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Have you ever experienced a situation at work, in your community or in your personal life where you felt “stuck” and unable to move forward toward resolving an issue? Did there seem to be no mutually beneficial or agreeable answers?

Happening more often than we might like to acknowledge, we all at times initially inhibit ourselves by clinging to preconceived notions instead of opening up to the possibility of finding another, more creative solution.

Effective leaders understand the importance of a collaborative effort when working toward a successful conclusion. In order to work together as a creative team, we need to trust each other as a collective and learn to use that trust to move forward in an open and empathetic way. Only by learning to embrace this concept will we be able to grow into a more compassionate and accepting community.

As leaders in communities and workplaces of ever-increasing diversity, it is essential for us to effect compassionate leadership. There are, in fact, strategies for communicating care in a positive and encouraging way, across differences in identity and culture.

Arawana Hayashi, acharya (senior teacher) in Shambhala, choreographer, performer and educator of collaborative improvisation, offers a fresh perspective on how to move away from our our tunnel vision by applying fluid and mindful techniques to improve our social and organizational communication.

Through the innovative concept of Social Presencing Theater, Arawana enables us to draw upon an intuitive knowledge of ourselves that will enhance the practice of compassionate leadership.

Drawing on non-verbal and reflection techniques, Arawana invites us to suspend our restrictive preconceptions of problem-solving and move toward a healthier, more creative situation. Rather than attempting to “fix” a situation from the same mindset or frame of reference that created the stuck situation, we learn, through movement and gestures, to free our minds and open ourselves to embracing enlightening insights into our personal and organizational lives.

By paying attention to our “body-knowing” and to the social field, we discover new directions and fresh insights that enable us to discard unhealthy concepts, build trust in ourselves and others through a co-creative system, and create a future that does not marginalize but rather includes an entire community.

Arawana Hayashi is a featured presenter at the ALIA Summer Leadership Intensive, Engaging the Differences that Divide Us. Her pioneering work as a choreographer, performer and educator is deeply sourced in collaborative improvisation. She co-created Social Presencing Theater for the Presencing Institute with founders Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer, also from the MIT Leadership Center. ALIA Summer Leadership Intensive, Module #1.

Arawana Hayashi


ALIA Summer Leadership Intensive

Engaging the Differences that Divide Us
June 22 – 25, 2017 | Tacoma, WA

Strengthen your capacity to lead fearlessly. Participate in a powerful learning community and experience “deep dive” modules with diverse, world-class faculty. Learn More

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