Category Archives: Language

Will government action ‘fix’ sustainability? Really?

Adapted from “Are your beliefs limiting your effectiveness?”, published in our September newsletter.

Most human behaviour is dictated by our opinions and beliefs about the world. If we don’t examine and test them, we can end up becoming impotent, angry and depressed.  In the sustainability game and especially in the media, one limiting belief I come across repeatedly is that “Sustainability requires government action.”  Assertions vs assessments

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High class communicators listen differently…

“High class communicators take the responsibility to interpret the understanding of their audience in order to be understood the way they want to be understood.”  Alan Sieler – Newfield Institute.

I resat Newfield Institute’s 3-day Ontological Coaching In Action workshop last week.   Ontological Coaching is an ongoing practice – like yoga – that helps me be more grounded, balanced and flexible.  One thing that stood out for me as particularly important for regenerative business innovators was a discussion about “listening for clarity and from clarity”. Continue reading

If you can talk, you can change the world…

There’s a proverb from Zimbabwe that my singing teacher quoted a lot:

“If you can walk you can dance. If you can talk you can sing.”

Not so many years ago, how humans went about the business of behaviour change was pretty much a mystery.  Those who could do it and do it well were considered to have ‘a way with people’. Continue reading

Enough with the ‘why’ already – let’s talk about the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of profitable sustainability…

WhyHumans need more than why stuff for behaviour change.  If a good reason why was enough to create behaviour change then we wouldn’t have problems with smoking, obesity or any number of other ‘challenges’.  To make effective change, most of us need more than “reasons why” – we also need to know what to change, we need to know how to do it, and we need some rewards along the way.

Where are the (guilt-free) sustainability videos and audios about the ‘what‘ and ‘how‘ of profitable, regenerative sustainability?

I’m a bit cranky today.  I’ve just watched another video on sustainability – and it’s still about “why sustainability is important”.  A whole 20 minute TED talk – and over 15 minutes of “why. Continue reading

Language: bringing forth new creations for a regenerative future…

“By continually expanding the distinctions available to observe and participate in the world in a myriad of ways, humans increase the diversity of ways they can coordinate their actions.  Humans are continually inventing new ways of doing things together and so bring forth new creations, whether it is a new dance, more ecologically sustainable buildings or new forms of communication technology.  All this occurs in and through languaging.”  Alan Sieler, Coaching to the Human Soul, Volume 3, page 124.

The increasing number of ways we can describe the solution side of sustainability creates more ways for us to get there. Continue reading

A conversational approach to innovation adoption…

So you’ve got a great idea, and you’ve come up with a proposal that will meet the needs of the people you want to use it. Your work here is done… isn’t it?

Well, no – it’s not a done deal until you have your invention turned into an adopted practice – that’s the real work of innovation. Your proposed change requires a community of people who do things in a particular way to change how they work together – and there’s a process to this. Continue reading

Creating clarity on a sustainable future

In an earlier post “Conversational practices for smart sustainability professionals” we outlined four types of conversations that contribute to effective communication and collaboration.

The most overlooked type of conversation is a conversation for clarity, where we articulate and test our understanding of a situation; explore the understandings of others; and develop a shared understanding.  Conversations for clarity  eliminate misunderstandings, build trust and allow progress to flow. Continue reading