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Relearning to tie your shoes is a powerful metaphore for retraining other habitual view points and behaviors.

It has taken me about 3 months to learn the new and improved way to tie my shoes. Each day I have had to deliberately and concisously work at getting it right. Now it is farily habitual with little thought needed to get it right.

This has been a powerful metaphore for me in working on other things that are habitual. For example, reactions in human interactions stem directly from habits of how I view the other person. A better view leads to better interactions and more postive results.

In the heat of a conversation or interaction with someone, the reactions are so fast that they are difficult to conciously catch in time to make a difference. However, if I conciously choose beforehand to have a better view of a person, it can become habitual and have a great impact on relations.

Some of these habits of viewing people in relationships go as far back as learning to tie ones shoes or even to a younger age.

Since it takes presistence to accomplish a change of habit, having a strong sense of focus and conviction that the idea is a good one helps a person stick to it.

  • Nov 30 2013: Fritzie,

    will look into. The riddle of experience vs. memory: Daniel Kahneman on ( ) I assume/'ask you' if that's the talk you meant?

    Interesting talk that differentiates the experience from what one thinks of the experience...
  • Nov 30 2013: I like this thought, I like to think I apply this principle everyday. Solving everyday conundrums with small changes in routines that get overlooked. There might be a greater meaning but the task doesn't always require a meaning just a smarter approach. A very similar problem at work was resolved this way. I was to receive x and process out Y. My problem was not getting x in time to meet a deadline. Instead of relying on a delivery for X. I created Y and went to where X was, solving for Y and making the deadline every time. Here's a question with a simple answer. We use a lot of plastic bags which end up in our environment. Cities are banning them. How come we bag our garbage? I propose we ban garbage pail bags. This might get garbage pail mfg to make a plastic pail's that resist sticking similar to non stick cookware. This might also force more everyday people to recycle more of their waste. We don't recycle more because our garbage isn't transparent. When we put it in plastic bags we can't see how much we are wasting. Simple observation, simple solution, great impact.
  • Nov 30 2013: Joe,

    The thing with tying our shoes is that some never actually learned the right way to do it! It can be difficult to distinguish a well tied shoelace from a less desirable knot. (Hint a well tied shoelace has the bows going from side to side rather than up and down). One of my hobbies are knots... and like with matrices every tuck and turn counts ... it isn't the same going left than going right ... after more than a couple of decades I finally learned the way to properly tie my shoes... Many just go through the motions of doing something the way they where thought to do it... me I have a bit of harder time doing the same thing twice exactly the same.

    A powerful metaphor I like to use "twist the twisted straight"... Oh I like very much the secure knots that with the right bull just detangle it all...

    Liked very much what you said above... BTW addictions and habits are basically the same notion one is negative the other is positive... We are under the influence of our thoughts/belief/feelings and as you sort of said ... " Each day I have had to deliberately and concisously work at getting it right. Now it is farily habitual with little thought needed to get it right."
    certainly it can take some time to learn the new and improved ways. indeed "A better view leads to better interactions and more postive results". Indeed it can be that " reactions in human interactions stem directly from habits of how I view the other person" Of course it can also be that one chooses to act in human interactions directed by the habits of how one view and seek to cultivate the interactions with others.

    Indeed it can take presistence to accomplish a change of habit, having a strong sense of focus and conviction that the idea is a good one helps a person stick to it... it also helps when the idea is actually a good one to stick with :-).
    • Dec 3 2013: Now that I've been through this, I can't help by look at people's shoes to see if they are tied "right." I put right in quotes because I have to refrain from running around telling people their shoes are tied wrong. Yes, I too am one that always looks for interesting new ways of doing things. It's like technology brought to a new level. But I've also found that some people are extremely resistant, even adverse to it.

      It does help if the idea is a good as you point out. What also helps is the role of encouragement by others. The nature of "new" means personally uncharted waters for us. Someone who has gone through the change and reassures us that it is possible and beneficial can be a big help.
      • Dec 3 2013: Joe,

        Stepping into 'the erroneous' and 'the unknown' territories can be quite terrifying experiences for some individuals because they see it as a personal threat to their wellness; rather than a fun adventure or game.( ). Some like the dyslexic learn to accept the fact that mistakes WILL INEVITABLY happen its more a matter of effectively coping and dealing with the stuff. The thing is that some people are extremely resistant, even adverse to living with constant change and the uncertainties that may bring; some prefer to live within certain notions that they hold to hold.

