Rapid changes and profound disruptions are creating a shift in human consciousness. People are more deeply conscious now than ever before. People are leaning towards more collaborative, participative, transparent, creative, and innovative interactions and relationships with others – interactions and relationships that are meant to bring out the best in individuals and organizations, and transform communities for the better. This is what the Art of Hosting is all about.
The Art of Hosting is an approach to leadership that scales up from the personal to the systemic using personal practice, dialogue, facilitation and the co-creation of innovation to address complex challenges. The global community known as “Art of Hosting” gave its name to the facilitation technic it origin from. Today there is numerus of independent institutes practicing the Art of Hosting within and outside the global community.
Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities
Today’s communities face unprecedented challenges that affect the well-being of their constituents and the community as a whole. What the Art of Hosting does is it guides participants in building unique relationships with their community. It is through collective learning that a community or an organization finds solutions the fastest way. Through the Art of Hosting, it’s possible for people to learn together and build partnerships that help them work better. The Art of Hosting allows individuals to connect with other heads of resilience and sustainability movements, deepen such connection, and come up with plans and practices to achieve a sustainable and resilient community.
When the world’s best entrepreneurs come together and realize a shared vision that will change the world for the better, we have what we call collaborative entrepreneurship. It’s an improved version of social entrepreneurship in which instead of helping entrepreneurs individually, entrepreneurs from different places are gathered to support and engage with other entrepreneurs. The Art of Hosting encourages entrepreneurs to engage in deep and meaningful conversations with other entrepreneurs, and work together towards a common goal.
Pre-sensing, participation, contribution, and co-creation are the four-fold practices that make the Art of Hosting unique and engaging. It begins with bringing our undistracted and prepared self to any situation or event that we’re in. We need to “host” ourselves first we’re able to “host” others. We need to be open to ourselves first before we welcome the thoughts, feelings, and ideas of others around us. Being present also means being aware of our environment and the people around us. The next thing we need to do is to participate and practice conversation. And the only way to effectively do this is to speak our truth in a genuine way and listen deeply and with an open heart to the people around us. The third practice is about hosting conversations. As the host, we take responsibility for building and maintaining a realm in which people can collectively work at their best. We should be willing to start conversations that matter and ensure that we get meaningful and useful answers, learning, and insights from such conversation. Finally, we have co-creation. Here, we’re not mere audiences but key persons who positively contribute to the group. It’s more than just doing things together. It’s about sharing our knowledge and experiences with other people.
People are at their best when they engage in meaningful conversations and create deep connections with people around them. The Art of Hosting is a gateway for individuals to respond to challenges and problems in innovative, creative, unique, and effective ways. After the workshop, people get better at decision-making, their relationships towards other people improve, there is more room for innovation, and people respond better and faster to challenges and opportunities. The fact that the Art of Hosting is considered as the best dialogue tool to encourage people towards social and economic cooperation simply means that it is geared towards creating a more sustainable future for communities, businesses, and organizations. The Art of Hosting is a giant leap from existing traditional leadership practices that are more often than not considered outdated and ineffective.
Positive Intelligence is the science and practice of developing mastery over your own mind so you can reach your full potential for both happiness and success.
Every human has in him something called Self sabotage (Saboteurs) and Sage factors (serving factors) which work out the Positive Intelligence. Neuroscience proves it’s all in humans how they increase or suppress the release of these factors depending on the region activated.
To illustrate, when your mind prepares you for tomorrow performance in calmness, it is serving you, causing positive action. When it wakes you up at 3:00 a.m. anxious about the meeting and warning you for the hundredth time about the many consequences of failing, it is sabotaging you; it is simply exhausting your mental resources without any redeeming value.
When you are in self-sabotage state, Saboteurs are dominating in your mind. They are no means doing good for you but acting against your best interest. They are your internal enemies with negative tone, beliefs, destructive thoughts and assumptions degrading you mentally and physically. Every ounce of your energy wasted on anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt, impatience, despair, regret, resentment, restlessness, guilt, or shame is a choice that was made by the Saboteurs in your mind. They come in ten varieties: the Judge, Controller, Victim, Stickler, Pleaser, Avoider, Restless, Hyper-Rational, Hyper-Achiever, and Hyper-Vigilant ( with reference to Shirzad Chamine ).
The counterpart of Saboteurs is the Sage. Your Sage has access to your wisdom, deeper insights, and often untapped mental powers. Every challenge can be met by the Sage, its perspective, and its five great powers (empathy, discovery, invention, wisdom, and resolute action). The Sage’s perspective and powers generate only positive feelings.
