Great stuff. TnxJ
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Terri Markle
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008
To: [address removed]
Subject: [atheists-36] The Art Of
The following is quoted from Words, Meanings, and People, ISBN
[masked], written by Dr. Sanford I. Berman, and published through the International Society
for General Semantics:
Chapter 24, The Art
Of Human Relations
Professor Wallace Brett Donham of Harvard, and associates from other
universities, present 10 simple rules for keeping out, or getting out, of
- Learn all about a problem before trying to solve
it. Listen a lot. Talk a little. Although we cannot know
"all" about anything, too many of us presume to have more
knowledge than we have. In solving problems we must get as much
factual data as we possibly can. And after getting as much evidence
as we can, go ahead and make the decision. Don't procrastinate.
No decision at all is often worse than a bad one. Especially if this
gets to be a habitual pattern.
- See the total situation Don't act on just
part of it. Here, too, we must try to see the situation as a
whole. It is so easy to abstract or select a small part for our own
convenience and leave out the most essential part of the situation.
This means that we must be as objective as we can and realize the
subjectivity of human perception.
- Don't be deceived by logic. Most problems
are full of emotion. You cannot leave out the human being from the
situations, and people are full of emotions. Most problems, even
those that seemingly are devoid of emotionality, are full of emotional
feeling. Recognize your own emotions and try to be more objective while
asking other people to do the same.
- Watch for the ambiguity of language and the many
meanings of words. Look behind words to get their full impact.
Realize that other people have had different experiences than you and,
therefore, give different meanings to words. Meanings are not in the
words -- They are in people. And you must ask others what they mean
before criticizing or disagreeing with them.
- No moral judgments, please. Until you have
diagnosed a problem, don't leap to conclusions about what's right and
what's wrong. Too many of us jump to conclusions too quickly.
We are too ready with our own moral judgements without trying to
understand the situation from other points of view. To the degree we
moralize, to that degree do we fail to analyze.
- Imagine yourself in the other person's
shoes. See how the problem looks from where he or she sits.
One of the most important words in management, in teaching, in being a
parent, in life generally, is the word "empathy." We must
learn to listen with empathy. We must keep an open mind and a open
heart in dealing with people, in trying to understand them and their
problems from their point of view. Too many of us are self-centered
and egotistical, unable to feel the emotions of others as they feel them.
We could if we tried, and this is empathy.
- When a problem gets you down, get away from
it. Put it in the back of your mind for a week. When you
approach it again, the solution may be obvious. Sometimes we are so
close to the forest we fail to see the trees. Get away for a while
and rejuvenate your energies. Stop thinking hard for a solution,
relax your conscious mind, and let your subconscious mind take over.
You will be surprised at how a solution will "pop out." This
is inspiration and creative imagination at work.
- Ask yourself, "What are the forces acting on
the other fellow? Why does he behave as he does?" Few of
us really try to analyze why other people behave as they do. We are
quick to criticize, to moralize, to pass judgment, but slow to understand
or empathize. I have a statement that I tell my students,
"Never criticize others until you know why they are doing what they
are doing from their point of view!" Too many of us think that our world of reality, our perception of the world, is the
only one, the right one. Such an attitude can only lead to
conflict. We must realize that other people's point of view, while
different from our own, can be equally valid and correct. Ours or
theirs is not necessarily better but just different. And difference is a
characteristic of various human perceptions.
- Diagnosis must come before action. Use the
doctor's approach. Don't prescribe until you're sure what is
wrong. Be as scientific outside of the laboratory as the scientist
is inside the laboratory. This means pausing and delaying your
reactions, keeping an open mind, not projecting your feelings into the
situation. And using your eyes and ears more than your mouth.
No one has ever learned anything while talking.
- Easy does it. Quick solutions are often the
quick route to trouble. Take your time, Count to 10 before talking
From the above, we
have created the following "Ten Commandments of Human Relations":
1. Without procrastination, Thou shalt listen before acting.
2. Thou shalt be objective and view the situation as a whole.
3. Objectively honor Thy logic and Thy emotion.
4. Rememberest Thou that meanings are not the words.
5. Thou shalt not morally judge others.
6. Thou shalt listen with empathy.
7. Thou shalt not obsess or perseverate on a problem, take a break.
8. Thou shalt not criticize others until Thou knowest why
they are doing what they are doing from their perspective.
9. Thou shalt employ the scientific method always.
10. Rememberest Thou that easy does it.
Greg Pettengill and Terri Markle
Cote' Art & Engineering, Inc.
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