        From a ted talk I heard today It just may all depend on the rules of the game in play. Change the rules, can change the moves. According to Brene, to some making a mistake equates to being a mistake rather than just being a mistake one made. Some still have to distinguish and differentiate between doing something and being something.

        As you sort of said the encouraging support of and experienced guide that encourages and ensures it is possible may help... Though oftentimes one has to do it oneself... one step at a time... I am thinking of crossing a hanging 'bridge' (see link at end)

        (ñon+del+Cobre.jpg )
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    Nov 29 2013: Good decisions need discipline and commitment. A good life is about a sincere assessment of the present, and the choices that are productive now and in the long run.
    We should commit ourselves to life-long learning, there should never be a point where we feel we've got life all figured out.
    • Dec 3 2013: Given that we are in a TED conversation, I think we are in good company in this regard. When I told one of my friends, a mother of three you children, that I learned to tie my shoes this week, she gave my a serious look and asked "How old are you?" It was really funny and I laughed. Now she thinks that this is really great that I relearned it!

      The dedication to life-long learning is a dedication to the child like qualities that are life itself.

      Two friends of mine are polyglots. One speaks 8 languages and the other speaks at least 5. They don't translate, they think in the other languages. Both agree - you have to become as a little child to truly learn the new language. Forget what you know in the old language. Learn a few words, put them together, start talking, and learn from your mistakes. It's like growing up again.
  • Nov 30 2013: Amazingly changing your mind is a misnomer, what really happens is we begin to recognize the path and pre think it to it's most logical conclusion and with that knowledge in clear focus either continue or take a detour.
    "Appreciate bad habits, then take a detour"- Keith W Henline
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    Nov 29 2013: Yes, Rome is not built in one day. We also have a Chinese saying: It takes more than one cold day for the river to freeze three chi deep.Persistence is the key to fostering good habits.
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    Nov 28 2013: I remember I read somewhere that in order to establish a new habit you have to repeat it about 100 times.
    If that is true, it's not that difficult. Just requires a bit of discipline and obviously the desire to change the habit in question.
  • Dec 3 2013: An interesting epitaph to this. It has seemed to me over the years that when I learn something new I would think "Gee, if I only new that earlier in my life..." Indeed, as I learned these lessons, I always tried to teach them to my children so that they would know at a younger age and could benefit from them.

    But this week I found myself say "Gee, I'm sure glad I used to tie my shoes the wrong way! What a great chance t learn something new and to learn about learning!" In fact, many people I meet already tie their shoes with the better knot and I almost feel sorry for them! :-) But I trust they will have their own experiences in this regard and someone via TED or otherwise will be able to help them too.
  • Dec 3 2013: Thanks to Esteban and Greg! Great conversation!

    With respect to convincing others I've found that rational arguments work with some people some of the time. Demonstration tends to be more effective.

    In all cases, listening is the key to help someone else. There must be a discernment of where they are. There has to be desire for change or improvement. In fact, if that desire is not there, overtures about some "better" way are often met with scheptacism and derision. The resulting backlash can actually result in the person digging into their current position.

    On the other hand, if they are open to something new, we can show or tell them and they something they can try for themselves and you will be remembered and appreciated.

    How do we tell the difference? Interestingly, some of the states of mind that we would describe as negative or even depressed are sometimes the most open to change. It's like we are just exhausted with an old way and a well timed new way may be just what we need. I've also found this in myself. The low times are when I'm really willing to entertain something new - the night really is darkest before the dawn.
  • Dec 3 2013: That could be the basis of a book. Maybe you should find some psychologists and neuroscientists to collaborate with and turn it into something publishable.
    • Dec 3 2013: Bryan,

      " What you did had in mind when you said 'That could be the basis of a book'"? I wonder if your comment is referring to this overall conversation topic or it you intended it as a comment to some comment.
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    Nov 28 2013: I agree with you that, for some people, seeing that there is a different way to do something that you had always thought there was only one way to do would be stimulating. What conversation do you want to have about that, in other words, what more can we say about it, or ask about it, since this is TED conversations.
    • Nov 30 2013: Greg,

      How about how to get someone to see it especially when 'they' refuse to see it. And when they do see it recognize it... I had a conversation recently with someone where I presented an idea that they just refused to consider possible, the next day we continued the conversation and got to the point where they tacitly accepted the idea, still they refused to consider that they changed their stand on the idea... In a way I lived though the following : "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident".

