Dealing with Non-Scanners

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Dealing with Non-Scanners

Postby AlanHilton » Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:34 am

Hopefully no one minds me starting a new topic because this is a BIG subject.

H.Fred and Longstrider in the \"Do You Like Being a Scanner\" topic brought up the subject of we Scanners \"loosing patience\" or \"getting angry\" with non-Scanners.

I find there are times where I also am less than patient and tolerant than I could be. But then I need to realize that the non-Scanners thought processes are often slower and more linear than mine.

Some folks are just not firing on all cylinders. They are distracted by stuff and make their slow plodding journey from one \"known\" (as dictated by the social conventions) to another safe island. Perhaps that is the same principle as \"Resistance\" that Barbara is describing where their natural survival instincts are doing what is needed to keep them safe.

Ambiguity and uncertainty make non-Scanners very uneasy. They tend to like \"black and white,\" \"yes or no\" answers. But the way I see it, the answers we get to most of life's questions are mostly are \"shades of gray\" type answers. \"It depends\" or \"sometimes\" come up as answers to questions the most for me.

Scanners tend to be more tolerant of that. After all there is more that we don't know (unknowns) than what we do know (knowns), ever. What I know from software engineering is that for any project to be successful one must turn the unknowns into knowns. When one does that is the only variable.

Scanners tend to be able to move forward without all of the unknowns being turned into knowns while the non-Scanners seem to need to have each and every thing be a \"known\" before proceeding on to the next step. By the end of the project all of the unknowns are going to be turned into knowns.

Another thing I see in non-Scanners alot is that they tend to compartmentalize the World. They tend to focus on details and isolate those details rather than seeing a unified whole connected by invisible threads. Something about not being able to see the forest for the trees.

I thank my lucky stars that I am able to integrate many seemingly separate threads into a unified whole. It seems we scanners tend to be big-picture top-down folks and non-Scanners tend to be detail-oriented bottom-up folks. There is a place in the world for both.

As for what H.Fred talked about, the feeling of confinement from being in a box, remember we tend to put babies in a crib until they can look out for themselves. It is to keep them safe. The specialist, 8-to-5 world is like a crib made to keep things contained, safe, and predictable. Not everyone needs it. Some of us are ready to get out of the crib crawl around on the floor and explore. Once we do that, we get to walking and running and jumping and dancing. Once the baby gets strong enough to climb out of the crib you can't keep them in.

I really like the attitude that Longstrider mentioned about tolerance and granting acceptance. We can't change them and they shouldn't try to change us.

We scanners have a lot to offer. The challenge is how to do so in a non-threatening manner.
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Postby Laura » Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:11 pm

I get impatient with people who don't notice things. I tend to run through scenarios in my head before taking action, and am hyperaware of how people react to me. When I run into someone who doesn't notice these things and hasn't taken the time to notice the patterns that I see as second nature, I have a hard time not being dismissive.

I'm trying to take more time with it and just be in the moment without judging so much, but it is hard. When people are just oblivious and unthinking, it's a difficult thing for me to take. Of course, I'm not perfect either, and I'm sure that I miss things that others think I should notice.
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Postby Longstrider » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:44 pm

Wow AlanHilton,

Well said.

Will have to post more later
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Postby kazbah » Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:14 am

oh and don't you just HATE the wizards Microsoft puts into all their software!!


i think that is the perfect example of the \"crib\" companies create to make people feel safe.

but the limitations drive me crazy. and so does software like Publisher.

(you might be able to tell that i have been a Mac user for many years ... in the last couple of years have been forced to use PCs for work).

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Postby rielpryn » Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:45 am

Initially I was gonna say, no, I don't really get that annoyed at non-scanners, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I do have a tendency to become impatient when I am trying to explain something that I feel is very simple and straight forward. It takes me a minute to realize, I am simply seeing a pattern in something that they haven't been able to see, yet. I don't know if that is because I'm a scanner and they're not(because for all I know a couple of them were) or if that's just the way my mind works compared theirs.
\"I reject your reality and substitute my own.\"
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Postby AlanHilton » Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:51 am

One of the things that I get frustrated by is when I see non-scanners not living up to their potential. I see them holding back and not being the fully magnificent humans we all are. They tend to second guess themselves or discount their ideas or sit on the sidelines and not participate.

