EMERGENT DIALOGUE – customized communications (beyond ‘workshops’)

by Frank O'Neill
Professional Services

EMERGENT DIALOGUE – customized communications beyond ‘workshops’

Tired of ‘workshop-mode‘ where years of learning and trying hard yield modest change, but not the perceptual shift that the world needs now? Is your community committed to non-violence, but meetings take hours to resolve issues and leave residual tension?

Don’t settle for ‘conflict resolution‘ when you can have ongoing empathy, healing, and discovery. Standing in embodied presence means ‘abandoning’ content and feeling into the needs or values of the person in front of you, wanting them to have more of their experience before you understand them conceptually. We’ll shift interactions to Connection-first, then resolution; Life-in-communion, moving forward.

EMERGENT DIALOGUE uses clear process agreements and teachable skills-of-presence derived from Non-violent communication (NVC), Focusing, and Council Practice, and which generates Aliveness, intimacy, and discovery! The agreements we co-create and the practices we adopt depend on the goals, capacities, and willingness of the community. Emergence is a conscious shift out of Evaluative dialogue, not a one-size-fits-all technique for ‘when things are sticky or uncomfortable’, such as when there is conflict. As we develop sensitivity and individuation between self and other, we can pursue a clarified and enlivened communion with Gaia and landscape.

Evaluative dialogue‘ is the tendency to rehearse what we’re going to say while we listen, and may include judging, sympathizing, blaming, comparison thinking, philosophy, diagnosis, and giving advice. Because our evaluative habits are so strong, shifting into Emergence generally requires a community such as a workplace, eco-village, or monastery where there is daily interdependence woven around basic needs. In Emergence, nothing is a problem because the agreements provide safety during awkwardness; we recognize each emotional moment as containing both karma and Inspiration, waiting to be clarified. We listen from the body and intuit the felt sense, feelings, and/or needs of the other, then reflect or respond.

Experiential learning and daily community practice can establish an emergent mode of perception and language without years of workshops, or by treating the process as a tack on to guarded relating. I customize skill-building for individuals, groups, and facilitators, depending on needs and goals. Together, we’ll define the shared practices that support the shared values of the community, and develop metrics to track the sense of care, growth, and efficacy that result.

Individual sessions can begin over the phone to learn Focusing and/or NVC. Focusing is spending time with something that you very distinctly feel or sense but which is not yet clear. Nonviolent Communication will teach you how to generate self-empathy and to clarify aspects of your  experience into clear domains.

For groups and facilitators, I prefer to work in person, and am willing to travel. I envision working over a concentrated period of days or weeks to shift group interaction into an empathic, emergent mode of playful, even primordial, discovery. Once a community’s culture has shifted, it generates an ongoing-ness and a container for continued giving and safety.

The photos above are of communities I’ve lived at or places I’ve taught. See my web page for more about Emergence and my professional experience.

Send me an email to arrange a call for exploring your needs and the possibilities for Aliveness!