      I wonder how to shift from that narrative to Truth passes through three stages. First, it is Considered. Second, it is Validated. Third, it is recognized and accepted as it ought to be accepted.

      The thing is that the beliefs/ideas/feelings one has may intervene in this process ... when it is for betterment great ... when it is for something else how to be intervene?
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        Nov 30 2013: Maybe it doesn't matter whether someone realized he changed his mind. I think most people like to believe that they can change their minds. That is part of what being open-minded is about.
        • Nov 30 2013: Fritzie,

          You said it well "most people like to believe that they can change their minds" and whether they can change their minds or not seems to be quite irrelevant! I think most people resent the fact someone exposes the truth of the matter especially when it shows them a blatant cognitive dissonance between what they believe to be and the truth of the matter. AS you sort of said some LIKE TO BELIEVE... some like to think that they know who to tie the knot when in fact those who know how to tie the knot know they can't even tell the difference between doing it right and doing it wrong!

          I am ok with closed-minded individuals who recognize their closed-mindendess. What I have a bit of an issue with is closed-minded individuals who claim to be open-minded while demonstrating closed-mindeness.

          BTW there are some ways of lashing that work better for a certain application and some which can become undone and have deadly consequences... I find that we can delve deeper into the core of this conversation and explore what it takes to recognize and develop beneficial habits ...

          Yea it may not matter whether someone realizes he changed his mind so long as they change for the better... But why would someone choose not to recognize the change for the better? It also seems to be true that people resent the fact that to be right they have to pick the right answer... maybe we could talk about how to develop the habit of appreciating and being grateful that one can pick the right answer
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        Nov 30 2013: well, there could be many factors in how a person reacts to a new idea. For example, the fellow who started this conversation, if I understand, has added a video that shows a new way to tie one's shoes. It may be a better way, but since I'm content with how I already tie my shoes, I don't want to devote the time and energy to watch it. Could there be many things like that, where there is a better way to do something but people have already found a satisfactory way, so they don't want to devote the time and energy to change?

        Often when I think I have a better idea, as I talk with someone else about it, I discover that they actually have a better idea than mine, or can pick holes in mine. For me it works to be humble about any idea I think is better.

        But Esteban, you don't mind when people resist your ideas in a spirit of healthy critical inquiry? You don't just want yes-men?
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          Nov 30 2013: Greg, you raise some useful points. In the literature on decision-making, we find a concept called "satisficing" that captures sometimes sticking with satisfactory ways of doing things even if better ways come along. We are not as a species moment by moment optimizers. Institutions typically are not either.

          I have two questions for you, Estaban, that jump off what Greg has said. One is whether there is any relationship between your frustration that people do not acknowledge their ideas have changed even when they have and the other person's reluctance to admit to having changed. Could it sometimes be that both would prefer to have been "right" , or publically acknowledged to be right, all along? I remember reading an article in the last couple of months that one thing that makes it hard for politicians to break through to new understanding or better positions and actions is that when they change, they are accused and ridiculed for inconsistency.

          But there is another very important question to consider, Esteban. If you believe there is a position that can unambiguously be called "the truth" and the other person simply believes there is no such thing- only personal taste or belief, you would need to show someone convincingly that there is, in fact, a single truth before you had any chance of their considering the special merits of your position. Sometimes you may believe that your position is actually "right' . They, in contrast, do not believe your position is universally right and it has nothing to do with their simply wanting to have been right. The latter is often what you assume of others, isn't it? Is there an asymmetry in what you believe of yourself and what you believe about others in this respect? It is worth questioning whether this asymmetry applies. There is a tendency to see those who disagree with them more negatively than they see themselves.

          Most people probably believe themselves to be more open-minded than they are in the face of new information.
        • Nov 30 2013: Greg,

          I neither want yes-men nor no-men what I would like are free conscious men who choose to do what ought to be done as it ought to be done. Of course there is the issue of determining "what ought to be done"... I noticed something in what you posted that I would l like to question in a spirit of healthy inquiry? I think you will see the difference between "what I think is a better ides" and "what is a better idea". The same pattern would be present between "what I think ought to be done" and "what ought to be done". For some strange reason I noticed that individuals tend to resist the notion of "what ought to be done" and instead substitute 'what someone thinks ought to be done"... It seems like individuals want to shift the focus from objective plane to subjective plane to then 'argue' along the lines of thats what you think to be and this is what I think to be each can think whatever they want to think (implicitly ignoring completely whatever happens to be ). Do get me right it is nice to know what each thinks to be; it's even better when one can compare it to what happens to be. The thing is that while both charlatans and visionaries talk about things that are not; well only the visionaries can talk about things that are and still maintain their vision.

