Buber, i-thou and Risk – Module 27
9 October 2023
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iCue Engagement – Module 28





Any previous four modules of SPoR.




iCue is a visual (Semiotic) verbal (Poetic) method developed by Dr Robert Long for helping people tackle the challenges of risk. It is a practical, positive and creative method for listening, dialogue, caring, helping and enabling persons in tackling risk as a wicked problem.


iCue is trademarked and copyright to Dr Long and can only be used with his permission. All those who teach iCue are expected to articulate the source of the method and methodology to Dr Long and should not present a view that the method originated with them.


iCue can only be taught by accredited presenters.


iCue is based on the extensive Methodology of SPoR and this is articulated clearly in many of Dr Long’s publications ( that are available for free download.


The basics of iCue uses a quadrant (on any surface) structured to the principal concepts of Workspace, Headspace and Groupspace (WS, HS, GS) as well as One Brain Three Minds (1B3M). There are many resources to support anyone wishing to do iCue.


One of the benefits of iCue Engagement is mapping relationships between things spoken by someone. Relational mapping is something not practiced in risk and safety nor are employees listened too or empowered to participate in conversation, listening or engagement.


It is in the iCue Reflective Analysis that we allow hidden aspects (unconscious) of thinking about risk to come to the surface (surfacing). These are often the unconscious things and psychosocial things that orthodox risk assessments and investigations completely miss. Learning to ‘code’ responses of how to listen and reflect on iCues takes a long time of practice and coaching.


Required text


Long, R., and Fitzgerald, R., (2017) Tackling Risk, A Field Guide to Risk and Learning. Scotoma Press, Canberra.


Long, R.,  (2018) The Social Psychology of Risk Handbook.  Scotoma Press.  Kambah.


Long, R. (2022) iCue Engagement Manual. Scotoma Press. Canberra.


You can purchase the complete iCue Education Pack here:


Videos Lectures


The complete video series is here:

This includes 6 videos on iCue Preparation, Introduction/Basics and Advanced iCue coding.

Password is provided on registration


Learning Outcomes


By the conclusion of this module participants will:


  • How to listen, map and ask open questions in a conversation
  • How to understand the hidden meaning and power of language in conversations
  • How to storyboard and learn from events in a conversational style
  • How to generate participation and engagement
  • How to identify what is spoken and what remains unspoken
  • How to ask insightful and higher quality questions
  • How to frame questions to obtain new insights from recurring issues
  • How to ask questions that would surface biases and misunderstandings
  • How to ask question to encourage reflection and ‘out of the box’ thinking
  • How to understand cultural differences and create a common purpose
  • How to visualise and resolve conflicts and trade-offs
  • How to listen so others will engage wholeheartedly
  • How to conduct meetings (of minds) where people bring their full selves
  • How to engage with different personality types in conversations (advanced iCue)
  • How to map the culture of an organisation (advanced iCue)




There are three stages to the iCue process:


  1. Beginner (introduction) understanding iCue as a visual, verbal, semiotic and understanding One Brain Three Minds


  1. Intermediate iCue (capture) and


  1. Advanced iCue (reflection-coding)


In advanced iCue coding we add value to the process of reflecting and learning more deeply about what we have listened to. Any quadrant style mapping or capture enables the following coding:


Introduction Level

  • Understanding the basics of SPoR
  • The art of listening and conversation
  • Developing an ethic of risk
  • What disposition and orientation nis needed to do SPoR
  • Listening skills
  • Open questioning
  • Communication basics (Framing, Reframing, Priming, Anchoring, Pitching, Suspend Agenda)
  • Understanding quadrant thinking
  • Understanding Semiotic and Poetic thinking
  • Unlearning Traditional safety approaches
  • Understanding wicked problems, paradox and learning


All of these are learned in foundational SPoR modules)


Intermediate Level (capture)

  • Placing language in the appropriate WS, HS, GS location
  • Circling words of significance
  • Boxing language and ideas of the listener
  • Drawing arrows to indicate relationship between language/ideas/actions
  • Highlighting Gifts (confessions not asked for)
  • This is the key. The motto of iCue is ‘chase the gifts’.
  • Simply ask ‘tell me more’ about that ‘gift’.
  • Noting metaphor
  • Highlighting a critical tension point between competing values (dialectic)
  • Code the arrows with + = – to indicate positive, neutral or negative d


