May 20, 2005
Vol. 2, No. 20

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By Leadership University

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A Note from the Founder – Mike R. Jay, Master
Business Coach

     Leadership, Spiral Syntax, Semantics and

First off, dynamic engagement, which emerged out
of SWIRL Dynamics, allows us to look concretely at
differentiating syntax and semantics. Yet, that’s
not the subject today, so let me digress.

When people communicate with each other in
general, I know that the intent of both parties to
discuss their structure of reality is

What I'm realizing is that if you compress
reality* and the other person doesn't have the
same experience, structure of reality, cognition,
etc., you end up frustrating the situation because
of the lack of resonance, let’s say.

*We all compress reality and have to in order to
narrow the search space, which is infinite and
takes more computational power than our little
200mg computer (brain) can handle--which is why we
compress through inductive biases/values.

The point is that "syntax" or the words, content:
context of what we observe holds meaning for
us...the question is: is that meaning more about
us and our semantical construction of the world,
or do we try to make "sense" out of the data
before launching into judgment?

The idea that syntax is easily understood is
basically a trap that most of us fall into.
Largely, because we keep failing to take to heart
that people of a different structure of reality
are not going to understand "compressions" of
meaning at other levels. I wish it were not so,
but at some point, we'll need to try to realize
that no matter what we do, that others will
misunderstand, or not get it and it will be that
way until we find a way to value all positions in
such a way, we don't leap to semantical judgment
using our own systems.

I realize this requires a leap in structure of
interpretation, to get to the point where one
doesn't configure the syntax according to one's
semantical construction without looking at some of
the reasons the syntax might be used, but then
again...people can't be until they are...what's
even more interesting is that "people have a right
to be where they are."

In some ways this puts us in a difficult
situation, individually and collectively...

In some ways, for me, it's silly to pretend these
differences are easily surmountable...thinking
people will get it if you explain well

From the desk of Mike R. Jay, Master Business

P.S.  Please visit my blog at to comment on
this and other articles about leadership.

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