Holding Council: meetings with deep purpose

The most transformative and ancient form of communication known to man.

When we are aware of their own collective potential—almost as if a new, collective organ of sight was opening up. Goethe put it eloquently: Every object, well contemplated, opens up a new organ of perception within us.” Otto Scharmer- U-Theory

The practice of Council is the most ancient and powerful form of communication to overcome major obstacles or support critical decision making. There is no social technology that has the transformative impact Council can have in such a short period of time.

Participants speak one-at-a-time, sharing their personal stories and experiences, rather than opinions, and listen intently while others do the same. Sharing and listening to our individual stories about enables participants to recognize that, despite their many differences, they have much in common.

By fostering attentive listening and authentic expression, Council builds positive relationships between participants and neutralizes hierarchical dynamics formed by the inequality of status, race, or other social factors. It supports a deep sense of community and fosters recognition of a shared humanity and interconnectedness.  It enables individuals to give voice to their stories, develop mutual respect, cultivate a compassionate response to anger, defensiveness, and violence, as well as strengthen emotional health and resilience

Preparing the ground for decision-making and conflict exploration through Council often resolves challenges without the need for ‘fixing’, creating space for examination of the field of enquiry from many perspectives listening to a bigger picture than one’s own part. Council is versatile in forms and fields that promote visioning, leadership, conscious communication, mentoring and reflection, collective wisdom, decision making, management and much more.

“When Native Elders want to make a point they do not contradict or argue things out as we would: they tell a personal story and leave their audience to make the necessary connections and understand how the story illustrates and illuminates the issue in question”

 The practice of Council is a social technology that develops the groups intuitive faculties connecting to wisdom not accessible at any individual level. Organisational leadership academic Otto Scharmer states that the limiting factor of transformational change is not a lack of vision or ideas, but an inability to sense—that is, to see deeply, sharply, and collectively. When the members of a group see together with depth and clarity wise decisions are made. Council is the practice that allows us to think collectively with utmost wisdom whilst resolving all conflict.

Council offers a way of communicating that encourages the deepest form of generative listening as well as honest and compassionate expression. The practice recognizes that each voice needs to be heard, that every person has a gift, a story to share, a piece of the whole. It embrace differences, whilst helping find our own voices, and opening to others.   The Council draws on the life experience and wisdom of all participants to makes room for new insights and understandings, wisdom in decision making, and healing of relationships. People begin to operate from a future space of possibility that they feel wants to emerge.

Council Host, Philip Jackson,  has been trained in the Art of hosting Council at the Centre for Council in California.

Please call Philip on 0416023867 to discuss.