Changing Another Person LO19901

Mark Feenstra (
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 12:23:11 +1300

Replying to LO19875 --

Tracing the thread of changing another person ...


Would it be fair to point back to Chris Argyris's distinction between
espoused theory and theory in use in attempting to understand the nature
of the stand you initially took about changing another person?

In reflecting on my own life in relation to this question I can clearly
distinguish between my espoused theory about how I (and others) should
seek to influence (by example where practicable) rather than to change
people. However, I think there have been plenty of times where I would
probably get a little red in the face if I were to assess my practice of
this espoused theory.

All I find I am able to do about this difference is to share my awareness
that a gap exists between how I would like to think I behave and how I
sometimes actually behave, with those people I relate to. However, I find
myself being quite careful about who I share this awareness with though,
as I find it is easy for this type of openness to be used as a weapon by
someone who is stuck in their own "stuff" momentarily. I guess that most
of us have significant gaps between our espoused and practiced theories,
in terms of the way we relate to other people, and that whenever our
relationships go on too long without acknowledging the gap they are
probably dealing more in the currency of position taking than genuine

Warm regards



"Mark Feenstra" <>

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