Exploring Liberating Structures

I’m hosting a Liberating Structures immersion event for the Victorian Facilitator’s Network on Monday 19th February 6pm – 8.30pm. This will be an opportunity to explore some easy structures, practice them together and see what we can learn. Anyone interested in alternative ways to approach and design how people work together is welcome to join us. To book a place, please register or g…  
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Eliminating Social Corrosiveness With Stories →

Paul Stoller, writing for the HuffPost:

I think that my central obligation is to recount stories, gleaned from years of ethnographic research, that underscore the human capacity for social resilience and social connection. These stories demonstrate that even in the direst of situations, we are not as alone as we might think. They remind us that many, if not most of our fears, frustrations, and sufferings can be overcome.

This is great. Yes, stories make us wiser and better able to confront the ups and downs of life.

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Playing Dungeons and Dragons →

Ethan Gilsdorf, on the TED Ideas blog:

Fantasy role-playing games return that power of storytelling to us. D&D sparked my imagination and kindled an interest in everything from geography to languages, history to poetry. It made me want to create, to be a storyteller and a world builder. And to take a leap and imagine a better world.

This article really struck a chord. I didn’t play D&D obsessively, but the feelings are mutual.

I do wonder though, if this isn’t a chicken or the egg situation? Does playing D&D help you to be more connected, creative, and compassionate or are those who are predisposed to being creative and imaginative drawn to role-playing games?

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Why Coaching Is Key to Getting the Most Out of Employees →

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Grace McCarthy, writing for The Conversation:

If managers don’t know where to start, they should begin by listening to employees. They may be surprised by how much staff know and how much they appreciate being asked.

An interesting article, which points to research that shows manager coaching leads to improvements in productivity, engagement, and customer service. The simple power of listening should not be underestimated.

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Rescuing Ourselves From the Argument Culture →

Linguistic anthropologist Adam Hodges, writing for the American Anthropological Association:

Trump is in the White House because our argument culture helped put him there. To ensure his tenure remains an anomaly…we must replace our notion of argument as combat with the notion of argument as dialogue.

This shift, he argues

… starts with deep listening in a spirit of inquiry, exchanging ideas with an openness to new insights, disagreeing with respect rather than denigration, and offering ideas rather than vitriol.

As a general rule, I shy away from political commentary on this blog and prefer to keep my opinions to myself. Yet, I think Hodges makes an interesting observation that has broader application.

This ‘argument culture’ isn’t isolated to just our political institutions. I advocate a similar shift within organisations.

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