On logic bubbles

A powerful concepts Edward De Bono mentions in his book How To Have A Beautiful Mind are logic bubbles

As De Bono explains the term,

When someone does something you do not like or with which you do not agree, it is easy to label that person as stupid, ignorant or malevolent. But that person may be acting ‘logically’ within his or her ‘logic bubble’. That bubble is made up of the perceptions, values, needs and experience of that person. If you make a real effort to see inside that bubble and to see where that person is ‘coming from’, you usually see the logic of that person’s position.

The term logic bubble is a smart one. Bubbles are transparent. If we would be surrounded by one, chances are that we don’t see it. So are our perception, values, needs, and experiences when it comes to our thinking. They are present and surround our thought, but we don’t necessarily perceive how they impact our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Coining a term is an effective thinking aid. You see, we all know that people think and act based on their perceptions, values, needs, and experiences. But when we have a word that summarises it all, we have only one concept instead of 4 when we reflect on an issue that involves them all together.   

This qualifies the concept of logic bubbles to be used as a powerful awareness tool. It happens when we realise our own logic bubble, and try to explore it closely. And when we explore the logic bubbles of others, and try to understand their thoughts, feelings, and actions.

One of the best areas to use logic bubble is in the process of forgiving. We are surrounded by people who mean it well, but keep hurting us in the process. Or they make decisions based on their best knowledge but affect us negatively. If we are able to explore their logic bubble, it is much easier to understand where they are coming from and minimise the negative emotional impact on us.

Great candidates for the application of logic bubbles  are parents. Most of us have some cases where we disagree or have reservations with the decisions of our parents in they way they have raised us up. And as many testify, having hard feelings when it comes to parents, whether they are justified or not, is a very nasty business. But if we make it our mission to understand their logic bubbles, there is some big potential to improve our relationship with them. The same applies with siblings, spouses, other family members, and not to forget close friends.

The hardest thing for me is to learn how to think in terms of logical bubbles. As a concept it is straightforward. But when trying to apply it in the communication process, it can be challenging. And there is the risk of becoming apologetic for the actions of others, rather than critical in a constructive way.

But I think the best way to explore the logic bubbles of others is to ask them directly about their perceptions, values, needs and experience, instead of relying on assumptions and analysis. This way the conversation can become more interesting, and the others will clearly see that I’m genuinely striving to understand them.

One thing is sure, though. Bursting others logic bubbles doesn’t work. They might be thin and transparent, but they are harder than steel. In this regard, they are close to force fields than bubbles.       



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