Nine practices

Nine practices to help you minimize reality distortion, envision possibilities, and create positive change.

1. Assume that you are not objective. If you’re part of the system you want to change, you’re part of the problem.

2. Empty your cup. You can’t learn new things without letting go of old things. Stop, look, and listen. Suspend judgment. What’s going on?

3. Create safe space. If you don’t understand the underlying need, nothing else matters. People will not share their innermost needs unless they feel safe, respected, and accepted for who they are.

4. Triangulate and validate. Look at situations from as many points of view as possible. Consider the possibility that seemingly different or contradictory beliefs may be valid. If something doesn’t make sense to you, then you’re missing something.

5. Ask questions, make connections. Try to understand people’s hopes, dreams and frustrations. Explore the social system and make connections to create new opportunities.

6. Disrupt routines. Many beliefs are embedded in habitual routines that run on autopilot. If a routine is a problem, disrupt the routine to create new possibilities.

7. Act as-if in the here-and-now. You can test beliefs even if you don’t believe they are true. All you need to do is act as if they were true and see what happens. If you find something that works, do more of it.

8. Make sense with stories. If you give people facts without a story, they will explain it within their existing belief system. The best way to promote a new or different belief is not with facts, but with a story.

9. Evolve yourself. If you can be open about how change affects you personally, you have a better chance of achieving your aims. To change the world, you must be willing to change yourself.

These practices are based on six principles, which constitute a theory of beliefs.