Our next orientation video call will be Saturday, June 11th
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Hello, friend. I want to share with you about our very interesting last two weeks. But I’m also feeling a bit hesitant and unsure about how to summarize. What if this is relational practice, though — right now? Practicing presence with you imagined in front of me… if I had only a few minutes (or, <500 words) with you, how much of that should I spend on slowing down and attending to our connection?
Slow down. Attend to the field between us, surrounding us. I’m taking that with me from our experience so far in a process on which we’ve spent parts of our past two sessions: selecting those who shall facilitate (the call, the relating, the exploring) a session at the end of June, when I (James) will be absent for the first time in our 1.5-year history.
This is a task, to perform a (Sociocratic) process together to achieve an outcome. We haven’t done that much in IS. It’s also a spicy task, a selection (not election) consent process, which touches a lot of charged dimensions: power, preference, judgement, popularity, consent, safety. There have already been aspects that I wish I’d done more skillfully in bringing us to and through the steps. And, the ups and downs and emotional challenges and reactions that members have been able to notice, share, circle, and metabolize — well, I’ve found them powerful, even profound to hear people work with what was arising.
Picking sides for a team game on the primary school playground. Distributing work on a secondary school group project. Co-workers jockeying for status or promotion up the corporate hierarchy. These are very commonly anxious or even traumatic experiences that many of us have had in our pasts! Things have been possible together here that already go beyond any other team I’ve been in. We have what I think is a pretty high degree of safety inside IS compared to most other contexts but, here just as everywhere, that varies person to person!
So you wouldn’t get one unified answer, asking around person to person, as to how it’s been going. We still have some to finish up before we celebrate the completion of one run-through of this process. But if we rushed to move on past it to get back to “the good stuff” then we’d miss this golden opportunity to be who we want to be in the messiness of feelings and doings and imperfection. The discomfort (for some), the task, the process is the practice. What stands in the way becomes the way.
There are some quite important things to gain from metabolizing this process together. Greater ownership, trust, safety, and meta-safety (safety to talk about and regain safety when the object level doesn’t feel safe). I’ll keep watching this unfold and emerge, and continue reporting out. Talk with you next week, friend.