Dialogue & the Practice of Presence | elevatework.ca

BEING in Business

 

DIALOGUE &

 The Practice of PRESENCE

Dialogue - The Practice of Presence

The Practice of Presence

There is an elevated level of connection, coherency and capacity seldom touched by teams. In this age of disruption, to effectively navigate the increasing complexity of systems and relationships, it is essential that leaders and organizations awaken these latent capacities in order to survive and thrive. 

Within the practice of presence, leaders and teams reach peak states of performance where transformative insights, innovation and creativity naturally emerge. Presence opens up capacities for more effective cooperation and collaboration, expanding the vision of what is possible to achieve. Presence is the next paradigm of Being in Business.

Dialogue, combined with mindfulness, is one of the most effective ways to build these capacities in teams.

Join other leaders in the practice of presence

Experience Dialogue

Join us in the Practice of Presence

Leadership Dialogues

Join us in open Dialogue aimed at elevating our capacity to effectively lead, communicate, collaborate, and thrive in these times of great change and disruption.

  • There are no specific leadership topics for these sessions. Instead, we'll explore leadership and organizational challenges and opportunities that emerge from the participant check-ins about what is present for them in that moment.
  • Each session has a 'practice' or learning focus such as 'Listening' aimed at building Dialogue and leadership capacities.
  • Please register below. You are welcome to attend as often as you wish but because space is limited, please give 24 hours notice if you are unable to make it, so we can offer your space to someone else.
 Bohm Dialogue Schedule
Date
 Time  Practice Focus
More Info
Sept 15
7:30am Pacific
10:30am Eastern
16:30 CET

Respecting

Register
Oct 6
7:30am Pacific
10:30am Eastern
16:30 CET

Suspending

Register
Oct 20
7:30am Pacific
10:30am Eastern
16:30 CET

Listening

Register
Nov 3
7:30am Pacific
10:30am Eastern
16:30 CET

Voicing

Register

All sessions are based on Bohm Dialogue.

Building Leadership Capacity

Dialogues are the perfect place to develop your capacities for next generation leadership. Within our Bohm Dialogues, you'll be invited to practice and build capacity for presence with yourself and others. In being mindful of the thoughts, emotions, feelings, assumptions and behaviors of yourself and others, you'll elevate the quality with which you show up, contribute, collaborate, engage, learn and lead.

  • Being mindful of your self, you'll notice opportunities to OPEN YOUR MIND, develop and grow. 
  • Being curious, you'll notice opportunities to OPEN YOUR HEART, deepening your empathy, compassion and understanding.
  • Being present, you'll begin experiencing the magical emergence of new ideas, insights, synchronicity and flow, that will OPEN YOUR BEING to a greater awareness of what is possible in business.
Community meeting in a circle

Bohmian Dialogue

While we often use other methods to create open, connected, respectful and effective dialogue, our preferred method is Bohm Dialogue, named after the famous physicist, David Bohm. This method has been used extensively in corporate and social settings to create deeper connection and understanding across diverse groups, gain insight and resolve difficult issues and lay solid foundations for collaboration.

About Bohm Dialogue
 
What is Bohm Dialogue?
 
How this Dialogue is different
 
How can teams benefit?
 
What is the Dialogue process?
 
How is Dialogue facilitated?
 
Listen to David Bohm
Dialogue Practices
 
The Dialogue practices
 
Suspending
 
Respecting
 
Voicing
 
Listening
 
About Presence

Your Dialogue Hosts

Richard has been doing sgadow integration for over 15 years

Richard Schultz has deep experience in the corporate world and leadership, spending over 15 years working in a variety of sales and account management positions for IBM and other software companies.

Since leaving the corporate world, Richard’s passion has been to assist leaders and organizations with transformative change using "whole person/whole system processes". His attentive, authentic style and presence naturally opens the space for his clients to embrace and take action on the deeper changes or expanded potentials that are emerging within the system. Richard's favorite group processes are “Open Space Technology,” Genuine Contact and Bohm Dialogue. For personal transformation, he finds that there is nothing like "shadow integration work" to reconnect people to the whole of their brilliance!

Johanna Wallin is gifted in her ability to hold a safe, curious and open space that invites leaders and groups into opportunities for deep transformation. Being both an engineer and an artist she has developed a talent for safely handling the vulnerability of both innovation and creativity. Johanna's unique abilities include a variety of coaching and facilitation skills and methods that will expand and sustain the currency, flow, energy and prosperity of your business. Building nurturing and prosperous collaborations is her passion.

