How I got to this Point

It would be remiss of me to continue if I did not mention how I got to this point in my thinking.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to my “ex”. Not my ex-wife but more so my ex-perimental relationship. It was some 12 years ago, in August 1998 that I was propositioned by a young woman to help her to stay in Australia while she helped me test all my theories on love and relationships. What an offer, I thought. How could I resist that, considering that I had been working on my concepts for some 13 years at that point. So I took up her offer and we spent the next 2 years testing my ideas/concepts. Well I have to be honest, they failed me miserably. I had to rethink them all and basically have had to start from scratch since. Two years to the day, in August 2000 we parted company, with Kate getting her Australian residency and me getting my incredible experience which included so many things, that I could of written a book alone, one these two years.

But the most important thing that I learned was when I asked her how I should act when she was complaining to me irresponsibly. She replied that I could simply say; “Thanks for letting me know that you have a problem, but now can you talk to me in a way that is going to encourage me to help you”. As soon as I heard this I knew I had found something special. But it is only now some 10 years later that I am truly appreciating what she had taught me.

So I guess I have learned two valuable lessons. 1. That the value of conversing is not necessarily at the time of doing it but more so the time after and that can stretch to as long as 40 years later in some cases, for me. Wow! And 2. That feedback can be split up during the conversing. That is split up into content i.e. ‘”thanks for letting me know” (content)

Delivery “…can you talk to me in a way that will encourage me to help you” (delivery).

It is only now that I am really starting to see the value of this in the context of conversing and feedback and as part of this whole concept of Rethink Perfect.

So, I can truly thank Kate from the bottom of my heart for these 2 of the most valuable and trying years of my life. Although I would not like to have to repeat this time, with only the tools that I had then, I do believe that I am finally ready to try again with my latest ideas that form this book Rethink Perfect.

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2 Responses to How I got to this Point

  1. What about the role of emotion (or emotionality or histrionics, at the extreme)? Often emotions colour the tone of our delivery, or even govern the content of the exchange/feedback of both the parties involved, thus rendering the exchange non-constructive. Human beings get emotional sometimes. We are not rational (ie. capable of rationalised discourse) all the time. Particularly not when it comes to interpersonal exchanges where personal interests are at stake, or where our sense of security about our personal identity (beliefs, expectations, dreams and fears) is most challenged and our survival mechanisms are so quick to intervene.
    Ultimately, any theory about human interactions must acknowledge and be shaped around the REAL (psychic/psychological/neurological) mechanisms that humans are made of. Otherwise one might end up preaching a mechanical, rigid and overly-presecriptive ideal, which will never gain traction with a REAL human being and is therefore in danger of being irrelevant.

    • I agree Dean. This whole book, Rethink Perfect, is being written because of our emotions and learning to deal with them in conversation.

      We deliver our feedback with various degrees of emtion which can be destructive at times. That is why splitting feedback up into its two parts is so important I think. And also getting an agreement to do this now before the “histrionics”.

      So you and I seem to agree, we are not robots and we have to deal with our emotions especially aggression. But at the same time no sense throwing out the baby with the bathwater. So lets try appreciate both the content and the effort made to deliver it and get each other to try a better, more acceptable delivery process.

      By agreeing to this now, before conversing, I am hoping to be more prepared for any failures that occur during the conversing process.

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