The challenge is how to draw them out of their shell and tickle them into being a part of this wonder-full experience. For that I need to develop patience.

Another thing is that I tend to regard criticism as good. If I propose an idea then if someone can \"shoot holes in it\" then I will have learned something and the Work will have gotten better.

Non-scanners can identify too heavily with their ideas and think that criticism of the idea is disrespect for the source of the idea. Disagreement does NOT equal disrespect. It is merely disagreement. I heard a congressman say at a town hall meeting, \"People of good will are bound to disagree.\"

Another scanner/non-scanner difference is where the \"approval\" comes from. Ask a scanner how they know they're doing a good job and they'll likely say, \"I just know\" or \"I get a feeling.\" Ask a non-scanner and you might get a \"Someone tells me.\" which means the validation comes from outside themselves.

Funny thing is that they are the ones who invest the external entity with authority. They are the ones who give the \"others\" the power to make them feel good or bad.
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Postby forestgirl » Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:52 am

I know what you mean when you talk about frustration talking with people who process information differently, but in my case the frustration was directed inwardly. When someone poses a scenario to me, my mind will often automatically project that into the future down multiple paths to a series of likely conclusions. When I open my mouth to speak, I am usually referencing the end points rather than the next step.

Sometimes people look at me like I'm crazy or something. I used to always interpret that as a judgment on my conclusion and assume that I had either not considered something important, or had used flawed logic to get to the end point. I would then feel stupid, get embarrassed and shut up.

In recent years I have begun to realize that the problem is that many people don't follow the trail that far. They are still thinking next steps while I am thinking final conclusion, and there is not necessarily a connection between the two that is obvious to them. It is not that I am stupid, or that they are stupid, it is just that we are attacking the problem in a different way. I don't get as frustrated with myself anymore.

But now that you mention is still frustrating sometimes. It is really frustrating when you can see trouble coming and you can identify a relatively simple strategy that will protect you...but when you try and warn someone with the authority to do something, you just can't make them understand. I have experienced that a few times in my work life, and it really irritates me.

Where I do disagree with you is your talk about non-scanners not living up to their potential. I don't think non-scanners have the market cornered on this. In fact, I would say that our society generally favours the \"diver\" mindset, which makes it more difficult for a scanner to reach his or her potential compared to a non-scanner.

Though perhaps this is not what you mean. Perhaps you mean that non-scanners are not opening their minds up to the vast numbers of interesting things out there, and in this way they are limiting their potential as curious and creative beings.

Again I would disagree with this sentiment. People are who they are; whether they are interested in many things or a few is just a reflection of that. Insisting that someone with only a few interests is only living half a life is just as disrespectful of their uniqueness as someone insisting that our myriad interests make us scattered and unproductive human beings.

Yes, we must learn to love our scanner nature. Yes, we must work to be understood by society so that all that we have to offer is used and appreciated. But we should do this by taking our place at the table, not by trying to turn the table.

Yes, we have been misunderstood for a long time, but to make ourselves out as superior to non-scanners serves no-one. We all have something to offer the world, something special and uniquely us. We should commend anyone, scanner and non-scanner alike, who is pursuing theirs.
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Postby AlanHilton » Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:12 am

forestgirl ...

I like your distinction about the end scenario versus the next step.

Thank you for giving me a chance to reshape my words. The way you took it is not the way I meant it.

By \"not living up to their potential\" I mean, specifically, the process that I refer to in the first paragraph.

// quote

One of the things that I get frustrated by is when I see non-scanners not living up to their potential. I see them holding back and not being the fully magnificent humans we all are. They tend to second guess themselves or discount their ideas or sit on the sidelines and not participate.

// end quote

Indeed, non-scanners have not cornered the market on that. What do you think the distribution is on that? Does it favor scanner or non-scanner or no correlation?

