Kelvy Bird’s image from presencing.org
At my graphic recording gigs in 2017, I did scribing at levels 1 and 2; mirroring what I heard and making sense of content. Each time has been so different because my skills have evolved over time. Yet, I have noticed a heart opening every time I have scribed.
Image created by Nola Walker at Kelvy Bird’s Visual Practice Workshop in Toronto
Through our partnership with CORE, Julie Swanson, Nola Walker, and I had the opportunity to attend Kelvy Bird’s Visual Practice Workshop held in Toronto, Canada this April. We learned that generative scribing takes visual work to deeper levels by going beyond the superficial. It gets to the essence of things by co-creating powerful containers where deep listening can flourish and generative dialogue can be sustained to support participants in uncovering an emerging future of possibilities that are not mere echos of ideas sourced from the past. I have yet to experience scribing at this “level 4.” But at the two gigs I had in the month after returning from Kelvy’s workshop, I was able to show up with deeper confidence and capacity, capturing levels 1 and 2 and moving into Level 3 – relating ideas and making meaning. YAY!
At level 4, there is group interaction, a give and take that is different than traditional graphic recording/facilitation. The scribe shapes the room and the room shapes the scribe. How does one accomplish this? Theory U founder Otto Scharmer’s says, “It’s not a linear process. It’s an attunement to a field. It’s the art of allowing your hand to move and operate from the field, expressing the collective knowing, the felt sense in a system or group. How do you do that? By opening your heart. And when you are lucky, you connect to the collective by opening their hearts too.” (Foreword to Kelvy Bird’s book Generative Scribing: A Social Art for the 21st Century)
As I practice presencing and embodying this open heart more and more, I yearn to be of service at this deeper level of generative scribing, helping groups generate new possibilities. I look forward to getting to scribe with groups who are working collectively at a presencing level in this way, so that we can go deeper, further and faster together.
Stephanie Steigerwaldt is an “artist-in-residence” with CORE, along with her business partner at What’s Possible Now, Julie Swanson. Expand your consciousness and cultivate your capacity through a taste of what generative scribing offers at CORE’s Circle of Transformational Practice on October 12th 9:30-11:30am at Threshold, 2717 Atwood Ave. Stephanie, Julie, and their colleague Nola Walker will share some of what they learned at Kelvy Bird’s Workshop in April.