Intro -- Doc Holloway LO13568

Richard C. \ (
Fri, 09 May 1997 19:04:19 -0700

Replying to LO13541 --

Greetings! I'm a new subscriber, and happy to be here. I enjoy the
dialog I've been able to read so far. Just a little about me. I'm
completing my graduate degree in Organizational Leadership. I've been
involved in personnel (human resources) and organizational structure
issues for about 20 years, mostly through my career in the military. I'm
presently an HR officer for a behavioral health agency, and involved in
facilitating personal mastery workshops; developing self-managed teams
based on learning organization models and looking for new career

I enjoyed reading Gary Scherling's response about teaching smart,
especially empathizing with the following:

>"I experience this in our work environments as well. We seem to value
>knowing (as his school clearly does) far more than the ability to think
>and learn. How often do we encounter colleagues who hoard knowledge
>rather than sharing it, since their mental model (and too frequently,
>management's mental model), values knowing, not the ability to learn and

I've wrestled with this phenomenon a great deal over the last several
months. Our western schools encourage a competitiveness (through
reinforcing feedback) in students acquiring knowledge. Many teachers
never stop to listen to the halting, thoughtful answer (too frequently,
the wildly waving hands and subvocal "me me me" of the knowledge-acquirer
seeking recognition) drowns out the quiet answer. As facilitators, many
of us struggle with those who monopolize discussion or who compete for
"the right answer." In beginning a new personal mastery workshop, I
reflected considerably over the training required to generate articulate
listeners (rather than speakers). Robert Greenleaf's work "The Ethic of
Strength" impressed me, especially the images with which he explains the
source of strength through intelligent and reflective listening. The
problem may be--how do we convince others to listen?

Many other cultures are more advanced in their listening skills than
ours--the native American is certainly one of those cultures. In council,
some practice the passing of a wand, or stick, from one participant to
another. Whoever has this stick may speak until the stick is handed to
another person in the council. Not only does this slow the dialog process
(allowing for rich listening and reflection), but it requires some new
etiquette skills.

In conversation with a learning partner tonight, we discussed invoking
pauses of silence between one speaker and the next. The idea is that, by
using a 30-second or 1-minute time out between speakers, an audible
silence is created--a pause--for reflection. If used consistently within
a group, the haste to respond, attack, create witty repartees are all
diminished. I presume that others have used similar strategies--if so,
does it work? I'll give it a try for my next workshop (at least for an
hour). Perhaps by slowing ourselves down, listening to one another and
actually learning from one another, we can stop competing to acquire
knowledge (at least a smidgen).

oh yes--I think spelling's pretty important too! My weakness: I think
infinitives should be split with abandon!

Doc Holloway
Limen Development Network


"Richard C. \"Doc\" Holloway" <>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>