Mutuality in Markets and Meetings

Bloomberg’s Caroline Baum sums it up the recent market movements pretty well yesterday:

Copper up, stocks down, bonds down. No, wait, it’s copper down, stocks down, bonds up. Can someone please help me get a handle on these inter-market relationships?

As I think about movements and relationships, in markets and in open space meetings …and organizations …and communities… I notice that I can indeed understand, or at least explain to myself, why things are happening. I can know, too, what is is happening now, and even what is happening next. The challenge is knowing what to do — because these two kinds of knowing, what is happening and why it’s happening — seem to happen in two different sides of brain or, perhaps more accurately still, in brain and in heart. Brain can’t really calculate what comes next. And heart can’t explain it.

What Julie Henderson calls “mutuality” is a practice in letting other(s) be as real to us as we are to ourselves. Chris Corrigan and I have been teaching Open Space and Inviting Leadership as the practice of being mutually aware of self and group, or self and organization, letting body be source of information about how I am as well as how “we” are. Today I’m remembering that this same sort of mutual awareness scales down, to where I can know what is really happening and why it is happening, simultaneously. When I can do this, I make better decisions, wise and kind, in markets and meetings.

What’s that you say, “Kind decisions? In the currency markets?” Ah yes, even in something as apparently solid, objective, measurable as trading, there is room for kindness. So easy to second guess oneself, destroy confidence, grow fear, lose focus and money and more. And, of course, it’s always dangerous to argue with a market.