Re-Authoring the world, one narrative at a time!
Apprenticeship in Narrative work, for people who work with people
What is narrative re-authoring work?
Narrative work is about ways of being and working with people that seek to ignite the dignity, beauty and honour of their lives. In this re-igniting of dignity, beauty and honour we are invited to again become the primary authors of our lives and re-author (take back the pen in) our relationship to the preferred moments, narratives and communities that have shaped our lives in ways that move us forward.
Why does this work matter?
Narratives are powerful because they shape, maintain and create who we are, how we relate to others and how we see the world and our place in it. As we re-author our relationship to the narratives of our lives, we are transformed and we become participants in shaping our relationship to all things as well as “the way things are.”
What is the effect of Narrative Re-authoring?
The transformational nature of the re-authoring lens and work invites individuals, communities and organisations to individually and collectively take up the pen as authors and co-authors as we re-write our lives and systems into preferred ways of being that shape our world.
The Narrative Apprenticeship Journey creates the interactive learning space to experience and practice the re-authoring approach while applying it to real-life stories and situations within various contexts.
Who should attend?
This apprenticeship journey comes alongside all who fulfil an individual- or team role within their organisations, institutions or communities such as: leaders, managers, HR and OD practitioners, coaching professionals, educators, social workers, facilitators of group-work, activists and healthcare professionals.
4 Modules, Coaching and Assignments
The Re-authoring Apprenticeship journey consists of 4 modules of 3 days of face-to-face teaching. After finishing each module, participants are invited to deepen their experience by re-authoring their own stories as well as the stories of their work through individual online coaching sessions (max. 4 sessions). These sessions will help participants to integrate their own life- and work experiences into their future re-authoring practice.
In between the different modules, participants will also be required to complete assignments that apply the re-authoring ideas in their various contexts.
4 Learning Modules
Module 1 | 22-24 February 2018
Introduction to the narrative lens & practices: understanding the philosophy
This is what it is about: Experiencing Narrative practices in your own life story | The philosophical approach from where the ideas grow | Discover and learn to work with taken-for-granted ideas and beliefs within the various contexts
Chapters in the book: The narratives of self | Sanibonani to Human Beings | Re-authorise the World | Re-dream our world through alternative narratives
Module 2 | 17-19 May 2018
Practicing the narrative craft and heart of the work
This is what it is about: The language of the Narrative lens and practices | Being with your client in transformational ways | Listening in transformational ways | Asking questions in transformational ways | Documentation, rituals and celebrations
Chapters in the book: Transformational conversations | A Walk through the Narrative process | Putting the Narrative process to work | Re-Authoring the communal narrative
Module 3 | 16-18 August 2018
Re-Authoring conversations in your context 1: leadership, coaching, community development, cultural transformation and transition
This is what it is about: How to co-create processes and experiences where transformation happens as if by magic
Chapters in the book: Re-authoring Leadership | Re-authoring Coaching | Re-authoring Culture Transformation and Culture Building | Working with transition within re-authoring ideas
Module 4 | 15-17 November 2018
Re-Authoring conversations in your context 2: diversity and inclusion, conflict, strategy & stress
This is what it is about: How to work with conflict and diversity narratives in individual and group contexts
Re-authoring Diversity and Inclusion Conversations | Re-authoring Conflict Conversations | Re-authoring Strategic Conversations | Re-authoring stories about stress.
Would you like to join us?
Please send me an email with the information below by the 31st of October 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Job title
- Phone number
- Address for invoice
- Tell us why this course is attractive for you
Starts: Thursday 22 February 2018
Welcome coffee at 8:30
Workshop from 9:00 to 17:00
233 Kandelaar Avenue
Workshops will be conducted in English but discussions in smaller groups can be done in one’s mother tongue if everyone understands
Participation costs R27 000 per person
12 course days
4 individual coaching sessions
Conversations around assignments between modules
The book, Re-Authoring the World
Coffee, tea and lunch
Registration and payment
Submit your information and registration payment of R2000.00 by the 31st of October 2017
We can spread the invoice over 10 months through monthly payments
There will be room for 12 participants
For all your questions:
+27 (0) 83 467 1891
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
What other participants have said
“In the world of storytelling, Chené’s approach is unique and goes beyond the traditional methods. It is the permanent curiosity that makes you go deeper and deeper and see things clearly and yet very personal. You will move away from schedules and numbers, and dive into personal stories which make it so real and yet so different each time.”
