Rules or patterns

Matt has picked up on my comments about brainstorming. I particularly liked this comment he makes:

For every rule there is a conceivable circumstance when it should be broken. Instead, there are patterns for facilitation Things that work. Sometimes. For you.

This reminds me of another pattern I’m drawn to: to favour description over prescription: pay more attention to what is happening and less to your notion of what should be happening. “I’m feeling concerned about x” feels a more useful intervention than “we shouldn’t really be doing x”. “I notice we seem to have moved away from talking about x and are now talking more about y” maybe be more useful than “Hey, we need to get back to the agenda!”

When I use the word useful, I suppose that’s shorthand for the notion of creating more space, possibliity space I guess. By focussing on what is happening in the moment, we become more present and more alive to the subtle choices it presents. More alive, period. If we switch to abstract notions of what should be, it seems we start to close that space down.

Sure, there are times when we have good reason to close down possibilities. My experience is that it’s easy to overdo it.

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