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    Edgar Schein: "Talking to the Campfire"

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    In the Edgar Schein on Helping: How to Offer, Give, and Receive Help (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VPl3sdNmGU) (Schein, 2011), Schein recommends a technique he calls "talking to the campfire" in order to diffuse group situations and encourage everyone to contribute to solving issues.

    • What do you think about this technique?
    • Could it work in your culture (organizational or national)?
    • Why do you think it would or would not help achieve a state of collaboration in your environment?

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    Solution Preview

    • What do you think about this technique?

    This technique is efficient because it requires listening wherein a humble approach must be taken to encourage the most quality communication possible. The premise of this technique is displaying a helper's attitude as well as behavior wherein both the helper and the individual being helped engage in humble observations, emphatic questioning, and the refusal to judge others based upon ignorance and biases because both parties suspend judgment for careful listening. This is where the campfire analogy applies wherein the development of nonjudgmental listening skills emerges to develop a true understanding of the group's thought process by refraining from Western's standards and traditions regarding communication such as maintaining eye contact.

    In essence by refuting the traditional Western approach of intensely looking into the eyes of the speaker, the listener and speaker are ...

    Solution Summary

    The Solution discusses the "talking to the campfire" technique of diffusing difficult situations and its usefulness to achieve collaboration in a person's environment.