How we show up in our teams, organizations, communities and the world, begins with us. There is a personal component to all this work regardless of scale. And as leaders, the impact of how clearly we are able to show up is amplified.
If we don’t have a way to see our fears and judgements and work directly with them in a way we can get clarity and diffuse their power over us - we WILL build them into the ‘next level’ or ‘new’ systems and plans.
If I hold the belief that “I can’t trust my team (or leadership, or clients or...” or a belief like “We will run out of money” or “There isn’t enough time” - then in both conscious and unconscious ways - that is the ground I will build from, and how I will relate to my work if I don’t take the time to get clear in my relationship to my own thinking. There will be possibilities I can’t see - both because of how these beliefs frame my thinking about the situation and because of the state of mind they create when I am attached to them. It will also impact how I relate to the people I work with, and how I relate to myself.
There are many places in the work we are doing, where we simply cannot afford to have our minds closed. There isn’t time for that if we really want to do something innovative, and if we really want to be able to work with each other in connected and new ways. We need access to our full capacities, to our creative mind, to our ability to connect to both our thinking mind and our hearts. We need to be able to hear and see each other and what is possible which we can’t do when we are reacting, fearful, spinning stressful thinking patterns, shutting down or judging.
As change agents, leaders and as human beings - we need effective and powerful practices to work with our own minds. To become more aware of our own limiting beliefs and patterns of thinking that can ‘hook us’ or keep us blind or stuck and to engage with our own minds in ways that open some real space for learning and shift.
In the face of challenge and change, I notice I have the option to either inquire and learn, or react and reinforce the patterns that keep me stuck.
I can practice curiosity and expansiveness or I can shut down.
I can be right, or I can be free.
In the space of the unknown, right in the center of the territory of uncertainty there is also the potential for a vivid quality of creativity, compassion, life energy, courage and possibility. This is the space where profoundly new ways of doing and being can be found and born if we can just stay present and open there long enough….
And yet it is often not so easy to just “Be Present” or “Let Go” of our fears and judgements when the stakes are high and there is a high level of uncertainty. Sometimes we don’t even know clearly what our beliefs or assumptions are, or even that we have them at all - we just feel lost or confused or triggered. Sometimes we do know, but our attachment to them is strong and not so easy to untangle, (especially from the position of mind that created them or attached to them in the first place) - and before we know it, we are in the reactive mode, shutting down or acting out the same old pattern again.
At The Art of Hosting: Beyond the Basics, you will have the opportunity to learn and apply a powerful tool called The Work that offers a simple and powerful practice for working with your own thinking right in those tough places of fear, uncertainty, conflict and stress. It is a self-inquiry practice that helps us to open our minds and tap into our own inherent intelligence in often surprising and profound ways, bringing important and unseen perspectives and possibilities to light and providing opportunities to shift personal and collective patterns.
Our most powerful leadership tool is an open mind.
I have been teaching and practicing this Work for more that 15 years alongside and integrated with my practice and teaching in the Art of Hosting. I also teach and host The Work in many areas of my leadership development and hosting work: as a core practice in the cutting edge Leadership 2020 program in British Columbia; with managers and staff in financial institutions and in education; to support collaboration in social services agencies, churches, and communities; and as a core capacity for navigating change in organizations.
It continues to amaze me how powerful (and time saving) this practice is over and over in so many professional and personal contexts. And how well this practice complements and deepens my ability to host using the other elements of Art of Hosting Practice - my ability to invite clearly and into new territory, my ability to show up - let go - be willing to take risks, my ability to hold space (especially where there is conflict) and to let go of my attachment to outcome, and my relationship to money, time and resources. It also is a powerful window in to my own patterns that allows me to continue to grow and evolve as a practitioner and as a person.
At the Art of Hosting, Beyond the Basics - we are excited to engage deeply with both innovative and effective group process that creates the conditions for transformation and innovation, and with powerful personal practice to support our ability to host ourselves and others in the challenging and exciting work we are called to show up fully in now.
Want to know more? Join us for Beyond the Basics in Columbus, Ohio in April, Nova Scotia in May or Bowen Island (near Vancouver) in September
See The Work as offered by Caitlin Frost for details of upcoming web-courses The Work@work and Getting Free about Money. or Getting Unstuck in Life and Work at Windhorse Farm, Nova Scotia July 19th to 21st, 2014
The Work is founded by Byron Katie and is offered globally in a wide variety of contexts. It will be taught at Beyond the Basics in a hosting and leadership context developed by Caitlin Frost based on Byron Katie’s work and training as well as extensive experience in leadership development and the Art of Hosting.