Using Silence in Meetings LO2928

jack hirschfeld (
Sun, 24 Sep 1995 12:16:45 -0400

Replying to LO2913 in which Tobin Quereau said:

>While I also have experienced this particular exercise only once, it
>occurs to me that the process is one which has to do with sensitivity to
>force and reaction. When trying to move the rigid arm with force, some
>movement can certainly be felt, leverage being what it is.
>The alternative approach, the "butterfly touch" requires that the one who
>is touching the arm lightly allow the movement to emerge and grow not from
>the use of force, but from blending with the movement of the arm as it
>"resists" the change of position initiated by a light and gentle
>pressure. As one is sensitive to the reaction, allows it to take place and
>then adds--lightly again--to the other person's attempt to re-establish
>the original position, the overall effect can be the gradual building of a
>movement which is as great or greater than the one where force was used.

Tobin, it seems to me we have come full circle, in a very strange way, on
the conversation begun several months ago about Aikido. As I remember, I
commented on a description of a management technique adapted from Aikido,
remarking on how our managers viewed it as "manipulation". This triggered
a long and remarkable exchange regarding the nature and meaning of

The essence of Aikido as a martial art is learning how to use the energy
of your opponent against himself. This means aligning yourself with the
energy and diverting it back to the opponent. At some deeper level,
Aikido is not only martial, and is about aligning with the energy of
others to focus it on your ends. This is what happens in
butterfly-on-wrist. Focusing other people on accomplishing the outcomes
you project -- isn't that what we mean by leadership?

I found it especially interesting that through this exercise - which is
manipulation in the physical sense; my hand guides your arm - it is
possible to understand manipulation outside of its negative connotations,
and to understand it with one's whole being...

Jack Hirschfeld                               How long has this been going on?