Author, Consultant, Executive Coach - Helping people and organizations grow into desired results

Monday, 14 September 2009

Highlights from Helsinki workshop on Integral Theory

Summary - This post offers highlights and tips from my recent workshop on practical applications of integral theory. Specifically: effective communication that covers all four quadrants to enhance message clarity and understanding.

Very pleased with the workshop delivered at last weekend's EBTA conference in Helsinki entitled Making Integral Theory practical, or, Wilber in the real world. I particularly appreciated the insightful feedback and input of session participants. Several people also asked for further details on practical applications, which I've included below.

For simplicity there are just two diagrams: the first outlines the high-level focus of attention in each of the four quadrants while the second provides communication tips and content suggestions for each quadrant.

To recap the key points of the workshop:
  • While each of us is capable of operating in all four quadrants, over time individuals will develop a preference for one or two of them.
  • These become our "default" mode of viewing the world and of communicating.
It's therefore useful to:
  • know which quadrant is your preferred one (and which may be your "backup")
  • realize that you will typically focus on that area by default
  • assess whether that focus will effectively convey the point you are trying to make in the circumstance that you're making it
  • realize that people whose preference is for a different quadrant may very well have difficulty understanding your perspective, viewing the situation as they do from a quite different point of view
  • take the decision which quadrants it may be necessary to include in your communications in order to convey the entirety of your message to the whole of your target audience.
Note that when you speak to groups the larger audience means a greater diversity in quadrant-preferences. To be on the safe side and enhance your communication effectiveness, it's often helpful to cover all four quadrants in your style and content.

Enjoy applying this practical tool and thanks to all the workshop attendees for their participation and generous idea-sharing!

(Incorporating materials by Ken Wilber & Peter Burow.)

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