Method and bibliography


Method of Smokinya Foundation

Smokinya Foundation was born as a natural expression of inner drive, passion and vision for contribution to creating a world that works for everyone, out of love,care and cooperation.

Main trigger in the process of establishing the foundation played a method used among many non-for-profit organisations and for-profit training businesses – all across Europe, and also further away.
Continue reading below to learn about out method, ideas, concepts and some background of the so called “synergy” training.

In short, our method is correlated to the ontological phenomenological coaching.

You may want to see our videos from our different programs:

When does 1+1=3?

Thousands of people all across European Union, and even further away, have benefited from the working methods that Smokinya Foundation has adopted.

There are key elements in our method which is based on non-formal, informal, and experiential learning. Main thing about these is working with context (atmosphere). What does that mean? We pay strong attention on the logistics and purposefully organise theatrical setting, in order to create an atmosphere for learning.

We especially pay attention on dignity (of physical environment and staff) as that is important for the most learning to occur.

When we think of the “how?”, we use context consciously and we provide the maximum space for expression, where nothing is right, wrong, bad, or good. Having this in mind, we take care of the safety, and make sure extremes are avoided, yet stepping outside of the comfort zone is encouraged and provided.

That way our participants have the safe space to express and bring up whatever is true and important for them personally, or as group, at the given moment. While this is happening, trainers, assistants and staff are taking the most neutral position in order to provide and ensure equality, safety, and purity of expression and insights.

We give the attention to the participants, as we believe that together and amongst themselves, they can learn much more, as compared to being focused and busy with the organisers. This is for us a position of care, honesty and equal attention for all.

While we work, not only our participants are learning, but also the support staff, assistants and trainers are setting up their own learning goals, as well. We organise and deliver trainings because we want to develop ourselves and we want to share what has worked and works with others, so they can also benefit, if they choose to.

We focus on pure observations of what is, and we avoid to the best we can judgements, interpretations, comparisons, or competition to outsmart. We focus on authenticity, learning, honesty, integrity and clear communication.

Main areas of training and development in our programs are:
1. Leadership and Integrity;
2. Authenticity;
3. Entrepreneurship;
4. Cooperation and Inclusion;
5. Clear communication;
6. Accountability;
7. Creativity.

1+1=3 is the definition of synergy – the interaction or cooperation of two or more people (organizations, entities etc.) to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

Some elements of the method we use include:
– lectures and presentations;
– outdoor activities;
– guided visualizations;
– music and dance;
– sharing and discussion;
– facilitated simulations;
– role plays;
– complex task-solving;
– assignments;
– questioning;
– case studies;
– distinctions;
– facilitated reflection on learning;
– art and hand-crafts;
– theatrical setting etc.

We work on the following topics:
– leadership as a natural self-expression;
– productivity;
– team work and cooperation;
– limiting concepts;
– assumptions;
– accountability;
– filters of interpretation;
– conflict resolution, and more.

Our standpoint is that “We are the source of our experience, reality, and success.”

You may want to see our videos from our different programs:

What is a “basic synergy training” that many people have heard of, and yet, still haven’t participated in?

The method and the approach of this program has a long history.
It comes from the late 60s and early 70s in California, then it passed through South Africa and Israel to reach Europe in several forms and shapes.

In the 2000s the training method was translated from the for-profit field into the non-for-profit field by a group of European youth workers from the Netherlands, Hungary, and Greece.

25 years later, thousands of youth workers, trainers, coaches, volunteers and people interested in their personal and professional development have participated in programs using the method.
Programs are organized and implemented in the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Hungary, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania, Austria – that list is not exhaustive.

You can hear about “basic synergy training”, “essence training”, “insight trainings”, “landmark forum” or “event wise” trainings, which consist of many similar core processes (activities, and methods), as well as all build around few important ideas and concepts.
Many times our programs are co-financed by Erasmus+ program, which makes them non-for-profit and free for youth (there might be age limits). There are also many independent open programs which are commercially promoted and sold as a self-help programs.

