Inner Development Goals 16: Co-creation skills

(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)

16. Co-creation skills

Skills and motivation to build, develop and facilitate collaborative relationships with diverse stake-holders, characterized by psychological safety and genuine co-creation.

The choice of the term «co-creation skills» was made after extensive conversations in different constellations. In the first survey, «collaboration» was mentioned very often, but we eventually opted for «co-creation», because the term emphasises the creative and generative aspect of collaboration. Obviously co-creation skills cover a large number of sub-skills and overlap with several other skills and qualities in the IDG framework, such as Trust, Communication skills, Inclusive mindset and Intercultural competence, Mobilization skills, Openness and Learning mindset and Perspective skills (for a detailed analysis of collaboration micro-skills, see Dawson 2020-2021). The focus here is skills in creating favourable conditions for and facilitating productive collaboration and co-creation. Sub-skills include skills in creating an open climate characterized by trust and psychological safety; leading meetings in ways that structure the work process through shared focus, encourage creativity and openness to diverse input; and deconstruct power dynamics that hinder open and creative collaboration.

We chose not to separately list change management skills, which was mentioned several times in the survey, but the concept certainly merits specific attention when designing competence development programs.

Again, there is a very large literature relevant to co-creation, not least regarding facilitation and methods for managing complex issues.

Inner Development Goals 17: Inclusive mindset and Intercultural competence

Inner Development Goals 15: Communication skills

(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)

15. Communication skills

Ability to really listen to others, to foster genuine dialogue, to advocate own views skillfully, to manage conflicts constructively and to adapt communication to diverse groups.

Communication skills can be described in terms of certain concrete behaviours, such as conveying positive intentions and regard, attentive and active listening, asking open-ended questions and advocating views in constructive ways. However, without a more fundamental grounding in values and psychological maturity, just practicing certain behaviours may not lead to genuine contact, trust, safe spaces and fruitful dialogue. Communication skills are strongly related to several other IDGs, such as Presence, Humility, Perspective awareness, Openness and Learning mindset and Inclusive mindset and Intercultural competence. Awareness of other people›s potentially very different patterns of meaning-making, due to different enculturation, professional training, political worldview and previous life experiences, is necessary in order to realize the need to adapt communication behaviours to varying contexts.

In the survey some respondents pointed to conflict management skills and story-telling skills as important. We chose to include these skills in the communication skills category. Obviously there is a very comprehensive literature on communication, conflict management and story-telling, so large that it is difficult to select representative resources. Some classic references regarding communication are Rosenberg, 1999; Fisher & Ury, 1981; and Bohm, 2004.

Inner Development Goals 16: Co-creation skills

Inner Development Goals 14: Empathy and Compassion

(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)

14. Empathy and Compassion

Ability to relate to others, oneself and nature with kindness, empathy and compassion and the intention to address related suffering.

We have chosen to use both empathy and compassion as concepts with somewhat different connotations. There are different conceptualizations in the literature, and it might be wise to keep the definitions rather open. Empathy is here understood to be the capacity to relatively accurately understand and feel into what other people feel, whereas compassion adds the quality of wanting to relate to other people with benevolence. Empathy and compassion are, of course, important components in emotional intelligence (see e.g. Eklund & Meranius, 2021).

Related concepts that were mentioned in the survey were benevolence, agreeableness and love.

Inner Development Goals 15: Communication skills

Inner Development Goals 13: Humility

(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)

13. Humility

Being able to act in accordance with the needs of the situation, without concern for ones own importance.

Humility here means the capacity to act without concern for looking good in the eyes of others or of oneself. The stance of humility is here understood to be a consequence of not being (overly) identified with a certain self-image and a need to be confirmed in that self-image by others. This may be a consequence of a realistic and accepting awareness of one’s own limitations and other personality properties. Being more or less without a need to uphold a certain ego image means that when one acts, one can fully focus on the needs of the situation, rather than being preoccupied with projecting a certain image of oneself, e.g. as an expert. This makes it easier to be open, sensitive and respectful in relation to others.

Humility is related to Openness and Learning mindset, Self-awareness, Connectedness, Empathy and Compassion, Presence and Inclusive mindset and Intercultural competence.

Inner Development Goals 14: Empathy and Compassion

Inner Development Goals 12: Connectedness

(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)

12. Connectedness

Having a keen sense of being connected with and/or being a part of a larger whole, such as a community, humanity or global ecosystem.

This is one of the items in the IDG framework that is most profoundly intertwined with felt identity. It involves feeling connected to and being a part of a much larger whole. This sense of connectedness more or less automatically leads to a sense of caring for the well-being of the larger whole. Connectedness is therefore strongly linked to commitment to engage in activities that contribute to positive outcomes for the «larger whole». Connectedness is certainly not a specific skill resulting from training. There are probably rather different ways of feeling this kind of connection, from the more pure and immediate feelings of being at one with everything else, that can be induced by psychedelic substances, to more cognitively based forms of connectedness related to holistic/systemic meaning-making, based on knowledge about the interconnectedness of all living things and the physical environment.

Connectedness is linked by many other skills and qualities in the IDG framework, both those that enable the feeling of connectedness to arise, and those that follow from the sense of connectedness: Sense- making, Complexity awareness, Inner compass, Appreciation, Empathy and Compassion, Humility and Inclusive mindset.

