|Integral-Semantic Facilitation with Joseph|
Martin Shervington Talks With The Coaching Room’s Joseph Scott About Skillful Disruption
JS: One of the key principles that we want people to be able to embody and realize through the integral semantics training is that it is not about preparation, it isn’t about structured in advance, it’s really about the capacity to facilitate from the present moment to being who they are.
Most facilitation skills trainings are about techniques, they are about how to galvanize the audience, how to use the format, the why, the what, the what if. All those things have a place, and there are not many organizations, and we don’t know any in Australia that are training people to facilitating from being, and through presencing and what is available to them in the moment.
Those that are integrating the masculine and feminine energies and accessing basic knowledge in the present moment in the context the facilitator finds themselves in.
MS: How does this relate to ‘outcomes’ with NLP?
JS: It’s like knowing the problem is never the problem and knowing that. The problem causes the search. The problem causes the purchase. But actually the problem is never the problem. In terms of outcomes facilitating training and facilitating groups the agreed outcome is never the outcome they want. What they tell you they want is not what they actually want. They want to be able to be themselves, be free of costs response, be free of facade, free of the politics, free of the hierarchies, free of the investment of themselves.
They do not want to be safe, they want to be dynamic. They want to be able to send a bolt of lightning across the room in terms of taking a position, taking a stand, and have a facilitator that can redirect, and absorb and manage that, and they want to get into conflicts and agreements and disagreements with each other in a way that’s managed. Where it’s not about safety, it’s about significance.
So the facilitator needs to be able to be the conductor, that truly facilitates these energetics, these dynamics, these lightning bolts. For example, the CEO putting across a disagreement to the group, and being able to manage any position any individual in the group finds, to be able to hold the individual’s energy, to be able to maintain their position whatever that position is, of the five positions they may hold and to be with the whole.
So Integral-Semantic facilitators don’t facilitate groups they facilitate wholes. One of the key ways they do that is by recognizing, and being a part of the whole.
So even to the point of the practices we have in the training, of bringing awareness to yourself as an object, in this whole, the separation disappears, and if the separation can disappear then the hierarchy, I’m the trainer you’re the student, all that starts to disappear, and there is just this emerging property of this capacity for this whole to realize something.
MS: Let’s look at things from a corporate context, so people put themselves in the mindset of the facilitator. Could you give a run through of how this could play out? So people can get a sense of what it would look like from their perspective.
JS: As a facilitator being paid your 2 grand or 10 grand a day or whatever you are being paid, you now have a dynamic with 30 people where one person has taken a lightweight stand in opposition to your offer as the facilitator. Now what do you do? Agree to disagree, classically? Get into a conflict with the person? Curtail to the rightness of their view? Now what?
We’ve all worked with groups, we’ve all been parts of a group, this is one single person out of a group of 30 people taking a relatively light-weight stand in opposition to what you just shared as a piece of information. You are standing there. Now what? Just as you are thinking “now what” , there is a guy in the back of the room that earlier you bumped shoulders with you by accident, and spilt his tea on his hand, and now says “I actually agree with John too, I agree with Jim, this view is out of date.”
Now what do you do? Suddenly the CEO or the sponsor of the corporate gig you got is looking at you with ‘uncertainty’. Now what do you do? Squirm, raise your voice, forget what you are doing? What’s your mind doing on the inside of ‘doing’ facilitation? How do I handle this, what should I say? I’m losing face. You know you get that whole internal quizzing thing going. Now your physiology is having an effect because you are an energetic system. There is some facial coloring and your voice is getting a little bit croaky. People in the back of the room are shaking their head. Now what? This is only three minutes into your ‘grand’ opening.
So if you get a sense of what that’s like, for an Integral-Semantic, it’s about being able to be with all of that happening; in that in the moment. Not to need to get to your next piece of information, but to be able to be with that group. To be able to acknowledge and recognize that there’s some energy in the room and there are several views that need this to be different than how it is being shared.