Advanced Level (coding)

  • Note temperament types (from MBTI) in discourse: Sensing-Judging (SJ – detail control – Stabilising), Sensing-Perceiving (SP – play action – Activating), iNtuitive-Feeling (NF – harmonising persons – Unifyering) and iNtuitive Thinking (NT – idea challenging – Clarifying)
  • Note Competing Values (using CVFs): Democratic (D), Autocratic (A) Adhocratic (Ad), Bureaucratic (B). This enables one to see what kind of political values were running and competing underneath the D
  • Note learning styles (see attached SPoR card). This enables us to reflect on the intelligence of the other person towards:
    • Logic smart (L)
    • Word smart (W)
    • Picture smart (P)
    • Music smart (M)
    • Nature smart (N)
    • Body smart (B)
    • People smart (Pe)
    • Self smart (S)
  • At this stage we also use mapping software and how to articulate and report. In this case (with Mac) using Omigraffle but with PC using Visio or Lucidchart. This is a useful skill if you wish to teach other iCue and or demonstrate the development or emergence of an event or meeting. This kind of software allows you to present, report and think in layers.
  • We will also look at advanced ways of using the magnet set and card pack to develop skills and teach others.
  • Mapping using Omnigraffle
  • Mapping using SWOTA


In support of this Program there are 15 videos and the iCue Engagement Manual that must be comprehended.


The iCue process Looks like this:



In this module you are expected to present numerous videos of you undertaking iCue Engagement.

You are expected to keep a journal (A4 if possible) of reflections particularly in relationship to reading the readings and making visits on a related semiotic walk.

Your journal is a thinking, documenting, reflecting book where you use the visual and spacial literacy tools provided in previous units (and experience from the unit on Semiotics) to interrogate space and place and how these relate to following-leading. The key questions for thinking are on the visual and spacial literacy tool.

Your journal can include: photos, floor diagrams, concept mapping, sketches, dot points, flyers, pictures, notes, Venn diagrams, images of semiotics, concept maps, doodles, notes on words, slogans and text or any form of input that helps show how you think and reflect on what you saw.

The purpose of the journal is for you to demonstrate your skill in interrogating place and place and how this defines philosophy.

All philosophy (methodology) is displayed in method, design and the physical world. Eg. Architecture as a philosophy is evident in design, art, music, theatre, literature and the Poetics of Space.

Your journal needs to be posted to Rob at 10 Jens Place Kambah ACT 2902 or







All books and resources for this module can be purchased here:


This includes Training Manual, magnets set, workbooks, pocket booklets, Scenario Cards.


Reading List


Long, R., (2012) Risk Makes Sense, Human Judgement and Risk. Scotoma Press, Canberra.


Long, R., (2013) For the Love of Zero, Human Fallibility and Risk. Scotoma Press, Canberra.


Long, R., (2013) Real Risk, Human Discerning and Risk. Scotoma Press, Canberra.


Long, R., (2014) Following-Leading in Risk, A Humanising Dynamic. Scotoma Press, Canberra.


Long, R., Smith, G., and Ashhurst, C., (2016) Risky Conversations, The Law, Social Psychology and Risk. Scotoma Press. Canberra.


Long, R., and Fitzgerald, R., (2017) Tackling Risk, A Field Guide to Risk and Learning. Scotoma Press, Canberra.


Long, R., (2018) Fallibility and Risk, Living with Uncertainty. Scotoma Press. Canberra.


Long, R., (2020) Envisioning Risk, Seeing, Vision and Meaning in Risk. Scotoma Press. Canberra.


Long, R., Darlington, B., (2021) It Works, A New Approach to Risk and Safety. Scotoma Press. Canberra.


Long, R. (2022) iCue Engagement Manual. Scotoma Press. Canberra.


Long, R., (2023). Zero, the Great Safety Delusion.  Scotoma Press. Canberra.


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