Learning to Dialogue LO10166

Chau Nguyen (chau@rhonin.corp.sgi.com)
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 10:41:49 -0700

Replying to John Paul Fullerton LO10124

John, thank you for taking the time to comment on my post . As I stated,
I have a passion for the topic, and when you add passion and energy
together, what do you get? fire crackers, explosives, mine field, you
name it. We dialogue all our life, it's like the air that we breath. If
I remember correctly, Jung promoted the notion that the first part of our
life, we focus on the human doing, the material goods, the career, the
things that are related to visible activities. Then in the latter part of
our life, we begin to get in touch with the human being side, and bingo,
dialogue is in our face. It has always been there, but we only recognize
the role it plays in our life once we hit the turning point.

I think that when it comes to dialogue, whether we like to admit it or
not, most of us on this list, one way or another, have been contaminated
by Dr. Bohm and Dr. Senge' works. I don't mean this in a negative way. I
chose not to use the word "influence" because I do think that contaminate
is the right word. It's like mixing chemicals together. Try to separate
them, and good luck. Influence can be removed easily, contamination is
hard to remove. Their works are wonderful and superior, I am a fan of
both, but their views are modern views. They may have observed some
activities from other "ancient" places, but it's like looking in from
outside, through the windows. You can see the furni- ture but you don't
know what people are using the furniture for... you see, John, when we
see a chair and table in the dinning room, we think that people use the
chair to sit on, based on our own experience that's what they are there
for.. Well, maybe not, John. Maybe the people eat on the floor, and use
the chair for other purposes. If you don't show up at meal time, you'll
never know that, right John?. What I wrote here, came from a place where
dialogue is a part of nature, these people do not know Bohm or Senge from
Moses. But they dialogue all the times, they just don't name it. The
nature of the mind, IMO, is pure and intrinsic. The people in
underdeveloped countries have that kind of mind. What comes, comes, what
goes, goes. It's not that they don't think, they do. That's why they
have survived the last many thousand years. But they know that nature is
powerful, and complex, and they don't mess with nature, they don't try to
change the process of nature. They apply themselves to nature, not the
other way around.

Being a foreigner, I wear two hats, John. When I wrote this post, I took
off my modern hat, along with that what I've read and learned, and put on
my primative underdeveloped-country hat. That hat allows me to relive my
culture, to feel the impact, and to express that feeling without any
reservations. Because of that, I don't dissect the word dialogue. It is
a whole, the string that ties everyone together. You don't cut the string
into small parts and expect it to have the same effectiveness.

You wrote "Of course, directional comments such as "what's being said has
nothing to do with the focus of this meeting" does not sound like
dialogue" and I heard you. I think here is where we differ in the meaning
of dialogue. I am convinced that once you have a focus, biases already
set in, you come into the gathering with an agenda, you will express your
preferences in such ways that will yield the desired outcome which fits
your agenda.

You wrote "Also, dialogue allows the expert viewpoint to become knowledge
held in common. For example, if a team were working on a programming
project, and one or some of the team members had successful knowledge
about object-oriented techniques, their knowledge could be shared with
other members of the team, if there was a culture of hearing" to which I
answer: The transfer of knowledge does not use dialogue as a medium. In
my experience, John, as a software development manager, we have sessions
that we either call "post mortem" to learn the rights and wrongs after we
are done with a project, or we call it `transfer of knowledge' session,
where we discuss what works, how it works, when to use it and so on.

You wrote " I understand that this is a description of Your neighborhood
practice;however, if it is related to the idea of dialogue itself, what
assumptions make purpose and concern irrelevant?" There is no
assumptions, John, just observation based on what I've seen and
participated. I strongly believe that dialogue only works in the absense
of greed (i want to accomplish this or that, i want to gain this or that,
i need he or she to hear me)

You wrote "Without insistence and with the ability to inquire into others
thoughts (rather than only advocating my wants), it seems like dialogue
could be used for business purposes (by a people with ability to do so)"
IMO, we all have the ability to dialogue, we were born with it. In the
business world you need a medium to gain, and that's discussing,
advocating, evangalism or what ever but not dialogue.

>From time to time, I refrained from participating in threads, because my
views are quite unconventional, and perhaps don't sit well with the group.
Learning and dialogue are the exceptions, so thank you for the opportunity
to express my views.

phuoc-chau nguyen


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