Coach and coordinator of a cooperative Werk met Zin
“The re-authoring journey shows another way of looking at our stories and helps a person see the human in the being that they are speaking to.”
Redefine Human Capital
Johannesburg, South Africa
“The narrative journey has transported me to new views and to new perspectives and to community and understanding of the process of co-creation/-construction. I have learned how constructive, necessary and powerful the deconstruction of power can be. I feel really enthusiastic about the re-dignifying practices. I have had many situations in my life where I felt the need for this, either for me or in behalf of others. This journey really broadens the horizon.”
Pretoria, South Africa
“I have learned to let go of judging; that despite our diversity we have so much in common; that we need each other (and community) to make different choices. The re-authoring work starts off by giving you tools for your professional toolbox with which to manage change and yet it evolves and it ignites new beliefs. The work will invite you to think differently about the ways in which you want to invite hope and growth – in yourself and the people around you."
Johannesburg, South Africa
“What grows through this re-authoring approach is a richer identity and a deepened respect for people, moments and situations that influenced my path and helped me develop to the woman I am now. I also see myself being more aware of small and grand societal assumptions, rules, habits and (ongoing, increasing) messaging of what is right and wrong. Through my attention of what is ‘true’ around us, I now slowly find my voice, I dare to question and to take a stand when love or dignity is at stake.
The Re-authoring approach helps me to stop digging in the truth ‘in me’ (and ‘the truth’ about my identity, talents and deep ‘core’), and start focusing on ‘us’. It is in ‘us’ that that the seeds for a world where dignity and love can rule, grow."
Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner & Generative Story Worker
Consultant, Coach & Trainer
Dr Chené Swart
Narrative re-authoring apprentice journeys, leadership development, diversity and inclusion work, team development and alignment, cultural organisational transformation, strategy, cross cultural management, women’s empowerment, executive and leadership coaching and conflict management.
Dr Chené Swart is an accomplished international narrative author, consultant, coach and trainer. She completed her studies in Narrative Therapy in 2006 and has successfully translated the work for the organisational context in the form of practices, designs, processes, workshops and key note presentations.
Chené’s work with individuals, businesses, and civil society organisations has given her a deep understanding into co-creating environments where leaders, teams and organisations can discover their rich identity conclusions and gifts that serve as the ground for authorship of individual narratives and co-authorship of team and organisational narratives. These discoveries have enabled individuals and teams to build deep connections as communities of workers through practices that cultivate human dignity, community and passion.
She is the author of the book, Re-authoring the World and a contributing author on Coaching from a Dialogic OD paradigm in the ground breaking organisational handbook called Dialogic Organization Development and Change: Theory and Practice published in the USA. Chené also wrote a chapter on Re-authoring leadership with and within organizations that was published in the South African book, Leadership – Perspectives from the Front Line and in the German book, Beyond Storytelling - Narrative Ansätze und die Arbeit mit Geschichten in Organisationen. An adapted version of her chapter in these books was published in the USA based journal, OD PRACTITIONER Vol. 48 No. 2 2016.
In more recent years, Chené has started to train organisational consultants coaches and leaders in narrative re-authoring practices in South Africa, the USA, Russia and Belgium through apprentice journeys. She teaches re-authoring leadership practices as part of the faculty for Duke Corporate Education and is guest lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch’s Business School and at the Kaospilot School for innovative thought leaders and entrepreneurs in Denmark.
Chené has also been working as a facilitator in the field of diversity and inclusion since 2009 with clients such as AngloAmerican Platinum, Investec and Barclays ABSA.
