Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Friday, 1 June 2007

Respecting Ignorance

A good soldier is not violent.
A good fighter is not angry.
A good winner is not vengeful.
A good employer is humble.

This is known as the virtue of not striving.
This is known as the ability to deal with people.
This since ancient times has been known as the ultimate unity with Heaven.

Tao Te Ching, Verse 68

For me this means a good communicator respects 'ignorance'. Too often we tend to rely on information, preferably scientific sound information, to convince people. People have conceptual maps in their minds – or frames - that help them sort incoming information quickly and to make sense of it. It is the basis for their decision to zap to another channel, turn the page or just turn a deaf ear on the speaker. People read what they want to read, hear what they want to hear etc. In Verse 71 of the Tao Te Ching it reads:

Knowing ignorance is strength.
Ignoring knowledge is sickness.

So a good communicator does not just lecture, but listens and takes the audience serious. More about effective communication you can read in Section 1 of the CEPA toolkit: Good Practice of CEPA, especially the fact sheets on page 23 - 29. These fact sheets deal with the following aspects:
CEPA is more than giving people the scientific facts
Knowing that 'Perception is the only Reality'
Knowing that 'Said does not mean Done'
Getting attention for your issues
Take into account the need for framing.

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