Lewis Deep Democracy, a method born in the transition from apartheid to a new democracy in South Africa, was developed by psychologists Myrna & Greg Lewis and inspired by Arnold Mindell’s Process Orientated Psychology. This method provides training that is powerful yet easy to learn, and adaptable to a wide range of life situations.
For our September event, we were joined by Myrna Lewis and her daughter, Bellamy Peddle. Together, they guided us through an experiential activity to explore the method and showed us how it can empower us to include all points of view and become adept at recognising and resolving tension and conflict, to unearth creativity, innovation and transformation.
Here’s an overview of the session:
- A short history of Lewis Deep Democracy – Myrna talked about how she and her late husband, Greg, came up with this methodology in South Africa over 30 years ago during the transition period to a new democracy when the country was at the brink of a civil war. Myrna explained that the essence of LDD is to make sure that all the voices are heard. When all voices are heard, inevitably there’s going to be diversity and differences of opinion, and LDD is all about how to help resolve the tension that comes from this.
- The psychology behind the method.
- Is it safe to have your say? – and what happens when you don’t get to have your say, which takes us to the next point.
- The Resistance Line – Bellamy unpacked the Resistance Line for us – a really interesting diagnostic tool for people’s behaviour when they don’t get to have their say. Starting quite hidden (just like an iceberg), from covert – a behaviour that’s not easy to pick up, the line moves on and slowly escalates through jokes, sarcasm, excuses, gossip, communication breakdown, disruption, going slow, strike, and then finally overt.
- The Lewis Deep Democracy Debate – We learnt that this very useful and relevant tool could come in really handy during meetings, brainstorming and even general interactions.
- Experiencing the method – We got a lick of the ice cream when we tried using the tools of LDD and we took a moment to observe how this methodology helps to take in various different opinions and come to a resolution without power-play coming in, thereby lessening tension.
At the end of this wonderful session, we were given a QR code for two micro courses. Members can view this code towards the end of the video.
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