from Mary Pierce Brosmer, founder of Women Writing for (a) Change(TM). This is part of a draft of the second chapter of her book with the working title Uncommon Sense: Leadership Lessons from the Heartland. The chapters are organized and being written seasonally, with liturgical and poetic overlay. The street paper, Article 25, published the whole chapter to date in its current issue.
Primer: Common Sense Practices for Integrating Shadow
1. Deal with your own shadow on a regular basis before attempting this work with those for whom you have responsibility. I don’t care how busy you are. Stop. Write your personal versions of the prompts you’ll ask your staff to respond to. This writing is to keep you honest and grounded. You don’t share the private writing with them, but when you are in group sessions, you must write, and you must share, or it is an abuse of your positional power
2. Enter this kind of work with the understanding that it’s relational, dynamic, and must never descend to pro forma, rote, or uninspired. Allow it to be both steady and allow it to evolve or it will become just one more dog and pony show.
3. Gather your staff or community on a regular basis, NOT just when there is a crisis, or when you have the energy for listening to them, or have just come back from a seminar filled with new ideas you want to suddenly implement. The practices I’m describing leverage the collective intelligence of a group. Continue reading