Spirited Debate on LO LO6592

John Paul Fullerton (jpf@mail.myriad.net)
Thu, 11 Apr 1996 01:07:14 +0000

Responding to Hal's note in LO6577

Let me begin up front with a comment from another place that directly
relates to hearing disapproval in a group. My pastor said that he was
sorry that everyone had to hear correction intended for a few. Everyone
here hears the same words "posts are too long, poorly written, too
abstract, too short, insufficiently reasoned." William Isaacs from MIT
described dialogue and said that some would be more talkative, at first.
Apparently, everyone is supposed to get finished talking at some time, at
least in a dialogue session. The only way to have dialogue is to let
people who have something to say, say it. That's what dialogue is, people
saying things. Not my rule, but, the group decides if anything is off
limits, but it's better not to pre-arrange limits. Anyway, to try to
acknowledge my topic sentence, hearing general-sounding complaints ends up
possibly causing some hurt for those who do not deserve the correction.
Then the response to the correcting words directly is, correction for
saying something is not the spirit of dialogue, and does it not itself do
what it says not to do?

No one should ever make absolute statements as though there were no other


It's also possible that the nature of dialogue is "implicate correction"
to coin a term! Everybody eventually says, no, you're wrong.

> Look, I hope you know that there is absolutely nothing personal in any of
> my posts. And I know you know that I disagree with how you interpret and
> apply the guidelines.

It would hurt me simply to be shown that one of my sentences was
trying to say three basically unrelated points, so talking about the
logic of statements does not take away from the fact that someone
said these things. What could they have been thinking when they said
that? :)

> If a statement made by a person posting here is, in fact, arrogant -
> hypothetically - how is it incorrect to tell them?

It could be thought to be putting the person down, and from what
basis would the judgement be made? Is it a judgement that the person
shares? Does it account for simple things like the person forgetting,
misunderstanding, or assuming something?

> How will the person EVER know that the have said something arrogant? Let
> us presume, now that it merely sounds arrogant, again, hypothetically. How
> can they EVER improve their communication skills?

Would the person improve their communication skills if they only
sounded arrogant and were told that they were arrogant? Or would an
arrogant person stop being arrogant simply by being told that they
were either arrogant or needed to polish up their writing skills?

It is possible that learning would result from hurt; however, I would
prefer to invite learning that isn't hurtful!

I respond to the note that was posted to the listserve. If you were
to correct someone who was giving me a difficult time, then I might
welcome the association. Seeing that that type of clique doesn't work
best for benefit, I could personally take note that my sentences
ought to say one or two unified things. Then show how communication
ought to be. There seem to be many values that are not commonly
shared, so how can judgements be made on those values when only guilt
and shame result?

People like to be treated easy, I think. And my note may not seem to
do that. I hope that you won't see it that way. I see your posts as
examples of logic, clarity, and a contribution to the list that no
one else duplicates, and I eschew compliments though I don't often
have to do that :) Just kidding about "no compliments"; however, none
in response to this note!

In Japan, maybe in one company, I don't know, one of the
"strategies" for TQM amidst a people that are conscious of propriety
and respect is that every manager has access to a cord that will stop
production. If an error happens, production is stopped, and everyone
gathers around the station where the problem happened. There, in
process-focused communication, I imagine the worker says to themself,
"never again!"

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton


"John Paul Fullerton" <jpf@mail.myriad.net>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>