A register of system rules LO29168

From: winfried deijmann (wm.deijmann@chello.nl)
Date: 09/12/02

Replying to LO29122 --

Dear At and other forum members

> Greetings dear Winfried,
> I enjoy this dialogue developing on Barry's proposed system rule very
> much.

Me too At, it is very inspiring.

> Let me try to say in one sentenece for each what talent and character
> are for me. A talent is an exceptional mental ability of a person to
> perform skilfully a particular activity. Character is the combination
> of all the qualities (values) by which a person guides all his/her
> activities, even those developed into talents.

At, your description of talent as being a mental ability places talents in
the heads of people as a kind of brain-thing, I disagree with you there,
but I might be misunderstanding the concept of mental ability you use. I
will not debate on your assumptions nor raise questions but instead dig
some spades deeper on my foundings to help you understand mine better.

With basis in my earlier contribution on Talent and Character (A register
of system rules LO29122) I will elaborate here a bit more about aspects
and significance of talent (1.) and character (2.) and that which
relates/connects them: orientation (2.). Ofcourse there is more to it then
I can put in this contribution. To get more indepth information you need
to read the book I wrote together with my friend and colleague Leo van de
Burg: 'Menskundige Bedrijfskunde, - De Ideale Organisatie bestaat niet'.
This will be hard because it is written in Dutch..... :-(

I will give it a try in my 'wooden shoes and tulips' English...

1.1 Nature

The most fundamental and in itself unchangeable characteristic of human
beings is that they are either male or female. On biological grounds a
strict line can be drawn between man and woman.

As far as behavior is concerned we speak of male and female qualities that
are present in individual proportions in human beings of either sex.
Female qualities are: being tender, caring, person-orientated, introspect;
male qualities: being enterprising, ambitious, object-orientated,

1.2 Mental constitution

The mental constitution is defined by four qualities: investigation, care,
presentation, leadership. Every human being has his own individual
constitution made up from these qualities, in most cases with clear
dominance of one and near-absence of one of the qualities. I will shortly
describe the four basic mental constitutions a.k.a. temperaments:
 - The melancholic constitution strives for perfection. It focuses on the
past, investigating what is there -- as it investigates everything. That
is its greatest quality.
 - The phlegmatic constitution provides evenness and calm. It flourishes
in rhythm and regularity, is good at drawing up plans and faithful. The
outstanding quality of this constitution is care.
 - The sanguine constitution is future-orientated. Emotions, moods,
feelings may change rapidly, there is a strong adaptability. Its central
quality is artistic.
 - The choleric constitution puts a lot of energy in developing ideas and
finding solutions of its own. It is full of zest , given to action and
likes to go first. Its kernel quality is leadership.

At replied to me:
> It is striking that a normal person can have many talents (note
> plural),
> but only one character (note singular). In other words, there is more
> wholeness ("unity-associativity") in character than in talents. This is
> the very reason why character have control (agency) over talents
> rather than the other way around.

At, your reply assumes that every one is born with the same amount of
(latent) talents, and that only 'one' character is developed. This is
where we disagree strongly.Every human being is so to speak- a species in
itself, with his/her own pre-destinated set of talents and
character-potentials. Read on...

How do I define character? I distinguis two aspects: capacities and

2.1 Capacities

When speaking of someone's capacities I refer to qualities of
conscience that can be applied as a contribution of that person in
different contexts -- work, social life, etc. Every human being has
capacities -- each in its own degree or intensity -- in the field of
 - Knowledge
 - Attitude
 - Skills

Each of these three categories will develop step-wise, in seven steps.
Over the first three steps a dependent capacity will develop, the fourth
will mark an independent capacity, the three last steps will lead to a
responsible capacity. An extensive description of growth in fields of
competence within organizations can be found in the concept for diagnosis
in organizations (system of the three axes) as elaborated by Tricona
Advise and in the book I mentioned earlier.

2.2 Motives

This aspect of character comprises passion, resignation, incentives and
motivation that underlies human behavior. The life's device of a person
often reveals their deeper motivation. Motives can be characterized in
twelve images representing twelve categories. These indicate the spiritual
fields to which people are attracted and to which they devote their
efforts. A strong connection has been found between motives and talent: a
sensitive person will be motivated for things where sensibility applies, a
confronting person will be keen on situations that ask for confrontation.
The whole complex of motives plays its part in determining what action
will be taken and then acting accordingly. The intensity or degree of
motivation depends on how consciously a person is connected with her or
his personal leitmotivs (leading motives).mark that I don't use the word

>> If we want to be able to solve people's functioning
>> problems - whether in attitude, behavior or achievement -
>> it will be indispensable not to only analyze and correct
>> the visible behavior, but to try and understand the whole
>> inner system of possibilities and limitations of that
>> personality - ourselves included: for it is by understanding
>> OURSELVES that we create understanding for others.
> Dear Winfired, this is a beautiful description. Yet, there is one thing
> to which i again have to disagree. Please, do not take my different
> viewpoints as a judgement that your's are wrong.

