Tag Archives: collaboration

Collaboration: An Endangered Competence?

By Jim Selman | Bio

I cannot remember having experienced or even having read about a time when there have been so many “extremes” co-existing in terms of political points of view and ways of understanding the world. All seem to simultaneously have the quality of being both ‘life threatening’ AND intractable. Whether we’re discussing climate change, social justice, lifestyles, civil rights, the economy, our political process or the price of oil, everyone seems to have a strongly held point of view without much evident interest in learning or working toward some common resolution of our differences. It would seem collaboration is fast becoming extinct—an endangered competence.

Collaboration isn’t the same as compromise or negotiation. Collaboration is not about winning an argument or making the strongest case for a particular point of view. Collaboration is grounded in the simple notion that we can’t accomplish something alone. To collaborate means to accept and value our differences, rather than attempting to homogenize our thinking into some sort of bland agreement. Collaboration, like coaching, is primarily a process of creative

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Common Cause: Climate Justice

By Rick Fullerton | Bio

On my way to a candlelight vigil for climate justice, I wondered who else would show up. It was minus 5 Celsius and with the wind chill it felt like minus 25—bitterly cold by any measure. Hardly a day to be concerned about global warming. Yet some 200 committed souls braved the cold—some on foot, some on bicycles, and others (reluctantly) by car. By the time I arrived, the vigil organizers had thankfully decided to move the event inside. Once out of the cold wind, I was impressed by the strange bedfellows who had come together to express their commitment to the future of the planet.

The event’s ad hoc planning group represented many faith groups, but this was not your typical ecumenical gathering of various Christian denominations. Leaders in this service of reflection were Canada’s aboriginal first nations, Jews, Pagans, Muslims, Christians, Unitarians, and Buddhists. Clearly, the vision of a sustainable future was sufficiently broad and inclusive to attract people of many faith traditions.  

The service itself blended periods of quiet reflection

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Harold’s Story – Part 2

By Stuart J. Whitley | Bio

Einstein is supposed to have said that the most important decision we ever make is whether the world is a good place or a bad place. I don’t believe that we consciously make that decision—we are taught to believe it, one way or the other, and the most difficult lesson of all to unlearn is that we live in a hostile universe. There are just too many confirmatory events that tend to erode our courage to think differently.

Current strategies in intellectual discourse talk

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Coming of Age: The Collaborative Generation

By Jim Selman | Bio

There was an interesting article in the New York Times on Generation OMG speculating on the impact of the current economic crunch on our younger generations. It compares some of the conventional wisdom about the impact of the “Great Depression” on our parents with views on how the “Great Recession” will affect our children. The conclusion is that nobody knows, although most believe that living in tough times does affect how people see the world and can forge a generation’s ‘way of being’.

I am not sure I believe this—it is too deterministic and there are too many exceptions and generalizations to buy the theory. Nonetheless, it can be a useful inquiry.

My father is a conservative man who made practical choices throughout his life. He stayed in the military after WWII because it was a more reliable option than taking risks in the private sector, given his responsibility for raising a family. Was this a product of being a teenager in the Depression or a product

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Already Listening

By Jim Selman | Bio

There is a phenomenon I point to in my work called “already listening”. This is akin to the ‘little voice’ in our heads that goes on and on about everything. It is our internal and automatic ‘judgment muscle’. It is called already listening because it is what we bring to a conversation before anyone speaks. It is the “pre” filter that is always organizing what we think. It is not the same as hearing. We can all hear the same thing, but not ‘listen’ the same

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Multigenerational or Intergenerational?

By Shae Hadden | Bio

Traditionally, a generation was defined as the time between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring (about 30 years). Recently, however, a more accurate definition would be a group of people born and shaped by a particular span of time. The eras of Generations X, Y and Z span much less than two decades each. And every generation experiences life from a different perspective including changing societal values, technologies and

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Lighten Up

By Jim Selman | Bio

The 1970s in the USA may not have been the ‘Age of Enlightenment’, but it was certainly the ‘Age of the Pursuit of Enlightenment’.  The Esalen Institute was in its hey day, the est training was blowing everyone’s mind, and authentic Indian yogis were in demand. We thought the Age of Aquarius was really here and that peace and love were just a few years away.

Maybe we were naïve, but it was a good time when young people were trying hard to be better people and

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Creativity II

Read Creativity I.

Now it’s easy to hear this conversation about ‘standing in possibilities’ of what the future might be as some sort of optimism versus pessimism discussion—the “Just be happy” versus “There’s no hope” maxims. I am not suggesting this at all. Optimism and pessimism are grounded in positive or negative predictions of the future. Changing how we observe is not a function of prediction: it is a function of commitment.

I predict that the future is likely

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