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  • Writer's pictureAscent Leadership Program

Deep Democracy - a Metaskill


This past weekend, Cassie and I participated in a systems and relationship coaching workshop together with people from several different countries. It was a connecting and fun experience! One deep learning, amongst several for me, was rooted in an exercise where we used a powerful tool and metaskill called Deep Democracy. What is a metaskill? A metaskill is a stance, an attitude, a philosophy that a coach and participant can hold during a coaching and/or activity.


Deep Democracy is a metaskill that holds everyone and everything is needed to represent reality. It begins with a premise of awareness that everyone is right - partially, therefore the world can only be understood, partially. Personally, it means being open to all of our inner voices, feelings, and movements, not only the ones we know and support, but also the ones we fear and do not know well. In relationships, it means having ongoing awareness of our highest ideals and worst moods. In systems, it means input needs to be valued from all members.


How can I support and leverage the metaskill of Deep Democracy within my team environment?


Here are some reflection questions for each of us to consider:

  • What input/feedback am I ignoring? What do I consistently promote and affirm?

  • Is it safe enough for team members to speak to marginalized and unpopular stands?

  • Is it safe to speak to how safe it feels?

  • How willing and open am I to 'tap into' an opposing viewpoint, or one I don't understand all that well, and speak up for it?

  • What viewpoints do I tend to criticize and judge?

  • What wisdom is contained within the conflict I am experiencing?

  • "Who knows what is good and what is bad?" - a refrain of a Taoist sage (I encourage you to go find this online - very interesting).

Have a wonderful holiday week and grow your curiosity of the different 'voices' you encounter.

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