The Process of Inventing Yourself

Land Acknowledgment

In New York, we are on the ancestral land of the Lenape people.

We say this to acknowledge that, no matter when or how we personally arrived on this land, we each have a relationship to the life and the pain that this ground has been witness to.

Let us take a moment to reflect on the responsibility of that relationship.

Let us be stewards of this land and make a connection to it that allows us to leave it better off than when we arrived.

If you’d like to learn more you can go to these links to get a deeper understanding.

A Thought Experiment

How do you see the world? What is the lens you are looking through? What gifts or attributes do you have as a human being that are unique? Why are you, you? How do you connect to others and the world? What have your experiences taught you thus far?

And how does any of this matter to you when you are thinking about what kind of career you might want to pursue?

How does knowing yourself make you employable?

Setting the Container

The purpose of this training is to help you develop essential skills for use in your personal and professional growth.

  • Experience and Understand The Body~Mind~Heart Connection
  • Learn Important Terms and Tools
    • Purpose, Intentions, and Expectations
    • Build Your Rock
    • The Four Human Endowments
    • Paradigms and Principles
  • Tool ~ Generative Social Fields
  • Tool ~ The Wheel of Emotion
  • Tool ~ The Ladder of Interference
  • Understanding Needs and Interests
  • Understanding Personality Styles
  • Understanding Conflict Styles
  • Understanding the Anatomy of Difficult Conversations

    • Learn the Keys to Clarity
    • Define Success
  • Learning to Take and Give Feedback
  • Learning the Power of Habit
  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Briefing
  • Tool ~ Evocation Interviewing

Expectations: I Am Because We Are

On our journey together, we need to establish how we will work together. To do this, we need to establish the right expectations.

Let’s start by saying that at least for the next six weeks – we are all in this together. And that makes us think of a beautiful term called Ubuntu (Pronounced – oo-buun-too). Ubuntu – is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity.” It is sometimes translated as “I am because we are” (also “I am because you are”).

What you have probably experienced so far in life is that many of your arguments stem from people having different expectations of one another. As we would say, our expectations do not meet our reality. Click the two pictures below to define expectations and then move on to how we will all work together.

Remember: This is work not school – To get paid each week – You must show up for the group work and do the independent work.

Setting the Container – 

Setting the Container is a restorative term used to describe how our sessions will be conducted. It describes the commitments we choose to make to an another for how we will hold space and for how we will work together.

Click the Group Commitments below to read through what to expect in our sessions together.

-You are here ~ Be present ~ Be Kind ~

Treat others how you want to be treated

-Embrace “The Circle Process”

As shared the way we work at NYCID is using the Restorative Circle – We will never force you to speak so understand you can pass and we expect that you will participate as you become more familiar with the how we work together.

-Let perfection go and share your experiences

We must work together and learn from one another in order for our process to be fulfilling.

-What’s shared here stays here and what’s learned here leaves here.

– Remember impact over intention – Opps and Ouch

-Notice our own biases and judgments

We all have them. Let’s not ignore them!

-Realize our privilege

It exists and is based on different seen and unseen identities we hold – we deepen our connections to one another when we acknowledge as much.

-Practice self-care and community care

Take care of yourself – when done right – you will take care of others!


Intentions are the starting point of every meaningful action. Whether it is the beginning of the day, the start of a relationship, or the way you put forth efforts to complete a goal. It is with intention that you make your plans. With intention, you dream big!

What intentions might you put forth here and now? How do you want to behave, perform, or be present? What actions might you take?

Take a few minutes to decide this for yourself.

Answer in your workbook.

Tool ~ Mindfulness Check-in

Who Are MWe?

In small groups, we will go around the zoom and share:

  • Our Names
  • The School/Program we attend or work in
  • One WORD describing how we are feeling today
  • Our intentions for today

✋?✋?✋?Raise hands if groups is small✋?✋?✋?

Our Harvest

Upon returning to the main circle – we will harvest (share) some of what was moving in the smaller conversations.

Tool ~ Generative Social Fields


The Social Field is the natural, pre-given structure of relationships among individuals, groups, organizations and systems that give rise to collective behaviors and outcomes.


All human beings participate in co-creating the complex social contexts they live in and engage with.

Our emotional systems help us maintain balance.

