Thursday, 31 March 2016

Coaching Circle, Saturday 2nd April 2016

Come along to the hub at 10.30am on Saturday for a coaching circle practice.

We got a taster of what coaching circles and case clinics were the week before last. This Saturday we'll have more time to really explore their full potential and get a chance to put deep listening skills into practice.

Useful resources:

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Videos - Presencing, Absencing, the U Curve and Transformation

Yesterday the big themes were the the U Curve and Presencing, and, after three weeks, perhaps a better sense of where this U.Lab process is leading and what it's all about.

We've got some video links for you:

  • Introduction to Presencing (5m36s): Presencing requires us to let go of the old and open ourselves completely to something that we can sense but that we cannot fully know before we see it emerging. This moment can feel like jumping across an abyss. At the moment we leap, we have no idea whether we will make it across. As human beings, we are on a journey of becoming who we really are. This journey to ourselves ­ to our Selves ­ is open­-ended, full of disruptions, confusion, and breakdowns, but also breakthroughs. It is a journey that essentially is about accessing the deeper sources of the self. This video starts our journey through the bottom of the U.
  • ‘Facing the fire’ (8m40s): The territory at the bottom of the U is about connecting with your source of inner knowing. A deep threshold there needs to be crossed to connect to one’s real source of presence, creativity, and power. All of us have probably had moments of presencing. We just might not have realized it at the time.
  • Absencing­ (11m24s): What you've learned so far about Theory U is only half the story. In this video, we introduce the inverse of presencing, which we call absencing. This completes the seven ­point summary of Theory U that we started in Week 1.
  • 8 Acupuncture Points for Societal Transformation (16m10s): This week, we have been exploring the two root questions of creativity: Who is my Self? What is my Work? In this video, we explain how these two questions are connected to the larger societal changes we described in Week 1 using the iceberg model.”
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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Session 3 (Presencing), Wednesday 30th March 2016

Link to today's presentation HERE

What today’s session is about

  • Group mindfulness
  • The U curve
  • Absencing and presencing 
  • Generate ideas for food system prototypes 
  • Group journaling

    What we will have done by the end of the session

    • Practice group mindfulness
    • Explore and describe where you are on the U curve in relation to your food system journey 
    • Generate ideas for food system prototypes 
    • Experience group journaling (with a focus on your “food system Work”) .. as a tool for connecting with your emerging future

      Activity 1 - Mindfulness practice

      • Pause and notice body feels, notice the in and out breath, don't change it, just observe
      • Notice if there is a sense of relaxation, or tension
      • Allow a little more relaxation
      • Notice the in breath and the outbreath.

      You can read the mindfulness handout here.

        Lesson - Absencing and Presencing 

        • Energy follows attention
        • We have to go through a process with three movements
        • This only works if we cultivate the inner instruments: Open Mind, Open Heart, Open Will
        • At source are two root questions:
          • Who is my Self?
          • What is my Work?
        • You will face three enemies:
          • Voice of Judgment
          • Voice of Cynicism
          • Voice of Fear
        • You need to hold the space to go through the same process on a collective level
        • The inverse of this process is Absencing
        Presencing, done right, marks the turning point in the process, where you move from the observing and questioning part through to the creative and transformational part.

        Activity 2 - World Café

        • What can we do to improve something for x problem?
        • What is the essence of this idea?
        • What would this look like if it was set up?
        • What would be the benefits?
        • How can we engage with the community 
          • to give x
          • to get x 
          • to create...?
        • How can we use the resources within our hub / U.Lab course to do...?

        Activity 3: Group Journaling 

        • The essence of this journaling is that one person asks the questions to enable you to find your own answers to these questions.
        • Give time for the group to quietly write answers. 
        • Go through all the questions and don’t adapt them.
        • You’ll have about 10 minutes to ask and answer the questions. 
        Activity 4- Check out
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        Wednesday, 23 March 2016

        Videos - Co-sensing, listening and case clinics

        Today you learnt about the a range of co-sensing concepts and tools (empathy walk, reflective journaling, levels of conversation and case clinics).

        We've got some video links for you:

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        Session 2 (Co-sensing), Wednesday 23rd March 2016

        Link to today's presentation HERE

        What today’s session is about
        • Empathy - learning to deep listen to other people
        • Reflection - allows participants to reflect more deeply and identify concrete intuitive insights 
        • Levels of conversation - how listening can be different things
        • Coaching circles - how to coach one another as a group

        What we will have done by the end of the session
        • Paired up and done an Empathy Walk
        • Done some Reflective Journaling on food
        • Debriefed on journaling and the empathy walk
        • Learnt about the Four Levels of Conversation
        • Had an introduction to coaching circles 
        • Practiced coaching circles

        Activity 1 - The Empathy Walk

        Please could you:
        • Pair up with someone you don’t know
        • Read the handout (PDF)
        • Spend around 20 minutes doing the exercise

        Activity 2 - Reflective Journaling

        One Guided journaling leads participants through a self-reflective process. This practice allows participants to access deeper levels of self-knowledge, and to connect this knowledge to concrete actions. It's a personal exercise, rooted in honesty. There is never a requirement to share what you journal.

        You can get more information on reflective journaling here.

        Lesson: Co-sensing and Levels of Listening

        Co-sensing is the early part of the 'U' where the ideas of observing and deep listening are key. You can see a short video about it here.

        One of the main ideas about U.Lab is that we slip into old patterns of doing things. And as a result, the solutions we come up with up with run the risk of not properly addressing the problem they want to fix. How we diagnose the problem is a big part of that, We all know how to listen: we do it every day. But listening is a skill. Deep listening is something most of us are poor at if we don't practice. So the point here is to think about listening as, at its deepest, a process of empathy, connection and a shift to something new in the future. There's a great video on levels of listening here. You can also see a concise summary of Theory U here.