Are you positively intelligent? It depends on whether your brain is dominated with saboteurs or serving factors. You can measure the saboteurs or serving factors release in your brain with help of tool called Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ). It is your Positive Intelligence score expressed as a percentage, ranging from 0 to 100. In effect, your PQ is the percentage of time your mind is serving you as opposed to sabotaging you. For example, a PQ of 75 means that your mind is serving you 75% of the time and sabotaging you about 25% of the time. If we define happiness by the percentage of time we experience life’s positive and desirable feelings, your PQ score becomes your happiness score. You only need to know someone’s PQ score to know how happy they are. To increase your PQ score your have to expose and weaken your saboteurs and strengthen your original true self which can un-tap your sage powers.
The figure above is the positive intelligent vortex
In vortex of negativity you are dragged down when you are with them. In such meetings, you realize you are anxious, self-conscious, suspicious or defensive. A negative force of the mind chatter inside your own head and exhaust you so much that your do not know how to stop it.
Conversely, in vortex of positivity it’s like walking into a room where the energy is so positive and uplifting that you immediately feel better, more hopeful, and more energized. Even in presence of a leader you stand an inch taller and believe in yourself more, regardless of whether he or she is even talking to you. Your mind follows a flow that you embraced every challenge and obstacle as a fun game or opportunity. These effects are the result of the invisible PQ vortex that each individual or team exhibits at any given time. This vortex affects your energy level, mood, and perspective, often without you realizing it.
If you are in net negative vortex, it’s like you are caught with headwind where u can still reach the destination, but you’d use much more energy and take longer. In case you are in Net positive vortex, you feel uplifted naturally as if you are with a tailwind.
Notice that a PQ of 75 means that outside the neutral times, your mind is in Saboteur mode 25% of the time and Sage mode 75%. What this indicates is that you need at least 3 times more positivity to counteract the damaging impact of every negative Saboteur impact. This shouldn’t be surprising as the brain is biased to notice, remember, exaggerate, and react to the negative stimuli due to the evolutionary survival advantage of the negative bias. Surprisingly, only 20% of us score above a PQ of 75, and that’s why only 20% of individuals and teams achieve their true potential.
So, you can imagine how subjective wellbeing (happiness) is important (PQ>75) to be productive and successful. Most of the people believe that happiness is followed by success. Therefore, they work hard, improve their ranks, become successful and believe they can be happy. What works is reverse of formula when you are balance your positive activities you are happy and when you are happy you achieve your success and you achieve it effortlessly. When you are happy you have positive mind set which improves the performance in productivity creativity and engagement at work and otherwise. That’s exactly positive intelligence is all about, to keep yourself happy.
Neuroplasticity in simple words is changing capacity of the brain all time. Science has proved every time you learn a new factor or skill, your brain changes chemically, structurally or functionally leading to a new learning process. The primary driver for the change in your brain is your behavior. By repeating the behavior, you can tune your brain.
The degree of neuroplasticity is extremely variable among individuals and therefore one size approach does not fit all. So, you can tune your brain and develop your personalized brain by all yourself. Brains are shaped by the world around you, by what you encounter, by what you do, by what you explain. Its best explained by The Tetris effect. When you play Tetris game the effect of it skids into real life. Even after shutting off you still feel those Tetris blocks falling in your mind’s eye. For example, when you are in grocery shopping and just played the game in recent time and due to Tetris effect, you start yourself thinking about rearranging items on grocery shelves and carts in the parking lot. That’s your mind continues to play the game, even when you’re physically not. So, when you cultivate a behavior (any time of your life) and repeat it for few times then the brain automatically captures the rhythm and make the behavior easy to adapt. So, “Tetris learning effect” in which the brain consumed less energy as mastery of the game rose, as you learn the game, it becomes more automatic.”
Once when we understand we can tune our brain, now we can put effort to understand how to harness brain’s plasticity by training our brain to make positive patterns more automatic.
Surprisingly our brains are negativity biased. For that unfortunate reasons, we tend to remember the bad stuff happened to us than the good stuff that happened in a day. And negative is superpower and thus have stronger impact than the positivity thus eating away the productivity, creativity, decision making skills. Negative impact of setbacks in your work is three times as powerful in affecting motivation than positive progress.
