Monday, 31 August 2009

Find a confidant

Authentic living is a lonely journey, but it can’t be done alone. A confidant is someone you can pour everything out with, who will lift you high enough to see a new perspective, and support you to discover and honour your true voice. Over the years, it has been women who have taught me the value of real friendships.


Groupe Courage International Inc.

Co-propriétaire - Co-owner

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Monday, 24 August 2009

Spend some time every day in nature

Put your feet on the ground. Feel the pulse of the earth and of the universe. Feel yourself being a part of all that surrounds you. Nature teaches us a reverence for life, and awareness that plants don’t grow better because we demand or threaten them. Plants grow only when the conditions are in place. Nature, in all its storms, seasons, and

beauty, are manifestations of realness in its purest form.

Source: David Irvine, Tips for becoming real, the journey to authenticity.

Group Courage International: Workshops

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Take a daily sabbatical - a time away from the demands of the world.

Even if it’s five minutes, make time for daily solitude, silence, and to attend to the voice within. Authenticity cannot grow in the soil of over-busyness or over commitment to what others expect from you. S-l-o-w-d-o-w-n to the speed of life and tune in to your inner signals.

Source: David Irvine, Tips for becoming real, the journey to authenticity.

Group Courage International: Workshops

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Friday, 21 August 2009

Art of Conversation - Stop Talking and Listen Deeply

The greatest mistake we can make in a conversation is not to listen. Rambling on, getting through the conversation, repeating our point of view, spacing out, assuming we know what the other person is about to say – in effect trying to get somewhere fast – is simply insulting. Much that is communicated at work is not spoken. Our colleagues’ tone of voice, body posture, choice of phrases – even the placement of a briefcase or a pen – can offer insights into what is truly being said and what our colleagues truly need. By listening deeply, we are fully available and attentive and invite others to be equally open.

Source: Michael Carroll

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Art of Conversation - Appreciate Silence

Conversations are inevitably punctuated with moments of silence. Such pauses can be slightly unnerving, but we can refrain from filling them up. We can pause and respect the moment, letting the situation unfold at its own pace. – Michael Carroll

In music, mastery of silence differentiates the great from others. I believe the same is true to become a great conversationalists.

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Art of Conversation - Notice the Setting

Taking note of our physical surroundings creates space for our conversation: we slow down and appreciate the moment. By noticing where we are, we may choose to have a conversation elsewhere out of earshot of others, straighten up our desk to create a more appealing atmosphere, or simply met the moment fully alert.


Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Cultivate the Art of Conversation

Advice from Michael Carroll: At work, we typically converse in order to get somewhere-to achieve things. So much of our conversation is taken up with deliverables, deadlines, and crises that much of the art of conversation in overlooked. We may be getting somewhere in our conversations, but by not also being somewhere, we can miss the graceful role conversations play in promoting a decent, respectful, and creative workplace. Cultivating the art of conversation encourages us to consider our exchanges at work not just as opportunities to be effective and get our job done but also as valuable moments to be considerate, alerts, and authentic.

In order to cultivate this art, we can keep in mind the following courtesies of workplace conversations:

·         Notice the setting

·         Appreciate silence

·         Stop talking and listen deeply

·         Ask helpful questions

·         Speak clearly, refraining from harsh phrases and jargon

·         Have a sense of humour

·         Appreciate coincidence

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Rediscovering lost passions and dreams

According to David Irvine, passions which we demonstrate as children need to continue to be un wrapped throughout our adult lives.

As we consider the possibilities in initiating or accepting change in our lives, we need to connect with our gifts and experiences. If you are going to reroute your life, however gently, how are you to know which direction to take? The experiences of childhood provide important clues. Try to remember, what you enjoyed playing at most when you were young. It doesn’t matter if it defied logic. The joy of the moment was real, and the signpost that passion provide is important.

The clearer the connection to your true essence, the closer you come to living  a simpler, more contented life. The deeper your understanding of your experience, the more power you have to use what you have learned. I encourage you to rediscover your lost passions and dreams and experiences, looking not only with your head, but also with your heart.

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Thursday, 13 August 2009

What can a Retreat Achieve?

A well-conceived, well-designed, well-run retreat can

·         Help change an organization’s strategic direction

·         Generate new solutions for old problems

·         Get everyone pulling in the same direction

·         Help people feel heard about issues that matter to them

·         Deal with sources of overt or buried conflict

·         Allow colleagues to get to know and come to trust one another

·         Foster new ways of working together

·         Help people see things in new ways and envision new possibilities for themselves and for the organization

·         Create a common frame of reference for past events and future expectations

·         Contribute to creating a new and healthier culture for the organization

·         Encourage people to take risks that are necessary for the organization to thrive

Source: Retreats That Work

What’s your best story on either conducting or participating to a well-conceived, well-designed, well-run retreat?

