‘Radical discipline’

Radical discipline

It’s been three months now since I last wrote a newsletter. Did you notice?! I do think sometimes I should stop, on the basis that I’ve been writing these notes since 2014 and maybe enough is enough? *

And then recently I’ve been thinking and talking about how significant it is that there is radical discipline in the Thinking Environment, and I really want to share this with you.

So here I am, writing another newsletter. Happy October 😊

What do I mean by radical discipline?  

This sounds like a paradox, which is nothing new to the Thinking Environment, itself rich in paradox. By radical I mean that offering this way of listening and being with each other is by definition a radical act, since it disrupts the norm of how most people, most groups and most organisations conduct their listening and their thinking. The promise not to interrupt is a perfect disruptor of what passes for good listening in most situations, and keeping this promise is such a tough call. Yet somehow many people assume there is something too easy, too kind and too pink ‘n’ fluffy about all of this.

I’ve known that it’s radical for some time, there’s plenty of evidence. What’s really come home to me recently is that it’s not just the listening to inspire that’s radical, it’s the discipline required in order to be able to offer and to continue to maintain all 10 components over a period of time. For example, the radical discipline of maintaining Equality by first calling out the fact that most people do not take turns or listen without interruption or to choose to treat each other as thinking peers. The level of practice and commitment that it takes in order to offer this consistently and well. That’s discipline.

This feels like an important and inspiring description. These two words dispel that too-frequent assumption made about this way of being which is that it’s ‘just listening’, and a soft option.

There’s nothing soft here. It takes so much practice to be able to maintain a generative, equal, easeful, appreciative environment for thinking, it takes radical discipline in every moment. Does this sound a bit proud? I hope so. I’m delighted to be radical if it means disrupting the norm, and improving the likelihood of better listening and better thinking. We need every single bit of that right now.

‘If you knew that creating a Thinking Environment takes radical discipline in every moment, what would change for you?’ Please, please let me know!

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