The good news is we can break out of that negative feedback loop and we can rewire our brains to think positively. When we practice looking for and being more aware of positive aspects of life, we fight off the brain’s natural tendency to scan for and spot the negatives. Naturally we bring ourselves into better balance. Just like playing and getting automatic rhythm in the Tetris game.
Whenever you do specific tasks repeatedly, they take up less of your brain power over time. And that’s amazing, as this will be the basis for a huge opportunity to change our behavior for the better. We can retrain the brain to scan for the good things in life—to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels. The impact of practicing and retaining a more positive thinking pattern, especially on our well being and happiness, can be even more powerful.
Prof Chris Goto demystified mindfulness as a kind of consciousness discipline that exists in the intersection of myriad forms of knowledge and inquiry rooted in the creativity and openness of contemporary science.In this blog we too take same path to decode mindfulness but in more fun way.
Mindfulness is a requirement for well being.It is understood differently by different people and so have different reasons for motivation to perceive it and preconceptions to reject it. As a gospel truth mindfulness can be achieved in various means and preconceptions are just myth.
Researchers are grouped reasons for motivations of mindfulness interventions into following :
Motivation: Scientist is contemporary image of mindfulness as a scientific technique or technology that is deployed in secular context and often for therapeutic purposes.
Interpretation: The scientist represents the modern tendency to be operational and instrumental mindfulness, either as a neurophysiological phenomenon or as a psychotherapeutic protocol. The scientist is fundamentally interested in experimentation that produces an objective evidence base for claims about the efficaciousness of mindfulness in various ways. For the scientist, the meaning of mindfulness emerges from this evidentiary base; there is no originary or 'real' meaning other than what is revealed through experiment and observation.
Problem of denial: Has no link to the base of spirituality
Problem of Origin: Cultural skepticism, as it is not originated or researched from popular places it is not authentic or unscientific
Problem of rationality: Scientific errors as its related to humans, fabrications in research.
Motivation:- The Monk expresses our ideal of enlightenment and our emancipation from the confines of every day knowledge and wisdom. T
Interpretation: Monk represents a more spiritual and reverential approach to mindfulness, seeing it as a means of self-cultivation, self-transformation, and practice. The monk is fundamentally interested in the way that the practice of mindfulness seems to transform the practitioner, enabling them to reside in more compassionate space, opening doors to deeper levels of self-reflection and ethical development. At the same time, the monk sees mindfulness as a way to address the general and universal problem of suffering in the world. Genuine or real mindfulness is described in ancient texts, and we come to understand the true meaning of those texts only through our subjective practice in the present.
Problem of Orientalism: - It is Asian in origin how can it fits western cultures.
Problem of Trappings: We should sit in way and dress in a way, we may recite to do mantras, it does not go with my beleifs etc
Problem of Secularism: It is associated with religion ideologies etc
Motivation: This warrior represents the human aspiration where his/her psychic integrity is tested and cultivated in extreme face of danger, violence, and death. In the end, its abandonment of their sense of self and their actions must be in the service of a greater good.
Interpretation:- The warrior represents a vision of mindfulness as a technique to cultivate discipline, awareness, and skill. The warrior is fundamentally interested in the way that the continued practice of mindfulness meditation seems to enhance concentration and focus, and leads to greater mental tranquility, thus enhancing his/her ability to perform intricate skills with calm discipline. At the same time, the ninja represents the hope that advanced cultivation will lead to the development of superhuman skills and abilities. For the warrior, the seeds of genuine or real mindfulness is found in ancient texts, but understanding these seeds requires that a student practice for themselves under the guidance of an accomplished teacher.
Problem of discipline: Practice for long periods and to carry it on to perfection even if its hurting.
Problem of Fighting :-It involves the cultivation of esoteric powers.
Problem of fear: It is concerned with the death of the self.
Motivation:- The Zombie is about learning to dissemble and eradicate our ego, our personality and ultimately our sense of self itself. It involves abandoning rationality and instrumental reason and critical judgment.
Interpretation:- The zombie represents the fear that mindfulness is really a way to tranquilize people into docility and acceptance. That is, the zombie unifies mindfulness with mindlessness. Unlike the monk and the ninja, who see mindfulness as a way to enhance positive aspects of life and reduce suffering, the zombie embodies the idea that mindfulness actually prevents people from taking control of their lives and acting positively in the world. Instead of acting, the zombie just accepts things as they are. Instead of doing something, the zombie just is. The mindfulness zombie is the nightmare of a 'zero-level' of human existence. We merely respond instinctively to whatever happens around us. Reducing ourselves to a kind of zero level of consciousness as the treatment or eradication of stress.
