Principles of Effective Interaction

“Skill in interacting effectively and appropriately is being absolutely grounded in the unknown truth of this present moment (unendingly), relating with infinite flexibility (instantaneously), and inquiring into the purpose and outcomes of the activity (openly).”


Twice each year Peter Ralston offers e-courses, and I’ve just started the year-long e-course on the Principles of Effective Interaction. I’ll share what comes of it that may be of interest or benefit to others.

The reason for doing the course is to access guidance from Peter, create the social conditions that enable my practising (deadlines, community, accountability), and to actually develop more skill. What I hope to get out of it is to understand what enables effectiveness, in self and others, especially in working relationships (and specifically where there is a sense of ‘#winning’ e.g. at the expenses of others, or where there is win-win-win-win alignment for all.

The ‘arena’ (imagine a boxing ring, something with defined roles, boundaries) in which I’m focusing my practising is in my “Professional relationships as a social entrepreneur”, where I believe there are principles and values that require a level of assertion, aggression or activist-type behaviour such the interactions may have similar dynamics to fighting or dancing. Even in those interactions, I’m generally seeking a win for principles and for all, while also embodying values around connecting, collaborating and being community-minded.

As you might gather from this explanation, this is an arena in which my objectives (by which I might asses what IS ‘effective’) role (what am I responsible for) and perception and explanation of the various situations needs improvement! Hence doing the course, and focusing on this arena.

What I have accepted, in doing the course, is that I am responsible for interacting effectively, that it’s possible to change my being, thinking, acting, that this will require a high level of authenticity and honesty, and I must have a clear and accurate perception of the reality of what’s going on in the context of my interactions.

A thought that arose as I completed the opening contemplations of the course:

“Skill in interacting effectively and appropriately is being absolutely grounded in the unknown truth of this present moment (unendingly), relating with infinite flexibility (instantaneously), and inquiring into the purpose and outcomes of the activity (openly).”