By Bill Harley
If you have read Jean’s and my second book and/or read several of my blogs, you know that we have depicted Compassionate Consultation as the most powerful decision-making and problem-solving engine in the world. Consultation is the engine; and Compassion is the cooling system. I came to understand this relationship in an interesting way.
Some years ago I was a member of an outside consulting and change management team that worked with Caterpillar, the international heavy equipment manufacturer, to help the company design and install a universal product development process for all of their far-flung facilities.
One of the divisions I visited and worked with was the Mining Division, which manufactures huge mining trucks that can carry incredibly large and heavy loads of ore from deep, open-pit mines up very steep grades with considerable power and speed to the surface of the earth.
These trucks represent the essence of heavy-lifting; their torque and payload capacity is unsurpassed. The vehicles’ size is truly breathtaking. The diameter of the wheels is longer than two 6-foot men laid end-to-end; and to get to the driver’s seat requires that one climb approximately two stories high into the cab using a built-in staircase.
In talking to a group of design and manufacturing specialists, I learned that one of the biggest development problems they face is not so much the huge size of the engine and other vehicle components, but the cooling systems required to dissipate all the heat generated by the metal-to-metal engine and other moving parts during operation. If the cooling system isn’t up to the task, they said, the engine and the truck itself will burst into flames.
This got me thinking. These huge trucks are extremely powerful tools for going deep, gathering the ore, doing maximal heavy-lifting and moving forward; but they can’t perform the tasks without an equally powerful cooling system. Compassionate Consultation (CC), the decision-making and problem-solving process for the 21st Century and beyond, is also an extremely powerful tool for going deep, gathering the truth of the matter, doing maximal heavy-lifting and moving forward in connection with individual, couple, family, community, organizational and governmental decisions; but it can’t perform the tasks without an equally powerful cooling system. Without a maximal cooling system, the deliberative human interface can burst into flames of conflict.
With the mining trucks, the tasks get done through mechanical means; and the cooling is achieved through air and fluid dynamics. With CC, the tasks get done through steps and procedural means; and the cooling is achieved through spiritual, intellectual and social behaviors and attitudes.
Examples of the behaviors and attitudes which are the cooling system for Compassionate Consultation are:
Having purity of motive;
Honoring the inherent value of each deliberating member;
Manifesting humility and lowliness;
Having the attitude of an investigator of truth;
Treasuring diversity in the deliberating members and in the ideas expressed;
Using perfect liberty in expression within a context of courtesy, moderation and patience;
Manifesting patience and long-suffering in difficulties;
When these cooling behavioral standards (and others described in our book) are not honored, deliberation in all contexts—whether a couple, family, community, organization or government—gets overheated and can burst into flames. We see all too many examples of this overheated, adversarial, and destructive deliberation throughout world culture; and it leads to sub-optimal or no decisions being made and the spread of conflict, disunity and fragmentation.
But today, wherever Compassionate Consultation skills are being used and perfected in families, neighborhoods, communities, organizations and institutions throughout the world, people are discovering an optimal tool for the deep exploration and heavy-lifting required to truly reveal the truth of the matter; and to successfully change human, scientific and societal problems into transformative opportunities and social progress.
It is clear why this is so. CC provides both the most powerful tool in the world for decision-making and problem-solving; and the cooling system to maintain clear vision, nurture relationships, and reach robust, just and unifying results.
All of these parallels between mining trucks and CC became clear to me that day at the Caterpillar Mining Division facility. And, speaking of facility, the best part of all of this is that we are all pre-wired to use CC; to achieve facility in it, we just need to practice it in order to draw out the latent capacities that are already within us.
To learn more about the powerful procedures and cooling system behaviors for Compassionate Consultation, read our second book, TRANSFORMED: How to Make the Decisions That Change Your Life