Hosting Conversations in Challenging Times: Moving From Difference to Understanding

ShapeShift

well informed or sane comicEach day, watching the news, social media feeds or just being out in public, we are bombarded by polarized and polarizing points of view. Whether it is election campaigns (like in the US right now), the refugee crisis, climate change, environmentalism, terrorism or race and racism, deep divides are apparent in many places all over the world. There are more profound business, social and humanitarian issues and challenges that have our attention every day. Oppositional views seem to be more entrenched, more vocal and less open to exploring alternative perspectives.

As the world around us grows increasingly fragmented, it is growing more difficult to sort through all the clamour to get to the heart of what is truly important, to make progress on issues that matter. What we see, hear and experience can cause us to pause, to think (or worry) deeply about the impact, internally and externally…

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Navigating the Groan Zone is an Art

ShapeShift

For a such a simple little concept, the divergence-emergence-convergence model we use in the Art of Hosting sure packs a punch.  It is a simple teach that can be done in 10 minutes – or longer – if time, space and the opportunity to engage others in the conversation allows.  It sheds light on design process, the groan zone and people’s experience.  Navigating the groan zone is an art form that often arises out of our ability to host ourselves well.  Stories from a recent Art of Hosting training a bit later in this post.  First a bit about the model.

Divergence-Emergence-Convergence – a simple model with an interesting challenge

The divergent phase of this model is akin to brainstorming.  We want as many ideas as possible to emerge so we can later select the best ones to develop further.  It has much broader application than brainstorming though.  It is…

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Shaping Powerful Questions

ShapeShift

One of the most asked questions at, and after, any Art of Hostingtraining is about the questions.  Developing powerful questions is a crucial element to creating the conversational space we are seeking.  People are hungry for greater understanding of how to create questions, especially after they’ve tried a check-in, check-out or cafe experience that didn’t quite have the intended result or impact.

Sometimes powerful questions appear, almost like magic.  We know they are powerful because we feel them.  But usually they are developed and shaped with great care – and often co-created with others.  It is not unusual for a whole planning meeting (and sometimes more) to focus just on question development for a process – which may seem a bit crazy until you’ve had the experience of well formulated questions in comparison to sessions where questions have not been shaped with the same care.

This post contains general…

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