Spirited Debate on LO LO6607

Thu, 11 Apr 1996 09:50:15 -0400

Replying to LO6577 --

Hal, Your note was great to read. Thank you.

Could we change this title to 'Skillful Discussion on the LO'?
Or does that take all the cojones out of learning?

Hal brings up two types of discussions. One is about the conflict between
ideas or statements.(content disagreement)

The other is a reaction to the tone or presentation of the statements.
(i.e. 'arrogant')

Regarding the latter:

I respect the significant amount and depth of work that it takes to
address 'personal mastery' issues. I am willing to do this with people who
I am working closely with, with people who ask for such feedback
(genuinely, in my judgment), or with people I love. Those are the same
people I hope would help me in my work on these issues. It is not a casual
pursuit in my mind.

I ask:
- Why do I want to say something in the first place? What will
be the potential gain?
- Why am I reacting to this style? What is my part in this?

I wonder whether that can be done effectively in writing?
I find that in writing it is much easier to polarize ideas, reactions,
concepts. The huge space for interpretation becomes larger, and is done
solo, without opportunities to clarify words and ensure understanding of
the other person's meaning.

Therefore, in this setting I would most often choose to skip the
opportunity to give someone feedback on their style. If their style
continued to create a reaction in me, I would probably choose to stop
reading their postings, instead of giving them feedback.

This doesn't apply if I have a difference of opinion with the content of
what someone says. For me, those are easier differences to write about.
Good discussuions of that type include references to 'IMHO', and "from my
perpective", and 'my experiences..." ( a little postmodern awareness goes
a long way). For me, good discussions of differences include questions of
clarification and making one's own interpretations known and 'testable.' I
also love references to readings or life examples that illuminate a point.
But are those "HEATED"?

Hal says: "Conflict, in fact HEATED conflict, is a most powerful and
arguably the most important method of learning known in the writings of

Heat to me means heavy advocacy and little or no deep questioning.
Therefore I distrust HEATED conversations as a place for real learning.

Is this just semantics? Does Hal mean rigorous and intense when he say
HEATED? In which case we would be agreeing.

I dunno. It may just be a boy/girl thing. 'HEATED' and 'sharp' don't sound
like I want in on the conversation.

Thanks for the thoughts, Hal and Rick.

Fran Alexander



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