Re: Soul LO1220

Wynn, Eleanor,VCA (WYNN@AppleLink.Apple.COM)
15 May 95 15:00 GMT

Replying to LO1206 --

Jim Michmerhuizen wrote:
--For example, personally I might express myself -- in front of a group --
with the word "spiritual". If somebody objects, I welcome the objection
and invite an alternative. Our atheist (let us suppose for the example)
proposes - oh heck I'm only making this up anyway - "psychological"
(rotten choice) and so I suggest that if that's his word then every time
I say "spiritual" he can pretend he heard "psychological".--

Well this creates problems of its own. Because together with
"psychological" goes a whole set of premises (subjectivist, individuals
vs. groups, attributing "resistance" to fear or anxiety rather than
practicality). Thus any translation you allow brings with it its whole box
of tricks. So I believe a distinction does need to be made and that is the
important contribution.

I guess we are not in the same business anyway, as it has not come up for
me to talk about soul but rather intelligence. I do some interviews in the
environment, find out the practical system people have devised for
accomplishing--which tends to not be explicit, at least not to
management-- present it as a very strong feature of the environment and an
outcome of the deep-seated social competence that people in a group bring
with them to their task, and that there would be a lot to gain from going
with this native intelligence.

The hard part is to get people to stop hearing "psychological" instead of
"social". It has to be repeated over and over, because social implies
social organization, natural systems, goal-orientation of groups, grasping
of the big picture (but maybe not being able to act on it), involvement,
sharing information, having a network of relationship in which things are
accomplished (with or around the organizational structures.) Whereas
psychological has the other connotations described above: individual
motivation, differences between individuals, people out to satisfy their
own needs, implication that the social aspect is just for "affect" not for
functionality, and so forth. (Current psychology may not do this, but this
is the inheritance of psychology that perists in HR and the general
organization use of the term.)

In short, "social" observations are about relationship and the viability
of a group. This is a fairly wholesome thing to acknowledge. You may have
noticed managers can recognize the above virtues in their people, but
still sing the liturgy of psychological explanations. I guess I never felt
I had to go any farther than creating that distinction. If people can be
allowed to work in their social mode with responsibility and authority,
then I figure soul will mostly take care of itself whether it is ever
named or not.


Eleanor Wynn, PhD
Transparent Practices, Inc.
Portland OR