Do you feel able to adopt any of the attitudes I have suggested?
These attitudes are as follows:
- Being open and sensitive to all kinds of information about a situation: not just so-called factual information but impressions, intuitions and hunches, including other people’s when they express them;
- Being willing and able to see the situation from all kinds of points of view in addition to my own;
- Being as open as I can be to seeing the situation and not letting my theories, presuppositions and assumptions tell me how I ought to see it;
- Not taking terms of reference, boundaries or constraints too seriously; I try to assume they may not be as rigid as they seem to be;
- Trying to find out how other people see the constraints and boundaries;
- Being wary of any solution to a complex question (including my own solutions);
- Enjoying diversity and complexity in a situation; resisting the temptation to discard inconvenient bits of information; paying more, rather than less, attention to awkward facts, impressions or ideas;
- Not minding too much if there are areas of uncertainty in my understanding, or bits of information I don’t have; being sceptical about the facts I do have.
I can do most of this. The trouble I have is with information that will appear, to me, to be irrational. I’m a fan of rational thought and some of the more out-there ideas don’t really appeal to me. I do need to bear this in mind when considering other people’s perspectives.
I’ve struggled in the past with overcoming my own thinking traps, so I do need to acknowledge my own preconceptions about situations and note them down before developing my ideas more fully.
I think I always keep in mind that any particular solution will have problems, and so nothing I produce will be perfect or cover every eventuality. I’m always sceptical about the facts that I have and will try and provide as much evidence as I can. Life, and systems, are not black and white – there’s lots of grey. All we can do most of the time is find the best solution, not necessarily a complete solution.