The Three Laws of Social Behavior

Matisse, Icarus

Matisse, Icarus

In group we have been working towards a theory of understanding why we, and other people do what they do. This is important work towards developing a Theory of Mind, the ability to understand that others see the world in ways that are different, but equally valid to our own. We have been workings on integrating these Three Laws of Being adapted from the work of Dr. David Logan and Steve Zaffron. 

1. How People act depends on the way that they see things

There was a great example of this that occurred in group last week. One child built an elaborate domino structure. When it feel down he said "I did it!" Another child said, "what do you mean? It fell apart". The first replied, "I wanted to build it three levels high before it fell, and I did." How each child defined success determined whether they defined the exact same situation as a failure or success. 

2. The way that people see things is based on language.

Words are magic. They create the space in which relationships happen in and define the available range of possibilities. If we use words that frame a situation as a complaint, than the possibilities will limit themselves according to that framework. If we use generative language to ask for what we need and reframe "problems" as challenges, anything is possible.

3. Using language clearly and effectively to express a need can change the way people see things

As facilitators, we work hard each week to be on alert for the teachable moments that happen when the kids miscommunicate and need help finding the right words, and when they communicate effectively and can be given positive reinforcement.