In Johanna's care, you can be courageous and create your heart's desire - whatever is needed in the moment and for the future.

Discover how the practice of presence can transform your business!
We support leaders and teams in building capacity for Dialogue and conscious business.

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We are an international group of facilitators, trainers and coaches with a shared mission to elevate the world of work in collaboration with other like-minded, like-hearted leaders and organizations.

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What is Presence?

Here is a discussion of the power and presence within the context of a mentoring relationship or within teams. What is it? What are the benefits and possibilities? How do you practice it individually and in teams?

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To respect means that you accept others for whom they really are, even when they are different from you, or you don't agree with them. In the practice of respecting:

  • We are invited to see beyond our differences and respect the core humanity in others.
  • We practice relating with empathy and compassion to the life journey of others.
  • In the practice of seeing, hearing and accepting others, we open up the opportunity to find shared meaning and harmony.
  • We create a safer, more trusting space to set aside differences, and open up the conversation for higher learning and contribution.
  • People feel valued and thus are more present, confident and engaged.
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The practice of suspending is critical to effective leadership and building collaborative, coherent, innovative team cultures. 

Everyone holds assumptions, opinions, beliefs or judgments. This is a normal part of how human beings filter perception and make sense of the world. However, these often inhibit open communication, create distrust, cause conflict, stifle creativity, and block understanding.

  • Assumptions and beliefs are often not conscious to the person holding them or to the group or team. They may not even be true. By clarifying assumptions, it can help individuals and teams get to the causal level of problem-solving rather than reacting or fixing something that is not relevant or is outdated.
  • Judgments and opinions can get personal and nobody likes to feel judged. This can create distrust, reactivity and shut down the conversation. They also may not be true. By holding your positions lightly, you open up to new insights and ideas.

In the practice of suspending, participants are invited to at least temporarily suspend or let go of assumptions, beliefs or certainty about things and open up to understanding other possibilities, viewpoints, experiences or ideas. Dialogue is not about convincing others of your views, but with curiosity, attempting to clarify, connect and understand others. In the practice of opening your mind, you may come to knowing yourself better too.

Some tips for suspending:

  • Notice or identify your own assumptions about what you are hearing or voicing. Consider being transparent and putting your assumptions out into the open so that others know where you are coming from.
  • Imagine putting your assumptions 'on a shelf,' temporarily putting them aside. You can always bring them back down later. 
  • Be curious and invite clarification about what assumptions others are making or the hidden assumptions of the group. "What are some of the assumptions we are making about this situation?" "Are these useful or true?"
  • Notice your own self-talk, feelings and emotions as they arise. If you find yourself getting emotionally upset, or misunderstanding/conflict arises, examine your own assumptions, beliefs and judgments around this. Pause and be present with the upset. Is it a pattern for you? What is at the core of this upset? When you let go of the source of the upset/conflict within yourself, the pattern usually goes away. If needed, get some assistance from a mentor to help you resolve it.
  • Notice yours or the groups beliefs about what is emerging in the Dialogue. Are those limiting or empowering and helpful? If limiting, what would you want instead? What would be more empowering beliefs to hold? How could the impossible be turned into the possible?
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Building the capacity to listen is perhaps the most important practice of all. In western cultures and organizations, deep listening is not a well-developed skill and yet it has the power to transform our world. 

In Bohm Dialogue group, you'll be doing far more listening than speaking. You are invited to listen to learn.

  • Listening with presence and curiosity, hearing the tone, cadence, pitch, pauses, movements, meaning, energy, emotions, values and intentions of the speakers.
  • Listening with all your senses and intuition, to the whole person behind the words.
  • Listening to what is happening within your own thoughts, body, emotions, and deep inner guidance.
  • Listen and be present to the beauty, intimacy and richness of the silent moments.

Listening happens on several levels. In the Dialogue, you are invited to practice and develop capacities to listen deeper for higher learning and broader perspective. For example, in the Theory U model, there are 4 levels of listening, each being more open and present:

  • Level 1 - Downloading:
    • At this level, people are only listening to confirm what they already know and are not really present or learning much. Minds are somewhere else and people can tell that we are not really 'with them.' Productive conversations are unlikely to happen here. Minds are closed so open Dialogue just does not happen here.
  • Level 2 - Factual:
    • At this level, people are listening for facts that they don't already know in order to broaden knowledge. Minds are opening, but people are not paying attention to feelings, emotions or the nuances of the conversation, so clues to other important information and insight is often missed.
  • Level 3 - Empathic
    • At the empathic level of listening, people are becoming more present to feelings, emotions and the nuance of the conversation. Connection is deeper and more genuine. This listening helps people to feel more safe to share their perspectives and understood. With an open mind and open heart, greater alignment and coherency can be achieved. Conversation is more constructive.
  • Level 4 - Generative
    • At this deep level of listening, people begin listening to the system as a whole. Presence is at its peak. Core ideas and greater potentials emerge out of the conversation. This is a safe, creative, energizing, high learning space. This is the ultimate goal of the practice of listening in our Dialogue.