        Activity 3: Listening Conversations
        Think of that conversation you had in the last week around food:

        • What level were you operating at? 
        • What level would you like to be at? 
        • What benefit would that bring? 

        Activity 4: Coaching Circles
        Coaching circles are probably the single most effective method in U.Lab for moving from concept to practice. The backbone of coaching circles is a process we call case clinics.

        To practice a case clinic we need 3 roles filled:

        • Casegiver: The casegiver shares their personal aspiration and leadership challenge that is current, concrete, important
        • Coaches: Coaches listen deeply - they do not try to “fix” the problem, no matter how tempting it seems
        • Timekeeper: one of the coaches manages the time

        You can get detailed instructions on how to run a case clinic here. There is also a longish video on it here.

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        Thursday, 17 March 2016

        Visit, Saturday 19th March 2016

        This is an optional day. You will be able to practice a U.Lab tool called a 'Learning Journey'.

        We'll meet at Impact Hub Brixton this Saturday at 10.30am. Andry will spend 20 minutes talking through the tool and sharing handouts.

        From there, you will have the choice between 2 visits:

        1. Crystal Palace Food Market: Explore the award-winning food market, meet and talk to local food producers and market organisers, help U.Lab participant Ann to distribute hops...

        How to get there from Brixton: Catch the #3 bus from outside ICELAND SUPERMARKET. The bus takes around 30 minutes.

        2. Maytree Nursery: Join U.Lab participant Crispin from Father Nature at the Maytree Nursery school from 10.30 for some planting – and learn how the project is getting young children into the growing movement.

        How to get there from Brixton: Catch the #355 bus from outside ICELAND SUPERMARKET. The bus takes around 10 minutes, but can be infrequent. Alternatively, it is a 20 minute walk.

        See you either Saturday or next Wednesday!

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        The U.Lab Sourcebook

        The U.Lab Sourcebook is 12 pages long and has a mix of schematics, explanation and exercises for Week 1 (Co-Initiating).

        It contains some of the key diagnostic ideas - the Iceberg Model, Theory U, Levels of Listening, Guided Journaling.

        It aims to help you find a new way of thinking about the problems you (and the food system) face, rather than leaping straight into trying to fix them.

        You don't have to do all the exercises in the book, but it is useful to get an idea of what reflection and listening mean through the diagnostic process.
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        What happened at Session 1 (Co-initiating)

        Last night (Wednesday 16th) was the first of the six Wednesday evening learning and practice sessions for U.Lab Food at the Impact Hub in Brixton.

        A really big welcome to Aiste, Alexandro, Ann, Charlotte, Clara, Claude, Crispin, Duncan, Eva, Flora, Jane, Kat, Kellie, Kemi, Kuli, Laetitia, Laura, Nina, Olivia, Sara, Sonia and Zoe. Thank you for your amazing energy last night.

        What does that energy look like? Hundreds of ideas  - two hundred and forty three, to be exact - posted on the wall. What the food needs are, what needs to change, where that change can happen. The power of a group of smart, engaged changemakers coming together to do something.

        Our first evening as a group on the course was introduction, learning, expression and practice. It began with a check-in, which probably feels a bit weird to those of us that haven't come across it before. But it makes sense: what's the point of spending time coming together if your mind is elsewhere?

        And through the evening we got a look at what the challenge looks like: before you address the problem you've got to understand it. And to understand it you need to see it for what it is: a bit like an iceberg.

        In the middle of all of this we found time to eat some dinner and talk to one another a little more: what do you do? I'm involved in a growing group, a community store, an open orchard, a food waste programme. I like to cook, to pick, to blog, to change how our kids think about food. This food's not bad, is it? It was made twenty metres away. Buying local doesn't seem like such a hardship.

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        Wednesday, 16 March 2016

        Videos - The Iceberg Model

        Today you learnt about the Iceberg Model, one of the core concepts in the U Lab process.

        We've got some video links for you:

        Symptoms (6m30) - the underlying structures, paradigms of thought, and sources

        Structural disconnects (3m15) - what is happening below the water line?

        Practical implications (3m29) - to change the world, we need to go on a journey collectively that connects us with our deeper sources of creativity and self
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        Session 1 (Co-initiating), Wednesday 16th March 2016

        Link to today's presentation HERE

        What today’s session was about
        • Attend - listen to that which life calls you to do
        • Connect - listen to and dialogue with the interesting players in the field
        • Co-initiate a diverse group that inspires a common intention
        What we will have done by the end of the session
        • Understand who everyone in the group is and create a physical contact board
        • Understand the U journey and the course overview
        • Develop a shared understanding of the food system in Lambeth
        • Share views on what needs to change
        Activity 1 - Creating your Profile

        Please could you:
        • write up a brief profile with contact details to go up on the board 
        • do a self portrait
        What to include:
        • your name
        • your skills
        • what you are working on 
        • how you are connected to the food system...

        Activity 2 - Check in – thumbs exercise

        Lesson: The Iceberg model

        “The iceberg model as a whole suggests that beneath the visible level of events and crises, there are underlying structures, paradigms of thought, and sources that are responsible for creating them. If ignored, they will keep us locked into re-enacting the same old patterns time and again.”


        Activity 3: How does this connect with your reason to be here?
        • Your organisation
        • Your community
        • Your own personal goals

        • My most important challenge right now is… 
        • I’m focused on creating change on a … (personal, organizational, systemic, etc.) level…
        • U.Lab will be a success for me when…

        Activity 4: Pairing up exercise – mapping the food system

        Activity 5 - Check out – thumbs exercise

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