Current Tools You Can Use NOW

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This week’s eJournal is another in our new series of Tools You Can Use NOW.

While our regular eJournal focuses on your personal Catalytic Thinking practice, in Tools You Can Use NOW, we are sharing organizational tools.

Why organizations?

Because most of us spend the vast majority of our time at work.

Imagine what would be possible for systems change if Catalytic Thinking were at the root of all the workplace systems we encounter every day!

This week, we’ll focus on a practice that folks often think about as a personal practice, but is so important in any workplace setting: Catalytic Listening.

Catalytic Listening in the Workplace

So many of our day-to-day workplace problems could be addressed if we had more effective ways of listening, to get beyond petty drama and conflicts.

That is where Catalytic Listening comes in. The practice focuses on what is powerful and strong in a conversation, allowing us to reach for what is possible in any situation. You can see examples in this post.

Here are just a few excerpts:

  • Brain science: Unless you practice listening for what is powerful, your brain will naturally go down the rabbit hole of what is wrong. 
  • Conflicts: Conflicts are always about values – what is important to each party. Listening for those values is a simple way to begin defusing conflict. 
  • Hiding in Plain Sight: People are already telling us about their strengths, their aspirations, their values – even while they are complaining about what's wrong. We are just not trained to listen for those positive attributes.
  • Asking vs. Listening: That means you don’t have to ask about what’s working well when you learn to listen for what people are already sharing without their even realizing it!
  • Catalyzing Potential: Practices like holding space and refraining from giving advice are just the beginning. The catalytic part is what comes AFTER you create that safe space.

As you review this description of Catalytic Listening, think about the various places in your life you can apply this practice. Do the exercises at the end of that post. And remember: there is no exercise as powerful as simply listening differently to the people we encounter every day.

As you practice Catalytic Listening, please let us know what you notice!

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Creating the Future's Mission
Teach people how to change the systems they find themselves in,
to create a future different from our past -
all by changing the questions they ask.

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