Tuesday, October 28, 2008

281 Referendum YES281 : The RAS and Blind spots

Ok, this time we are talking about a different RAS.

The Reticular Activating System, Blind Spots, and how they relate to listening, obtaining info, evaluating info and having open productive dialogue was to be my topic of the day. However, I was lucky to find a site that had done the work for me. (see link below)

RAS & Blind Spot Info

I participated in the referenced Pacific Institute training at work and found it very informative. Then I had the opportunity to read the following book "Leadership and Self Deception" by "The Arbinger Institute". I very very highly recommend it for everyone, not just "Leaders". The name is misleading because it simply describes how humans think in an interesting story with a real plot. (also, it is a short and easy read)

So, how does this relate to the "other RAS" issue. Well since I have started exchanging blogs and having discussions regarding the topic, I am amazed how entrenched each side is... No wonder there is limited progress when everyone is filtering any words, graphs, data, etc for only information that supports their viewpoint. Also, as soon as the tone becomes "US" and "THEM", the passion and filtering becomes stronger. Then real listening and dialogue stops.

Now a note from my personal history. Being a nerdy engineer who is taught to evaluate things with data, I thought I was very rationale and quite unbiased. It took a lot of inter-personal conflict and strain with others before I sanctioned the bias that was innate within me and the negative power of blind spots.. You may be more self aware than I was, however I think some self contemplation can help anyone's relationships and ability to be more productive in working with others.

As always, thoughts are welcome and encouraged !!!

And as always Vote YES for Option 1 & 2.


Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner said...

Excellent observation, John, regarding entrenched view points and the resulting polarization. It strikes me that it's going to take great courage and honesty and forthrightness and the like to bridge this gap. I think that many of us who appear to be on "opposite sides" are really working toward the same end, but through different means. Our culture promotes and supports that in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways, and it's a big deal to try to break out of those patterns. And ever interaction with someone who disagrees with us but doesn't want to listen makes it even harder to find common ground. Thanks for keeping the conversation alive! jgw

Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner said...

Oops..."every interaction." Very busy these days. :-)

R-Five said...

Exactly, J-GW. There is great mistrust on one side, at times well-earned. There is great frustration on the other, at times quite understandable. We both see what we want to see, especially when the numbers are so murky.

What is a "teacher" for example? Some like me take the dictionary definition and point to one individual in front of a class. Others take a more expansive view, adding in assistants, specialists and librarians. The latter is reality for those inside the District to the point where they shrug off those dictionary definitions.

Clearer numbers would help separate teaching and support roles, which can then lead to optimizing both. We should at least agree to go in this direction.

Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner said...

I'm not sure I follow your point(s), R-five...but anyway, again I stress that in my interactions in the community I am frequently reminded that there isn't "one side" and "the other" as much as we might imagine.

Jennifer Griffin-Wiesner said...

Okay...now I get it...R-Five is Speed...can't stand Wordpress so can't comment over there. Anyway, your comments now make more sense to me. And I still disagree that there are "sides."