Last week, I wrote that a few friends and I had adapted a Quaker “clearness committee” process to accompany one another. Here is a description of how we adapted the process.
1. We read this article about the original process, so we could incorporate as much of it as we could into our limited version.
2. We committed to this process with each other, nominated a first focus person, and then set a date and time for the first meeting. (And we schedule successive meetings / nominate the next focus person as one meeting concludes.)
3. The week before, the focus person sends the group a write up (usually 2-3 pages) giving an account of where they find themselves in their vocation, conceived broadly. (We have followed the article (See point #2) and included “a concise statement of the problem,” “relevant background,” and “hunches for what is on the horizon”.)
4. We meet at the scheduled time for one hour. The focus person briefly recaps their write-up and then the others ask honest, open-ended questions (See point #6) that the focus person can answer or simply consider.
5. In the final minutes, the group reflects back to the focus person something significant that they saw or heard during the process. (For example, they might reflect back when they saw the focus person was most animated.)
6. Following the session, the scribe emails the group with a list of questions that were asked. (The questions are often significant gifts to the others in the group.)
The point is for the focus person to listen to what occurs within them… where is their desire, where are they hiding or evading? All parts of the structure are at the service of this listening.