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In This Issue
Brief Encounters - Manners and Courtesies
New MSc program in Relational Leading
New Book
Beyond the Therapeutic State
Taos Workshops
Taos Europe Workshops and Friends Workshops
Free Download Books
Relational Leading
Masters program in
Relational Leading
to begin Fall  2014.

relationships and conversations that make a difference

Issue 4 - Available Now

Taos Institute Publications
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See all the titles available.

clinical supervision
NEW BOOK- A Student's Guide to Clinical Supervision

U & Me - Communicating in Moments that Matter
See this video: 
Relational Leading
When Stories Clash: Addressing Conflict with Narrative Mediation
The Appreciative Organization

Social Construction: Entering the Dialogue

Healing Conversations Now: Enhance Relationships with Elders and Dying Loved Ones

Positive Family Dynamics: Appreciative Inquiry Questions for Bringing Out the Best in Families

DVD - Fusion of Strength: An Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry by David Cooperrider
AIP video issue
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AI Practitioner - Special Video Issue - A Must-Have for AI Practitioners
Practicing Relational Ethics in Organizations
Developing Relational Leadership
Retiring but not Shy
Retiring But Not Shy
Ordinary Life Therapy
Hedtke - Bereavement
Bereavement Support Groups

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Ideas, News and Resources
June 2014  
We hope you enjoy receiving our newsletter which includes constructionist ideas and practices as well as news and resources from the Taos Institute.
Brief Encounters from the Taos Institute

As a way of sharing constructionist ideas, the Executive Board of the Taos Institute shares each month an idea or experience that might be an inspiration for you and others.  


This month Sally St. George shares thoughts on.....   


Manners, Courtesies, and Etiquette  

by Sally St. George  


"What we need in the world is manners . . .I think that if, instead of preaching brotherly love, we preached good manners, we might get a little further. It sounds less righteous and more practical."

                       Eleanor Roosevelt, "My Day" (February 17, 1938)


I am holding several thoughts that seem to be traveling through my mind. One minute they seem to have a destination and at other moments they seem to go off in other directions. I feel like I need a "thought GPS." Here are those thoughts:

  • Just recently, Dan and I returned from a most stimulating 10 weeks of traveling and studying in Australia and New Zealand and as I reconnect with my friends and colleagues, I am often asked, "what did you find that was exceptional or different?" What I noticed that was so different was the language, not the different English accents, but the phrasing and colorful language that people used in daily talk. As I reflect on it, the talk was most courteous and mannerly.
  • I returned home from these travels to hosting house guests. Harlene's metaphor of "guest and host" in collaborative practices comes to mind, especially on the home front. Guests and hosting require the utmost in manners.
  • Returning home was marked by an excited return to dance lessons. Our dance teacher took us "back to the basics" that we had appeared to have forgotten. Manners are the basics of effective conversation.
  • Steadily, I am still catching up on the piles of mail, and current events. While I boast to Dan that I have many "high brow" ideas for this writing, I find I keep gravitating back to manners, courtesies, and etiquette. I think watching one of the CNN debating shows illuminated it best as all of the guests on the news show talked over each other. I had to turn the TV off.
  • Relational responsibilities are always on my mind, from family, to students, clients, colleagues, and friends. I love this phrase and while we can talk of these in philosophical and theoretical terms, I find they cohere with manners at the forefront, in the midst, and in memory.

What was memorable about living and studying in another culture was the care that our hosts took in attending to the relationships we were developing. It seemed that there was nothing extravagant, just the basics. And yet the basic manners and courtesies I experienced felt extremely extravagant and rich. I would describe the basic manners and courtesies as sound listening-everyone could finish a sentence, there seemed to be no competition for conversational space. Conversational contributions were acknowledged and linked to the next ideas offered-it felt like appreciation. There was time taken without impinging on commitments and obligations or timelines. Our hosts were generous too-not only in making sure our needs were met, but in not letting us flounder. They clearly and delicately explained the etiquette observed there that we might not know (e.g., greeting rituals and meeting ceremonies, tipping, offering and accepting gifts).  


Each of these moments of generosity, teaching, and relational attending was an invitation for us to be the best guests possible and to also attend to the relationships. We looked at the patterns of participation we were invited into, we listened to understand as fully as possible, we took time to see the merits and sensibilities of practices that in our own culture would make little sense, and we looked for the beauty in the relational that we could bring home and hold here too. I could see that these were invitations to be the best host I could be when I have guests, when I am teaching, and when I am seeing client families. Actually my client families have provided some pretty important information. For a year, I asked every one of my client families (regardless of the dilemmas they were facing and trying to rectify) to comment on the manners that were minded and expressed in their family. The answer was unanimous-manners had fallen by the wayside or were taken-for-granted. Reinstituting their manners, they agreed, made problem-solving and moving forward much easier. I think that if it could help de-stress family interaction, it has potential for other interpersonal interactions as well. I would say that Eleanor (as quoted above) and our dance teacher, in their wisdom, remind us to go back to the basics in our relational responsibilities if we want to be, and be offered, the best.


