Deep Democracy

Esther Ewing eewing at
Wed Sep 16 14:59:58 PDT 1998

Dear All:

In June I posted to a different list about a course that I took that was
very powerful. Since I am convinced that the process of facilitation is
incredibly in line with the values of OS, I thought I might post about this
process on this list.

It was called Process Orientation Consultation and Facilitation and was
based on a process called Deep Democracy. This process recognizes that the
emotions, rather than something that "professional, mature people" should
ignore in the workplace or anywhere else, for that matter, are a source of
wisdom that groups of people ignore at their peril. In fact, in this
process, disagreement is not only a sign of wisdom but the feelings
involved are the way in to increased understanding.

This is also based on role theory which in a nutshell postulates that i
people are behaving in a certain way and perhaps getting into conflict,
that it has less to do with individuals and more to do with roles that are
operating in the room. For example, if one individual is the person who
always kids and jokes around and then has to be absent from a meeting,
someone else will take on the role of kidding and joking.  If two people
are in conflict, it's likely a conflict that is in the room rather than one
which is the result of difficult personalities. And those two people have
some wisdom that not only each other need to take note of but also the rest
of the people in the room.

The skills involved are reflective listening and surfacing the deep
emotions to get at the real issues. It's incredibly powerful.

The program is 5 days and we did 3 days in June and this week, I did the
final two days. Some of us in the course have been getting together
throughout the summer to practice our skills and we have found it very

The leaders in the program, Greg and Myrna,  are South African and have
been here in Toronto for almost a week, already.

Myrna and Greg are doing the first three days of the next course next week
and then will return in January to do both the last two days in that course
and the first three days of the next one.  As well, in January, she and
Greg will do an advanced course for those of us who took the first course.
(Not to sell, but If anyone is interested in taking this course or
experiencing Management Insight, they should email me directly.)

Blessings to you all,

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