A Small Group, Restoring and Reconciling Cincinnati
December 18, 2018         Sign-up for our newsletters.
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Download The Civic Engagement Series Booklet (PDF)


Peter Block discusses A Small Group

One: The Invitation Conversation

Transformation occurs through choice, not mandate. Invitation is the call to create an alternative future. What is the invitation we can make to support people to participate and own the relationships, tasks, and process that lead to success?


Two: The Possibility Conversation

The Possibility Conversation is one that focuses on what we want our future to be as opposed to problem solving the past. This is based on an understanding that living systems are really propelled to the force of the future. The possibility conversation frees people to innovate, challenge the status quo, and create new futures that make a difference. In new work environments this conversation has the ability for breaking new ground and in understanding the prevailing culture.

Three: The Ownership Conversation

The Ownership Conversation is one that focuses on whose organization or task is this? The conversation begins with the question, "how have I contributed to creating the current reality?" Confusion, blame and waiting for someone else to change are a defense against ownership and personal power.

Four: The Dissent Conversation

The Dissent Conversation is allowing people the space to say "no". If we cannot say "no" then our "yes" has no meaning. People have a chance to express their doubts and reservations, as a way of clarifying their roles, needs, and yearnings within the vision and mission being presented. Genuine commitment begins with doubt, and "no" is a symbolic expression of people finding their space and role in the strategy. It is when we fully understand what people do not want that we can fully design what they want. Refusal is the foundation for commitment.

Five: The Commitment Conversation

The Commitment Conversation is about individuals making promises to their peers about their contribution to the success of the whole organization. It is centered in two questions: What promise am I willing to make to this enterprise? And, what is the price I am willing to pay for the success of the whole effort? It is a promise for the sake of a larger purpose, not for the sake of personal return.

Six: The Gifts Conversation

What are the gifts and assets we bring to the enterprise? Rather than focus on our deficiencies and weaknesses, which will most likely not go away, focus on the gifts we bring and capitalize on those. Instead of problematizing people and work, the conversation is about searching for the mystery that brings the highest achievement and success in work organizations. Confront people with their essential core that has the potential to make the difference and change lives for good.

beginning of quote Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. --Carl Jung end of quote
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