          BTW Of course some ... lets say a slave-master is contempt with who things are and doesn't want to devote an iota of time or energy to consider emancipation, in fact would reject and violently oppose such matters. The same could be said of exploitative polluting businesses and corrupted societies. How do we induce them to embrace the better ways. Look at it this way, a sustainable-desirable-congruent with life business ALWAYS has an infinite ROI... its good business to have a sustainable business...
        • Nov 30 2013: Fritzie,

          In response to your two questions:
          Yea it could be that both want to publicly acknowledged to be right, all along... of curse it could also be that the frustration stems from noticing how the one who rejected what be continues to reject what be rather than simply recognize it.

          The second matter I see a bit related to the first and in a way is at the essence of what follows "the 'question in a spirit of healthy inquiry'"in the post above... Notice the form of what you presented: If you believe there is a position -A- and the other person simply believes in -B- THEN you would need to convince the others that A before you had any chance of the others considering the special merits of A. Thats kind of like the chicken and the egg conundrum (which incidentally sort of ignores that the rooster plays an important part). Where is 'what actually happens to be' in all of this? BTW one can show a single example and the others may still resort to reject A on the bases of what they choose to believe or on some nuance they concoct to keep from accepting that which will force them to change. I sought to move from what I think/believe/feel is right towards what actually happens to be... and use what actually happens to be as the basis for dialogue; while observing others seeking to move in the other direction. In the metaphor of the shoelaces lashing it would be akin to arguing about what one likes to do rather than focusing on learning and exploring the merits of each knot (wether one likes it or not is a bit besides the point).

          I would also like to clarify:YOU THINK 'the latter is often what (i) assume of others"... To answer directly I observe the position others take to see their position. There is symmetry in what I believe about myself and others; whomever happens to be right according to what be right that is who happens to be right... THAT is less important that learning what happens to be right. Indeed there may be biases, question is to what? to what be?
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        Nov 30 2013: Well, I still say a person has to be humble, no matter how convinced person A. is that he is right, he has to keep some doubt in the back of his mind and listen carefully to what person B. is saying, B. may be right or at least right in some portion. B. may make points or ask questions that show A. new and good aspects of A.'s idea that A. has not thought of.

        If as the conversation proceeds A. remains convinced he is right, a thing to do is listen carefully and respond thoughtfully and specifically to every comment B. makes, with patience, do not allow oneself to give in to impatience, show B. why his objection is wrong with reason and thoughtfulness, A. should not get angry because B. is in his opinion slow, everybody proceeds at their own pace. But again, Esteban, A. should always keep in the back of his mind that he can be wrong, it may be that A. and B. will discuss something for hours and for most of that time A. will appear to be correct, but in the last minute B. says something that shows A. is wrong, A. must be humble enough to accept teaching as well as give it.

        At some point it may seem that A. cannot convince B. This may be stubbornness on B.'s part, but it also might be a sign that A. needs to improve his arguments, what A. thinks is easy to see may not be easy to see. Some of these arguments may not be resolved quickly, in fact I suppose there are controversies which persist throughout a person's lifetime or even across generations.

        I suppose if B. seems to be inching towards A.'s position but doesn't want to strongly acknowledge it, A. can say, with a smile "So what is it, are you with me or not?" I say with a smile because this might be less threatening, it makes it less about A. being the "winner" in the argument, and more about whether the idea is good. And gives B. a chance to expose lingering criticisms he may have.
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          Nov 30 2013: Esteban, self-reflection is only good. We don't always, as a species, see ourselves as clearly as we might. Daniel Kahneman's talk is worthy on this point, as is his Nobel address, which is available free to read online.
        • Nov 30 2013: Greg,

          The thing is that I do keep some doubts about me and other being right as I seek to jointly focus on together exploring what be right; where as its quite evident that the others seems convinced on their position and refuses to consider anything outside of their position; especially when doing so in a domain which would expose the truth of the matter. even when they themselves proposed a consideration they may lash out and state that we can't consider something because they don't believe in something. I am just expressing something that happens from time to time.