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In Dialogue, we practice noticing where our voice is coming from, and developing our capacity to more consistently use authentic voice. Voice is core to leadership. A good leader knows when and how to use their own voice, but more importantly opens the space of listening so that others find theirs.

The practice of finding authentic voice is an essential, but complex and nuanced journey. Because of past conditioning and habits of communication, people are often not aware of where their voice is coming from or the impact it has. It can show up in power-over or victim patterns. It can be suppressed, scattered, manipulative, or dominating. True power, connection and positive impact is found in finding and connecting to authentic voice and trusting it.

In Dialogue, practice noticing where your own voice is coming from and making choices to change its vibration for greater clarity and positive impact. For example:

  • When you speak, are you clear and concise, or do you tend to run on and on?
  • Are you able to be fully present, listening to others, or are you occupied thinking about what you will say?
  • Are you comfortable and present with silence moments, or do you break the silence with your voice out of discomfort?
  • Are you OK with not saying anything at all - contributing from your presence and listening?
  • Are you afraid to speak out, feeling your voice is not important?
  • Do you find yourself needing to say something clever, knowledgeable or wise to draw attention to yourself? Alternatively, are you using your voice to ask questions, inviting the wisdom of the group to be expressed?
  • Are you able to consciously hold back or restrain from speaking when something needs to be unsaid or is not useful?
  • Do you feel that you are not heard when you speak? How do you react? Is this a pattern?
  • Can you openly voice your feelings, emotions, uncertainties, errors and discomfort?
  • Do you notice when you are 'called to speak' from an insight or intuition and have the courage to speak it out at the appropriate time?
  • Do you honor and respect the voice of others? Do some ways of speaking make you upset? How can you shift this experience of upset?

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Participants are invited to agree to 'practices' for the Dialogue. It is a 'practice', because most people are not skilled in Dialogue and fall into old polarizing habits or ineffective communication patterns. In open Dialogue participants are invited to develop new healthier communication skills, but at times will get off track, hopefully notice this, and come back into the practice. For example, consider the practice of meditation, where your mind may spin off into thinking until you notice this and pull yourself back into watching your breath.  A summary of the four Bohm Dialogue practices are:

1. SUSPENDING: Letting go of assumptions, beliefs or certainty about things and opening up to other possibilities, viewpoints, experiences or ideas. This is not about convincing others of your views, but with curiosity, attempting to connect and understand them, and in the process, knowing yourself too.

2. RESPECTING: Seeing and respecting the humanity in others and relating with empathy and compassion to their life journey. By seeing them, you may see yourself more clearly too.

3. VOICING: Discovering your authentic voice and trusting it. This is not about saying something clever or wise. It is about noticing the call within you to speak, or to just respectfully listen and notice that others might be saying exactly what you wanted to say. Speak about only one important idea at a time, rather than talking about all the run-on thoughts arising in you. Less is more. If you or someone is dominating the conversation, notice this and find a way to come back into balanced dialogue.

4. LISTENING: Listen with all your senses and intuition, to the whole person behind the words. You will be listening far more than speaking. With curiosity, hear the tone, cadence, pitch, pauses, movements, meaning, energy, emotions, values and intentions of the speakers. Be present to the beauty and richness of the silent moments too.

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Over a span of 25 years, David Bohm spent a considerable amount of time in conversation with the famous philosopher and teacher, Jiddu Krisnamurti. From Bohm's experience of these conversations, David Bohm proposed a powerful, free flowing way of dialoguing where people practice experiencing everyone's point of view fully, equally and non-judgmentally in order to reach common understanding.

David Bohm, Physicist

Bohm felt that open dialogue could help us solve the many crises that face society and expand human consciousness. Indeed, in a world where polarized, fear and domination-based communication is the norm, Bohm dialogue gives us a simple structure to elevate the way we relate to ourselves, each other and the world, preparing the ground for deeper learning, connection and collaboration.