Balancing advocacy & inquiry LO13200

Bill Godfrey (
Sat, 12 Apr 97 19:22:25 +1000

Replying to LO13154 --

>I have been introducing the skills of advocacy and inquiry into workshops
>on communication, conflict and mentoring with great success. The material
>from the Fieldbook (Ch. 36 by Rick Ross & Charlotte Roberts) is very good
>for many interpersonal applications.
>Has anyone else had success with this material in similar or other

Rick Ross, one of the co-authors of the Fieldbook does a great deal of
work in this field. He has some excellent exercises in triads, focussing
first on enquiry, then on advocacy and finally on achieving a balance. I
have used them in a variety of contexts in Australia and they work - but
its all about *continuous* practice and that is more difficult to arrange.

My personal problem is maintaining a simultaneous focus on content and
process. I, and most of the people I observe trying to build skills in
skilful discussion, tend to get so caught up in the content that I forget
the process. I think this is why nominated or volunteer guardians of
process are so valuable. When I was an executive in an organisation
undergoing massive change, we tried consciously to remind everyone of
their process responsibility, and it was very helpful.

Rick uses (and I have adopted) name cards which have the three tools
(balanced advocacy and enquiry, the ladder of inference and the left hand
column on the side of the name card 'tent' facing each person. That too
is a very useful and simple way of reminding people to practice the
skills. I have known people to wave their card as reminder that 'we are
back in the old advocacy wars'.

Bill Godfrey
Bill Godfrey & Associates Pty Ltd
8 Reibey Place, Curtin, ACT 2605, Australia
Tel: (61) 6 282 2256
Fax: (61) 6 282 2447
BookWatch site:


Bill Godfrey <>

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