You have to think in order to understand…

Posted on December 25, 2010


What a surprise! What’s funny is that even as we “sort of have acknowledged” this, we still approach all situations where understanding is part (most of what we do…), we act like this: “Hey, this is how I see it… And now that I have told you I expect you to understand what I’ve told you exactly how I said it to you. So when you nod and answer, “sure…see what you mean”, this is the signal to me that you understand.

If this conversation is between a superior and her employee, the employee may be incited to signal that, “I have understood” in order to carry out what the superior wants. In this case you could argue that it is all about imitating the superior.

It may be a bad example, but my point is that I never expect anybody to understand what ever I say or write. ‘Understand’ as, ‘take in’ what I’ve said and “mix it” with your own unique mass of experience and make your “own meaning” of it all. And not ‘understand’ as – yes, I understand the spoken sentences if you would like me to repeat them.

I ‘believe’ that what ever I say or show, you will never understand or perceive the same understanding as me of what I just communicated. The reason: You stand in and observe from a totally different and unique position, characterized by,

1) your unique genetic code including your preference of learning and understanding +
2) your unique mass of experience and belonging urge to reduce differences between the experienced and your old experience – and form the new perception to fit into your existing “boxes of knowledge”.

This acknowledgment is ok. It “just” means that I either will focus you to follow my instruction or if I want you to get a deeper understanding – and not just imitate my “recipe” – I need to facilitate you to:

A) Listen/observe what I communicate, then
B) make room for you to think – either with your own free focus to what you think is interesting or guided by my own “open question” and then
C) have you speak your reflection.

ABC may be needed several times to get a deeper understanding – not as I “understand it”, but a personal deeper understanding as you see it. If you get a deeper understanding you will be more able to contribute to a collaborative understanding – instead of just repeating what I just said…

This is what the new learning model Listen – Think – Talk, inside Collaborative Man® is about. ‘Learning’ can be substituted by ‘development’, ‘change’ or ‘evolving’. The contrary to imitating and with a focus on creating new.

Wanna create new?

Do it collaboratively and do it ‘Listen – Think – Talk’ wise.