How to give a more rigorous basis for effects of compassionate communication in politics, economics and organizations

In politics, economics, and organization development theory, it has been traditionally easier to track things like votes and money flow, and because of that mathematical models have been developed of these fields that give it more ‘rigor’. Calculations can be made with these models, and predictions output-ed. This allows people to make presentations where they can spout off projections, and give themselves the idea that they have figured out what is going on.

However these models leave out something very significant, and that is the role of emotions, caring, compassionate communication, and facilitation have on politics, economics, and organizations. Conflicts can throw a wrench in any of these systems, leading them into dysfunctional behavior. And compassionate communication, and various facilitation processes can often ‘unwind’ these conflicts so that the systems function again properly.

Is there a way to model this conflict, and ‘unwindings’? Well one way is to begin by thinking of conflicts as dynamic systems which have become a trapped in a lock-in behavior, where the variables in the system have found an attractor state that is not of the highest fitness level. And to model unwindings as ways of moving the dynamical system out of the not so healthy attractor state, and into a more healthy attractor state.

The system can be thought to be trapped in a lower maximum on a fitness landscape when there is a conflict. When the emotions are unwound then the fitness landscape transforms and the higher potential maximums become possible.

As an example one dynamic system way to model this is with game theory. Lets take the battle of the sexes game where a husband and wife are trying to decide whether to go to opera or the football game. They both get a higher payoff if they decide to do the say thing. If they go to opposite events there is a low payoff. Now if they get into an argument the payoff matrix is lower because they will not so happy even if they go to the same event. However if they use some more compassionate communication process the payoff matrix will not get so low as they engage in discussions. By putting numbers to this matrix we have now the ability to get more ‘rigorous’ output from our models. And because game theory models can be used as the basis for understanding politics, economics, and organizations we can now have a more ‘rigorous’ basis for emotions, and compassionate communication in these fields.

This kind of game theory matrix can be used to model the Palestine-Israeli conflict, and various ethnic and religious conflicts around the world. It can be used to model how people in an organization work together or not. It can be used to model economic transactions where there can be mutual benefits for all sides.

In a conflict, there are needs of both sides that are not being met. And if they are both very angry, they may make moves to try and make life more difficult for the other side. So they make moves in a dynamic system to try and lower the fitness function of the other side. This creates a trap, an unhealthy lock-in attractor. In a facilitation process like Non-Violent Communication, people are able to presence their needs and emotions, and the needs become about themselves, and not the other side. When this happens, the need to make life more difficult for the other side lessens. The fitness landscape then changes. In this case both sides find it ok to make moves that help the other side get its needs met. One can program models that show how this fitness landscape changes. One can show how different facilitation methods like Theory U, Bohmian Dialogue, or NVC shift the attractor states, fitness landscapes, and game theory payoff matrixes.

In the American political system the two party system has gotten into a game where the two parties find it improves their own individual fitness to make things difficult for the other party. Compassionate communicate can shift the payoff matrix, so that both parties work to help the needs of all people get met. Society evolves to a system that will move to higher fitness level when people listen, empathize and help out people no matter what party they belong to.

The vision for  game theoretic and computer modeling of compassionate communication, and needs based worldviews can be profound. One can place into the model a system where there are different needs of each individual, and also the emotional state, and how that affects the shape of the fitness landscape. One can have multiple conflicts in this model, and show how the fitness landscape shifts as different conflicts get resolved, and show how this affects the economics, politics, and running of organizations.

Related posts:

Narratives and ontologies


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s