Imagine being able to listen beyond words and body language by listening with your whole being and sensing into a group body. Imagine the benefits of practicing and utilizing this skill as you engage with groups and teams.
Lauren Tenney, Senior Consultant, Director of New Program Development and Editor-in-Chief at Ten Directions, calls this skill/orientation Alignment Weaving. Lauren was the featured storyteller during Enlivening Edge’s August 6, 2020 Community Conversation and those of us who participated in the call were enlightened by Lauren’s presence and her story.
According to Lauren, Alignment Weaving involves:
noticing when intentions, motivations, commitments and values are resonant with each other
turning attention to subtle aspects of relationship and variations in “participatory energetics”
tuning into alignment from dimensions on the periphery and liminal spaces
continuously asking the question “where are we?”
After sharing these foundational elements, Lauren brought Alignment Weaving to life with a story of her involvement in a progressive micro-school community. The structure of the community was strictly “Green” and flat. Decisions were made by consensus and movement was slow.
As an Alignment Weaver, Lauren engaged in one on one conversations with members to gauge the level of resonance before meetings. Without any formal authority, Lauren gently and quietly guided the group to lean into conflicts and challenges. She patiently observed and held space as members of the group grappled with presenting issues, strengthened relationships, and moved toward alignment.
Slowly, over time, trust deepened, the group began to entertain the notion of implementing natural leadership roles, and they created a foundation of readiness, which would serve them well when COVID-19 shifted their reality. Recently, big changes were implemented smoothly and painlessly. The ability to decide and act swiftly represented a significant leap for the group and for the school.
Recognizing and honoring the unique pace of a team’s or organization’s process and, ultimately, progress, was a key slice of wisdom Lauren gained from her experience with this group. She is already anticipating how much more wisdom is to be gained personally and collectively as the school embarks on the next phase of its evolution.
Lauren’s story of Alignment Weaving and its implications for groups, teams and organizations sparked the imaginations of all the participants on the call. Discussion among the group included:
getting people on board and engaging them in this type of approach
holding tight to a fierce vision during periods of relative inactivity
bringing being back into doing
starting with the way rather than the who, what, where, when and how
In closing, participants were asked to reflect on their experience of the call. Mostly individuals expressed gratitude for the opportunity to connect, to Lauren and her eloquence, to the hosts of the session, and to all those who participated. Everyone seemed to feel stimulated and more alive as a result of participating. One person commented that her soul felt nourished and she felt a sense of being more present.
The session raised exciting questions begging further exploration, but we all left with the essential message that listening with our whole selves into the heart of groups, teams and organizations can lead to profound growth and unexpected shifts.
Having recently been released from 20 years of confinement in an “Orange” organization, Linda is eager to find her place in the world of next-stage organizations. She is passionate about the evolution of human consciousness and longs to serve as a catalyst for organizations moving toward Teal and/or to work within a Teal organization. Linda can be reached at [email protected].