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Information about Syzygy3

Published on October 16, 2007

Author: janlelie



Presentation on session about syzygy alignment of opposites in group processes

Syzygy Alignement of opposites based on Paradoxes of Group Life Kenwyn Smith and David Berg, Jossey-Bass IAF Conference 2007 Jan Lelie mind@work

“Understanding does not constitute a cure .” Lawrence Durrell October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 2

Agenda Introductions Exercise Break: walk around Reflections What to do? Extra: Paradoxes and double binds Thank you October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 3

Introduction • Please stand up and form a circle in the order of sign / day of birth. Who is nearest to his or hers birthday stand with the sun in his/her back. When done: make groups of four of people who are at 90-degrees of each other. • In the group, answer the next questions October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 4

Introduction: questions • Who am I? • What do you expect of this session? October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 5

Answering first question October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 6

Who am I? October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 7

Introduction: who am I? • Jan Lelie, facilitator mind@work # Communication is the problem to the answer# (10CC, The Things We do for Love) • MSc, MBA, CPIM, CPF • Computer supported moderation • • Purpose: improved understanding of syzygy October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 8

Answering 2nd question October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 9

Expectations October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 10

Announcement • I’m not responsible for your expectations; please take care of them yourself. October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 11

Welcome to the exchange There are only interactions (Dutch: wisselwerking, here: exchange) Feelings, Intuitions, Opinions and Thoughts are four aspects of the same and show themselves in acts only (English: ‘acts are louder than words’). All situations are inherently paradoxical (there is no absolute ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, beauty’ or ‘ugly’, ‘yes’ or ‘no’) When you facilitate there are three things: ‘you’, ‘a group’ and ‘you and a group’. syzygy is a form of exchange, an alignment where opposites remain in communication. October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 12

Syzygy • Carl Jung used term quot;syzygyquot; to denote an archetypal pairing of contrasexual opposites, which symbolizes the communication of the conscious and unconscious minds. • Astronomy the conjunction of three – or more – heavenly bodies. • Stanley Kubric, Earth, Sun and Moon in 2001, A Space Odyssey October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 13

October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 14

Syzygy in facilitating • ‘alignment of opposites’, the communication between opposite standpoints, decisions containing different opinions; without the loss of the opposing opinions • How can groups evolve, grow, and develop while containing the “others” as opposed to “self”? October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 15

Excercising your mind • Mind: you’ve no control over your ideas (awareness, emotion, intuition, opinion) so there is no reason to let them control you. • Strive for mindfulness. Mindfulness means being with your ideas. You become aware of your ideas in interactions only. • Mindfulness is in interactions: scrutiny of ideas, continuous refinement of ideas, differentiation of ideas…. October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 16

The “fringe” (William James) October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 17

Part 1 For yourself • Think about a difficult situation or stuck group you’re facilitating or have been facilitating. • Write down what you think (thought), how you feel (or felt), what your intuition says (said), what opinions you have (had) when facilitating a difficult situation or stuck group. Write them as clear and explicit as possible. • What do you want the group to change? What do you want the group to do? October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 18

What was your opinion? October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 19

Part 2 • Sit in your group of 4 people. • Two of you sit back to back. The other two face you. We have two pairs now. The inner participants are being coached, the outer coach. The coach asks the next questions to one of the ideas on the list. The coach asks the question and waits for the answer. Let the answer find you. October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 20

Coaching and being coached October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 21

Questions 1. Is the idea (awareness, emotion, intuition, opinion) true? 2. Can you absolutely know that the idea is true? 3. How do you behave when you have the idea ? 4. What does the idea bring you? 5. Who would you be without the idea? 6. Turn the idea around; rethink your idea and turn it around 180 degrees. What are its opposites? You may want to write down some notes. October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 22

Example I felt sad and disapointed. 1. Is the idea (awareness, emotion, intuition, opinion) I’m feeling sad true? Yes 2. Can you absolutely know that the idea I’m feeling sad is true? Yes, I think so 3. How do you behave when you have the idea I’m feeling sad? I stop thinking clearly, I get indecisive, I start to try to harder to get results 4. What does the idea I’m feeling sad bring you? I do not have to be responsible any more 5. Who would you be without the idea? More effective 6. Turn the idea around; rethink your idea and turn it around 180 degrees. What are its opposites? I’m feeling happy; The group feels sad; The group should feel happy October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 23

