 seconds)

"Fierce conversations take us to a place where we are moved to act."

Fierce Conversations

[from an email Micheal Mallows sent to me in 2007] - the principles of Fierce Conversation, and what he said about them then still inspire me


Susan Scott's book Fierce Conversations, expresses some very interesting principles and ideas about the importance of conversation, not least: "The conversation is the relationship".

The substance of our discussions, and the way that we engage with each other, define our current relationship, and, unless we commit to thinking, feeling and doing something different, our future relationship is fairly predictable!

If our conversations are superficial, so is the relationship; conversely, if the conversation is real and meaningful, then so too is the relationship.
"Fierce conversations" are not threatening, cruel or mean. Rather, a fierce conversation is dialogue that is intense, passionate, and uncurbed. It is a conversation that is "real", and which at all times interrogates reality.

For most of us, fierce conversations are not easy. They require us to take responsibility and to take risks. We need to ask the hard questions - of others, yes, but also of ourselves. We need to acknowledge that we don't know everything, and that we need to involve others if we are going to find meaningful answers to our most complex issues. Fierce conversations are absolutely necessary. Unreal conversations are the ones that end up being the most expensive to us in our personal and professional relationships because we squander time, money and energy hiding behind the barriers and illusions that we create.

If we are willing, we can dismantle those barriers by applying the
Seven Principles of Fierce Conversations

Here are the seven principles (and, below, their effects)

* Master the Courage to Interrogate Reality
* Come Out From Behind Yourself, Into the Conversation, and Make It Real
* Be Here, Prepared to Be Nowhere Else
* Tackle Your Toughest Challenge Today
* Obey Your Instincts
* Take Responsibility For Your Emotional Wake
* Let Silence Do the Heavy Lifting

That can be scary because expose ourselves to the possibility that

* We will be Understood instead of merely interpreted
* Our expectations will be Clear to others
* We will be Free of hidden agendas
* We will consistently get to Ground Truths
* We will Change our World

2008-12: Listen louder, damn it! | Future Navigator

2008-12: Listen louder, damn it! | Future Navigator

There's a lot about the folks at Future Navigator that I Like. When I met them at a day on Leadership at Exeter University I was very inspired by what they do and stand for. Here, in this link, are some ideas that I find particularly inspiring.

In terms of what they are doing in the community, I remember being very touched by the story of how they transformed a Care Home into a place that sounded like you would actually want to go there ( the residents did, and so did the staff...!!) great they used their leadership and problem solving and visioning skills to make this happen.

They've also been engaged with people in some cities, looking at change that is happening and working with local leaders and services to find heart based response to questions like 'what are we going to do when the fighting breaks out' [over lack of resources, and too many people]

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Joanna Macy : Work that Reconnects

Video of Joanna Macy teaching her work: Turn Toward Life TV -- Eco-Spirituality on the Web

Many people have found and are finding a lot of support in Joanna Macy's Work that Reconnects. Here is a series of videos that gives the basis of here work

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Strogatz book "Sync"

Strogatz book "Sync"

After facilitating a Moving Sound workshop at a Conference in Glastonbury, I was yet again struck by that moment which so often happens when, seemingly out of nowhere, and a place of chaos everything seems to connect up. In a walk around the town later that evening David Grove mentioned the book 'Sync' - here's info about that book and way of thinking.

Chris Johnstone - Writing

Chris Johnstone - Writing

Looks like there are some really great articles for working with global issues and some of the strain and challenges ( burnout even) that can come up.

this looks like a very beautiful and powerful model to be with and work with the times we are living in.

Creative Community Devon

Creative Community Devon

In Devon, here in SW England, we have created a an online Creative Community using a Ning. It's becoming a great way to connect with, support, and be supported by other like minded people in our community; in these times of transition this is likely to become increasingly important.

Great Turning Times

Great Turning Times

looks like some inspiring things in here.

Shame on Richard Lindzen, MIT’s uber-hypocritical anti-scientific scientist « Climate Progress

Shame on Richard Lindzen, MIT’s uber-hypocritical anti-scientific scientist « Climate Progress

and some more reading that gives some factual info and links

RealClimate: Lindzen in Newsweek

RealClimate: Lindzen in Newsweek

given the BBC 'debate' with the things Lindzen was saying, this is important reading

Thursday, December 17, 2009

dissapearing and re-emerging, kind of

been looking at a lot of the climate change Copenhagen thing today, ( and VERY touched by much of that... -- went on the Wave March in London last week, adn over 15M signing the Avaaz pledge .. And, with all that... still in a kind of 'altered' state from the accident... motivation not so high (motivation to continue as I have been.. as I was... January looking fuller and fuller, and accounts to do, and my Job at the Charity ending, in March, or soon after.

done a couple of Biosynthesis therapy sessions in the last couple of weeks. fundamental patterning and resourcing taking place ... learning how to breath .. . catching a habit of not breathing... and discovering how it is to push against something whilst breathing in... or rather breath in whilst pushing against something and to breath, continue to breath.. and.. as there is much 'in the field' and 'coming towards me' it is really interesting to feel how it is so different to breathe in amongst this... rather than the stopping, and spinning in my head thinking. a filling and meeting.... - interesting to practice that in the 5rhythms dance last night. feeling it deeper. feeling all life, and myself .. wow

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age - Geoff Canada

times of Transition that we live in. Digital divide ... who do we include who do we exclude ... how do we do that... a talk at Goolge...

"Geoff Canada, of the Harlem Children's Zone talks about the danger of allowing technology to widen the gap between rich kids and poor kids and our responsiblity to ensure that this does not happen. "