Architecture Room > Emergent Hierarchies > Asserting Your Expectations

Asserting Your Expectations

Introduction: This Tree is emergent from PH6-Purpose and contains all the PH-L6 elements. It comes into play when working for another, and there is such discontent or confusion that you cannot continue unless you assert your expectations so as to design better arrangements.

Emergence from PH6-Purpose

PH6-Purpose contains the principles governing values, ethics and politics. We experience our autonomy primarily in terms of our freedom to pursue goals of our choosing, and also in relation to realizing values and participating in politics. This autonomy, that is the basis of being creative, always functions within constraints. The most stressful constraints are usually social rather than physical or practical, and so they are matters of value, often in the form of beliefs-PH6L6.

The most important use of your creativity-generating autonomy is in doing work, especially work that you love and have studied or been trained to do. So a potential challenge for your autonomy as a trained expert or professional occurs when you agree to work for another. You then become an agent, expected to put the other's goals ahead of your own, and use your creativity on their behalf. The other not only controls much of the work-context e.g. payment, conditions, systems, rules, physical environment—but also expects to exert authority over your working.

All context impacts on autonomy, and so arrangements are requisitely designed to maximize your autonomy. Due to inherent uncertainties and dynamic changes, you, any work colleagues, and the person overseeing your work need to monitor the context and ensure continuing suitability of arrangements. Inevitable occasional disruptions, disconnections, resentments, unfairness, complaints and dissatisfaction can typically be handled through discussions and adjustments.

However, you may come to believe that the arrangement is not working for you as it should. If it has become blatantly unjust, uncivil or exploitative, you will simply exit or resign. However, matters may become unsatisfactory because of misuse of powers (e.g. micro-management, poor communication, additional demands, context changes, creep in work demands) or for reasons obscure to you. Despite doing your best, you then become frustrated, confused or demoralized.

If matters have gone seriously awry and you do not wish stop that work, then you must seek to review the arrangements and redesign them to bolster your autonomy. This is only possible if you assert expectations in a way revealed by a framework comprised solely of PH-L6 elements, all of which require autonomy (as explained below).

With this autonomy, you can and must regard yourself as a true professional—possessed of requisite expertise and knowledge, responsible and ethical, and motivated to produce a high quality output. These are all issues of value.

Examples: Working for another is most common and problematic within organizations, large and small. However, the issues are relevant for any contract to work for another. If the interpersonal issues are more experiential-emotional than contractual-intentional, then a different framework applies.

ClosedMore on Life's NecessityWorking for Another

Working for others is common in modern life because we have all become so specialized. It is part of professionalism, efficiency and our mutual inter-dependence. Some aspects of any work arrangement may be written into a contract or similar agreement, but many aspects are not covered.

Contracts should both enable and constrain autonomy, activating and releasing creative potential, while bringing self-interest under voluntary social control. Written contracts are designed to create a more definitive understanding but they do not cover all expectations in regard to creative effort and the exercise of authority. Arrangements should not be set in stone: a degree of flexibility is absolutely essential to deal with evolving circumstances.

The greatest freedom and trust exists in agency relationships; the least in manager-subordinate relationships.

In designing any work arrangement, the self-interest of both parties must be served. If it is not then, there is a form of servitude and coercion, or dishonesty and exploitation. Particular difficulties arise when there is a massive disparity in power between you and the person you work for. That is why troubles easily occur in contracting to be employed by a large organization.

Why the Framework is all PH-L6s

It is hard to maintain autonomy when contextual factors impede you or the control of work is going wrong and you feel at the mercy of another. Confusion and intense irritation are not removed by compliant acceptance or closing your eyes. Without asserting autonomy, you can neither work creatively and effectively, and nor can you fix matters.

Investigations into the Root Projection to Primary Hierarchies suggested that PH-L6 elements (within their Primary Hierarchy) are constructed under a psychosocial pressure for autonomy (probably with a distinct neurophysiological underpinning).

The Tree framework constituted solely out of PH-L6 elements can therefore be expected to be dedicated to the provision of autonomy. Being a Root Tree, each level (KL•) will also retain its usual psychosocial pressures.

Note: The process here assumes that you adhere to and articulate values intrinsic to the work context, and that you believe will be acknowledged and shared i.e. there is a strong link to Purpose-RL6.

ClosedConsider Alternatives

Renewal & Recovery

Summary Only: This is an abbreviated overview of the Tree with a focus on the Willingness element. A fuller account is provided in the next topic. Understanding the various Primary Hierarchy elements is assumed. For more details within the Architecture Room, review the relevant part of the Root Projection section.

The heart of the framework and the source of eventual resolution is at KL4: Feel Good about Participating. The disarray can be only be put right if you actively and powerfully participate by raising serious issues that others are ignoring or tolerating. You know best what your work entails and what is required to do a professional job. You don't necessarily know about all the pressures or what is possible. However, by asserting values that you know are held in common and are being violated, you present yourself as a powerful participant. In order for your participation to be useful in the situation, it must be shaped by attention to the 8 Centres that feed into it.

Feeding into Participating from above are the 5 Centres that enable renewal of the agreement to work for another.

If you are to participate in the situation, you must discuss what is happening. That means grasping the relevant meanings-KL7 that others give to the performance of work, the use of authority and other situational factors. Each of us has different views and construes arrangements for work differently, so the meanings assigned by others may be strange or unpalatable and challenge your willingness to lead.

Design of better arrangements requires negotiations and this is based on how realities are represented-KL6. The two relevant realities are the «bad» situation at present (as you perceive it), and how others perceive matters. You must impose your picture to become committed to participation. The accounts from others may get you support.

What is specifically being brought into question are the judgements-KL5 that have been made about your work. In explaining your judgements you become realistic about how willing you are to participate. However, by appreciating alternative judgements, you are accepted as a participant.

Feeding into Participating from below are the 3 Centres that enable recovery and the design of better arrangements so work can proceed.

Value systems-KL3 are inherent and powerful in any work situation. You must actively support those paradigms, cultural values, and other disciplinary values required in the work-place. If you do, your willingness to lead becomes credible. However, you must always insist on your work principles and professional integrity, to have any incentive to participate.

Taking on work involves acceptance of roles which must come alive for you by your identification-KL2 with them. Identifications deal both with your own discipline and with the wider project, as well as specific roles. So they energizes participation and become the main reference point for handling yourself in work.

Bypassing Learning to connect Renewal with Recovery. There are two levels essential for designing better arrangements effectively: your judgements (KL5) and the various value systems (KL3) in play. Your personal judgements should validate your support for the beliefs and paradigms required in the situation, and your appreciation of alternative judgements must justify your insistence on the merit and relevance of your own integrity.

Final Common Path: You have contracted to accept a responsibility for making authoritative choices that serve another's interests. Activating choices-KL1 that are valuable in the situation is the route to exerting your autonomy. They confirm your personal identifications.


Last amended: 20-Sep-2013.




All material here is in a draft form. There will be errors and omissions. Nothing should be copied or distributed without express permission. Thank you.Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016. All Rights Reserved.


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