Swimming or teaching?

<[Bill Leach 941201.19:17 EST(EDT)]

[Dag Forssell (941129 2100)]

I am not selling a program that _ought_ to work. And what are the
"real" issues anyway? The ones conventional psychology solves? Is
... scripts for typical interactions ... teaching PCT full strength and
Unfortunately, nobody is interested in PCT unless ...

Indeed, if anything Ed's experience demonstrates that because PCT IS the
correct understanding of human function, the whole matter is not one of
"_ought_ to" but rather will work. Will PCT enable one to solve a
particular problem in a particular way? No of course not, a PCT understand
may well completely change the definition of the problem (and if it does
not then it is likely that the "applier" does not understand either PCT or
the problem or both).

Sounds good, but what do these miscellaneous words mean? Do you
have some statistics to back you up?

You threw me for a curve with this one Dag! What in the devil do you mean
by "... statistics to back you up?". The difference between the drawing
board and the "real word" is a brutal set of lessons, repeated as often as
necessary (as understood by any design engineer responsible for producing
an actual working design). Its not a matter of statistics. I can probably
count the number of fully working designs that I have created that worked
exactly as desired without modifications resulting from testing, on one
hand. I realize that such a statement make me sound like a "piss poor
design engineer" but then all of the experienced engineers that I know will
say roughly the same thing.

In reference to "experience", statistics or not, I know that I personally
am "more comfortable" with someone that has had experience in the subject
area as opposed to "just a theorist". I also notice that my own background
experience in my present field has held me in very good sted. It is very
much easier for me to sell my services than it seems to be even for others
that have a better theoritical background than I do.

I believe applying PCT has to start with learning and teaching PCT.
It is no good to tell people what the conclusions of PCT are, or
what your personal experiences have been, and make conclusions into
prescriptions. That is how Guru Glasser operates from on high. I
would agree that people are used to and tell you that they want
prescriptions for action in various circumstances. Is that what you
suggest I develop by gaining additional experience for a program
that _ought_ to work?

I'm not going to try to second quess Bill on this but I do think that
seeking opportunities with some local companies at very low cost might be a
good idea.

However, I don't think that such an attempt is as easy as many may think.
There are a couple of possible problems here. One is that there is a
perception that things are worth what you pay for them. Another is that
when something is provided at very low cost then the personal effort on the
part of the students may not be sufficient.

It is probably also pretty well necessary to develop some sort of
relationship with TPTB to be given a chance to teach even for free.

... first two paragraphs ...

I agree that the change is an improvement.

-bill

[From Dag Forssell (941129 2100)]

[Bill Powers (941129.1005 MST)]

It's hard to write a letter to an unknown person that will get
that person interested in your PCT management program. It's even
harder when you can't cite your own experience in applying PCT to
real management situations, and can present only one real instance
of its use by another person, ten years ago or more.

You smoke me out.

Sure it is hard. A writer wants to be sensitive to the many ways
expressions can be interpreted so the letter does not needlessly
hit the trashcan. I have struggled with how to present the concept
of what PCT is and how to best target prospects. The letter
reflects this. My writings that follow represent my experience
properly. I am not claiming experience where none exists, but refer
to others.

The strength of experience is the prescriptions for action that
come from it--they vary all over the map. The strength of PCT is
the clear understanding that comes from it, and the ability to
reason from first principles. I make no apologies for the
explanations and demonstrations I have developed in full view of
PCT researchers. I have had many successful experiences applying
PCT in my own life and teaching it to others.

It is true that I have spent thousands of hours working out ways to
teach PCT and search for ways to interest people. In the bargain I
have learned and internalized PCT so thoroughly that PCT is part of
me, and I feel prepared to answer questions from any angle. I have
won some technical arguments with Rick! I think a major shortcoming
on my part has been my lack of a clear expose (without taking in
the entire seminar) of the significance and broad application I see
for PCT. The last article in my trilogy, _Perceptual Control:
Leading Uncontrollable People_ will hopefully remedy that.

If I were as young, energetic, and intelligent as you are, I would
seek out local businesses who would be willing to let me put in a
program and work with it for a while, experiencing real-life
situations and learning what the problems are that PCT can handle.

