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Old 08-26-2012, 02:04 PM   #17
Janet Rosen
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Re: talking and listening

I thought Mary's OP was interesting AND I thought Mark Murray's reply was 100% on topic in that it brought in a quote from OSensei.
To return to the OP: it shows that reasonable discussion is limited by what mutual assumptions each of two parties bring to the table and hence what questions one is even capable of thinking to ask (like, what exactly do you want to do with the orange?).
I'm going to take this out of aikido for a bit, because I see this conundrum a lot in health care conversations, where the doctor, nurse or social worker has a goal and a set of priorities and assumptions that prevent them from asking the patient questions that would reveal what the patient's actual wishes, goals, and priorities are. So nobody is happy.
And to tie it back to what Mark wrote about OSensei and imposing his will.
I might have my goal, or will, to be that my patient will take the right dose of insulin.
But I don't go in with a big sign over my head announcing that. My approach is to ask as many questions as I can to get a sense of why my patient isn't taking the right dose of insulin. So I explore attitudes to diabetes and health in general to find out what his values are. I check on pharmacy and benefits and economic issues. I make a visit early in the morning to watch him test his blood sugar and draw up and give his insulin, so I can find out if there is a vision or memory or some other problem that nobody thought of. I find out if he actually understands the relationship between insulin and food and blood sugar and agrees with the doctor's current approach and desired blood sugar level or not.
In short I try to in a low key way identify any and all barriers to him taking the insulin as directed. Then I can get him to want to take it as directed and help him do so.
So I'm "imposing my will" by getting him to move towards the outcome I desire.
I think that when I've nailed something in the dojo it's essentially the same: I'm not muscling through or imposing a technique that I decide I want to do, I'm listening to uke enough that we can get to the same place, one that I want.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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