Length of contributions LO12197

W.M. Deijmann (winfried@universal.nl)
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 01:40:49 +0100

Replying to LO12148 --

Ian Saunders asks in LO12148:

>Any other suggestions about how we can use this list to effectively learn
>about us, how we learn, what we change beyond the valuable information and
>ideas and insights??

Allow me to give it a try.

An essential part off learning is the art of dialogue. IMO a dialogue
starts with a question, followed by answers that in theirselves contain
new questions.

If you look to the subjectlines from our LO-threads 99% of them are
formulated in two to five words. These keywords refer to a hughe hidden
world of hidden questions, experiences, facts, thoughts, perceptions,
opinions, assumptions, feelings goals and possible solutions. IMHO our
dialogue's would improve in quality if already at the start of a thread
the subject was formulated as an open question instead of some abstract
keywords. Why? Because questions can besides many others things, create
openness, clarity, commitment (I realise that I newer put thread-subjects
in question-mode, but I will from now on....!)

There's always a 'somebody' that asks the question. That someboy is the
owner of the question and should be at present through out the dialogue,
because she/he has an interest in the question and therefor has taken
commitment and responsabillity for the thread. Others can 'hang on' to that
The dialogue is finished when she/he has had satisfactional answers and
notifies the others involved.
One of the 'classicall' mistakes discussions is that a thread is started
without having formulated the persons real 'problem' in a clear, sharp way.
In my experience best practice to do so is to approach the threadsubject by
asking about five questions.
The thread-starter should consequently ask himself these questions befor
putting the subject on the net
These questions are in random order:

* What occasion started your interest in the subject?
* What emotions are involved? Amazement? irritation? disappoinment?
enthusiasm? fear?
*What opinion, value causes this emotion?
*What do you want with the subject in general and:
(very important!): What do you -more or less spicificly- want from the
*What are the conditions you want to dialogue the problem?

( I mix the use of 'problem', 'question' and 'subject' delibaretly )

To clearafy the hidden question in the subject, contributors can help to
gain this transparancy of the problem by asking similar or failing
Once the subject/question is clearafied every listmember can decide to join
the thread or not, starting to explain the reason why they join.

Some guidelines:
*Stop arguing.
*Instead try to read/listen carefully to hear on what _facts_ , his/her
opinions and thoughts are based, AND what implicite vision/value you assume
is hidden underneath. Check this out by asking some questions to get these
hidden values "on the table". Many misunderstandings can be traced back to
the fact that we assume that the dialogue-partner understands the words as
we mean them. Nothing is less true! Every concept can summon totally
different associations in somebody else's mind.
Ask f.i. two or three persons in your direct circle this:

What implies the concept "family" for you?
What is "a good working team".
What has to happen before you can speak of " compromise"?
When can we speak of a sucsesfull thread?

In a more or less unconsious way everyone on the list is doing this already:
Everyone has objective facts, has subjectiv thoughts, has personal
feelings, wants something and does things. What is needed is more
consciousness in:

silencing (is this english?)



There's more to it, but I try to keep it short.
Any questions?

greetings from terrible deadly foggy Holland. ( 14 people died in several
carcrashes today)


Winfried M. Deijmann
Deijmann & Partners
Artists and Consultants for Organizational Learning
Het Zwanevlot 37
NL 7206 CB Zutphen
Netherlands Email: Winfried@universal.nl
tel.: +31 (0)575-522076 fax.: +31 (0)575-527310
"An educated mind is useless without a focussed will and dangerous without
a loving heart" (unknown source)


winfried@universal.nl (W.M. Deijmann)

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