This requires the same kind of sales effort that I am putting forth
to gain the privilege of teaching. This is a possible outcome of my
promotion efforts and will be OK with me as long as it is very
clear that teaching and applying PCT is the focus. I hear you
recommend that I follow the route of Jim Soldani, who applied PCT
successfully in 1983, mostly without teaching it to others. Since
I quote Jim in the teamwork section of my last article, I called
him recently. He is not able to teach or use PCT in his job, and
is quite frustrated. His big-company environment is permeated with
conflict resolution the "easy" way -- threats and intimidation.

I have wasted much effort trying to reach high executives. I now
think they have arrived at a position of authority in the
competitive big-company environment, are not really concerned about
the finer points of relationships, and that their secretaries pass
on my letters to HR people. HR people get several brochures a week
and are not capable of understanding a technical explanation
anyhow. I have been told that PCT teaches "nothing new." I know
that this comment will not be news to you, since people look to
conclusions and not explanations.

It just seems to me that it's too early to present this program as
a finished and proven package. Salesmanship can't make up for a
lack of research. What worries me is the risk of selling a program
that _ought_ to work, but through lack of experience doesn't
handle the real issues and fizzles out, taking your hopes down
with it and doing the reputation of PCT no good, either.

I am not selling a program that _ought_ to work. And what are the
"real" issues anyway? The ones conventional psychology solves? Is
the program supposed to solve the issues? Or people understanding
PCT? I am not trying to give people scripts for typical
interactions with an absolute minimum of introduction to PCT. My
entire approach is geared to teaching PCT full strength and
accurately to all the parties to working relationships.
Unfortunately, nobody is interested in PCT unless they can imagine
that they can use it, so I have to develop what I have called
proposals -- inside and outside my personal experience. If the
proposals become prescriptions -- well, I think they will beat any
old prescriptive program, just like Ed's programs do. If you are
concerned that I misrepresent PCT itself, let me know on the net.
I'll be surprised since PCT forms a coherent whole in my head so I
think I understand it. We can sort out that too on the net.

                                but the only really effective
way is to put it on and jump into the ocean. That's the only way
to find out if the theory works. And those who have got themselves
wet are generally a lot more convincing when it comes time to sell
the life jacket to someone else.

Sounds good, but what do these miscellaneous words mean? Do you
have some statistics to back you up? What exactly do you propose to
put on and who are you going to throw in? The teacher or the
students? Very few people have made the jump and told about it. Jim
Soldani made the jump, but he is not teaching at the moment. Ed
Ford was an experienced counselor before he learned PCT, and has
done a wonderful job of strengthening, clarifying and sharing his
methods by integrating PCT. His discipline program swims further
into the ocean of applied PCT without explaining PCT much to his
students. Dick Robertson, David Goldstein ??? -- it's a short list
as I know it. I am jumping as best I can -- my way. A group of
students who all learn PCT together from me will make a water
ballet in industry far better than Jim Soldani ever did or I ever
could alone.

I believe applying PCT has to start with learning and teaching PCT.
It is no good to tell people what the conclusions of PCT are, or
what your personal experiences have been, and make conclusions into
prescriptions. That is how Guru Glasser operates from on high. I
would agree that people are used to and tell you that they want
prescriptions for action in various circumstances. Is that what you
suggest I develop by gaining additional experience for a program
that _ought_ to work?

If I can teach PCT, people can draw their own conclusions from
first principles and relate to their own experiences, past, present
and future. That is how Powers operates as I understand it, and
that is how Dag Forssell wants to operate. This is what I am
controlling for and I will not be dissuaded, not yet anyway, --not
when I think I see a way to achieve it.

I continue to believe that PCT is valuable in and of itself and
that teaching it clearly will turn into a valuable service once a
few people become exposed, understand what it is about and see that
it can be applied to any people problem. Word of mouth will spread
once a couple of students have dipped their toes into their own
oceans. I can't do their swimming for them.

So there!

···

----------------------------------------------------

For the record, I thought through the first two paragraphs on page
two, dealing with my ideal PCT-student and simplified them to read:

   PCT is a novel technical explanation for what is a very "fuzzy"
   subject. PCT is most readily understood by people who think in
   terms of physical interactions. Therefore, I am writing people
   in a technical environment who may want to explore it. Your name
   is listed in the California Manufacturers Register.

