I felt like I saw the 0011 codes as Neo did in the Matrix movie while delivering a Deep Democracy Training. It was quite a moment for me, I want to share the story!
So in Deep Democracy training the participants decide what to do next and I facilitate their decision making process with my facilitator hat. There were two suggestions, we voted and it was equal votes for both topics. So asked the participants to “lobby” their views for about 5 minutes, why we should continue with what they want. Everybody shared their why’s as strong as possible and we voted a second time, equal votes on both sides.
So I switched the tools, new tool for decision making when groups cycle, same result: equal votes! How can a simple decision as what to do next take so much time and create tension right? I am sure you are experiencing this in meetings! There is a simple, seemingly “rational” decision you think would take 5 minutes and it takes an hour and everybody wants to leave the meeting feeling tired and exhausted in the process!
So in our training, where there was time to cover everything and we tried 3 different tools and no decision still. It shows me, this is not a rational decision anymore but an irrational one. So I switch to a tool for irrational issues. But to switch to it, I need to see the two sides, the polarity, that this whole discussion is turning around. And when I went over the things that were said I realised, the polarity was between theory and experience!
When I shared with the group if they can see this whole discussion was turning around theory versus experience, there was an immediate recognition in the group! So we decided to go into an argument with anonymous decision: theory is more important and should come first versus experience is more important! And it felt like a new wave of energy was released! The group realised how passionate they were and how much they had to say from both sides! The process ended with deep personal awareness and a realisation about how getting into conflict serves to build peace and amplifying a polarisation serves to unify!
As we were continuing the training, one participant shared a dynamic he was living with his son and asked me: I keep telling my son but he doesn’t understand. Should I keep trying to make him understand or should I just let him hit the wall and learn the hard way? I got very excited at this point because what he was actually telling me was that he was using theory to convince him till today and he was thinking whether he should change his approach and allow for experience for him to learn! The same polarity in a different way! The group wasn’t as excited as I was but they could see the polarity!
And finally we wanted to select another topic to experience the tools one last time. I was getting their views and one participant suggested to talk about ‘the dynamics shaping the country’ while another participant responded: That topic would be up in the air, lets talk about something in our circle of influence to reach a conclusion and act upon! I was amazed with the fractile of the same theme of theory versus practice showing itself! And revealing this changed the energy in the group. That was when I felt like I was seeing the 1s and 0s passing by! Different subject, different people and same pattern. Amazed with the realisation, we shared a sweet moment of silence in our understanding in a deeper layer.
So I invite you to try to see what your repetitive challenges in decision making is really about. Try to see the polarity that challenge is swimming in and go fishing:)