Part 2 - continue • The outer people switch and do the second exercise again, same idea or another. • Then the outer people sit inside and the other two coach. • Then one of the outer people sits inside and is being coached by his or hers ‘opposite’, on a same idea or another. • And switch in- and outside for the last time. October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 24

Break • Take a break, make a walk • Come back in 15 minutes October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 25

Reflections In your group: • What did you learn from the exercise? Where there ‘ethical’ (good/bad) or ‘aesthetical’ (chaos/structure) issues? • What were differences between ‘you’ and ‘group’? What are similarities? • Please write down some remarks to talk about October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 26

Reflections October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 27

Reflections • Present your findings • What to do next? October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 28

October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 29

October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 30

October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 31

Evaluations October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 32

Next set of slides was NOT shown, due to problems with big screen. October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 33

Paradoxes • A set of statements that are (1) on themself true, (2) refer to each other, (3) contradict each other and (4) trigger a vicious circle . – Example: Please ignore this statement • Groupslife is -amongst others - inherently paradoxical – The core of any group is a (set of) paradox(es) – Example: “ I do not want to be part of a club that wants me as a member” October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 34

Visual paradoxes October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 35

Why paradoxes in groups? • Self awarness (= self-reflection) – every attempt to throw more light on the dark, deepens the shadows; the more you know, the less you’ll understand • Negation: digital and analogue – true  not true  untrue  not untrue but this  true • Logical types (= particulars and sets) – A group is not an individual, an individual is not a relation • Double bind (= vicious cycle) – “When did you stop beating your spouse?” October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 36

Double binds At least two persons are in repeated communication and whose relationship is unequal (parent and child). A primary negative injunction with a threat of punishment, (e.g. the parent tells the child, “Do not do x or else ...”) A secondary injunction (often implicit) which conflicts with the primary one (e.g. “I shouldn’t have to make a threat or punish you when you do x.”) A tertiary injunction that prohibits the persons from critically articulating the conflict of the primary and secondary (e.g. “such is life” or “this is normal”) October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 37

Groups of paradoxes Smith and Berg: • Paradoxes of belonging (membership) – Identity, involvement, individuality, boundaries • Paradoxen van engaging (participation) – Disclosure, trust, intimacy, regression • Paradoxen of expression (speaking) – Autority, dependency, creativity, courage October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 38

Symptoms: stagnation Stagnation (complementary split  heresies) • Recurring dilemma’s • Unsolvable problems • Blaming others (same group) • Repetition of same moves • Examples: – Dilemma: line versus staff versus project,… – Dilemma: marketing versus sales versus production versus service … – Problems: integration of others; the “youth problems” – Repetitive same moves: • centralisation and then decentralisation • almost every staff meeting October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 39

Symptoms: escalation Escalation (symmetrical split  schism’s) • Denial of alternative solutions • Blaming people in other groups • Repetition of adverserial moves • Examples – No alternatives: reorganisation, lay-offs; – Other groups: the competitors, the market; – Repetition of moves: marketing, me-too, casual Friday; October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 40

Paradoxes between groups • Scarcity  membership – Scarcity breeds groups that worsen the scarcity – Giving help doesn’t solve scarcity! • Perception  participation – Differences invite co-operation which increases differences – Integration doesn’t solve perceptions! • Power  expression – Power differences trigger conflicts, which will lead to results – Suppression dissolves power! October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 41

Syzygy: engaging paradoxes • No progress without stuckness – ‘stuckness creates the tensions for progress’ • Move into the directions of the resistance – Symptoms are the medicine • Investigate your own paradoxal tensions – The facilitator acts as an instrument • A group is capable of resolving its own issues – Providing they maintain their opposites • Lasting change – The situation is hopeless, but not serious October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 42

Paradoxes of facilitating The facilitator or the group …. • Autority: who’s in charge of the meeting? • Dependency: who depends on who for results? • Creativity: who wants creative problem solving techniques? • Courage: who is afraid of Virginia Woolf? October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 43

Evaluations • Thank you for your attention • What did you experience in this workshop? October 2007 IAF © (2007) mind@work 44

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