The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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224                THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
plans. Let the process be circular; from facts to opinions to new facts, etc., until consensus is reached. Field theory imposes this one requirement: Every opinion is worth listening toanalytically, first; and only then, appraisively. This will tend to delay "emotional" reactions. As Rogers points out in his "Communication: Its Blocking and its Facilitation" the intelligent response is the honest attempt of one person to put himself in the position of another, of one person to attempt honestly to feel-think with another. This kind of listening tends to make the speaker less defensive, hence, less aggressive and more willing to appraise his own opinion objectively. For, as he speaks, he must, perforce, listen to himself! He does his thinking as he speaks. And this, Rogers points out, is the means by which we move toward understanding and the reconciliation of differing opinions.
Conference is a speaking-listening transaction; and analytical listening must precede appraisive reactions.
The "speaker" who stands upon a platform and addresses an audience makes use of the same skills which he exercises under less formal circumstances. And the situation is still circular, and not linear.
In conversation and in conference no one in his right mind would try to accomplish a goal by the use of memorized words. But many speakers believe this is the safest way of preparing for a platform speech. Others think a list of items typed on a card for ready reference is a better way. Neither is efficient. The platform speaker requires stability and flexibility, and stability derives, of course, from the use of a verbal pattern. To understand the pattern is to know the pattern. There is no need to