Life is challenging when we interact with the emotional systems of others.


We have the ability to co-create a generative social field in which we facilitate deep conversations about big issues, and shape a safe and supportive climate where individuals in our teams/systems can feel emotionally safe, connected and respected.


There is always a social field, either generative or degenerative depending on how people are showing up.

~ Qualities of Generative Social Fields ~

Take in the words on these two hands to get a better sense of what Generative Social Fields are and what the word Generative means.

A Thought Experiment

Take a moment to consider the Social Fields you exist in.

For example – your school or program is a social field.

Another might be your family. How do you show up in these spaces?

How do you contribute to your social fields?

  • In what ways are you making generative contributions?

  • In what ways might you be degenerative?
  • What might you take away from these spaces?

Pro-Action Plan Step Week One (4 of 8):

My Place in the Field

On your “Thought experiment Page” reflect on these questions. Feel free to enter a written entry, an audio entry, or a video entry on this page.

Note: You will need to discuss your answers in our circles during our sessions together.

When We Circle Up

During our sessions we will often break out into small groups (circles). In these circles we will share our reflections and discoveries.

Note: one of the team members should assume the position of circle keeper in the small room. Remember your commitments to one another from the main group.

In the circle:

  • Always remember to introduce yourself to new people in the circle
  • Round One: Describe one intention and one expectation you have for this summer.
  • Round Two: Answer any or all the questions from the thought experiment:
    • How do you contribute to your social fields?
    • In what ways are you making generative contributions?
    • In what ways might you be degenerative?
    • What might you take away from these spaces?

✋?✋?✋?Raise hands if groups is small✋?✋?✋?


Upon returning to the main circle – we will HARVEST (share) some of what was moving in the smaller conversations.

The Question in the main circle will connect back to our favorite question: What is moving in me?

What Is Your Lens?



Tool ~ Ladder of Inference

As human beings we spend a lot of time observing and taking in information from the world. Just about everything you do requires that you respond to some type of situation. Some times the actions we take are spot on – we get it right! And other times, wow – we can really mess up and not even know why.

Pro-Action Plan Step Week Two (5 of 5)

Using the Ladder of Inference consider an emotionally charged situation where you found yourself having taken an action using the wrong observable information.

Walk down the ladder to “retrace” your steps.

Answer in your workbook.

Then on the “My Tools” Page in your Pro-Action plan use the space provided to share your ideas.

Remember: you can choose any write your answers, or record an audio or video file to express your ideas.

Note: You will need to discuss your answers in our circles during our sessions together.

Freedom to Choose

We see things a certain way for a number of different reasons. We see the world through our paradigms!

As we come to understand our paradigms, we start to see that there are certain powers we have as human beings that help us make sense of the world. These powers or abilities are also what we use to make choices and take risks.

The abilities are our Four Human Endowments: Self-Awareness, Imagination, Conscience, and Independent will.


A Thought Experiment

Which of the four unique human abilities do you feel that you use the most when interacting with people and/or when you are solving programs? Which do you feel that you do not use at all and would like to start working on?

Answer in your workbook!

Principles: What’s At Your Center?

“A principle is the actual reality like the law of gravity.” Stephen Covey

A Thought Experiment

“Principles are also inarguable. That is, they are self-evident. For example, you can never have enduring trust without trustworthiness.

Think about it; that is a natural law.

Natural laws (like gravity) and principles (like respect, honesty, kindness, integrity, and fairness) control the consequences of our choices. Just as you get bad air and bad water when you consistently violate the environment, so also is trust (the glue of relationships) destroyed when you’re consistently unkind and dishonest to people.” Stephen Covey

In workbook do your best to present at least one principle that you would consider living by.

Our Harvest

What has moved or surfaced for you after taking time to consider the natural laws of principles?

Proactivity Or Reactivity

Now that you understand a bit more about how stimulus and response works and how in between the stimulus and the response is where you have the power to choose those responses, let’s take a little time to understand if those responses are reactive or proactive.


Our Harvest

What is surprising about your survey responses?



Build Your Rock


The Process of Inventing Yourself is a process of investing in yourself and to do that you identify the big rocks – you must Build Your Rock.

You need to challenge yourself to decided what is most important to you and ask you to use what is important as your foundation.

In order to do that you must figure out first what you are doing with your time.