I won't At, We have known each other for over six years now and we are
beyond that point, aren't we?

> A simple truth can be valued by true or false, but a complex truth can
> only be
> complemented by looking at it from as many different viewpoints as
> possible.

I think there is an easier more simple way At.

> We cannot solve other person's problems, although we must know
> how to solve such problems. They will have to solve these problems
> themselves. It is through our knowing that we can guide them with
> compassion how to do it.


This is where a person's orientation comes in....


In effectuating a fruitful cooperation between talent and character
orientation plays an important part. It works as a broader, generalized
motive that originates in talent. There are three orientations --
intellectual, social and creative- residing in three different qualities
of the soul: thinking, feeling, wanting -, qualities that live in each
individual in different proportions. Orientation gives color to all
actions of the person in question.

 - Intellectuality: thinking is connected with truth. The intellectual
orientation reigns in science leading us in our search for objective
truth. The striving impulse of the intellectual is freedom, with blue as
the corresponding color. (Tricona uses the colors as a help in
 - Creativity: will is connected with goodness. Those in whom the creative
orientation is strongly alive will strive to change the world, taking
action to renew what is there. The corresponding color is red, red is
deeply connected to the concept of fraternity - brotherhood.
 - Sociability: feeling is connected with beauty and harmony. The social
orientation strives to keep and restore balance. It is characterized by a
strong engagement with people and a keen sense of justice. The
corresponding color is green, green is the color of equality.

>> It is important to look at the impulses underlying
>> behavior. In some situations perhaps we will find
>> that the learning process has come to its natural
>> end, that the possibilities of this/a particular talent
>> are simply exhausted. On the other hand, instead
>> of limitations we might as well encounter new
>> possibilities for self-development, unexpected,
>> sleeping talent....
> Dear Winfried, how i wish that you did not use the description "has
> come to its natural end". I myself would rather have written "has
> come to its unnatural end". After more than 30 years in the teaching
> profession, i can safely say that it is very common for the learning
> process in most people to come to an end. But this does not make
> it natural.

Oh yes it does, a story below will explain how a learning process can come
to its unnatural end and what happens when we ignore that fact.

> My greatest and most difficult task as a teacher has been
> to help that learning process to begin once again and then in such
> a manner that it never ends again.

Did you ever succeed At? Allow me to reply by telling a story at this

Deep in the forest the animals decided to take an initiative. A historic
and heroic step in their existence: to be prepared for the New World Order
they founded a school where all animals should be able to prepare
themselves for the New Era. To avoid getting into administrative problems
the initiators made an important and couragious decision: the curriculum
would have four basic subjects: swimming, running, climbing and flying.
The squirl showed that he was mediocre with a tendency towards 'good' in
swimming, running and climbing. But his flying gave reasons to be
concerned.... Although he easily could hover from one branch to the other
his assessors reported to the board that the squirl lost altitude. To
correct this they immediately inserted an extra module: 'gaining
altitude'. They were convinced that within two days the squirl would catch
up and this functionality-fault would be set to rights. The first day was
severe practicing: by pushing himself up with his hind-legs and
simultaniously beating the ground with his tail, gaining altittude should
not be a problem anymore in the reality of flying. His assessors and
classmates were helpfully yelling: "GO FOR IT, WE KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!!".
When it was obvious that didn't do the trick they pushed him even more by
telling: "But you also have to WANT to succeed!". At the end of day one
his hind-legs showed heavy signs of wear and tear and the tail was broken.
Two days later the animals burried the squirl: the loss of the ability to
search for beech-nuts - due to the fractures in hind-legs and tail - was
fatal for the squirl.

[Host's Note: There's a similar story about teaching a frog to fly.

I hope the message in the above story shows clear enough that it is
non-desirable and counter-productive to try and change or interfere in
human behaviour without the context of human potential (talent, character,
orientation) plus a consistent perspective of the future.

And I am so very sorry to conclude that this is exactly what has been and
still is going on in our schools, universities and organizations..

>> When people cannot unfold their talents under the agency of
>> character this is what you get:
> Near the beginning i had to write: "I do not agree that talent can
> unfold only under the agency of character." I think that here my
> mastering of English (which is not my mother tongue) is failing me
> once again. My own thinking is rather "When people unfold their
> talents not under the agency of character this is what you get:"

I distinguise a difference between 'unfolding under...' and 'bursting
out....' The first happens under the agency of character, the latter
without agency. But I like your sentence better then mine :-)

In friendship,
Winfried Deijmann


Winfried Deijmann http://www.tricona.nl http://www.dialoog.net deijmann@dialoog.net

'An educated mind is useless without a focused will and dangerous without a loving heart'

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