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Changing Others - Changing Oneself

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world; as I grew older and wiser I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change my country, but it too seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those close to me. But alas, they would have none of it!

And now I realize as I lie on my death bed, if I had only changed myself, then, by example, I might have changed my family. From their aspirations and encouragement I would have been able to better my country, and who knows, I might have even changed the world.”

-A message inscribed at the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in Westminster Abbey. Quote from Simple Living in a Complex World by David Irvine

I realize now that something similar may have been written at my tomb if I had I continued concentrating only on the outside world. For many years, I was busy finding ways to change the world. Now, I’m busy changing myself. So simple, and yet, not easy to commit too on a daily basis.

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Monday, 10 August 2009

Starting Again

In their book entitled Instructions to the Cook – a Zen’s Master Lessons in Living a Life That Matters, Bernard Glassman and Rick Fields explain that when we finish something, whether it is a meal or a project, our whole world has been destroyed. But the annihilation or consumption is obviously not the end of our work or our lives. Only when we have finished something have we created the space to make something new. Of course, this is another way of saying that nothing is ever finished. No single meal – no matter how delicious or how nutritious – will put an end to our cooking and eating.

How much space are you creating for yourself, at home, at work or in your community to make something new happen? One way to begin creating space in your life is to finish a project or a task today.

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Authentic Leadership

Over the years, while working with various organizations, I've found that descriptions are more useful than definitions to engage people in conversations. Definitions tend to be static and descriptions, dynamic.

Harrison Owen, creator of Open Space Technology (OST) describes authentic leadership in these words - Leadership is authentic in the sense that it is emergent from the group itself, and totally congruent with the people involved, the task they have undertaken, and the environment in which they work. And should any of these elements change, leadership will change virtually instantaneously. All of this contrasts starkly with the more traditional understanding of leadership in which the one, or the few, are predesignated to command and control the many.

In Open Space the function of leadership manifests at the junction of passion and responsibility. This finding applies generally across the broader world of all self-organizing systems. In a word, Authentic Leadership is not a matter of title and position, nor can it be predetermined.

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Online activities of Canadian boomers and seniors

Summary of study: Online activities of Canadian boomers and seniors

In 2007, seniors were significantly less likely to be online than boomers, but the relative gap in Internet use rates between these groups has been closing from 2000 to 2007.

The increase in Internet use rates among older Canadians will likely persist as today’s seniors continue to adopt the Internet as an information tool. Additionally, because almost 80% of the baby boom generation are current Internet users, as these individuals age their continued use of the Internet is likely. These shifts, coupled with evidence that few online individuals later decide to cease using it, suggest increasing rates of Internet use among Canadian seniors.

While Internet use rates among Canadian seniors are likely to continue to increase, less is known about how specific patterns of online behaviour will change as boomers age. In every generation, the needs and preferences of individuals are likely to change as they age.25 This study did not examine changes in online behaviour over time, but did find that online baby boomers and seniors differed significantly in the types of activities they perform online.

Whether seniors of tomorrow will spend more time online—on average—than do today's seniors, is not immediately clear. Overall, the fact that today's baby boomers generally engage in more online activities suggests that as the age cohorts move through time, Canadian seniors will have higher levels of Internet experience and increasingly diverse usage patterns. However, the extent to which these changes occur will vary with users' changing needs.

Ben Veenhof and Peter Timusk are analysts with Business Special Surveys and Technology Statistics Division at Statistics Canada.

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Everything is Always Changing

According to Bernard Glassman, what prevents us from seeing things and ourselves clearly is the clutter of our conditioning.

Conditioning, of course, is very natural, just as the ripples and waves on the lake are natural. Conditioning is due to previous events. When things happen a certain number of times, we form the habit of expecting things to continue happening that way. And so we act as we have in the past. But in actuality everything is always changing. No two moments are the same.

It’s important to realize that we don’t have to forget our past. We only have to le go of our attachments to the past. Let’s say, for example, that I’ve done business with someone who has taken advantage of me five or six times. I shouldn’t forget that. But at the same time, I don’t have to be so attached to what happened in the past that it overwhelms what I think of that person now.

There is a saying in Zen that if you haven’t seen somebody for two minutes, don’t assume he or she is the same person. Maybe that person has changed, or maybe conditions have changed. The important thing is to see what I can do now. If you and I are not bound by our past conditioning, we can see things a fresh. Then every moment contains a new opportunity.

Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette (Québec)


(819) 766-2873

Holistic Leadership Development: September 21-24, 2009, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.A. (pilot workshop offered in English only)

Holistic Leadership Development: October 26-30, 2009, White Point Beach Resort, NS, Canada (workshop offered in English only)

Les pratiques de résolution de conflits (Module 3 du programme Genuine Contact) : 22 au 23 octobre à Gatineau, QC, Canada.  L'atelier est offert en français

Travailler avec la techonologie du Forum ouvert- Working with Open Space Technology (Module 1 du programme Genuine Contact) : 20 au 23 novembre 2009 à Val-David, QC, Canada.  L'atelier est offert en français - Workshop offered in English

L'organisation ouverte et conscienteConscious Open Space Organization (Module 4 du programme Genuine Contact) : 24 au 27 novembre 2009 à Val-David, QC, Canada.
  L'atelier est offert en français - Workshop offered in English

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Friday, 7 August 2009

Heroism is as much about inner strength as it is about acts of physical courage

More wisdom from Lama Surya Das

All heroes have at least one thing in common. They don’t run away from their fears. Heroes are just as afraid as the rest of us, but they have learned how to confront and walk through their terrors. Quite simply, heroes aren’t afraid of being afraid. When faced with difficulties, a true hero is able to make courageous choices and decisions. He or she is able to say: “This isn’t necessarily what I want to do , but it’s what I have to do.” Heroes have learned to give themselves to life, even when there is no pleasure involved in doing so. Generosity of spirit is part of heroism: holding yourself back can impose all varieties of mind-made limitations.

Anyone who has experienced a major loss, whether that loss be the death of a loved one or the death of a long-cherished dream, is being asked to acknowledge and rely on a inner capacity for the heroic.

Heroism is as much about inner strength as it is about acts of physical courage.

Marquis Bureau

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Our Relationship with Change

Lama Surya Das questions why is it so hard to let go of even superficial attachments? Impossible even? The fact is that most of us have a love-hate relationship with change. We like change, and we don’t like change. We like new and different things, and yet we are attached to the familiar. Comfort food and comforting habits are examples of the way we cling to familiar routines and ruts. Often we cling to habits that aren’t even comforting or satisfying simply because we are unable to let go or explore new ways to do things. Think of all the people who hang on to their addictions because they are resistant to change. Individual change and transformation can be difficult. It takes guts. And sometimes, it requires outside help.

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Confusion is the Beginning of Wisdom

In his most recent book, Wave Rider – Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World, Harrison Owen explains that confusion is the intellectual equivalent of chaos, and like chaos, it has gifts to give, albeit painful ones. Confusion serves the useful function of muddling made up minds so that new ideas make break through. It is always disconcerting when it happens, but as long as we are confirmed in our settled opinions, the likely of seeing our world in new, different, and better ways will elude us. The onset confusion is typically marked by the perception of anomaly. Things just aren’t working the way they are supposed to, and we are confronted with a choice. Perhaps our vision is impaired? Or perhaps the spectacles through which we have been viewing our life need to be replaced. It is all very confusing, but when, and if, the day arrives in which the perceived anomaly is no longer the exception, we will have reached the cutting edge of new knowledge. It may just be that confusion is the beginning of wisdom.

If you’ve attended an Open Space Technology (OST) meeting, you’ll have experienced both chaos and confusion. They seem to be essential to living. Learning happens when we experience chaos and/or confusion. Opening space in our personal and organizational lives allows for continuous learning and quality living.

To learn more on working with OST

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

How a good leadership story has the power to engage hearts and minds

Stewart D. Friedman, Practice Professor of Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in Philadelphia on how a good leadership story has the power to engage hearts and minds. It has these six crucial elements:

  1. Draws on your real past and lessons you've learned from it.
  2. Resonates emotionally with your audience because it's relevant to them.
  3. Inspires your audience because it's fuelled by your passion.
  4. Shows the struggle between your goal and the obstacles you faced in pursuing it.
  5. Illustrates with a vivid example.
  6. Teaches an important lesson.

If you have leadership stories to share, I would love to hear them.

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous

Chaos in Personal and/or Organizational Life

Harrison Owen, creator of Open Space Technology (OST), describes chaos as the antidote for order, and most especially The Established Order. It represents the dissolution of things as they were. It is always uncomfortable, not to say painful, but if we are ever going to experience novelty, space is required for the emergence of the new. Indeed scientists are now telling us that not only us chaos a part of life, a fact we know all too well, but that chaos is essential to life. Without chaos, there would be no life. Obviously this represents a distinct departure from that part of the conventional wisdom which perceives a meaningful life to be one of balance and equilibrium. However, as a biologist friend pointed out – when you reach equilibrium in biology, you are dead. The sad truth of the matter is that there is precisely one instant in our entire existence when we achieve equilibrium, and that is in the moment of our dying. Until then we are in some state of disequilibrium, and that is life.

Open-up space in your personal and/or organizational life to experience novelty. Learn how to with Courage Group International.

Marquis Bureau

Posted via email from MBureau's posterous