Compassion is difficult and exhausting work at the best of times. In these times of turbulence and uncertainty, the challenges are magnified. We know it is hard enough for one person to take effective action in our complex world.  Bringing a group together in collective action often seems intractable. At the Charter for Compassion, in collaboration with Human Systems Dynamics Institute, we are convinced that “nothing is intractable,” and transforming our hope for compassion into effective action is no exception.

Course Outline

The program is structured to focus on four Simple Rules for creating hope in times of turbulence and uncertainty: 1) Honor stories. 2) Open options for action. 3) Play with patterns. 4) Engage in inquiry.

Session 1: Honor Stories

  • Set your team up for success by strategizing your Wicked Issues to work with throughout the course.
  • Explore the world of community as Complex Adaptive System.
  • Discover four Simple Rules for living in hope in overwhelming chaos.
  • Develop shared understanding, common language, and shared tools to help you and your team be more effective.
  • Recognize the power of four kinds of “truth.”
  • Practice using the Four Truths and other tools to shift patterns of your own Wicked Issue.

Session 2: Open options for action

  • Understand why traditional problem solving does not work in uncertainty.
  • Explore the foundation and practice of Adaptive Action.
  • Learn a simple, powerful practice to reveal patterns in problems.
  • Practice Adaptive Action to shift patterns in your wicked Issue.
  • Give and receive peer coaching to see, understand, and influence Wicked Issues.

Session 3: Play with patterns

  • Discover the power of patterns over problems.
  • Use tools of pattern spotting.
  • Practice three questions that transform problematic patterns into possibilities.
  • Apply what you learn to find new wise actions for your Wicked Issues.

Session 4: Engage in inquiry

  • Experience the importance of inquiry in times of uncertainty.
  • Practice four Simple Rules for Inquiry.
  • Apply the Rules for Inquiry to move toward your next wise action.
  • Prepare to continue learning and to share these ideas and tools with others.

Course Method of Delivery

  • The sessions will be delivered on zoom and recorded.
  • Participants will receive a free e-book of Coping with Chaos: Seven Simple Tools (Eoyang, 1997).
  • Materials, including slides, recordings, handouts will be emailed to participants.

Faculty & Coaches

Glenda Eoyang, PhD, HSDP
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