We know that to remain objective and Master of the situation of maintenance, to preserve his value to him and to make him give the hoped fruits, it is necessary to control what it occurs during maintenance, without distraction and psychological error. To be centered on the subject is not to be fascinated by him, nor only attentive so that he says. It is to
understand it but is also to understand what it occurs here and maintaining in the relation itself. This is not possible that by a vigilant and informed observation. To know to listen is inseparable from knowing
Obstacles to perception and with the observation.
It appears, with the experiment, that one needs a certain drive and a certain effort to reach that point.
If your head of service waters you unpleasant remarks a beautiful morning, you will not put yourselves the question to know which psychological significance appears while being placed from a certain point of view, you will quite simply test spite, anger, resentment or anxiety, according to your own mood.
This example makes us touch finger the first obstacle which is the personal emotional implication in the situation.
To be implied that means being personally concerned, being sentimentally "in the situation", "touched" affectivement by what is said or what is done.
Not to be implied does not mean to be indifferent (though the indifference can be a manner of not implying itself), that means, in what concerns us here, being able to place itself from the point of view of the attentive observer.
All the other obstacles are due to that one.
The subjectivity for example, which is the opposite of objectivity, consists in giving, with what is said or been done, of the personal significances, with which one "equips" reality so to speak or place to perceive it such as it is. That which suspects or fears something, risk to see it everywhere. It should be known that our opinions, our beliefs, our ideas a priori, our prejudices, our feelings operate unapparent but powerful distortions which prevent us from seizing the significance inherent in reality itself.
The professional deformation acts in the same direction. It is not in vain that one speaks about deformation. Our professional practices isolate in the mass from reality a privileged aspect, familiar which answers a usual control.
Attention not to let itself lock up in the routine…
The intellectual significance of what is known as can also often hide the psychological significance of the same terms.
To pay attention to the put forward idea, the words, their intellectual direction prevents the position of observer and the seizure of another direction of the same words (their psychological direction).
Here an example, quoted by Carl ROGERS : A 10 year old child said to his/her
father: "Dad, all my comrades, in my class, have a bicycle." The father attentive with the intellectual contents
answers: "It is not possible, there are some who does not have
any! "or: "What do you want that that makes me? ". However, in this same sentence, there
is, from the psychological point of view, several things interesting to
- I would like a bicycle.
- I would like to be like the different ones. I am not like the
- I do not dare to ask you to buy a bicycle to me.
It is all the more difficult to resist the intellectual and ideological contents that the dialogue is discussion. One then takes the argument of the other and one answers
it; instead of perceiving the totality of the situation or attitudes, one retains of it the aspect
" contained ideological ", the idea. For example: after having heard the talk of the objections that a person exposes
you, your first movement is to think of a solution.
This solution is generally of an excellent logic, being given what you know of the problem and the means of which you lay out or available to the
person. But here is that the solution suggested meets on behalf of the subject a
resistance, an unwillingness. Your first reflex is likely to be an irritation, or the impression that it did not
understand you, or the feeling that the person does not know what she
wants. However, the whole of the data and we put take again at the point of view of the psychological observation.
This resistance to the solution means that this solution is not for the
person. She said something which was not completely heard, her problem is
different. Perhaps its resistance comes from its feeling not to be
Thus, that it is by personal implication, subjectivity, professional deformation or by an attention centered on the intellectual contents, in all the cases, we are tempted to operate a selection in reality and to seize only one aspect of
it, the aspect corresponding to our point of view.
To reach with point of view of subject, it be advisable thus to himself tear off with a manner usual or personal to see, and that give access to accéder à a new point of view, which be the point of view psychological see by the glance of this same
Positive orientation of attention
It be necessary first of all make a effort to seize the situation such as it be live by the subject. What one does not say, which one does not have the practice to select, which should not be known as; all that belonged to the lived situation and for this reason must be described. The psychological aspect it is authentically lived by the protagonists of a situation.
The expressions also should be known for what is significant from the point of view of lived of the person.
The direct expressions
The emotional states are expressed directly and each method has its immediate expressions which are offered to our perception. A triumphing smile means the satisfaction of the victory quite simply. If somebody remains dumb, will be able to see there the expression of an inhibition, an embarrassment or an unspecified blocking. If somebody changes subject during maintenance abruptly, it is necessary to see there a control of avoidance (or escape) of something. All the attitudes have a direct, expressive direction. The astonishment, anger, aggressiveness, the fear, the irritation, the exasperation, the pleasure, satisfaction, the displeasure, shame etc are translated not only by words, but generally beyond the words, by the tone, mimicry, observable postures. You must thus know to use knowledge that you gives your practice of human realities to seize the direct expressions of lived, through the words and, if it is possible, beyond the words, always provided that that is observed and not supposed. That is to say known as in the passing, there is a great psychological law to apply here: all the times that one supposes the feelings of the others, that one lend intentions or ulterior motives to them, one is 95 times out of 100 "projecting" its own subjectivity instead of observing. Thus, when somebody supposes that another A of bad feelings with its regard (without to have made observation since it is an assumption), one can deduce from it that this assumption means at that which does it a mistrust towards the other; because to lend malevolent ideas to others is, not the effect of an intuition, but the direct expression of mistrust towards this other. Therefore, if somebody says to
you : " Though he never anything said me, I have the intimate certainty that X wants me
evil ", you can answer without any risk to mislead you: "
You nourish an unquestionable mistrust with regard to X ".
It is necessary to be observed oneself
Observer the subject, to seize the significant expressions of sound lived at the verbal level, mimicry or postural is not enough. It is also necessary to be observed oneself and this in two
- on the one hand not "to project" its opinions, its beliefs, its system of value;
- in addition to seize what in the reactions of the person is produced consciously or not by the direction and interpretation that the subject gives to your attitudes and your words.
Observation of the evolution of the relational situation itself.
It is necessary to be able, and it is essential, to observe what it occurs in the relation here and maintaining in face to face as a situation present.
In conclusion of these remarks on knowledge-listening to and knowing to observe, we can say that the good observation is that which is located at the psychological point of view and raises the question permanently: "What that means psychologically?". It requires at the same time a detachment (personal not-implication), pledge of objectivity, reinforced by a good self-knowledge and a vigilance with regard to what the person expresses verbally, so that its posture expresses, with regard to oneself in the relation and the situation itself.
Continuation : Difficulties of exceeding to carry out the maintenance of assistance.