Conversational Paradigm LO5921
Thu, 29 Feb 1996 10:04:49 -0500

Replying to LO5883 --

Language is an interesting focal point, one that I would like to discuss
well. Recently, a group of my peers and I were engaged in a dialogue
surrounding the state of our job / mission. Our current state, or
reality, is created both by our own language as well as driven by the
language / comments / questions that have a tremendous impact on the
current state. What then becomes a focal point is to close the very large
gap between these executive's intent vs. impact. If you asked the
listener to evaluate what the executive meant, and then asked the
executive "is that what you meant?" you would far too often get the answer
no. To change that, we start with ourselves to discover our gaps in
intent vs. impact. For me, the most effective way of doing that is by
using Argyris' left-hand column tool. Language, while it can be very
powerful, also has so many limitations. One is that words force
fragmentation. If someone asked you "tell me about yourself" you would
tell them about work, family, hobbies, friends. They are really part of
one whole, your system. But language makes us believe that we can
seperate work from family and so forth. It is a potential barrier to
creating systems thinkers.


Jamie Flinchbaugh

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>