Home > Conference: November 2009 > Jennifer GB on competing commitments (liveblog)

Jennifer GB on competing commitments (liveblog)

November 3rd, 2009

It’s after morning tea, and JGB is introducing the second thinking tool. It’s about competing commitments.

Jennifer says we talk about people who say one thing and do another as “hypocrites” – she suggests we need to rethink this. The thing is, we ALL disagree with ourselves. We all SAY we will do certain things, or be certain ways, and yet we dont always DO them!

JGB introduces the theory of Robert (Bob) Kegan who talks about competing commitments. She asks the audience:

“What is the change to 21st century education you’re most committed to seeing in your own practice?”

She invites us to talk to our neighbour about the thing we have written.  There is a BUZZ of discussion in the room!

Wrestling back control of the floor, Jennifer asks us to recognise that while we are probably genuinely being committed to whatever we have written, that none of us acts in this way all the time. Her next question is:

“what do YOU do that gets in the way of this change in your own work?”.

Again, there is a buzz!

Jennifer asks – what was the difference between the two conversations you’ve just had?

Cmments include – the first conversation was easier and more fun. There was more energy in the room during the first discussion. The second conversation was harder, the energy in the room didn’t feel as good. One person said “for me the two conversations were very entwined”.

Jennifer says – we often talk about our commitments, because it FEELS GOOD – but we don’t tend to talk about the “shadows” – we don’t talk about the things we are disappointed in about ourselves, the things that hold us back, etc.

Kegan says the reason we “get in our own way” is probably because we are also committed to something that is UNDERMINED by our first commitment. For example, you might be committed to 21st century ways, but you are also committed to having control. You might be committed to being confused all the time, but also committed to knowing what’s going on.

Jennifer asks:

What might be the thing that is getting in your way? What is it protecting you from? What might I be trying to keep from happening in the world?

some tweets along the way:

@virago1mary JGB: Is being PRESENT (Senge)key to navigating the neutral zone?

@ rachlovestheweb @shiftingthinkng mine is for EVERY1 to have the chutzpah to thnk we can try anything and the humility to know we’ll often be wrong n its OK!

@rachlovestheweb @shiftingthinkng what I do that smtimes gets in th way: Looking 4 external approval/endorsement and losing heart if it’s not there…

@rachlovestheweb@shiftingthinkng: Mine is, if I totally own all my ideas (good and bad) – then I am totally responsible for them if they’re dumb!! :)

@virago1mary acknowledging ur shadows adds authenticity! Enriches learning. YAY!

@ ditto16 What a great start! The shift is building momentum

@jupitergreen The vibes are bubbling over and out the door!!!!!

@quelayla @shiftingthinkng Jennifer just stated that “competing commitments are a part of the fabric of being human” *like*

Jennifer sums up by asking us what we can gain by examining our own shadows, and how can we take this new knowledge and way of seeing ourselves and use it to help us as we enter periods of change – how we move from an old self to the new self we want to become.

Conference: November 2009 , ,

  1. | #1

    More audience tweets:

    @m4syz_lrng Jennifer’s comment about confronting our own shadows connects with the notion of UPR for learners: Unconditional Positive Regard

  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.