These patterns explore a pair of qualities or practices that could seem opposed. We generally look to balance, or transcend-and-include the two.
For each of these there are patterns which represent one or both sides of the duality:
Reflection: Deliberate — Action: ?? (many of the patterns, really)
Forest: History and Context — Trees: ??
Subgroup: ?? — Whole Group: Whole System in the Room
There are also pairs of patterns for which there is no corresponding duality.
Patterns tagged with non-duality
with all tags
with all relationships
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Content refers to what you are talking about and the results of a session. Process is how the conversation happens. Like two wings of a bird, both are needed for balance, lift, and progress.
Structures, such as a clear agenda, time limits, or raising hands before speaking, can create safety, focus, and a form for the group's energy to pour into. Yet to sustain the life of a group, this must be balanced with a great openness to change, dancing between the two as needed.
Diverging widens perspective, explores new terrain and opens up options. Converging coalesces collective wisdom in moving toward focused decisions, concrete outcomes, and the end of the session. Good group process naturally cycles between these two, so be thoughtful about which to engage when.
Consider. Enact. Debrief. Experiment further. Effective processes that move groups forward often involve cycles of reflection, followed by action, leading to additional reflection, and so on. Alternating in this manner fosters engagement and integration, deepens experiential learning, and promotes adaptive problem-solving.
Shepherding a group discussion includes discerning when the group needs a wider view vs. when to sink down into the details. Zoom out to see vision, patterns, and overall trends; zoom in for examples, specific data, and other particulars.
Small subgroups are ideal for involving all participants, accomplishing specific tasks, and creating a safer space for sharing. Convening in the whole group provides context, meaning and convergence at critical junctures. Strategically shift between the two to take advantage of their complementary natures.
Hold simultaneous awareness of both what is shared in common and what is unique. Sometimes it is more important to honour the distinctions and hear the differences; other times it is crucial to focus on similarities and common territory. Both are needed.