Creative Edge Focusing E-Newsletter

Instant "Ahah!"s #5:  Collaborative Decision Making 

"Caring Feeling Presence" At Work                                                                
 Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director                                Week Three 

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? 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.
For a complete explanation of the theory behind access to The Creative Edge and innovative decision making, you can download Dr. McGuire's comprehensive article, "Collaborative Edge Decision Making Method, " . As a bonus, the Appendix of this article includes Handouts you can use at actual meetings, one for each role in Shared Leadership.

Reread the simple "How To's For Groups" (Instant "Ahah!" #5 in Mini-Manual). They define the five roles in Shared Leadership and various Listening/Focusing methods for Impasse resolution. The "How To's" arose from my dissertation research, Listening and Interruptions in Task-Oriented Groups, University of Chicago, 1977, with Eugene Gendlin, creator of Focusing (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984) as advisor.
Now, imagine incorporating these procedures into the groups you belong to, holding in mind the idea of bringing The Focusing Attitude, a Caring Feeling Presence, into these groups and other aspects of the organizations involved.

Please email Dr. McGuire with your questions or answers about the groups you belong to, the meetings you attend:

1. Do people treat each other with respect?
2. Do people take time to hear and to value the words of the other?
3. Do people try to be understanding, to see things from the other person's point of view?
4. Are people sympathetic with expressions of weakness, neediness, vulnerability?
5. If not, why not?  Why aren't people as tender with each other in the workplace as we are learning to be with our own Inner Children/Woundedness and that of the Focuser when we are the Listener?
6. If advancement were tied to collaboration and cooperation rather than competition and aggressiveness, what difference would that make in feelings/attitudes/interactions among coworkers?

7. Can you imagine incorporating Listening and Focusing skills into your workplace? Where would you begin?

Think about whether there are any small groups, sub-groups or teams, committees where you would feel safe enough, and empowered enough, to explain to coworkers about cooperation vs. competition, about the Focusing Attitude toward originality, uniqueness, and mutual support, and suggest trying out Instant "Ahah!" #5, Collaborative Decision Making, using the "How To's" for groups.
Creative Edge Focusing E-Newsletter Weekly Support: Week Two
For four weeks, we practice one Instant "Ahah!" and various steps of the Intuitive Focusing process, such as Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, Clearing A Space, and a complete Focusing Session.

Our purpose:Helping you incorporate Listening and Focusing into your everyday life.

This month:

From Instant "Ahah!" Mini-Manual, p. 16, #5.Collaborative Decision Making
Later in the week, you will receive e-reminders to practice two other Focusing exercises.
E-Newsletter Archives Now Available!
Newcomers, you can start with any issue and, in a year, you will have practiced all the exercises. So, just join in here-and-now and follow along. However, if you want to experience previous e-newsletters, you can find them in Creative Edge Focusing E-Newsletter Archive.
Anyone can also access the e-newsletter archives from the Free Resources submenu at Creative Edge Focusing.
Two E-Groups, Creative Edge Practice and Creative Edge Collaboration, for Ongoing Support and Learning
There are now two separate Yahoo e-groups.
Creative Edge Practice is a closed group, where people can feel safe for the vulnerability of sharing Focusing experiences and responding to others with Focused Listening responses. The only requirement: a willingness to introduce yourself upon entry into the group, so everyone knows who is in the group. Further active participation is welcomed but not required. This is a very warm, sharing place, as well as a great opportunity for learning the actual skills.
Creative Edge Collaboration is an open group for discussion and networking around projects related to the spread of listening/focusing to various audiences and throughout the world.This is a great place to brain-storm ideas for bringing Listening/Focusing into parenting, education, support groups, psychotherapy and other helping professions, business, non-profit organizations like Peace Corps or Heifer International, spiritual communities, or whatever project moves you!
You can visit the homepage of each by clicking on the link and join from there as well. You can choose "emails only" and do not have to start a yahoo account, although accounts are free.However, access to message archives and other web-based features requires the free Yahoo ID. In creating an account, make sure to choose your regular email address to receive messages directly to your usual inbox.
If you order the Self-Help Package, now with the rock-bottom reduced price of $49, including US shipping, you can use the Intuitive Focusing CD to follow Dr. McGuire as she speaks these exercises and view actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing turns on the DVD.
Click here to access Dr. McGuire's blog, Ultimate Self_Help: Sex, Food, and Focusing, or find it in the right upper corner at Creative Edge Focusing
About Creative Edge Focusing (TM) 
Mission: bring Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and The Creative Edge Pyramid of applications from individual to interpersonal to organizational, to all audiences throughout the world.
Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director
Location: Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR
These materials are offered purely as self-help skills. In providing them, Dr. McGuire is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
Creative Edge Focusing (TM)
Dr. Kathy McGuire