In the period on 2016-2018 a trainer in the network had researched the positive impact and usefulness of the method and its multidimensional aspects and defended successfully Ph.D. dissertation in Masaryk University Faculty of Social Studies (Department of Social Policy and Social Work).

A training of this kind has a simple, yet powerful program build-up.
First 4-5 days we learn and practice mainly in classic seminar setting.
Often, days 5 to 7 are dedicated to pure practice and implementation in real life situations outside of the training venue. And the last 2-3 day we dedicate on reflection, learning outcomes and successes achieved during the program, as well as planning for the future in order to implement the new insights into practice in ones lives to experience higher quality of ones lives.

People who visit our programs, or similar programs designed and delivered by our partners, or other organisations, usually tend to share that at the experience has been very challenging, and beneficial at the same time.
And that is so for many people, as we – the trainers and organisers – question so many limiting concepts and ideas that our participants might have, and not being aware of.

As human beings we tend to unconsciously go through life events in an automatic and unaware manner.
And among the purposes of the training is to create awareness of our thoughts, and a distinction between thoughts and facts. As the main goal of is to create more successes in life, while enjoying it, it is always easier to talk about it, then being it.

That is why the program has been designed to tackle on different levels, and provide an opportunity to observe our own patterns, limiting beliefs, concepts and behaviours, and to practice awareness.

Training hours are also challenging, due to the approach of completing every session, or process, until it is done. We do not follow typical patterns for coffee breaks, as well as the level of directness and honesty we demonstrate sometimes can be confronting at first.

What can be experienced as confronting in this approach is the high level of intentional honesty and directness. We have noticed that the most confronting things that humans experience are exactly those that we resist to accept and face.

In this way the program works best, no matter of the educational, social, or cultural background of the people in the group. And by the last day, our participants report increased levels of joy, aliveness, awareness, confidence, energy, and a drive to create and express themselves in an authentic and honest way. Often participants go back home with a clear mind and plan for next steps – whether related to work, educations, relationships, or anything else.

Here we also want to share a truth with you: these programs will not solve it all, once and forever.

Neither will the course make you a better person than anyone else.
The design and purpose of our programs, and the personal development training, is to provide you with tools, give you space to express yourself, and to practice using the tools to create your life the way you want to.
Yet, the real training only starts after the end of the last day of our program.

Smokinya Foundation Basics

You may want to see our videos from our different programs:

Фондация “Смокиня” е акредирирана със Знак за качество от ЦРЧР за осъществяването на проекти по програма Европейски корпус за солидарност.

Фондация “Смокиня” е акредирирана от ЦРЧР за осъществяването на проекти по програма Еразъм.

Bibliography and authors who you might want to read

Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human

The Book of Est

EST: Playing The Game The New Way The Game Of Life

Language and the Pursuit of Happiness: A New Foundation for Designing Your Life, Your Relationships & Your Results

Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis

Systemic Coaching and Constellations: The Principles, Practices and Application for Individuals, Teams and Groups

Unlocking systemic wisdom: bringing key knowledge from constellations to the work floor

The Structure of Magic, Vol. 1: A Book About Language and Therapy

The Structure of Magic II: A Book About Communication and Change

Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming

The Collected Works of Milton H. Erickson, MD: Volume 1: The Nature of Therapeutic Hypnosis and the rest of the volumes

Provocative Coaching: Making Things Better By Making Them Worse

The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding

Acknowledging What Is: Conversations With Bert Hellinger

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

The Anatomy of Peace, Fourth Edition: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth

Sleight of Mouth: The Magic of Conversational Belief Change

From Coach to Awakener

Strategies of Genius: Volume I and the rest of the volumes

I am Complete

The Hero with a Thousand Faces: The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell

Corporate Lifecycles: How and Why Corporations Grow and Die and What to Do About It

The Effortless Entrepreneur: Six Success Accelerators For Intuitive Enterprise

Smokinya Foundation 2023 PIF