The Object Proposal

The Object Proposal is my attempt to get a level playing field for personal and business relationships. It allows us to deal directly and in real-time with controversial issues when we don’t want to be walking on “eggshells” to avoid the resultant disagreements, arguments and conflict that can come with them.

Forming the Object Agreement

Firstly it requires discussing the behaviors that we find offensive and setting up agreements with each other that allows us to object in real-time if we feel these agreements have been breached and we have been offended. It consists of proposals on how we be behave when we engage and proposals on how we disengage if these agreements are breached. Here are my proposals:

ALIN – Anger, Lying, Ignoring, Nagging

The basic premise of the Object Proposal is that while engaging, if one person is offended by the other’s behavior, whether that is through Anger, Lying, Ignoring or Nagging, then they can temporarily suspend the topic of conversation, by objecting to that behavior, in real-time. There are 3 stages or levels to the objecting process starting off with a simple caution. An analogy is baseball’s three strikes and we’re out, or soccer’s free kick, yellow card and red card.

COS – Caution, Object, Stop

  1. Caution: Starting with a caution, the offended person can inform the offender of the perceived breach and if the caution is sustained the offender can simply Acknowledge their breach and the conversation can resume. This can continue with any number of cautions and does not necessarily need to escalate to an objection unless the offender refuses to acknowledge their breach.
  2. Object: Failing to acknowledge the caution means the offended could step up at this point to an objection and now the offender would be required to give more than just an acknowledgment, but now a Simple apology.
  3. Stop: And you guessed it, if the objection is not given a Simple apology then the offended can escalate the objection to a Stop and the offender would then be required to give an Acceptable apology,

ASA – Acknowledge, Simple apology, Acceptable apology

This is how we make amends when our behavior is deemed objectionable. The level of our contrite response will also correspond with the level of objection used as with COS.

  1. Acknowledge a Caution
    • Example: “Ok, I retract my jibe”
  2. Simple Apology for an Objection
    • Example: “I am sorry for my insulting remark, I was out of order”
  3. Acceptable apology for a Stop
    (Needs to be accepted by the receiver)
    • What I did, “I am sorry that I used insulting language”
    • Why I did it, “Unfortunately I fell back into my old habits of name calling”
    • What I will do next time. “I will deal with the issue next time, by offering you an agreement proposal to fix my problem rather than use name calling”

For far too long, I believe, we have allowed each other to get away with poor behaviour, especially during disputes and disagreements. This poor behavior will add up over time and eventually can erupt into overblown conflict when “the last straw” is added or “death by a thousand cuts”. The Object Proposal (and agreement) is a great way to bring us into line (if in fact we want to be treated well and we are willing to treat others equally as well) and dissipate any anger that may be building up due to mistreatment during a disagreement. It also encourages us to speak up and be heard, knowing that we are protected by our explicit agreements and by a simple process that allows and encourages us to object.

Flock You!

One principle with 3 simple rules to keep the flock together but never clash.

Imagine if we humans could devise a simple principle with 3 simple rules to allow us to work at our optimum together and yet not clash, crash or have overheated interactions together, even if we vehemently disagree. When you watch this video you will see how these starlings do it in flight.
Their 3 rules, as proposed by the researchers, are how one starling interacts with her 7 closest neighbours:

  1. As one flies steer towards each other of the 7
  2. If one of the 7 birds turn then the one turns
  3. Finally don’t crowd each other.

Now let’s see if we can apply a similar principle to people, to allow us to explore any topic and stay calm even if we disagree. My three-rule proposal is based on firstly splitting our conversation into two components, the Object and the Subject. The Object is the topic that we are talking about and the Subject is about us and how we deliver the Object. At any point we can step outside the Object and make the Subject the Object if we in fact have an objection to how the Subject delivered the Object or topic. This mental gymnastics has its benefits as we will see later. The three rules are for how we make such objections.
The first objections is just a caution and can be delivered as simply as “I call caution” and state the grounds.
The second is an official objection ” I object” with stated grounds.
And the third is “Stop” or three strikes and we’re out.

  1. Caution
  2. Objection
  3. Stop

At each step we agree to how the receiver to the objections should respond.
A simple acknowledgment and retraction for the Caution.
A more formal apology for an Objection
And an acceptable apology if the conversation had to stop due to the contempt for rules 1 and 2.

If the conversation cannot be restored due to the Stop call then a third party and eventually our peers can be involved to assist. It is quite possible that, like the 3 rules used by flocking of birds, we may only need to get such agreements with just 7 people in the organisation and the system could work.

Worth a try to see.

Domestic SewerRage

Untitled-2

Around 1850 in London it became apparent that using the Thames River as an open sewer had disastrous consequences for public health, including cholera epidemics. Although the contamination of the water supply was correctly diagnosed by Dr John Snow in 1849 as the method of communication, it was believed that miasma, or bad air, was responsible right up to the outbreak of 1866 (WIkipedia).

Eventually the Parliament realized the sewerage AKA shit, was disastrous  for city dwellers in epidemic proportions, killing over 10,000 Londoners in one outbreak. So a plan was enacted to clean up the Thames by means of creating a sewerage system which transported the public waste away from London city river, diverting it to the east Thames estuary, where it is now treated.

Today, in 2018 it is also time for us to realize that domestic rage, like domestic sewerage is killing us in the tens of thousands globally and needs to be treated and dumped. From domestic rage and domestic violence in Australia, some 2 women a week are killed by their partners and it is the leading cause of hospitalized assault for girls and women in Australia. Countless families suffer at the hands of this scourge of rage and anger or more commonly called domestic violence, yet anger and rage does not appear to be singled out by governments and NGOs as the major cause of this violence.

Strange as it may seem but I have found it difficult to find an advocate for cleaning up this SewerRage. Most seem to believe that anger is natural just like shit and we are stuck with it and that “power & control” to be the causes of domestic violence. Well, it is true that anger has been part of our nature for thousands of years and has been used to as power and control to coerce others, but like the sewers of London we can treat rage and dump it where it does not harm.

How Do WE Treat Domestic SewerRage
After some 15 years of testing and developing I have a number of solutions for firstly treating our SewerRage and also how to dump it. My suggestion is…..
Firstly: Create a shared reality where we agree that anger or rage is distasteful and very disruptive in a domestic environment and that we really want to do something about it.
Secondly: We form an agreement like the Kyoto Protocol or Paris Climate Agreement where they can be updated at a later time but we are moving to make these changes a reality, together.
This agreement can be called what you want, let’s start with calling it the Anger Agreement. And simply agree that “although anger or rage is understandable it is unacceptable without and acceptable or agreeable apology”. This is what my brother and I have used.
Thirdly: I have found that two other sub-causes need to be apologized for also and they are for lies and ignoring. I am sure you will agree that they too are distasteful and also a general cause of anger.
Forthly: What we deem or agree is an acceptable apology will depend upon what you ultimately agree upon but for example we use, the following but with no blaming of anyone in the content.

  • What I did
  • Why I did it
  • And what I will do next time

The acceptable apology will allow us to “treat” our SewerRage and through practice allows us to dump it.

The treatment and dumping of sewerage in cities changed the world for the better saving millions of lives and making it possible to live together by the millions. I am suggesting the treatment and dumping of our Domestic SewerRage will change the world for the better, likewise. Worth a try, I say.