You are free from the frame of proving that you are right that you are the authority. We have over a dozen facilitation practices that allow this precensing capacity called APP’s or apex practices. One of these is knowing there is ‘no authority’ in this room. It enables you. It’s simply be a process and it’s purely informational.
Now during this intial opening and with this APP you realise, you have not lost anything but you have gained three or four other perspectives of information on this point that the group has now got…
MS: Let’s take it out of a business context and into a more personal context, because I know some people will want to know how they can apply this, relationships, family dynamics, etc.
Do you want to talk a little bit to the family side of things?
JS: Well I think it is kind of the same. It’s really to be able to be with the energies. Information/energies it’s really the same thing, it’s being with the dynamics, it’s not being invested in a position but being able to take the five positions across the facilitations matrix. A comment might move me back to base, and back to base just means I am going to ignore that person. No actual interest, I am going to move on. It might take me into a position where I am in opposition to that person, that family member. There’s dynamics in being a table skills facilitator and meeting that person where they are.
There’s a position with the facilitation to be able to see the intradependent view of that position plus my position and take a paradoxical view. That actually I can hear my wife take an opposition to my position and I can hear that we are both after the best thing for our children. I’ll take that position with her since we are both trying to solve the same problem.
There is an almost a ghost like capacity, a spirit based capacity to move across the facilitation matrix in a way that is not even noticeable to the other person until you land there. If the energy is really strong then and they are not hearing me, then I move back to that position with that person if it feels like there is spaciousness there.
If there doesn’t feel like there is spaciousness there, then moving back to the first position on the Matrix, it’s just an authentic defenselessness. People are not good at it. Their whole life has been defending something. If you are paid to deliver something and you are attacking the current view of coaching or leadership or HR, in essence you are now being paid to end something and rebirth something new.
We are always pushing to control, or trying to defend some position we have that is cathartically invested in being the facilitator, being the husband, being the boss, whatever the persona is. So integral semantics is about facilitating the student in the training to be free of being someone. Facilitating doesn’t require somebody to do it, it just requires it to be done.
There is a very gentle, in the body somatic energetic capacity, almost like the cartoon, The Phantom, to be able to morph and shape across these five positions within a definite and absolutely free view, to the point that the average human being you are going to facilitate cannot even see the fifth position on the integral semantics matrix. So you can get to hangout and not even be there. Just at the omega point of reality they can see there is a body there but they don’t know what is going on and everything that happens is intended. If they spend the entire day in confusion that is intended. Not created. Intended. Because that is what they were ready for, what they brought forth.
MS: Let’s talk about what people will pay for in an organization. We are talking about this as a program and also a skillset. Organizations receive this, how can they position themselves to do it.
JS: People genuinely pay for skillful disruption that they don’t want, that they are desperate for. Integral-Semantics is exactly that. It’s being able to play, it’s being able to have fun, being able to be deeply painful, about being direct, it’s about being impervious, being untouchable and touching at the same time.
It’s about being able to receive derogatory comments about the material, towards how the program is going and being able to use everything. Everything is usable in the moment, everything! for profound outcomes for people, to knowing how to be and how to respond, when to respond and when not to respond.
In facilitating corporates, and this is just a generalization, corporates or executives tend to not even know the difference when they make a statement they expect an answer from you. Well I can hear it is a statement and they are not going to get an answer. Unless they hear it back they’ll hear “I don’t really agree with that”. They will hear what they said that but they didn’t ask anything. So you can do an Integral-Semantics smile, we bring those in boxes, we dish them out in the classroom, it’s just a smile that doesn’t have to do anything.
There is this very intentional way of being in the world, 100 percent not privileging the individual and not privileging the whole. It’s simply being with and on point to what you are about.
MS: What does it look like after the event?
JS: So if they have engaged us for the day until 4:30 or 5pm, Skillful Disruption looks like we are leaving unplanned at a 2:30pm. Leaving them to do the work. They’re in shock about that because they have paid us to be there the whole day. And we are wandering down the road with a bag over our shoulder, waving, and they have no idea we have even left.
