Architecture Room > Emergent Hierarchies > Bypassing Social Resistance

Bypassing Social Resistance

Introduction: This Tree is emergent from PH7-Willingness and contains all the PH-L7 elements. It comes into play when there is a social rejection of a useful account of some event or phenomenon, leading to doubts about whether you can establish your ideas as sound.

Emergence from PH7-Willingness

PH7-Willingness seems necessary for our personal and social existence. The drive (psychosocial pressure) associated with willingness is selflessness, which is required because our groups and tasks, even our existence, does not fully accord with or support the biases and preferences of our ego/self. To handle ourselves and our groups, we each have to share our genuine experiences and honest views. Every social group needs accounts of its nature and situation that it can scrutinize, agree on and use.

Accounts are relevant to group choices, especially in regard to handling change. That means the accounts have to be acceptable to most people in the group. However, new ideas, proposals, scenarios, theories, predictions, projections and other accounts face two issues: their correctness and their implications.

While correctness is subject to study, implications are inherently political. Even small groups or groups of educated professionals are not open to any account that is presented. As well as being affected by conventional wisdom or a previous consensus, they are dominated by individual and collective biases and interests. So if you produce a new or unexpected account, it naturally runs into opposition and objections: broadly categorized as «resistance».

Resistance is often associated with misunderstanding. Evidence may be challenged, arguments distorted and ideas misinterpreted. With further explanation, debate and even just the passage of time, your account may become accepted, at least as a view that deserves consideration. However, sometimes the rejection of an account intensifies. Then you and your views become excluded from discussions. You may be denounced as subversive, heretical, wrong-headed, or even crazy. Your account may then be ignored, suppressed, censored or banned.

You always have the option to retract your account, or keep it to yourself and a few close confidantes. You can re-focus your attention on other matters that return you to the good graces of colleagues and wider society. However, driven by selflessness, your principles and commitment to the group may cause you to refuse to abandon your views. You then seek to establish your ideas as sound against all the odds. This requires you to use a framework comprised solely of PH-L3 elements which deliver the needed acceptability that alone can overcome social resistance.

With this focus on acceptability, you must regard yourself in the role of «messenger»: one who is bearing a message that others may not want to hear.

Examples: History is rife of individuals whose useful contribution was neglected. Social resistance is common in science where consensus of peers is so dominant and paradigm change so disruptive. In firms too, risk aversion and group-think can block out accounts of the current social forces and technological changes e.g. Kodak invented digital photography and yet was unable to embrace it even though many insiders must have been fully aware of what the future held.

ClosedMore on Life's Necessity: Providing Necessary Accounts.

Where change is inevitable in a social system, the commonest position is either to anticipate a linear extrapolation from the present, or to regard the future as intrinsically uncertain. The key feature of both these positions are that they are easy to understand and naturally acceptable to most people. Whether the view turns out to be right or wrong is almost irrelevant. Accounts detailing emergent radical developments are treated far more sceptically.

Many accounts in newspapers explain current events with the assumption that validity of those explanations matters far less than their acceptability. Selflessness does not necessarily sell, while responsiveness to the popular mood does. Daily explanations of stock price movements seem to be mostly inane rationalizations that are time- or space-fillers i.e. conversations not accounts.

If an account is important for others or your organization or community, then you seek to establish your ideas as sound. However, in the face of intense but inappropriate objections and irrational opposition, you must deal with pressures for acceptability, as explained below.

Why the Framework is all PH-L3s

It is hard to give attention to acceptability when you are dedicating yourself to selflessly pursuing the truth of some matter; and it is painful to be then denounced and excluded, for your dedication. However, the way for others to benefit from what you have determined or discovered is to be determined to give full attention to issues of acceptability.

Investigations into the Root Projection to Primary Hierarchies suggested that PH-L3 elements (within their Primary Hierarchy) are constructed under a psychosocial pressure for acceptability (probably with a distinct neurophysiological underpinning).

The Tree framework constituted solely out of PH-L3 elements can therefore be expected to be dedicated to the provision of acceptability. Being a Root Tree, each level (KL•) will also retain its usual psychosocial pressures.

Note: The process here assumes that you are prepared to make a genuine and willing adaptation to the social environment i.e. there is a strong link to Change-RL3.

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. An 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 is KL4: Feel Good about Seeing. Your account has been rejected because you have seen something that others are resistant to seeing. You must therefore encourage yourself to keep on seeing. At the same time, you have to penetrate the resistances that group members are presenting. You must see why they are responding as they do: it may be due to defensiveness, ignorance, prejudice, politics or self-interest—or some mixture of these. You must then see how that response can be circumvented. However, seeing must be judicious. You do not have the impossible goal of overcoming everybody's objection or getting unanimous backing. You must only bypass the most intense resistances. So seeing requires feeds from other Centres.

Feeding in to Seeing from above are the 5 Centres that enable renewal of the endeavours-proper related to providing your account.

Various factors are behind the negative public response. It is therefore essential to respect their significance-KL7. These significant matters, i.e. signs, serve as challenges to your seeing.

Respect for significance should also engender improvements-KL6 to your account. You must use signs to focus improvements to your presentation; and to release a demand for more receptive attitudes. Better communication shows you are becoming committed, and improved attitudes get support for your seeing.

Then you must use comparisons-KL5 to help others understand the substance of your account. Others will offer a variety of comparisons that deserve appreciation. But you know best which analogies or illustrations are most relevant and explanatory. As you do this, your seeing becomes realistic and others may accept that you are indeed seeing something important.

Feeding in to Seeing from below are the 3 Centres that enable recovery of a viable continuation of the contract.

Any adaptations to suit your group must be focused, and so priorities-KL3 must be set. On the one hand, it is essential to get in line and support what others are currently emphasizing. On the other hand, you need to insist on your own preferences in regard to what is most important.

Your emotions-KL2 are critical here and need to energize your seeing. You are emotionally bound to your views, and becoming detached from your account is counter-productive. You can rely on emotions because groups respond primarily to emotion, which allows rational or rationalized resistance by particular individuals to be ignored.

Bypassing Seeing to connect Renewal with Recovery. There are two levels essential for bypassing group resistance effectively: your comparisons (KL5) and your priorities (KL3). Your chosen comparisons validate support for what is popularly emphasized. Your appreciation of alternative comparisons justifies an insistence on your own preferences.

Final Common Path: Techniques-KL1 can provide a sure way of reaching out to others and convincing them. So you should activate techniques to provide the necessary acceptability. The type of technique will depend on the account, the group, the nature of the resistance and your available skills. You must use them to confirm your appeal to emotions.


Initially posted: 13-Sep-2013. Last amended: 12-May-2014.




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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