Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Workshop Notes October 14

Facilitation and "Coaching" Notes October 14, 2011

We start with an event and we give it a name. We recognize a pattern about the event and make a decision. We either bypass/suspend the cycle, or we can engage it. We can engage with an external or internal aspect. Consider trusting your intuition about the cycle, the pattern of something occurring. This happens when we recognize thought as a structure during meditation.

So Roger makes us all feel better by filling us in on the old saying “The mind is a drunken monkey dancing on scorpions”, which is actually “The mind is like a drunken monkey bitten by a scorpion.” Either way, the description is perfect.

We are inquiring into facilitation and the structural boundaries of practice that we have for facilitation and coaching. We have the physical space, the room, we have the conversation and we have the interaction between people in the room.

Typically there exists a transactional relationship between knowledge and need. Time and money are the common economy of transaction.

Knowledge <--------------------------> Need
                                                            in between is time and/or money

The relationship implies that time has a value, it implies no need on one side and no knowledge on the other side. At the extreme, one side produces mountains of paper to convince the other side that they have the knowledge and thereby is a need for money to be paid.

The knowledge-need transaction does happen successfully, according to Roger, just not all the time.  Co-dependence creates an imbalance. The transaction of knowledge-need is an artificial structure we use to navigate the world. It’s very one dimensional and neurotic, but our utility is based on it. Linda says she has seen this as teacher-student and has generated mountains of paper (HW) convincing students that she has the knowledge they need.  Haven’t we all?

Hey, is there another model please?

Well, the knowledge-need model is called epistemological.

You can also have the ontological model. Ontological, from my days in philosophy (and now Wikipedia), refers to the  ontological argument for the existence of God, which attempts the method of a priori proof, which uses intuition and reason alone. The argument examines the concept of God, and states that if we can conceive of the greatest possible being, then it must exist. Right on.

The ontological model gives the knowledge-need transaction a higher level called “context of service.”   The context of service might be your mandate...

So what is Dianne’s mandate for giving a talk about women’s success at Cal Poly?

Roger says Dianne is creating a noble lie to give them what they need. Roger sees the concern, Rick has empathy. It would help to have a context of service. JF says that the highest context is love or feeling good about what you are doing.  I’ll work on that and get back to you.

Roger reminds us that we all have a distorted view of reality that allows us to function. Your point of view (POV) is different from everyone else. No one POV can describe ‘reality’; you only have a particular view of it, you can’t comprehend it all.

Trevor realizes he is always in transactional knowledge-need mode, and he doesn’t really have a context for service. Roger helps by pointing out that collectively revealing reality is facilitation.

Collaboration is suspending insistence on MY POV so WE can have a shared POV. How do you make choices about where to go in a conversation? If Rick realizes he’s at range, he looks at his mandate; then reconnects to it. Re-creation informs choices you make in the knowledge-need process.

No one POV describes reality. A shared map of reality is called ‘science.’ Our collective map can’t actually describe the reality of the room we’re in, but a map is all we have. We can’t even get someone else’s POV.

So what does it mean for my survival to be able to sense reality? JF says we are all subjective and Linda says, SO WHAT, what we have is good enough. The apparent phenomena of a sphere can’t be accessed as a whole; you can’t see it all at once. So what?  

If we can’t know reality, then life is a narrative that is based on your own assumptions. The best you can do is to open new narratives.

For example, you can function with an unconscious context of service. Dianne will have to consider this when giving her talk next week. Dianne will do the following while preparing:  she will remember that every success has a challenge that needs to be overcome, simplicity is insightful, relate her unique contribution, speak from the heart, plant seeds, figure out why she is doing the talk, serve well-being, not be anxious, notice the positive that happens at Cal Poly, find peace, to respect the audience's intelligence - both emotional and intellectual, and perhaps celebrate failure robustly!

HW for next week is to formalize our mandate for our upper bubble, our context of service. Think, “I am engaging” in relationship to what? What assumptions are involved in your practice? Next time we will talk about mandates with each other and examine the consequences.


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