I was excited to meet Rev. Eric Law (Founder and Executive Director of the Kaleidoscope Institute) today at the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real in Salinas, California. Rev. Law is the developer of Mutual Invitation, a popular and effective method for inclusive communication between a variety of people. He was interested to see the “Mutual Invitation with Positive Review” diagram I created for reference by the Everwise Women’s Group this week. So, I am posting it here.
Mutual Invitation was designed for multi-cultural settings where it is important for all voices to be considered. It encourages sharing of power and careful listening to both the reserved and the talkative members of a group. Mutual Invitation works best for groups of 12 to 15 people and only when there is time available to listen to all views.
In this diagram, I combined Rev. Law’s Mutual Invitation method with something I am calling Positive Review. This is a way to consider a proposal (or a job candidate, or idea – something complex) in a balanced way. I did not create either method but have used both, and find that they also work well together. In my earlier blog post Why Ideas are Killed, I quoted Charles Kettering:
Man is so constituted as to see what is wrong with a new thing – not what is right. To verify this, you have but to submit a new idea to a committee. They will obliterate ninety per cent of rightness for the sake of ten per cent of wrongness. The possibilities a new idea opens up are not visualized because not one man in a thousand has imagination.
I find that the Positive Review method keeps a group from savaging something new – because it is easier to be negative. That is, Positive Review allows people time to understand benefits well before turning to disadvantages. Using Mutual Invitation and Positive Review together takes time to process but is a effective combined method of giving a balanced, inclusive, review to a complex subject.
Update: Thanks to Rev. Eric Law for re-publishing this blog entry!