          I have observed that in many cases others will close off the conversation claiming its because of me ... when evidently its because they are choosing to close it off. I realize everyone proceeds at their own pace, and I do not think of others as slow or fast... though some are stuck at a certain point while under the delusion of moving about. Indeed each must be humble to accept the truth of the matter wether it validate what one thinks or exposes something to correct in one's own thinking.

          Greg, at some point I realized that dialogue isn't about convincing others of what one believes to be it is about sharing something with them. The thing is that there is little to argue abut what be, one just accept it or reject it being. Yea what I think is easy to see may be a bit more complicated for some to understand; when they take the sand of wanting to be convinced of what they refuse to acknowledge.

          I suppose some of the controversies' that persists through a person's lifetime or even across generations do so thanks to the individuals maintaining alive such controversies; of course they could had simply resolved the matter and moved on to better endeavors long ago. :-). why individuals choose the conflict rather than the resolution?

          With a smile : "So what is it, what do you cultivate?"
          It likely ins't shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure...

          Yes there be valid stuff in you message.
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        Nov 30 2013: well, then you're saying, Esteban, that when you get in a debate you don't just assume you're right? I believe that is an excellent position, because we are not the only smart people in the world, there are other smart people who may have ideas on some subjects that are better than ours.

        If you, or anyone, meets a person who seems incapable of thinking they might be wrong on a certain subject, I guess first you want to listen to their position, wouldn't you? Because they might be correct in their position, and in that case you have something to learn from them, correct? If you listen to them and they are wrong, then if it matters to you sufficiently, you can try to persuade them of your position, either by making comments or asking questions that show the flaws you see in their position. Then I would say listen to the words of the response they give, they may get angry that you are questioning them but I think it's smarter to concentrate on their words and ideas and not their anger. Think about what they say and see if you can find the flaw in their response, and again present the flaw you see in their thinking back to them through comments and questions.

        I agree, you would think some subjects would be settled, but they are not. Such as the existence of God. I am an atheist, and to me it is crystal-clear that there is no God. And yet billions of people believe in him, or her. It is something I cannot understand. Perhaps they get enough pleasure from it that they don't care if it is true? But I will keep working to improve my atheist arguments, perhaps some will change their minds.
        • Nov 30 2013: Greg,

          Indeed I am saying that when I get in a debate I often will assume either side could be right (or wrong)... depending on what happens to be... I am also saying that I would rather have a dialogue than a debate...

          Meeting a person who seems incapable of thinking they might be wrong on a certain subject may lead into a limiting dialogue about their position depending on whether they happen to be correct or incorrect on a certain subject. The wise can learn something from everyone.

          A while back I would jumped at the opportunity to expose the flaws I see in their position... now its more like focusing on cultivating what be right. To focus on evil to know good is like focusing on a bad idea looking for a good idea... its a just a bad idea seeking to look good. I prefer to focus on knowing good and cultivating good ideas. Even if the righteous showed the unrighteous the flaws some of the latter will not recognize the truth of the matter.

          Personally I consider may subjects settled, though some individuals insist on giving their lives to bringing back to life erroneous notions... Personally I choose to believe in the existence of God. I realize that there are those who choose to believe in other stuff. I understand many of the ways of those who cannot understand... I think that it is a bit more along the lines that they just choose not to understand. Have you considered that perhaps the on who will change will be you!

          I like to say be if for real be it a dream always choose the better way... that way one always chooses for real the better way ... I am a believer and to me it's seems evident that before the singularity anything is possible though what happens to be well that is what happens to be...
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        Dec 1 2013: Well, in most cases I'm not meeting people who stubbornly cling to their idea, most people in most cases seem like they are willing to give up their idea if someone presents a better one. I would still think, Esteban, that the best strategy is to listen closely to the other person, to really think about what they are saying and see if you can find the flaw in what they're saying, and expose the flaw to them. If you are doing that, and they still cling to their position, perhaps it is impossible to touch them, if it is not harmful to you you may have to withdraw from them and just accept that that is who they are. But it may be that something you say will have an effect on them over time, maybe they cannot accept it then but will continue to think about it.

        But it also could be that someone is overly stubborn on one point but has many other good qualities. In that case you may want to be friends with them and just accept that they are stubborn on one point. Possibly they will change on that point over time, even if they don't change right this moment. Or you can be friends despite disagreeing on one thing.

