Spirited Debate on LO LO6672

Sun, 14 Apr 1996 00:53:08 -0400

Replying to LO6660 --


Thanks for your follow up comments. I'm actually saying something quite a
bit different than you.

I have no problem with Hal stating his assessments, good, bad or
indifferent (assessments about his assessments!) Negative assessments are
quite powerful in learning (which I think is his point!).

Negative assessments can be very respectful and don't need to be sugar
coated, in my opinion. But, they should have a point to them more than
just trying to humiliate or hurt another person. So then, it's someone's
judgment whether comments are useful or not/respectful or not. You
declared the list into existance and by hanging around, we (all the
members) have granted you the authority to do that for us on the
learning-org list.

Rick, interestingly, you point to your standards for respect. You say:
"Some research shows much (most?) communication occurs through tone,
inflection, body language, etc. This certainly makes a difference. If you
have just rolled your eyes in disgust, it won't matter what words you use.
But, if your non-verbals communicate respect and recognition (firm
handshake, eye contact, etc.), your words can be *very* challenging and
still advance the debate, not cut it off.

"Here in e-mail we don't have the non-verbal cues, we're missing a flow of
information that's usually part of the exchange. From reading Sproul and
Kiesler (_Connections_, MIT Press 1991) and others, I believe that because
the non-verbals are missing, we have to go *further* out of our way to
communicate the respect and recognition that would be present in a face to
face meeting.

"How do we show respect in e-mail? Real respect, that lands right for the
opposite party and is clear to all the readers? This is harder..."

It is pretty hard to get all the readers to agree on what respect
is....that's the heart of the matter that Hal has raised, I believe.

So again, thank you, Rick and Hal!

Margaret McIntyre



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