Posts Tagged ‘understanding’

Two little pieces

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Following on from yesterday’s blog, it turned out that two small pieces of information made all the difference.  A friend told us to test a couple of muscles which were connected with the eyes, and we learnt that the TMJ (the jaw muscle) could also have an impact.  This allowed me to treat her and reduce the symptoms by around 70%, but the biggest thing was knowing there was a non-threatening cause for the symptoms.

When you can understand even part of how something has come about you can do something about it, if only change your own responses.  It is like opening a door into a new house and once you have passed through the door a whole new set of views opens up, which expands and relates to what you saw / knew before. 

They say knowledge is power, and so it is but I also have always felt that it is hard to judge when you really understand things from another’s perspective.

“There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.”   Deepak Chopra

Management by fiddling about

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I was recently gifted a complex pump and filter system for my pond.  I’m no plumber and have little experience of this kind of thing.  However there is obviously a fair amount one can accomplish with a bit of common sense,  a bit more with some trial and error.  The fact is, if you just look at the outside of the box, it is just that, a black box that does stuff.  Take off the lid and you can understand more, take it to bits and reassemble it and one gets closer to understanding it and how it works.

A similar thing applies to human systems too.  If you just stand outside them you have little real understanding of how they function and what makes them work.  It really is important to get inside a system to try to truly understand it.  I suspect far too many consultants and managers make ‘improvements’ and ‘rationalisations’ based on no real understanding of what really makes them work.  The very same knowledge is required to make them work better…

Whilst fiddling about does have its dangers, (at one stage I wondered if I was going to be able to get it working again) not understanding the workings of something you depend on is even more dangerous.

“You can fiddle enough with the system to (make the office) look better,”   James Adams

Communication is all about what THEY hear…

Monday, December 8th, 2008

I had an interesting business meeting this morning.  Lots of good stuff being tossed around by 3 people with busy brains and loads of ideas.  I floated an idea (a good one as it happens) and it is interesting to examine what happened between my speaking and them ‘hearing’ what I had suggested. 

One of the guys went off on one little journey about the use of metaphors and in fact had inverted my meaning / story.  In fact, he had just picked up the bits that were interesting to him and taken it in a different direction.  The other chap heard the bits that worried him and was busy thinking about what wouldn’t work.  Over the next 20-30 minutes I explained and developed the idea and by the end of that time we all understood & liked my suggestion and agreed to use it as a core to process. 

The key about this little episode was that until further work was done, our ideas and understanding were at sixes & sevens.  There is an NLP precept which says the meaning of any communication is the meaning taken by the other person.

If it is important for you communicate effectively, you have to check that they have heard what you said and what you meant, not something totally different….

“The problem with communication … is the illusion that it has been accomplished.”  George Bernard Shaw

Two truths

Friday, April 25th, 2008


Buddhism states that there are always two truths, the personal truth and the absolute spiritual truth. I would suggest that in this world, we are not likely to have much experience with the latter. However, I think that the former is also worthy of further thought. The thing is, when we use the word “truth”, we mean that we are not consciously distorting our knowledge and understanding. Let us suppose that we are individuals of high integrity, and that we are not being ‘economical’ with our truths. However, that is all we can offer, our truth.

This represents the sum of the knowledge and understanding that we have at this moment; tomorrow it may change as we learn more or interpret what we know differently. Of course, this is true for each person. So if you have two entirely honest people, who wish to be totally candid with each other, at the very best all they can do is swap their own version of their current truths. This process is further diminished by the fact we use language differently and can easily misconstrue what another has said. Is it any wonder that people can argue about who is telling the truth? I think it is all together more remarkable that we ever agree!

Who is telling the truth about what is happening in the Middle East the Islamic Jihadist or the right-wing American Christian fundamentalist?

I think the truth is a destination that we are unlikely to reach in this life time. The best we can offer each other is our open understanding, a little humility and a good listening. So if you find yourself in conflict today, try listening a little longer, questioning a little better and doing so with an open heart.

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” Albert Einstein

“There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.” Alfred North Whitehead




  1. The Whole Truth (an earlier blog)