May 15, 2004

I am very ignorant in the ways of the world and its people, and anything I write here should be taken with the appropiate spoon of salt. I have something of book-learning and facts, maybe even something of cognitive reasoning and possibly intuition, but it is only Burns' "a' that". It seems that I have gathered just enough to tell me that I know nothing; and of society and relationships I know less than nothing. Such limited experience as I do have cannot but be coloured by my way of seeing life, generally: and since I don't know that anyone else shares it, it is of limited use to any but me.

And apparently I don't even have sense enough to come in out of the sun before burning.

I had been trying to understand why another would find my style of (requested!) "help" to carry an apparent expectation of "should have already known". I could not see it. From my point of view, I had done almost exactly the opposite. Stepped back. Asked questions, as non-Socratic as was possible. (Socratic questions have a nasty habit of helping the other person come to the conclusions pre-envisioned by the questioner.) Asked more questions, working within the foundation built by the other. (It doesn't matter that the other person doesn't come to the same conclusion as me -- better that they don't! because that forces me into new lines of thought.)

It requires work, by both of us. The resolutions -- after the fact -- seem self-evident. Then again, gravity is self-evident: but it took Newton to identify and consider what was equally in front of everyone else's eyes. True resolutions, once arrived at, almost always would seem obvious -- seen from the side of arrival.

My style of "helping" had been creating an illusion that The Answer had been obvious all along, and thus "should" have been known all along. The confusion is obvious! ... now.


Smile of the day:

How many mediators does it take to change a lightbulb?

Well, let's unpack that shall we?

First of all, let's be clear that it is not the mediator's function to change the lightbulb.

The mediator will explore with the lightbulb how it feels about the on and off nature of its job, its unhappiness at always having to work nights, and its relationships with the other parties, including the new lightbulbs that it feels are a threat to its position.

The mediator will talk to the new lightbulbs, reframing and normalising their observation that the principal lightbulb is completely out of its box, and identifying that their real issue is that being picked on one at a time constantly undermines their team spirit.

The darkness seems quite hostile to all the lightbulbs and keeps telling them to go and unscrew themselves. The mediator will allow it to vent its anger and express its distress at how it always feels unwanted.

The mediator will help guide the darkness and the lightbulbs, both new and mature, to a solution reflecting their new understanding of each other. Bright sparks will realise that you will have to be left in the dark now because the final outcome is confidential.

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