Chené is a South African citizen and draws on this rich history and ongoing transformation as her teachers in the work of “unothering the other”. She is passionate to co-construct experiences where alternative narratives can guide personal, communal and organisational agency, new ways of thinking and doing, and transformed lives.
In her work as an executive coach, consultant and trainer in re-authoring practices, Chené co-creates transformational learning contexts and journeys. She invites and enables participants to re-write and re-author the narratives of their lives as individuals, communities and organizations where they feel stuck or trapped or where the stories they continuously tell are thin conclusions that do not honour the gifts, values, knowledges of these groups or individuals. She also facilitates the emergence of individual, communal and organizational alternative narratives that open the possibility to write and live into a new preferred future.
Chené is therefore committed to participate in and contribute to conversations and actions that re-author our world towards the common good. She believes in the re-authoring of our world, one narrative at a time!
Although storytelling is one of the fashionable words in some organisations, leadership and marketing fields, narrative re-authoring work goes further than storytelling.
The Re-authoring approach sees human beings as storying beings who have three very important capacities with which we navigate our lives: meaning-making, embodied knowings and story-making. As human beings, we connect the dots of our lives through our meaning making capacity as well as through the rich storehouse of knowings that reside in our bodies. These threads of meaning and embodied knowings are expressed through language that again informs the narratives we tell about who we are (identity), what our relationships are like (community) and how we see the world (reality).
But these narratives do not exist in an individual bubble or fall mysteriously from the sky. They are crafted in a particular cultural and societal context governed by taken-for-granted beliefs and ideas that inform the narratives we tell about ourselves, teams, communities and organisations. Examples of these taken-for-granted beliefs and ideas are the dominant belief in the scarcity of life, the competitive nature of mankind, the inevitability of war, and the belief that only certain elites are authorized to “know” and declare what is true.
These beliefs and ideas then influence what we do and don’t do, say and don’t say and choose and don’t choose. Therein lies the constant experience of human beings who feel that they have failed, don’t measure up or are not good enough.
The re-authoring approach makes visible and helps us realise how these societal beliefs and ideas are influencing and shaping our lives as it asks profound questions about them and provides ways of working and being that creates distance from these ideas and beliefs. Dominant problem-saturated narratives flow from and are supported by these societal beliefs and ideas that often make claims about what is normal, good, right, development and successful in a particular time and context. Some of the dominant problem stories we tell sound like: “I am always alone”, “We never work together as a team”, and “We are a violent nation”. These kinds of stories are thin descriptions of our lived experiences and are informed by taken-for-granted ideas and beliefs from our different contexts and societies; they often tell us, “This is just the way things are.” Not so!
In the pursuit of handing back the pen in the hands of individuals, communities and organisations, we look through the lens of dignity and careful curiosity that grows from a willingness to be moved and touch by what we hear and experience. Participants are invited to name the narrative or to create or name a metaphor or image because in a word or an image, lies a world! In our questions, ways of working and being with participants we explore how their relationship with these problem moments or narratives are influencing their lives, what ideas and beliefs are supporting them and what is the nature of the history of these problem stories in a way that participants are not the problem, but the relationship to problem moments or stories is the problem.
The work continually looks for moments, embodied knowings and relationships in our history where the dominant problem moment or narrative was not true, was not the whole truth or was not present. Those different or exceptional moments, embodied knowings and relationships become the seeds for exploring the counter moment or narrative. We then give this counter moment or narrative a name or an image and we further explore the ideas, beliefs, hopes, gifts, dreams and community that can support this counter moment or narrative.
The re-authoring approach seeks to address and confront us with our relationship to authorship, as it invites us to live a life where our participation in our narratives and in the world, really matters. As we re-write the narratives we once held to be the truth – and the only truth – about our lives, our communities, our organisations and our world we shift the future of our own lives and the communities we form part of. Re-authoring work invites us to live a life where our participation in the world really matters.
The re-authoring approach is influenced and informed by the Dialogic OD Mindset, Narrative Therapy ideas, Critical Pedagogy, Presence and Meaning cultures (Gumbrecht) and Interpersonal Neurobiology.