Problem of the self: - It is considering as retardation or death
Problem of irrationality: - stepping outside goal-oriented and discrepancy-based thinking collapse of thinking
Problem of humanity: - On being without stress means that we're no longer fully human.
Motivation:- A counter-cultural radical embodying political protest against the rampant materialism and ambition of capitalist society through practices of self-transformation.
Interpretation:-She represent having dropped out of human society by giving up one instrumental reason and conventional conceptions of self-hood. So the hippie is a model of coping with modernity and of failing to cope with it all at once. The hippie is both the dream for some and the nightmare for others. When it comes to mindfulness then, the model of the hippie expresses all kinds of often conflicting preconceptions about the psychological and social significance of the practices involved.
Problem of conflicts: Conflicting about the psychological and social significance of the practices involved.
It’s been said over and over many times – happy employees create a highly productive company culture. But as straightforward as it may seem, why do a lot of organizations still get trapped in the same pitfalls that have been around for ages?
Employee engagement is one of the most difficult conundrums facing businesses that want to grow. In a time of economic downturn, businesses are pressured to increase productivity to avoid further costs, interruptions, or losses, leaving out employee satisfaction in the process. It’s highly tempting for employers to just focus on extreme productivity and disregard the fact that employees also need to be happy in their roles.
When it comes to real-life business practice, a lot of companies still end up applying traditional relationship of authority which leaves employees disengaged and dissatisfied with their work. In fact, Gallup’s most recent data shows that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. Creating a climate of trust between an employee and an employer is hard. And the so-called “engagement programs” that are meant to keep employees committed and productive are doing more harm than good. They often tend to be greedy strategies to get more work done with fewer resources.
France and its Happy Workforce
We all know that France has a reputation of having lazy employees. However, contrary to popular belief, its workforce is not as unproductive as they seem. And this is because of one simple yet powerful mindset they possess – embracing the concept of happiness at work. They started by figuring out what their workforce really needed, from mandating shorter working hours to creating labor policies that value their personal and social lives. Most French retails groups have now taken the politic of happiness at work tempting the public sector to do the same.
What is Happiness at Work?
A great number of large, medium, and small private and public institutions are starting to embrace the concept of happiness. But what exactly does happiness at work mean? Happiness at work may mean differently to different people. It could be a job where people can fulfill their personal interests – a job that allows them to get closer to what they really like and love. It could also mean that an employee’s strengths and efforts are widely recognized. Or it could mean providing employees regular feedbacks and thanking them for their genuine care and attention towards the business. Happiness at work could also mean ending a hierarchical employment system and putting the focus on collaborations and partnership opportunities instead. Oftentimes, it’s not so much of the salary, though it can also factor in on the happiness level of employees. More often than not, the factors are interrelated. Bottom line is, happiness at work is achieved when we feel good about ourselves in the work we do, it’s when we are able to give valuable contributions and get appreciated in return. It’s the feeling of belongingness, of enjoying our social relationships.
Like an Old Family Business
Is the concept of happiness at work new? No, it’s not. It’s just an old family business culture applied to corporations. Think about it. In the traditional family business, all participants get the work done regardless of hierarchy, department, and silos. Everyone helps each other to make the whole thing work. That’s the kind of mentality corporations are looking for while engaging into the concept of happiness at work. It sounds simple but it’s hard to execute when people have been used to hierarchical procedures. Fortunately, workplace happiness and satisfaction collectives and workshops abound. Today’s organizations are lucky to have resources at their fingertips. SYPartners, Ahead and KYU to name a few helps organizations and individuals transform themselves and their respective organizations using business leadership strategies that encourage collaborations. These agencies focus on changing traditional work cultures and promoting effective partnerships through different networks. Aside from discovering new things about yourself and others, you’re given a chance to widen your connections that could prove to be beneficial in the near future.
There’s No Turning Back
Like any other ideas, embracing the concept of happiness also has a risky side. Once you’ve fully embraced this concept, you cannot come back to old practices anymore. Once you have given your employees the freedom to manage their time and responsibilities according to what they believe is the best for the business, you won’t be able to take back the freedom you’ve given them.
Freedom can come with a price that’s why as a leader or an employer, you have to make sure you still maintain a certain degree of authority and professionalism. In the end, it’s all about the equilibrium of every aspect of human life and work life.
Patrick Roupin is an expert in innovation, design, strategy & entrepreneurship.
Ashrefunisa Shaik is an expert in organizational transformation & sustainability.