But what we know is they are ready for “not us”. They are now ready to reorganise just with themselves, just with their leader, just with their CEO and they need to find a way to bring this together. It’s about maturing. We don’t walk out in a planned way, we leave spontaneously.
It’s a real alchemist view of the energetics of the readiness and the ripeness and the rightness of this group. First time I felt that Jay and I were training some council, and it’s 2:30 and we’re there until 4:30 and I’m packing my stuff up and he asks “What are you doing?”, and I say “We’re leaving”. He’s got the laptop packed up and we are walking out the door and the sponsor , the CEO is out the door going “Boys where are you going?” And we say “Catch you, see you next time maybe”. They had a really amazing afternoon and he (the Leader) really stepped into his leadership role and his direction because he had to.
That was the Brief. This team needs to lead. This team needs to come together so we gave them that opportunity. But it wasn’t rehearsed and planned, it was just right. It was the basic knowledge truly available in the moment as absolutely right.
MS: So let’s talk about the program. How many days do people do if they join?
JS: Well it’s 6 days in all. The first 3 days is uploading the Integral Semantic Distinctions, uploading the Integral Semantic Facilitation models, uploading the dynamics and principles of the program, and then the following 3 days is actually feeding that knowledge forward in facilitating groups with 3 or 4 or 5 people, 9 people with a particular topic, with energetic dynamics in there, with people that may not agree, you may or may not know what kind of group you are going to get.
And being able to share something not only current, but that’s really important to you, that you feel vested in. Like Donald Trump running the United States, or racism in Australia or the political path. Just something that is close to your heart in an invested way, because we want you to be able to be moved and unmoved simultaneously.
In a real way we want you to practice having this quadratic reality behind you, this beautiful universal dance with the Integral Semantic Facilitation Matrix in front of you as you then use all the distinctions of all the language skills that you have picked up in the first three days as a whole in a singular view with an outcome.
Taking disruption, managing dynamics, practicing the models so at the end of that three days you are now at the beginning of being a deeply skilled Integral-Semantic Facilitator.
You are at the beginning, we are not going to pretend you are going to be masterful any more than you would be with a violin after 6 days. But you’ve got the foundations, you know the principles, you’ve had practice, now go do that. Go be that.
From a development perspective the facilitation of the group moves through, dances even, across five spaces. So the apex attention practices that we have, the APPS are basically taking polarities and integrating them in an apex move which is finding the paradox.
For example dealing with global versus detail people in the group. Do you need to give information for the global people, give information for the detail people, where in our practice you get to integrate and global and detail may disappear.
So as a facilitator that wonder and concern about detailed and global disappears. You see through the duality of those positions and see they are not real and you recognize transcendentally what is actually true and you facilitate from there.
So we have a dozen facilitation specific polarity practices which we do throughout the six days, that when you come out whether you know it or not you have a non dual awareness of these contexts in facilitating and your job is to practice them, and practice them, and practice them.
And as you do these APP practices with a polarity pole, we provide you with, a pole like a broomstick, and you sit on the floor and move kinesthetically and feel the energetics of these positions and these views and then notice the integration point, the polarity, then notice the omega point of the realization of the non dualistic fact that it is a dualistic view.
What it does is undoes, and undoes, and undoes, and undoes. Even to the point of self and other. The polarity of self and other if we look at it really simply the only way you have a sense of that self is because of the other. The only way the other has a sense of the other is because of the self. So they are like interdependent realities and they are not true of themselves. There is no self or other.
The last part of the integration of the Apex of being able to be a part of a whole. Of course it depends on a person’s readiness. There’s a benefit for everybody in it. And authorities, and right and wrong, and good and bad, and just the whole life and death and beginning and end, and static and process. Let’s just integrate all that rubbish which it absolutely is, out of the system as you as a facilitator and be in the world.
MS: I think this gets into something that is the next stage. If they have got NLP training this is a fantastic foundation This is something that I think is another level. I think it ties into other things we are working on in The Coaching Room as well. From a development point of view it’s got us from a business or monetizing your learning point of view. I think you’ve got two things that are going to happen here. Thank you very much we will see you all next time.