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ASK, NOT TELL

....and many other thoughts about facilitation, coaching ( teams & individuals) and learning

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  • David

What’s the point?

Updated: Mar 25


I still remember when I saw the first time an Abstractionism painting many many years ago, I wondered 'what is the point?' I have never managed to appreciate them.


I went into Albertina in Vienna earlier.... partly involuntarily. At least for the sections I visited, the museum contains a good variety of paintings in the last century including Monet and Picasso.


Interestingly, the one I spent most time on is this one, called 'Face in a landscape'. I am not sure whether it is officially classified as Abstractionism (as there seem to be many -isms). But it does have the 'what is the point?' effect on me.


I cannot help wonder why I looked at it for so long. On reflection, the vague image is like the Tavistock experience to me. Like this piece, the experience is to create white space for individuals to make their own sense or to surface own assumptions. The key difference is that the latter is about how people behave in group and how group behave.


In fact it is also like many aspects of life in general. There is no single absolute truth. Everyone has his or her own truth. It depends how one perceives.


One particular aspect is leadership. 10 people can have 10 different ways to lead.. and they all could achieve the 'result' (the additional layer of complexity is that people define 'result' differently)


I was probably drawn to the painting because of such 'no single truth' notion. It speaks for the path I have been trying to develop myself into in last few years. And in the spirit of this blog theme, such notion also points to the importance of questions (rather than answers), both in developing myself and helping others develop re the complex aspects of life like leadership.


Perhaps I start to appreciate such paintings more.

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