Effective dialogue in outdoor work: ‘Let the mountains speak for themselves’ – so the saying goes

Lemmey, Richard (2012) Effective dialogue in outdoor work: ‘Let the mountains speak for themselves’ – so the saying goes. Horizons, 57 . pp. 24-25.

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There is that special ‘something’ that happens when people and mountains meet. It is that ‘something’ that separates our work from being interactions between people alone and it is that which we value. However the work we do isn’t always carried on in silence and the saying itself confirms speaking and listening as being important in some way. How we speak and talk to colleagues and clients is obviously crucial, whether it’s formal instruction in safety procedures, the open discussion in decision-making or just the bonhomie of the other campfire. (Jones’ saying was a cry of exasperation at too much talking, it has to be said.) There are many models that have been derived to help our understanding of interactions. We might be consciously competent (Noel Burch 1979), democratic (Tannenbaum and Schmidt, 1958; Gastil, 1994), in an adult ego-state (Berne, 1964) and in a coaching mode (Hersey & Blanchard, 1972). These certainly have a place in supporting our observation and explanation of behaviour, but they are none the less hypothetical models that are ascribed to observations. There is also a tendency to take these models, or worse still one model, as orthodoxy and lever our interpretations of events to fix the models and not the other way round, not only giving spurious interpretations but also as was never intended by their authors. The strength of feeling of their disciples does rather support this view, whilst the models were not themselves based on reliable data but were sometimes derived from interpretations of small numbers of people who were in some cases in psychotherapeutic settings.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Horizons
Publisher: Institute for Outdoor Learning
ISSN: 1462-0677
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 15:48
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2021 14:32
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3712


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