Types of learning LO7303

Dave Birren, MB-5, 608-267-2442 (BIRRED@dnr.state.wi.us)
Wed, 8 May 1996 12:09 CST

Responding to Ben Compton in Types of learning LO7275:

Ben says:

>In my experience the reason an individuals intelligence is greater than
>a team is that not all team members are:
>- Committed to the purpose of the team
>- Are afraid to admit that perhaps some of their views are inaccurate
>- People on the team are lazy, and are simply working 8 - 5
>- People on the team do not realize how energizing creating something can be
> . . . especially something meaningful
>- Team members refuse to engage in dialogue

Ben goes on to paint what I can only describe as a somewhat jaded view of
people's limitations. A few snips, with brief commentary:

>... most of the people I have worked with in my career simply don't care about
>being committed nor do they care about effectively working together to create
>something meaningful.

I used to feel this way, but I've learned that a lot of apathy has to do
with systems that grind people down. I've seen many situations where the
yoke of control is removed; people lift their heads and engage the
situation with earnest and honest dedication (and I work in government, no
less!). Many remain cynical, it's true, but the learning for me has been
that most folks really want to play a meaningful role. Mostly they're
held back by systemically disempowering cultures.

>I'll even take it a step further: Most people simply don't have a purpose (or
>vision), and therefore are totally unaware of what it means (much less how) to
>become committed to a shared purpose.

I would agree with the idea that many people are unaware of their
motivations and lack a coherent vision. This partial blindness is a
limitation, not a disability. It's amazing what can happen when people
realize that they have the ability to shape their own future. The vision
"bulbs" start coming on and the organization is never the same again

>This is frustrating for those few people who do have such capacities (or at
>least desire to have such capacities). Frankly, I don't know what can be done
>about it . . .

The first rule, for me, is compassion. People do the best they can with
what they have, within the possibilities and limitations of the present
circumstances. Those "few people who do have such capacities" are
different only because they've learned something. It's up to them to
teach, to model, to live this knowledge so that others can also learn.



David E. Birren Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources birred@dnr.state.wi.us Phone 608-267-2442 Fax 608-267-3579

* ** *** There is no excuse for being uncivilized. ( D.H.Birren) *** ** *

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