Weekly Thought Archives > Define The Base

Define The Base

Adler, the eminent psychiatrist, helped me with his observation that everyone is logical if you understand the base from which they build their logic.  For example, if you go into the mental health facility and see a short man with his hat on sideways and his hand in his shirt you might assume that he thinks he is Napoleon.  If you said, “good day, Napoleon” and he responded positively he would be perfectly logical from his base.  In architecture a good example is the leaning Tower of Pisa.  The building is absolutely square to itself – it is the base that is tilted.


I’ve had labor relations situations where this understanding has been extremely helpful.  Once I was involved in a imminent strike situation in which the employees, though it would be financially catastrophic to them, were determined to give the company a long strike.  I asked the negotiating lawyer if they mentioned the company’s making money out of the strike.  “They repeat it more than any other belief.”  I suggested to the owner that he call the employees together and explain in believable language that the company was NOT going to profit from a strike.  The employees accepted his word and avoided the strike.


When an organization or individual differed with me I would say that they were unreasonable.  But now I assume that they are logical if I can understand their base.  For example, as a parent this helped me to understand peer pressure.  This is certainly true in the political arena in which the difference between liberals and conservatives is that each group is operating from distinctly different bases.    It is not always a matter of right and wrong or reasonable versus unreasonable. 


Properly understand the base and you will understand the logic.


This week think about: 1) How can I reconcile with someone at work by understand their base? 2) Is it possible for me to better communicate by knowing the operating base? 3) What is my underlying base assumption for relationships, career, political viewpoints?