Friday 19 May 2023

A(nother) Blinding Flash of the Obvious...

I was running a workshop on Diversity and Inclusion, yesterday, using the Thinking Environment Diversity Process (about which I shall probably write more, sooner or later).

Reflecting on that this morning, I was struck by a link between the Thinking Environment and Gestalt which seems so obvious now that I have seen it, that I can scarcely believe I had not noticed it before. But I certainly haven't articulated it like this, and I don't think that anyone else has, that I have seen. Given that I have blogged (and therefore, presumably, thought) before about Gestalt and the Thinking Environment, this is particularly interesting - and indeed entertaining - to me.

One of the findings that informs the way we work in a  Thinking Environment, is that thinking comes in waves. Very often, if someone thinks they have reached the end of their thinking, if we wait, rather than jump in, another wave of thinking arises in them. Or maybe it doesn't, and then we invite one by asking What more do you think, or feel or want to say?  And more often than not, another wave of thinking arises then. And of course listening without interrupting is foundational in this approach.

Moreover, we recognise the importance of feelings, and allowing the expression of feelings: a wave of emotion may arise, and we are very careful not to interrupt that, any more than we interrupt a wave of thinking. And once the wave of feeling has been engaged with, uninterruptedly (eg the person cries, or shouts or whatever he or she needs to to), that wave subsides, and a new wave of thinking may well follow.

This, of course (I mean, d'oh!) is completely congruent with the Gestalt idea of the Cycle of Contact; and with the importance of attending to (and where possible minimising) interruptions to contact, which is a key element of Gestalt.


With thanks to Brandon Morgan for sharing this photo on Unsplash

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