Reality Check LO10184

JC Howell (
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 10:08:32 +0000

Replying to LO10069 --


I found your breakdown of the "global village" very interesting. I
constantly marvel at how easily we each think that the entire world (with
the exception of "those FEW people over there") is just like us. This has
caused so many problems for humanity throughout history.

What makes me cringe is when I realize that, even as I am marveling at
this tendency, I am doing it myself, as well.

I recently had an experience with a very aggressive female VP of a
company. In addition to the obvious differences between us, and her very
strong orientation on her business objectives, we also had some
differences in general world view. I tried to be very neutral in my
orientation so that we could communicate more effectively. In short, I
triend to assume nothing and asked a LOT of questions. Unfortunately, her
view seemed to be that such neutrality (questioning) was a sign of
weakness or incompetence. After a short time communications between us
broke down completely and our dealings came to an end.

In hindsight it appears to me that the basic problems between us boiled
down to her seeing me as being like her insomuch that I would see the
world as she did. When she felt I was exhibiting weakness or
incompetence, she seemed to move in a different direction.

I, on the other hand, thought that, if she didn't see the world as I did,
she would at least be willing and able to look at it as I did for a short
time. In my attempts to make no assumptions, I made some of the most
serious assumptions I could have made. Predictably, these assumptions
backfired and problems resulted.

I was hurt at first that she could be so unenlightened. Then I began to
realize that, regardless of intent, I had conspired with her to create the
situation which resulted.

This is a little bit of a stretch from your "global village" description
but it is what that example triggered for me.



Clyde Howell

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