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Relational Practices List

We have tried and enjoyed the following practices:

Empathy Circling
  • This practice is, very simply, listening to someone and reflecting back their thoughts. The sweet spot is a balance of maintaining accuracy and fidelity to their original expression while also using one's own representations (rather than parroting back word-for-word).
  • Website How-To
  • Our experience report
Authentic Relating
  • Circling is a present-moment practice of noticing our sensations in relationship with one another and being curious about another's experience. It has grown rather popular and has three major schools of practice, plus stylistic variations that fix (birthday) or flow (organic) the focus of attention.
  • What is Circling?
  • Our experience report
Collective Presencing
  • A circle practice of group sense-making, developed by Ria Baeck. Exploring the space of a preselected open question, participants bring their observations “to the center” of the circle, where deep listening weaves reflections together in a super-mind-ish phenomenon.
  • Website (with full book)
  • Our experience report
Inquiry Spiraling
  • Closely related to Collective Presencing, this practice circles around exploring the question space itself, weaving together a simultaneous mix of diverging and converging questions while staying in curiosity. Designed as question-finding, it can be paired with another question-answering/exploring practice.
  • Instructions
  • Our experience report
Case Work
  • By case work, we mean the examination of developmental challenges that are working us. A case giver shares the story of their situation, and is supported by a small group in taking perspective on that thing and their relationship to it. The word “case” comes from Presencing Institute‘s (a.k.a. Theory U) Case Clinic practice, and we have developed our own combination practice called Edge Case.
  • Edge Case Instructions
  • Case Clinic Instructions
  • Our experience report
Peer Coaching
  • Taken as a general concept, this practice is “pure” coaching, defined by the stance that the coachee already holds in themselves everything that's necessary to resolve their own challenge(s). The act of coaching, rather than advising or consulting, is to ask questions that merely help direct the coachee's awareness to notice possible blind spots or unrealized connections - sparking the click of insight or integration that's waiting there for them. This can be done with a question bank of “clean” questions, or we've used a fixed script of a question sequence.
  • Our experience report
Glass Bead Game
  • Inspired by a novel, this is a (usually) two-player game in which players take turns riffing off a concept and each other in a kind of improv philosophy jam.
  • ( currently offline as of Feb 2022, since July 2021)
  • Our experience report
Agile Retrospectives
  • Widespread in agile software development and elsewhere, literally “learning from looking back” as a group. This can take many forms, from simple rubrics like “start stop continue” or "rose thorn bud” to timeline reconstruction to structural tension analysis. It's a fundamental learning move to "go meta" and many books and guides have been written exploring the domain.
  • Book by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Internal Family Systems (commonly abbreviated as IFS) is a (self-)theraputic model that embraces looking at the "parts" of ourselves, listening to them, welcoming them, and working with them. Opinions can vary on how neurologically accurate the correspondence is, but even as imaginal-oracular exercises, attempting "parts work" can bring us interesting perspectives on what motivations are driving our feelings and behaviors.
  • IFS Institute
  • Our intro and analysis

Media Appearances

Friends of Intentional Society

We consider these entities, organizations, or people to be allied, aligned, or inspiring to us:

Starter Cultures
  • A lovely group of humans exploring community-building, better work, and new economic models for livelihoods and co-ops. We picked up T-group from their Communication Dojo.
  • Website
  • Rich Bartlett assembled this framework and vocabulary for decentralized organizing, from which we reference the “fractal of belonging” and other labels like “crews” and “caller”.
  • Microsolidarity website Training
The Bridge Community
  • This is a Discord community organized around Evan McMullen's Stoa talks by the same name.
  • If you dig the talks, we can get you an invite.
  • Original Youtube video
  • Originally a collective of New Zealand-based freelancers, Enspiral has been hugely influential in the domain of co-ops and self-managed organizations. We've taken wisdom from their handbook, practices, and various ventures including Greaterthan, The Hum, and Loomio.
  • Website
Sacred Ground
  • A “We-Space community on the evolving edge of Mutuality” organized by Stephen Marcus, providing several weekly Sacred Ground Experience sessions of interbeing presence and connection. This network also serves as a base for the Collective Presencing community, and a few other we-space oriented groups.
  • Mighty Networks Website
Building Belonging
  • A “home for people committed to building a world where everyone belongs” sourced by Brian Stout, which has some community overlap with Starter Cultures and Microsolidarity fans.
  • Website Newsletter