This should be less potentially offensive, yet get the concept
across that I wanted to convey.
-------------------------------------------------------

Best, Dag

[From Hugh G. Petrie (941130 0900)]

[From Dag Forssell (941129 2100)]

[Bill Powers (941129.1005 MST)]

In commenting on Dag's draft letter to potential clients, Bill said

It's hard to write a letter to an unknown person that will get
that person interested in your PCT management program. It's even
harder when you can't cite your own experience in applying PCT to
real management situations, and can present only one real instance
of its use by another person, ten years ago or more.

Dag replied

You smoke me out.

Sure it is hard. A writer wants to be sensitive to the many ways
expressions can be interpreted so the letter does not needlessly
hit the trashcan. I have struggled with how to present the concept
of what PCT is and how to best target prospects. The letter
reflects this. My writings that follow represent my experience
properly. I am not claiming experience where none exists, but refer
to others.

(Some material deleted)

Bill goes on

If I were as young, energetic, and intelligent as you are, I would
seek out local businesses who would be willing to let me put in a
program and work with it for a while, experiencing real-life
situations and learning what the problems are that PCT can handle.

Dag replies

This requires the same kind of sales effort that I am putting forth
to gain the privilege of teaching. This is a possible outcome of my
promotion efforts and will be OK with me as long as it is very
clear that teaching and applying PCT is the focus.

Hugh now:

Dag, I understood Bill in a different way. If I were to apply what he said
to my situation, it would be something like the following.

--When you quit being a dean and go back to being a professor, don't just
teach a theoretical course on how PCT applies to education (which I will
do), get out there and find a school, even one that thinks it is doing
control theory ala Glasser, say, and work with them for free seeing how you
can be of assistance. That practical experience will then make what you
say in your courses or papers you write or paid consultancies you later
take on that much more valuable.

(Material omitted)

Bill goes on

                                but the only really effective
way is to put it on and jump into the ocean. That's the only way
to find out if the theory works. And those who have got themselves
wet are generally a lot more convincing when it comes time to sell
the life jacket to someone else.

Dag responds,

Sounds good, but what do these miscellaneous words mean? Do you
have some statistics to back you up? What exactly do you propose to
put on and who are you going to throw in? The teacher or the
students? Very few people have made the jump and told about it. Jim
Soldani made the jump, but he is not teaching at the moment. Ed
Ford was an experienced counselor before he learned PCT, and has
done a wonderful job of strengthening, clarifying and sharing his
methods by integrating PCT. His discipline program swims further
into the ocean of applied PCT without explaining PCT much to his
students. Dick Robertson, David Goldstein ??? -- it's a short list
as I know it. I am jumping as best I can -- my way. A group of
students who all learn PCT together from me will make a water
ballet in industry far better than Jim Soldani ever did or I ever
could alone.

I believe applying PCT has to start with learning and teaching PCT.
It is no good to tell people what the conclusions of PCT are, or
what your personal experiences have been, and make conclusions into
prescriptions. That is how Guru Glasser operates from on high. I
would agree that people are used to and tell you that they want
prescriptions for action in various circumstances. Is that what you
suggest I develop by gaining additional experience for a program
that _ought_ to work?

Hugh again

I don't think Bill disagrees with this at all. I think he is saying that
the way in which you might get this operating group together might have to
be through some initial pro bono work rather than selling a consultancy as
the first step. I know it would be much easier for me to do this kind of
thing of offering to work with a school, since I have a secure job anyway
in the university and such work with the school can be viewed as just the
sort of thing I should be doing as a university faculty member, but even in
my situation I thought that Bill's suggestions of jumping in, in addition
to teaching, made a good deal of sense.

I post this to the net because I think there may be others, like me, who
ponder what we can do of a practical nature and have been living
vicariously through you, Dag.

Cheers,

Hugh

···

===========+++++++++++===========***********===========+++++++++++===========

Hugh G. Petrie 716-645-2491
367 Baldy Hall FAX: 716-645-2479
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
USA prohugh@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu