Control = Manipulation

[From Dag Forssell (920717)]

I have run into objections to my program. It suggests manipulation, I am
told. I think it matters little if I talk about cybernetic control,
perceptual control, individual control or whatever. A reader knows that
control means manipulation. It matters not what I say or write.

I do not wish to call it something else. Therefore, I have written this
appendix to be enclosed with my promotional materials.

Copyright Dag Forssell 1992. All rights reserved. Hard copy sent on
request. Suggestions for improvement will be appreciated.



The first meaning that comes to mind is the negative connotation of
authoritarian dominance, command and manipulation; management by threats
and coercion. If this were the only meaning, then a management program
based on the concept of control would be incompatible with total respect
for your fellow man.

But control also has a positive connotation of self-sufficiency,
expertise, consistency and quality. Control is a phenomenon of life. The
person happily "doing his/her own thing," is happily controlling what
happens to him/her. The highest tribute of respect I can imagine is to
support your fellow man in his/her exercise of effective control. An
understanding of control explains the "laws of nature" for life and shows
you how to support and lead people in productive teamwork - without
coercive manipulation.


Control is also a 20th century engineering Diagram of a
discovery. A certain arrangement of inter- control system
dependent elements creates a control system.
The system influences the perception of a A complete diagram
variable until it agrees with a reference shown here:
(want, purpose, plan), by acting as best Perception, Want
it can. Control in this sense is a Compare,Instruction
characteristic of all living organisms. Action, Variable
A control system is a building block which Other effects
helps explain some of the smallest interactions
in the nervous system. A single diagram can
serve as a summary of the interactions of
millions of control systems which together
enable us to walk and talk.


Control systems control what they perceive. A comprehensive explanation
of how people function has been created, based on this new insight. It
is called Perceptual Control Theory, or PCT. William T. Powers, who has
developed the theory, writes:

   "Perceptual Control Theory explains how organisms control what happens
   to them. This means all organisms from the amoeba to Humankind. It
   explains why one organism can't control another without physical
   violence. It explains why people deprived of any major part of their
   ability to control soon become dysfunctional, lose interest in life,
   pine away and die. It explains why it is so hard for groups of people
   to work together even on something they all agree is important. It
   explains what a goal is, how goals relate to behavior, how behavior
   affects perceptions and how perceptions define the reality in which
   we live and move and have our being.

                                                 Page 2

   Perceptual Control Theory is the first scientific theory that can
   handle all these phenomena within a single testable concept of how
   living systems work."


Most psychological theories are based on the Focus of
17th century perspective of cause and effect. traditional science
(The only perspective known in any science
until earlier this century). Any book on outline of control
experimental psychology tells you that the diagram, but control
scientific method to learn about behavior section gutted and
is to set up an experiment, establish only Effect (action)
initial conditions and then vary the and Cause (disturb)
independent variable (cause, stimulus) and shown along with
measure the dependent variable (effect, Other effects
stimulus). Our language and culture
reflect this heritage.

This would have been a fruitful scientific method
if in fact animals and people were cause-effect

But if you accept for the moment (without a detailed explanation) that
organisms are control systems, then you realize that by experimenting
with cause and effect, we have learned little about the organism itself
and what is important to it.


I believe most people intuitively realize Most important
that people are autonomous living control control elements
systems, full of desires and insisting on
controlling themselves. Good managers and Complete control chart
counselors respect and support control with graphic emphasis
in their fellow humans. We talk about the on Wants, Perception
elements of control, but lack a framework. and Variable.

When you realize that a person can be thought
of as a control system, your own focus shifts.
What is important about that person is what
she wants and why, how she perceives and what
might be interfering with her ability to
achieve what she wants. Action is almost
incidental. By openly helping her control,
you can achieve your goals without manipulation.

The Purposeful LeadershipTM programs explain PCT and applies it to
management and leadership. The all-important wants and perceptions are
explored in depth.

I am personally convinced that once the phenomenon of control becomes
widely understood, this new insight will be a great force for the good
of man. PCT shows the way to cooperation, productivity and high quality
with satisfaction and respect for all.