The Economy and the Environment – Us or Them?

Historically, the environment has been given a bad rap and in some quarters it still is. Much like the early days of 'Occupational Health & Safety' and 'Product Quality', many still see ‘The Environment’ as the enemy of prosperity, not the root of it.

Understanding our relationship with the environment is a bit like borrowing a lawnmower from your neighbour – there are different ways you can go about it. You could hire a couple of heavies, break down his door, tell him you’re taking the lawnmower and will bring it back when you’re good and ready. Or, you could say nothing, open his garden shed with bolt cutters and make off with the mower, then not return it and leave it out to rust, then sell your house and move when you get sick of the rusting lawnmower spoiling your view. Or, you could knock on the neighbour’s door, ask to borrow his lawnmower just long enough to mow your lawn and promise to return it with a full tank. With this approach he’ll more than likely ask if you want to borrow his line trimmer as well. After mowing the lawn you give the mower a good clean, refill the tank and return it with a six-pack of ale to say thanks.

Obviously, the latter is the preferred option, the reason being that we are all part of the same community and behaving in this way fosters attachment and overall cordial relations, helping society to function more smoothly and making day-to-day life a whole lot more pleasant.

Where the environment is concerned we have become increasingly detached, seeing it as uncooperative in our quest for affluence – unless we use brute force. Further, to maintain the required outcome, we use increasing levels of brute force rather than question the methods used for extracting the required outcome in the first place.

‘The Environment’ is an increasingly pressing issue and in the business community we have not just the opportunity, but also the responsibility, to radically rethink the way we do things. To rescue our environment, planet Earth, and preserve it for future generations, we should be striving not to behave less-badly towards it, but to behave really well.

To establish contact with Simon Waller to discuss our Environment Improvement Program, please contact Lauren Kotze at Integral Development on 6304 8354.

Simon Waller has been developing Integral Development’s environmental tools and maps, and has a keen interest in implementing Integral environmental and social action within organisations.

Creative Conflict

The term ‘conflict’ can be used to describe a wide range of circumstances from misunderstanding to undeclared war – where people are involved, some level of conflict is almost inevitable.

In the workplace the potential for loss of a desired position or perspective can cause fearful anxieties that are often the source of single-minded ruthlessness in the most difficult conflicts.

Conflict creates tension and, if mismanaged or left uncontained, can lead to unproductive relationships spawning destructive inertia that can cripple an organisation. But when managed well, the tension from conflict can be channelled creatively as the required energy for innovation.

Creative conflict aims to integrate different perspectives through ‘robust containment’ and allows for the possibility of the discovery and creation of a new, third position that is recognised by the conflicted because it has elements of both previous positions but speaks to something obvious, as if it had always been known. The loss of the previous positions can then be mourned in creative union.

So what are some of the elements that may assist with the process of creative conflict?

• Be present physically, emotionally and cognitively.
• Be tuned to the interpersonal relationship and not caught up in one’s self.
• Be aware of the impression conveyed by body language.
• Identify and acknowledge the points on which you agree to form the foundation for exploring the points on which you disagree?
• View your role as biographer to the story of the other to clarify their position to what is understandable to you both.
• Truly listen and be receptive to the expressed thoughts, feelings and desires of the other.
• Understand that emotional reaction is communication and is fertile ground for developing of relationship.
• Be willing to consciously and critically assess your assumptions.
• Be able to suspend judgment but be aware of its presence.

To establish a truly creative environment, the old and established patterns of thinking and seeing the world have to be demolished to facilitate a process that is robust enough to reap the substantial rewards of creative conflict.

For further reading please click here for the book review of 'Fierce Conversations'.

Gregg Kershaw
Analytical Psychotherapist
ID Executive Coach

When you listen, what do you hear?

Listening and hearing are not the same thing. The Macquarie Dictionary defines listen as ‘to attend closely for the purpose of hearing’ and hear as ‘to listen to with favour, assent, or compliance …to learn by the ear’.

To truly hear requires that the listener attend closely for the purpose of hearing and in a manner that facilitates learning what the ‘other’ is communicating.

The essence of communication is two people engaged in an effort to relate to one another, but what they are relating to is both their our own psychological self and the psychological self of the other. To truly hear is to remember that the other is often a mirror to unconscious aspects of oneself.

As we engage with the spoken communication of the other, we must engage in a kind of ‘psychological listening’ so as to truly hear what is being communicated and this requires a wide range of personal skills, including:

• To be physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally present.
• To be aware of and understand non-spoken communication; i.e. context, mood, tone of voice, body language etc.
• To possess genuine self-awareness.
• To possess emotional honesty.
• To be empathetic.

The skills required for effective listening are many and varied, but they can be learnt. For further reading please follow this link for access to a booklet titled ‘Active Listening’ from the ‘Ideas into Action Series’.

Andre Zanardo
ID Executive Coach

Five-Minute Fitness with 5 x 3

In Integral Development’s 3600 Leadership & Management Profile under the section heading ‘Personal Integrity and Self-Awareness’ (page 11), one of the statements presented for rating is “I look after my physical wellbeing and health (eg sufficient exercise, healthy diet, work-home balance)”.

We are all familiar with the plethora of evidence for the significant impact of ‘sufficient exercise’ on our short- and long-term health and wellbeing. The trouble is, with the constant professional and personal demands of everyday life, many of us baulk at the prospect of yet another commitment (time for the gym?), while at the same time we feel guilty for not heeding the constant health warnings. As these mixed emotions toy with our motivation to exercise, getting started is even more unlikely.

The Government of Western Australia Department for Planning and Infrastructure 2007 Walk There Today Guidebook (available for download at, suggests a minimum 30 minutes of walking on all or most days, at a speed that is fast enough to increase heart rate, but not impair your ability to talk.

The problem is that the minimum timeframe can induce all-or-nothing thinking: “If I can’t do 30 minutes, there’s no point”. This then compounds the already toying emotions and getting started is looking like it will never happen.

With the ‘30-minutes on all or most days’ minimum as the ultimate goal and the news that short bursts of exercise are equally or more beneficial than extended exercise (see, there are other options – for many of us, any change would be a quantum leap forward in the exercise game and a solid foundation for future development.

So, why not start with five minutes of walking three times a week (5 x 3) incorporated into your usual routine? This might be something like walking up the stairs in your office building every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, instead of riding in the lift. The key to getting started is identifying your personal 5 x 3 window.

For motivation and accountability, you could list the walks in your diary and mark them off as they are achieved. Once 5 x 3 is established as part of your usual routine, believe it or not, you will have achieved that seemingly impossible goal – a lifestyle change – and it hasn’t cost a cent.

You may begin to feel just a touch self-satisfied – good about your superior self-discipline – and this is likely to increase your motivation. You may also notice that during your 5 x 3 a mind space is created that is yours alone – to think and reflect (like meditation on the move).

If you take up the 5 x 3 challenge, you will be well placed to take advantage of the further options for incorporating exercise into your usual routine to be explored in the next eBulletin.

Ken Milling
Analytical Psychotherapist
ID Executive Coach