elcome to the Integrating Polarities training program. By any measure our culture seems more polarized than ever. This feeling of unease carries over into our personal lives as well. Beena Sharma’s ground breaking work in Integrating Polarities helps us learn how to manage these polarities and reap the benefits in our personal lives and in our project teams and organizations. Polarities are tensions that show up in our lives that appear to be conflicting and seem unresolvable. In this course, you will learn how to work with these apparently competing values and integrate them for greater effectiveness. Beena’s first core pointing out instruction is to identify if the issue you are dealing with is a problem to be solved OR a polarity to be managed. Sometimes problem solving can be exactly what is needed, but in those situations where there are different perspectives and values that seem to be irreconcilable, there is likely to be a polarity needs to be integrated. This integration allows both points of view to be heard combining the strengths of both while reducing the fears about the other perspective. In this course there are four modules: Context Module First, Beena and David Riordan explore the context for using the Integrating Polarities process to address concerns prevalent in our fractured society and in our personal lives. This includes recognizing the strengths of the opposing view while reducing the fears around that view, managing “false choices” by moving from win/lose thinking to both/and considerations, and identifying the warning signs related to the potential downside of the opposite pole. Instructional module Second, in the instruction section of the course, Beena teaches the process and principles of working with Integrating Polarities. Beena and four students engaged in this inquiry explore the Integrating Polarities material and model the practice as you join the class from the comfort of your own home. All the maps and information you will need to complete the instruction part of the course are available on the web site. Applications module Third, Beena invites Integrating Polarities expert Barry Johnson to describe case studies where Polarity thinking is applied in crucial culture issues like healthcare, climate change, politics, and poverty, racism and sexism. As Barry takes you through the steps of applying Polarity thinking to each subject, you will learn how useful it is to see that each of these issues is not a problem that can be solved but a polarity that needs to be integrated and leveraged. Polarity Wisdom series Finally, Beena will be conducting a series of monthly webinars to help unpack and explore the Integrating Polarities teaching. Many of these webinars will feature live Q&A’s with students, giving you an opportunity to interact with Beena in real time and deepen your experience with the teaching. Get ready to experience our thorny culture issues or your personal challenges in a whole new light as you work with the principles of Integrating Polarities and begin moving forward in ways that benefit you and everyone. In this first clip, Beena introduces us to the concept of a polarity and its underlying dynamic with an illustration. This includes how to manage your personal and cultural interactions, and how to see the opportunities when many are taking extreme positions and blaming others for their problems.

Douglas Mercer

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