All posts tagged: Systems Thinking

Empathic Intelligence: Your Untapped Jedi Power

Image: http://www.auslanstageleft.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/roman_sermon_base.jpg When I first met Jamaal Bowman, educator, leader, and founding principal of the respected Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School in the Bronx, I was fortunate to have a long conversation with him explaining my work as a facilitator of “Expanded Knowing.” Fortunate for two reasons: first, because he allowed me the time to explain what I often find unexplainable; second, because he was able to sum the whole thing up in two words: “Oh,” he said, “you’re a Jedi Master!” Yes, Jamaal, yes I am. I haven’t yet added that to my business cards, but thanks to you, I am now able to describe my work with a meaningful and universal pop-culture reference. AND, over the past few weeks, I have also developed a greater understanding of my work through another lens: empathy. Empathy, Redefined Image: http://www.thedisabilityfile.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/roman_sermon_base.jpg “Empathy: The ability to understand and share feelings of another” (google search for “empathy,” accessed 5/10/2016). Researchers such as Frans de Waal, Paul Ekman and Daniel Goleman call the understanding aspect of empathy cognitive …

What Belongs? Three Dimensions of a Social Constellation

Introduction I have recently been working with clients in the non-profit world who have been using systems thinking and mapping. These organizations are working on a variety of social and environmental change questions. Their goals are greater understanding of their systems to create effective, lasting, positive change. What they have found is that while they value systems thinking and the systems mapping process, it has proven to be time-consuming and costly, and the maps they produce are valuable, but can be difficult for many to make sense of and use. Their hope is that constellations will be a more efficient and powerful tool to meet the same goals. (Spoiler alert: it is!) In working with these teams, I have started considering social system constellations (social constellations) in three dimensions: Personal, Historical, and ‘Limits, Drivers & Resources.’ In developing this framework, my personal references are systems thinking, and Dan Booth Cohen’s Three Dimensions of Consciousness (Personal, Ancestral and Spiritual / ‘Beyond Human Scale’.)  When facilitating social constellations, I keep this framework in my awareness as I listen to the client describe their …