Inner Development Goals 13: Humility

Inner Development Goals 11: Appreciation

(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)

11. Appreciation

Relating to others and to the world with a basic sense of appreciation, gratitude and joy.

Appreciation is not a skill in a traditional sense, but a mode of relating
to people and the social, material and natural worlds that can be strengthened by effort. A basic appreciative attitude is helpful in building connection to and trust between people, and thus conducive to creative and collaborative work performance. Several survey respondents mentioned the importance of valuing and appreciating nature, as a basis for feeling commitment to protect the natural environment from harm. There are reasons to believe that there is a link between later stages in adult development and the propensity and capacity to be anchored in an appreciative attitude (Cook-Greuter, 1999). The less someone is concerned with defending an ego conception and be absorbed with very pre-defined projects and ideas, the easier it is to appreciate positive qualities in various situations one finds oneself in.

Gratitude and joy were also mentioned relatively frequently in the survey responses. These are qualities that probably have subtle effects in inspiring other people, shifting attention from depressing realities to that which is worthy of gratitude and appreciation, thereby mobilizing energy for creative engagement.

Appreciation is related to Humility, Openness and Learning mindset and Presence, and can be an important factor for Mobilization skills.

Inner Development Goals 12: Connectedness

Inner Development Goals 10: Long-term orientation and visioning

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10. Long-term orientation and visioning

Obviously complex global issues, such as those described in the SDGs of Agenda 2030, involve long-term change processes, regarding climate, environmental problems, socio-economic structures, the world order, etc. Problems caused or conditioned by properties and dynamics of very complex systems can seldom be fixed quickly, but require sustained efforts over long periods involving a multitude of different measures and strategies. Actors with strategic roles in relation to such issues must have a very long time horizon, in terms of apprehending patterns of long-term processes that generate problems, formulating visions and designing and engaging with actions in order to influence the development of complex systems. A long-term orientation is strongly related to and dependent on Complexity awareness and Perseverance.

Inner Development Goals 11: Appreciation

Inner Development Goals 9: Sense-making

(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)

9. Sense-making

Skills in seeing patterns, structuring the unknown and being able to consciously create stories

All human beings are continually engaged in making sense of their experiences, in order to be able to function. So in order to regard sense- making as a key skill, we need to focus on the more developed forms of sense-making. These involve actively looking for patterns relevant for the tasks individuals or groups are facing, trying to make sense of those patterns by looking for additional pieces of information, test different possible interpretations, engage in dialogue with other people and thereby arrive at more well-founded understandings. Sense-making has considerable overlap with other parts of the IDG framework, such as Critical thinking, Complexity awareness and Perspective skills.

Inner Development Goals 10: Long-term orientation and visioning

Inner Development Goals 8: Perspective skills

(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)

8. Perspective skills

Skills in seeking, understanding and actively making use of insights from contrasting perspectives.

This can be regarded as a family of skills, ranging from rather basic to very sophisticated (and quite rare) skills. A basic perspective skill is simply to be aware that your view of the world and its issues and events is a view: an interpretation based on a limited and selective set of data and complemented by assumptions and judgments not backed up by proven facts. More sophisticated skills involve a keen awareness of the durable, complex and systemic patterns of perspectives, both one’s own and those of others. This entails an awareness that one’s own perspective necessarily is incomplete and has blind spots, which in turn generally leads to an inquiring orientation. A person with well- developed perspective skills is generally open and curious, and may actively seek out and try to understand perspectives that are very different from one’s own and make use of several perspectives in order to make sense of issues and processes. Theo Dawson (2020-2021) has described a large number of concrete micro-skills contributing to skillfulness in working productively with multiple perspectives.

Perspective skills are related to Openness and Learning mindset, Sense-making, Complexity awareness, Critical thinking and Inclusive mindset and Intercultural competence.

Inner Development Goals 9: Sense-making

Inner Development Goals 7: Complexity Awareness

(För introduktion till denna serie bloggtexter, se http://blog.perspectus.se/?p=693)

7. Complexity awareness

Understanding of and skills in working with complex and systemic conditions and casualties.

Complexity awareness is first and foremost a keen awareness that certain issues might be complex, and perhaps complex in ways that one is not yet aware of. Complexity might be related to underlying and diverse causes, conditions and circumstances that influence a particular issue. Complexity might also be related to mutual interdependencies between different factors, that cannot be properly understood by uni-directional, uni-factorial causal relationships. A very significant and often mentioned aspect of complexity awareness is systems thinking: the propensity to look for patterns of wholes, how elements of systems interact in complex ways, leading to system dynamics and emergent properties of systems. There are many types of systems: ecological, social, cultural, economic, legal, organizational, cognitive, etc. Systems thinking goes beyond thinking in terms of unidirectional and even multivariate cause-and-effect relationships to consider dynamics that cannot be understood without considering systemic patterns and relationships.

Related concepts that were listed in the survey were holistic view, strategic thinking, dialectical thinking, polarity thinking and ability to synthesize. Awareness of complexity is a first step, actual skills in analyzing, synthesizing and developing and enacting strategies for managing complex issues are of course of central importance.

Complexity awareness is an important condition for having a genuine openness and earning mindset, because there is always an expectation that there are circumstances one is not yet aware of. Complexity awareness is strongly related to Critical thinking, Sense-making and Perspective skills.

Inner Development Goals 8: Perspective skills