Capture6This is part three in a series of posts about The Ideal Problem Solving Tool. In the previous issue we talked a bit about basis of our methodology and how did we get there. Essentially, in order to find a solution, we need to create the environment that would elevate people above the level on which the core of the problem exists. That environment would also serve as a common space or an integral field that we create by conforming to the special guidelines. We view each person as a holder of a certain facet of the solution that he/she contributes to the common space. The result is that these facets connect into one whole and voilà- the integral solution is born.

Fundamentally, the Integral methodology is derived from the principles of collective intelligence, crowd sourcing, ancient wisdom and common sense:).

The methodology is simple and complex at the same time. While its rules and structure are simple, it is the actual process could be rather complex: when we change peoples’ attitudes towards each other we enable natural integral forces to build that common space and thus empowering them to solve essentially any problem.

As we spoke in our previous issue, a circular shape has served us as well throughout our history, so we choose it as but not as an actual physical layout but rather as a notion for gathering people together around whatever they may look for. And we called that notion a Circle.

It does resemble a convention round table; we may say it sprung out of it. In modern terms, “round table” is a decision-making process used by different social, political, business and cultural groups to identify solutions for issues of common interest. A round table is also a place of gathering such groups. There are three major components to a round table:

  • The purpose of the discussion – a collection of ideas and opinions regarding the problem at hand.
  • All round table participants must act as proponents (meaning their opinions concern/reflect the subject matter rather than the opinions of others).
  • All participants are equal; no one has the right to dictate his will and decisions.

Our Circle is greater than both Wikipedia’s definition and that of King Arthur’s knights. It takes us much further and, eventually, into a different dimension, on a level that is higher than a problem we are to resolve.

Let’s see the difference between “conventional” round table and our Circle meetings.

Conventional Round Table Circle (Integral Round Table)
Participants cannot disregard the status, experience, and position of others, thus forbidding a discussion of equals. There are no “superior” or “smaller” people. All participants are equally important.
Regardless of the established topic, participants often pursue their own agenda or whatever idea strikes them at that moment, which may lead them to go completely off topic. Participants clearly and concisely present their views on the issue at hand without straying from the topic.
People use Round Table as a forum to present their own ideas and promote their own products, services, and communities. People aim to come to a common solution which is inclusive of all the nuances and satisfies all participants.
Participants have no time limit and thus can speak endlessly until disinterest of others comes to their attention. The principle of equal time provides a structure for each participant’s opinion in  Usually talk about 2-3 min.
Participants often interrupt each other. They try to establish supremacy over one another, brag or whine, and express outrage, sarcasm or distaste. Participants never interrupt each other. They wait respectfully for one another to finish and speak in turns.
Participants rarely listen to each other. They occasionally show their interest to be polite, periodically stating, “I know…” “I understand… ,” “Wow,” etc. Participants listen to each other attentively, aiming to understand others’ points of view as they would their own, justifying and understanding them as closely as possible.
Participants rarely have a common goal. (Could have it on the surface but with lots of hidden agendas) Participants are inspired and united around the goal of arriving at a mutual decision and forming an environment (a common space) of inclusiveness, mindfulness and warmth.
More often than not, participants argue and critique one another, trying to impose their opinions, understandings, and mindset. As equals, participants never argue and accept any opinion presented at the Circle as correct, justifying and respecting other speakers.
If there are differences, animosity, etc. participants usually do not try to come to common solution. Each keeps his/her own opinion. Trying to overcome differences by mutual efforts, rising above differences while aspiring to the common goal that connects them. Learn how to yield to each other, enjoy such moments as opportunities for advancement (both, personal and common)
Participants speak from “the brain.” Participants speak from “the heart.”
Those who don’t wish to participate or have anything to add sit in silence, yawning. Even those who don’t want to talk or have anything to share, briefly present their attitude towards the discussed topic. They understand that the inclusive common field that is being built will be incomplete without their participation.
Any final decisions made at the Round Table are arrived at by a majority vote. After getting a taste of the experience, people acquire a unique skill and desire to accept and consider only unanimous decisions coming from a place of mutual understanding, from the center of the Circle.
At the end of the meeting people are often filled with negative emotions such as envy, irritation, superiority or inferiority, and anger. People feel that the experience was empty and are seldom empowered to an elevated state of being. At the end of the meeting people feel unity, warm heartfelt connection, satisfaction, inspiration, and joy. They are filled with confidence and peace that is common in a large and friendly family. Each participant feels stronger, fuller, and more complete.
After leaving the meeting people immediately go their own way, quickly forgetting about their recently shared experience. After leaving the meeting people want to meet as soon as possible so as to engage in this wonderful process again.
After the meeting people feel that others lack engagement, kindness, and a sense of mutual care. After the meeting people feel a genuine connection with each other.


To be continued…