        Is any of this worthwhile? What are the topics where you are meeting people who stubbornly cling to their position?
        • Dec 1 2013: Greg,

          First let me say that it is vitally important to listen to what others have to contribute to make things better ... by the same token it is vitally important NOT to listen to them when doing so will make things worst... of course there is the little conundrum of knowing which case we are dealing with at any given time. What I have noticed is that many individuals like to talk more than than attentively listen. They want to be listened too and then will not to listen themselves to what others have to say. (maybe that has to do with me wanting them to first listen to me, or has to do with a strategy they use). For example I was in a class the other day (about 15 years ago) where the professor presented a topic which I discovered had a flaw. Fluke or what have you, I realized that the particular case involved a cognitive error. Following Occam's razor, and other probability principles the alleged paradox simply vanished! Of course the professor wanted me to listen to his position and based on his assumptions sure it logically lead to the paradox. I wanted the professor to listen to my position that was based on fewer assumption than their position and which had a single resolution. That never happened. So why should I listen to someone when they will not listen to what I have to state?

          Of course getting hung over and stuck over a particular issue may be quite detrimental and we could be friends despite disagreeing on certain stuff... the thing is that not having a way to deal with the issues effectively and come to agreements could be a road for disaster. When someone says "my way or the highway"... and I respond ok let it be the highway: why is it that they still insist on doing it their way?

          Most of the topics that lead to this have to do with exploring underlying beliefs. What if it is not as you think it to be, kind of thing...

          Yes I do find what you wrote and responding worthwhile...
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        Dec 1 2013: well, my technique in a case like you had with your professor, Esteban, is to somewhat keep the spotlight on him, instead of launching into my whole counter-presentation, I will choose a point of his presentation that is a crucial point, and say something like "But look at this particular point you made to support your entire argument. What if you were to replace it with this point?" and then you can show him your contrasting point that may make his entire argument collapse. This way you are giving him something smaller to cope with, and maybe he can cope with it, maybe he cannot, but it is manageable. If you present a whole, detailed counter-argument, he may get overwhelmed and simply turn off to you. This is also better for you, Esteban, because when you only present one point of your counter-argument, you may discover he has an effective counter for your one point, and perhaps your argument will then have to be re-thought. But with an egoistic person it is better to go point by point, in my opinion, it may take longer but is more effective. Also, with an egoistic person it is better to present it as a question, you may be quite sure your point is better than his, but if you present yourself as humble and not sure of yourself, asking him well, here's a point of your argument I'm not sure about, can you explain it, in some cases it might soften him.

        This strategy is not foolproof. You and he may still not reach a conclusion that makes you both happy. But I believe it will lead to a stronger discussion and possible resolution. Tell me if this works for you.
        • Dec 2 2013: Greg,

          I claim to see what you say and had I known then what I know now I would had proceeded with a whole different approach. Thing was the rational logical approach didn't work given the circumstances. Back then I would had gotten into all sort of 'debates' rather than sagaciously guided the interactions.

          I like what you said about somewhat keeping the spotlight on a particular crucial pivotal issue that serves to shift the structural integrity of the arguments. Providing something smaller to cope with may make dialogue more manageable and focused. That actually happen to me late last week in a one-to-one conversation. In practice the other conceded a point, while actually claiming otherwise. By focusing on the particular point they basically reluctantly folded without actually openly accepting it. (right now I am thinking of the reflective practitioner In theory- In practice- and adding my own third notion 'In content- ' (-ment -ion -ful -less )). Evidently posing it as a question/consideration rather than an assertion/imposition may open the door to further the dialogue.

          Thank you for taking the time to respond .. I had to up and look how we ended up here especially when we started talking about knots for shoelaces and it being metaphors to incorporate new practices. Saw the link in the statement "how to get someone to see (something) especially when 'they' refuse to see it".

          Asking someone if they can differentiate the right and the wrong way to do it could be sagacious tempting proposition. Wether they know it or not the statement can lead to demonstrate the different ways, their individual attributes and the twists and turns required to get the job done. At the video it talks about the weak and strong form of the knot (rather than the wrong and right way to do it).

          In the case of the teacher I did the final paper for the course on the topic; did get a good grade, though didn't convince him (well maybe he just didn't want to publicly admit it).