Everyone is a fine wonder-full person with their own path to follow. We all \"buy-in\" to certain societal conventions, for example, scanners in the sense that feel that they must be \"divers.\" We are who we are. Scanners and divers are just different approaches to this wonder-full journey we are all on. One is NOT \"superior\" to another.

What I notice is a tendency for most people (scanners and divers) to discount their ideas before they are even expressed. This denies the world (all of us) a chance for a much richer world. I like Barbara's idea of each person having a \"duty\" to develop their gifts. As she says, \"You owe it to the rest of us.\"

As for the \"table\" metaphor, here's one I like ...

This guy was given a chance to see heaven and hell.

First he went to hell where there were starving, emaciated people. They were sitting at a table piled high with scrumptious, delicious food. They all had six foot forks tied to their arms and try as they might they just could not get the food to their mouths. They were miserable.

Next he was shown heaven. They all had the six foot forks tied to their arms, just like hell, and sat at a table piled high with food. But they were well fed and happy. You see they were not trying to feed themselves but rather were feeding the person opposite them at the table.
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Postby forestgirl » Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:42 am

Hi Alan,

Sorry that I misunderstood your meaning. I think maybe I was just in a contrary mood that day.

I completely agree with you that people are too quick to discount their own ideas. I do it myself all of the time. Even with the anonymity that comes with participating in forums such as this, I still find myself somewhat timid about pronouncing my most deeply cherished ideas. I have often wondered why I do this, and why people in general do this. Some possibilities:

1) As members of a large, complex, and highly specialized society, we have become accustomed to others making decisions for us. People get years of education and/or experience under their belts to do very specific tasks. It is easy, then, to assume that unless an idea falls within our narrow range of \"expertise\", there is someone more qualified than us to comment on it. We readily transfer the responsibility to unknown \"experts\".

2) We tend to view our lives as commonplace and unexceptional. We may view a given person as leading an interesting or exceptional life, but that person probably just sees themselves as a normal person within the context of their own life, and the lives of their closest circle. To them, they see all of the mundane aspects of their day-to-day lives, not just the highlight reel stuff. Given that view, we would have a tendency to think of our ideas as commonplace too. If I could come up with this idea, anyone could, therefore someone probably has.

3) Some people have self-confidence issues. If they come up with an idea, even if they are sure they are right, there will always be that nagging doubt...what if I'm wrong about this? If I take this thing, shine it up and put it out there for the world to see, can I stand the laughter if it turns out to be fool's gold? It is safer to keep it on my shelf and admire its glitter rather than put it before the world's scrutiny and risk learning it is valueless.

4) Putting an idea out into the world in a manner that it can be utilized usually requires a great deal of effort. A person first needs to take ownership of the idea, and shepherd it to a place where people can not just see it, but understand it. Not everyone is willing or able to do this. They must feel a strong sense of mission to move ahead through this process. Most people couldn't be bothered, and will just keep their ideas to themselves, using them in a manner that works for them.

5) Many people don't understand the power of an idea. How is it that a few tiny electrochemical reactions in someone's brain can change the world? It is remarkable, really. The power of an idea, once it begins to spread, is unstoppable and irreversible. It becomes part of our reality and our evolution. If people really grasped what can result from their ideas, even just from a change in paradigm or perspective, would they be so quick to dismiss them? Then again, maybe that would just scare them into silence, because that is a lot of responsibility.

I dunno. A few thoughts. Interesting topic.
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Postby flygirl » Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:31 pm

Alan, those forward slashes look an awful lot like the comment habits of a c/c++ programmer :lol: :wink:
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Postby Colleen » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:17 pm

I must be lucky. I am surrounded by other scanners, both friends and family. Perhaps it's partly being a nurse, many of my colleagues became nurses because they needed some way to work part-time due to other needs or obligations. Also my family is all scanners......dinner conversations can be very interesting. The non-scanners I deal with tend to be boss types. So, I tend to just skim over my many \"other\" interests from work and go on with my life.
Life is too short to take seriously.
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