The following question appeared in one of my magazines and I share it with you to ponder: "What polite gesture never fails to impress you?" (Real Simple, June 2014, p. 25). And I would add, "What polite gesture that you do never fails to impress others?"


Applications due by July 6th.

This new program is a 2-year, online learning program designed to deepen the theory and practice of relational leading through course content and teaching practices.

This program introduces ideas and practices at the forefront of organizational studies, and integrates workplace experience into class discussions. The courses focus on:

  • The social construction of realities, values, and reason
  • Systemic and relational process
  • Collaborative practices in the workplace and society
  • Relational and appreciative leading
  • Relevant research practices

The courses prepare participants to work with faculty members in conducting original research relevant to their professional development.


If you or anyone you know might be interested in learning more about this program visit:  


We have been conducting a series of webinars on Relational Leading. You can access the recordings of these webinars on this webpage:  

clinical supervision
By Glenn Boyd, Ph.D.

You Are Not Alone: A Student's Guide to Clinical Supervision is surprisingly frank, funny, and encouraging. It urges beginning students to be proactive and engaged in the clinical supervision process without apology and without fear to combat the normal anxiety that comes with learning to be a clinical practitioner. It also encourages training programs to offer beginning students an orientation to supervision as soon as possible after they enter the program. It outlines the importance of the clinical supervision relationship while introducing key elements in the contemporary practice of supervision including a novel emphasis on collaborative learning communities, the results of common factors research, and the emerging importance of core competencies.

Order at:
There is still time to register.....
June 26, 27, 28, 2014
Drammen, Norway

Mental health costs are soaring, drug prescriptions skyrocketing, and diagnostic categories continue to convince us that we are mentally ill. It is time to move beyond the therapeutic state!

Most existing alternatives focus on the individual. In contrast, this conference will feature inspiring innovations in collaborative practice. Such practices bring together diverse conceptions of reality, values, and hopes for the future. From the inter-change emerge new forms of life, viable for all.

The conference will feature collaborative practices relevant to therapy and beyond. Discussions will be enriched by practitioners and scholars from many sectors of society.

In the end, it is toward a relationally oriented society we must move. And it is toward active participation in changing both practices and policies that the conference is dedicated.

Check out the fantastic workshop offerings ..... still developing:

Traveling to Norway - June is a special time of year in Norway - plan to come early or stay after to visit the area:

Conference collaborators:
  • The Taos Institute
  • Taos Institute Europe
  • Institute for Research in Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Buskerud, University College (Norway)
  • Helsinki Psychotherapy Institute (Finland)
  • Familjev�rdsstiftelsen (Family Care Foundation) (Sweden)
  • The Family Institute (UK)
Keynote Presenters:
  • Kenneth J. Gergen
  • Robert Whitaker
  • Olga Runciman
  • Sami Timimi
  • Carina Hakansson


For information and to register at the Early Bird rates:   

The Taos Institute Workshop Series 

To register, visit:



  •  International Summer Institute with Harlene Anderson | June 16-20, Mexico.   
  • Attractor/Taos Summer Institute | July 2-4, 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark. 
More workshops will be listed soon.


For details and a listing of more workshops, visit our website.

Taos Institute Europe Workshops and Events:

WorldShare Books WorldShare Books 
Free Download Books


Sharing Ideas and Practices From Around the World


The Taos Institute offers free-of-charge books for downloading to your computer or favorite reader. Our ultimate aim is to offer books in all languages. Like all the Taos Institute Publications, WorldShare Books represent significant contributions relevant to social constructionist theory and practice. More books are being added all the time. Check it out!  

All books are available in PDF format. Visit WorldShare Books for more than fifteen books in English, 2 in Spanish, 1 in Italian, 1 in German, 1 in Africaans and 1 in Farsi. More books to come.
The Taos Institute's mission is to bring together scholars and practitioners concerned with the social processes essential for the construction of reason, knowledge, and human value.

We are committed to exploring, developing and disseminating ideas and practices that promote creative, appreciative and collaborative processes in families, communities and organizations around the world through a social constructionist lens.

We look forward to your participation in the dialogue.


Dawn Dole, Executive Director
The Taos Institute

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