Professional Development Day 2017
Bridging the Gap: Using the Polarity Approach
“The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do
something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” ~ Helen Keller
Have you ever been on the polar opposite side of an issue with no perceivable middle ground in sight? Thriving in an increasingly interdependent and complex world requires we meet our personal and professional challenges with creativity. The Polarity Map and approach makes this process easier by providing a way to supplement “OR” thinking with “AND” thinking, bridging the gap in solving complex problems.
“Polarities” are interdependent pairs that need each other over time achieve a greater purpose and are unsolvable using “OR” thinking. A good metaphor for a polarity is inhale and exhale. We can’t choose one or the other as a solution. Another example of a polarity is activity AND rest, again, both poles are needed over time to maintain good health. And in both of these examples, the poles of the polarity contribute to a greater purpose – allowing the individual to both survive and thrive.
In this interactive workshop, you will:
- Learn what polarities are
- How the predictable dynamic of polarities work and
- How to apply the 5-Step S.M.A.L.L. process (Seeing, Mapping, Assessing, Learning, and Leveraging) using the Polarity Map for real world issues in personal, professional, and cultural life.
In the business literature polarities go by different names (e.g., paradox, dilemmas, tensions, wicked problems, competing values). The research is clear – individuals/leaders, teams/organizations, and communities that see and leverage these tensions outperform those that don’t.
Over the course of the workshop, different common polarities in different domains of life will be explored, from the individual, to the organizational, to the cultural/political. Join us as we learn a versatile and scalable framework for honoring differences and moving us towards our common goals!
This session will be co-facilitated by Cliff Kayser, Vice President for Polarity Partnerships and Lisa Gray, Assistant Director of Student Life, Cultural and Spiritual Diversity, UMBC.