EMBRACING THE WHOLE, WELCOMING THE NEW!
NEW YORK METRO FOCUSING
PLANNING GROUP members
Time involvement per year outside of public events: 10-14 hours
- attending 5-7 Planning Group meetings per year, some of which are telephone conferences and some are in-person meetings.
- contributing to the agenda for PG meetings
- setting dates for NYMF meetings
- selecting programs/presentations for each meeting - in collaboration with those coordinating Presentations
- selecting the Facilitator and people for other roles for NYMF meetings
- just prior to each NYMF meeting, reviewing committee functions for the meeting, confirm all are ready to go, troubleshoot problems that might arise.
- arriving early at the NYMF meeting to fulfill any coordinating function and to particpate in the pre-meeting gathering of the Planning Group and Presenter/s
- participating in welcoming newcomers to Focusing at the NYMF meeting
- reviewing status reports from various coordinators to ensure NYMF is healthy and fulfilling its Mission.
- developing new ideas to keep NYMF fresh and moving forward.
- ensuring that communications within the Group and beyond are conducted and managed in a civil, respectful, transparent, honest and fair way, both orally and in writing.
Core Principles and Practices
Empathic respect for each other's integrity and good will:
It helps if we consistently and bravely assume positive intentions among our colleagues in the Planning Group. So, if we are taking something personally, we might: first, pause; consider the possibility of a misunderstanding or, alternatively, of a useful truth; Focus deeply on a perceived hurt to learn what is going on within us; and let time pass with these processes. And if we still feel motivated to take it up with a colleague, to do so individually and not involve the whole group except with the mutual consent of that colleague. In particular it helps to notice that when we question or challenge another person, we are also implying something about them, and to pay attention to what we are implying.
Empathic respect for each other's time:
It helps if we recognize that every communication involving more than one person takes
collective person-time: the perhaps-few minutes of the interaction multiplied by the number of people involved. If we first gather our questions, think through our desires and solutions, and present proposals in as few iterations as possible, we protect the energy of the group. Even as we value sharing, we need efficiency too, so that we can accomplish more both separately and together.
Empathic respect for group vision and consensus, prioritized over individual vision:
It helps if we remember that we are here to create something together that will be different from what we might have created on our own. So, we tune into the group and adapt our contributions to its needs, more than to an individual need to honor our own personal felt sense. In that spirit, it helps if we recognize that further discussion is often, but not always, possible; that what the group has chosen to do is probably "good enough for now" even if we don't entirely agree; that changing or deviating from the plan unilaterally would undermine our colleague-ship even if we are sure we have a better idea. At the same time, it also helps if we prepare for the possibility that a collaboratively-developed plan might change, whether by consensus, by the
preponderance of opinion, or for reasons beyond our control.