Posts Tagged ‘PeerSpirit Inc’

What the Chinese Classic teach us about the Center?

Jun 17, 2010 // No Comments » // Conversational Circles

Picture source: ziad_1 via Flickr

Picture source: ziad_1 via Flickr

人之初,性本善。性相近,习相远。

苟不教,性乃迁。教之道,贵以专。

昔孟母,择邻处。子不学,断机杼。

窦燕山,有义方。教五子,名俱扬。

养不教,父之过。教不严,师之惰。。。

The Three-Character Classic or San Zi Jing 三字经 (Find out more about the classic from this translated SITE) is one of the Chinese classic text probably written during the 13th century.  For many centuries, Chinese children were taught to recite the classic even before they could read or write through which the Confucianist idea of society being one big family has been programmed into young minds.

Unfortunately, living and growing up in my era of education system in Singapore, I was never given the chance to learn or expose to such classical Chinese text. It was only when I was older and living in Taiwan in the late 80s that I began to be very interested in many things Chinese…though sad but true.

Recently, a friend shared with me his observation of San Zi Jing and told me how he was so captivated by its depth of meaning and philosophical implication. An example is the basic book of the 16th verse:

曰南北,曰西东,此四方,应乎中。

It reads: “We speak of north and south, we speak of east and west, these four directions depend on the center.”

Center and DirectionI was relating the verse to PeerSpirit Circle process – a highly adaptable modern technology that I am learning and adapt as a principle of Conversational Circle process. One of the key components of the circle structure is ‘the Center’ - a conscious placement and use of the center is one of the primary contribution of circle to conversational methodologies. I found that the four direction when distributed in equals and proportion and with direction and energy – which always begin from the core of its center. The space created between the rim and the center become the common ground for exploration, a placement for respect and responses and an intangible third point between people.

We may also begin to see the Center or the core as a sacred placement where we take directions from. In all that we do, see, decide or believe begin with core values. At ConversationCircles, at the core of our belief is collaborative conversation, the WHY of thinking and acting together.

Do you or your organization have a core beliefs and values? How have you or your organization live up to the values?

Is it time for you and your colleagues to come together for a conversation and to re-visit the ‘center’? To ask questions and seek answers collectively?

The Circle Way

Jun 07, 2010 // No Comments » // Conversational Circles

A conversation with an experience management consultant over breakfast sometime ago after an exchange of business card…

“ConversationCircles, interesting! What is it about?”

“It’s about people having conversation in a circle…creating ‘space’ collectively and thinking together.”

“But what’s so new about meeting in a circle?”

“You are right, it’s not new. In fact, it has been around possibly since the discovery of fire. But we may have forgotten…”

“You mean we don’t know ‘How’ to have conversation in circle?”

“There’s a possibility we might have forgotten ‘Why’ to have conversation in circle, and how to ‘Be’ in circle.”

“So do you think people will ‘pay’ you to teach them how to talk??”

“We hope to help people to begin seeing their conversations beyond the technological and conventional structure. The possibility of changing the position of their chair so as to change their perspective…”

We have not met since the last conversation.

When I left my regional corporate role last August and took a sabbatical till late last year, a dusted old book titled ‘Calling the Circle’ resides in my book-shelve for the longest time caught my attention one evening…and the last eight months has been a wonderful journey.

Through the book, I was introduced to Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea. Together with PeerSpirit, Inc. they have been teaching the circle practice for about two decades now. I sensed the calling of doing the work they have pioneered and wanted to know more and got in touch with PeerSpirit in January 2010. This November, I will be heading to Melbourne, Australia to meet them and spend five days with other circle colleagues to share stories, explore possibilities and create synergies. Last month, Christina got in touch with me via my website and I was very encourage by her comment and feedback on the work I have been doing so far…

The Circle Way

Their latest book entitled “The Circle Way – A Leader in Every Chair” was published in April this year and I have since started my second reading…you may get hold of a copy HERE. You may like to visit PeerSpirit and check out the many resources available to host a circle. ConversationCircles will also be hosting a circle (yet to be titled) sometime end of June so do subscribe to our bi-monthly CC Touchpoint and write to me directly to find out more.

Next month, I might be sharing the work of circle with the staff of Singapore General Hospital titled “Conversational Circle – Creating Space…Thinking Together” in their monthly ILearn session. It will be a privilege for me to introduce the circle work to the staff and help them to see meeting beyond hierarchical structure. So stay tune for more exciting stories coming up.