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Общая семантика и "искусство спорить"

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Господа любители спорить и цапаться: Переведите это хотя бы ПРОМТом, если не владеете языком, вникните, это полезно.

General semantics is not a way to train to fight in debates; it is a method for joint creative work. The purpose is not to beat or win over an opponent; it is to work together to find a solution that will be better than what either of the participants could have invented alone. This calls for the skill of talking effectively, but also for the more difficult skill of listening well.

We can imagine our brain as a radio set on which we can both receive and send, which also works as a combination set, containing a library of records that can be put on automatically. An untrained listener tries to do all three operations at once: while listening to the speaker, he puts on one of his records and plays what he has already registered in his past experience on the subject that is being discussed. If the incoming program does not harmonize with his own record, we know which one will "make sense" to him.

He may also, while pretending to listen, rehearse his answers and objections as he waits impatiently for the other fellow to stop—rehearse on his "brain set" the broadcast he plans to give in his turn. If we observe ourselves closely, we may see that these three activities often go on simultaneously in our brain. We listen to a speaker, we listen to our own pet ideas, and we tell ourselves what to say as a rejoinder.

I was once studying this observation with a group of executives who were training in general semantics and I asked them the following question: "From your own experience in business conversations, which would you rather do: listen to the other fellow or speak your own mind? Which is harder, more unpleasant, less satisfactory?" The general answer was: "Of course, listening is harder. You have to listen to so many stupid things these days!"

Of course, the other fellow does not make sense very often, but when we broadcast our own wisdom, what a wonderful message it sounds—to us! If we could drown out those stupid incoming programs once and for all, what a sensible place this world would be! And we rush to a course on public speaking to master the techniques of putting our ideas across. There will then be one, or two, or a dozen more "expensive" broadcasting sets in our organization, and fewer and fewer receiving sets.

The debater does not stop here; he practices how not to listen to the valid arguments of his adversary; he is given his side of the question, or he is chosen to defend what is already his side, and his firs task is not to accept the version of the other side. He marshals arguments, rehearses his own broadcast while his opponent is speaking gets up his own story in words as sizzling as he can make them—anc the audience admires the side that can jam the other broadcasting station most effectively and that shouts its own program with more kilowatts of verbal noise. Is this training for communication—or is it training for misunderstanding?

ОМ, 2006 г.

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