I spoke last year at PMI Chicagoland's Professional Development Day. My talk was about the agile application of the Bruce Tuckman's model; Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing. When I'm coaching a team, regardless of it's functional purpose, I challenge REALITY understnading. We know that realy.
I started thinking about the speech patterns around me and I noticed something. We look at life as a range of time, but our memory is based on fixed points in time. I'll keep looking for more, but a perfect example emerged today while celebrating Thanksgiving in America.
The conversations seem to have the following pattern:
Family: "Remember that time back in the day when........."
Me: I remember that day when we were at the __________ and did ___________.
Family: Yeah, that's it! (random laughter as events were recalled.)
Recognizing this pattern helped me make distinctions when working with teams. This gives me a framework for reinforcing that past events are subject to filters, bias, and poor memory in humans. While we are working together on teams, we are suffering from ambiguity that we are clear in what we say and share our assumptions we have not spoken.
Putting these things together with the power of choice, I see the following:
conditioning+memory+choice = Perception
Secondly I've put actuality or truth below the line as the events are taking place. Whether or not we are fully aware of what's true isn't the point. The point is that there is a fundamental truth in everything. We are constantly surrounded by truth. Air is true. Water is true. We accept these things as they are familiar to us and it's been proven our entire lives over and over. We believe in water.
Whether small town, big city, east coast, west coast, military, college, and even the "normal" people.....we are conditioned. This conditioning maybe religious in nature, self destructive, self-loathing, or even powerful and driven to succeed. With this truth, we can accept that conditioning is not negative or positive. It is also true or false. As is the case with humans, true.
When I am discussing reality with someone else, I want to remember to account for all that went into arriving at this reality. Other people may very much want to understand what we mean when we talk about something, but without their opportunity to walk the walk, they may just not understand.
This is valuable to us because it gives us a place to have patience with another person for not knowing what we know. Allowing them to be where they are in their understanding. A mentor of mine reminded me after discussing this observation the following: If we are not heard or understood, the message wasn't clear enough. Owning our contribution to communication is responsibility. In a subsequent conversation I was reminded the research of Dr. Hubbard on memory engrams and how we process the past.