Tuesday Ryan-Hart (live) and Tim Merry (via Skype) joined Allen Frimpong, Nancy Fritsche Eagan and me at the Center for Social Innovation on a November 20 & 21 in NYC for Creating Impact through Engagement: a deep dive into effective participatory practices for stakeholder engagement featuring inspirational, real world examples.
Tuesday brought us the story of Columbus Ohio’s city officials, business community and service providers deciding to work together to ensure that no citizen spends the night un-domiciled in their city and taking action to make it real.
Among many gems that emerged from this story, the photo above illustrates one that caught my attention. Tuesday described how her practice of inviting grace creates an environment were difficult conversations can become meaningful, even transformational and help move diverse groups to action.
Her practice of inviting grace into highly successful outcome-oriented processes challenges the paradigm that creating safe spaces (by prohibiting certain language and behaviors, etc.) is a necessary condition for working together across difference and power.
What if we focused on inviting grace into our relationships and conversations instead of focusing on prohibition? It would certainly encourage learning and growth rather than control.