Conversational Paradigm LO5498

Michael McMaster (
Sat, 10 Feb 1996 12:29:28 +0000

Replying to LO5457 --

Doug raises the question of problems as the source of "incomplete
conversations". I like this idea a lot. It will provide openings
for the resolution of many breakdowns and problems. I think that it
will provide a key to unlock many impasses in interpersonal
relationships. Thanks for the distinction.

I would say, at a different scale, that there are *only* incomplete
conversations. None has a clear beginning nor end and none has an
author that is the sole source. A conversation is an emergent
process that requires simultaneous co-emergence (to qualify for my
operational definition) and will be always incomplete on that
account. It will also be incomplete in that understandings,
information and assessment of status will all be different for each
participant at different times.

(Remember that I am saying this at a different level or scale. It
does not invalidate what Doug contributed.)

For a similar linguistic tool or distinction for an organisation or
community to the individual one of "incomplete communication", I
would propose "insufficiently connected communication". That is,
there are not sufficient people included and/or connections made with
what are considered to be "external" communities - whether
communities of people, interest or knowledge.

The problems of most importance to me, and the place of most
interesting application of Warfield's IM (from my point of view), are
those where it is connection with a larger environment or larger
communities that is missing - and where the breakdowns are also
distributed amongst such larger communities.

[Host's Note: IM = "Interactive Management," a major body of work by John

Michael McMaster

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