Posts Tagged ‘conflict’

Healthy Debates

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

The article, “Overconfidence May Be a Result of Social Politeness”, opens up with:

Since society has taught us not to hurt other people’s feelings, we rarely hear the truth about ourselves, even when we really deserve it.

Phew, BD00 is glad this is the case. Otherwise BD00 would be inundated with “negative feedback” for being a baddy. Uh, he actually does get what “he deserves” occasionally, but what da hey.

Florida State University researcher Joyce Ehrlinger, upon whose research the article is based, empirically validated the following hypothesis to some degree:

If person A expressed views to a political subject that person B found contradictory to their own, the result would not be a healthy debate, but just silence from B – and an associated touch of overconfidence from A.

Now, imagine applying this conjecture to a boss-subordinate relationship in a hierarchical command and control bureaucracy. Bureaucratic system design natively discourages healthy debate up and down the chain of command and (almost) everybody complies with this design constraint. As a result, overconfidence increases as one moves up the chain. Healthy debates can, and do, occur among peers at any given level, but up-and-down-the-ladder debates on issues that matter are rare indeed. Hasn’t this been your experience?


December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Like telling telling someone: “You’re the worst project manager I’ve ever worked for!“, being told “You can’t lead anything!” is pretty unforgettable. I was the transmitter of the former subjective sentence, and the receiver of the latter subjective sentence –  by someone who thinks it’s objective, of course. As time ticks by, I’m glad that I’m becoming more and more comfortable accepting opinions that I don’t agree with, especially the infallible opinions of those in positions of authority.

Battle Of The Blahs

May 8, 2009 4 comments


Awareness, pure consciousness, egoless, no self, spirit, god, the peace that passeth all understanding, universal energy, eternal essence, eternal bliss, universal intelligence, mind, formless energy….. (add your own favorite word or phrase here).

All these words and phrases point to the same thing (or no-thing?) and attempt to describe what’s indescribable via words or thoughts. People argue endlessly over which is “right” or “correct” and miss the whole purpose of using them to communicate. It reminds me of the famous spiritual (Buddhist?) saying that goes something like this: “I’m pointing at the moon but you’re looking at my finger.”

As E. Tolle has said: “The analysis of pointers is pointless.”

What’s your favorite word or phrase that describes the indescribable?

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