Re: Forming a Group LO2777

Tobin Quereau (
Tue, 12 Sep 1995 23:04:51 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO2761 --

Bill, I would vote for including your two new assumptions _for sure_ when
you work with the group. They are both "keepers" from my perspective! Even
when we don't operate according to these assumptions (they are almost
value statements as well, and our behaviors often aren't in alignment with
out values), I would state them up front. Along with the ones other group
members come up with and agree on, noting them in their absence can help
the group become aware when they are distracted or disturbed by something
of importance. It allows for a non-judgemental way of pointing to
disruptions in the field of dialogue and skillful discussion.

Example: During a repetitive, argumentative exchange, someone could say,
"I notice that we seem to be arguing about our differences rather than
learning from them. I wonder what took us in that direction over the past
few minutes? Is there another issue on the table that we haven't yet
recognized?" Such a comment might shift the focus to include others and
stimulate curiosity rather than fuel _ineffective_ conflict (I underlined
"ineffective" to distinguish it from useful and effective conflict which
is very valuable).

So, in summary, even though these "assumptions" are certainly not all of
the assumptions in action, by identifying and agreeing on those that are
desired, the group can help itself to uncover and discuss the process of
learning and the barriers that keep it from occuring more often. I would
think that the time spent for the whole group to specify its desired and
explicit "assumptions" would be well worth it in the long run.

If you move forward with disclosing such assumptions, I'd love to see
which ones are chosen by the group (as long as the group felt comfortable
in sharing them with us "outsiders"....)