welcome
cartLogin

Is Dominance a Difference that Makes a Difference?

December 13, 2008

I’m curious these days about dominance, its role in human systems, and its function in complex adaptation.

In an intervention today, I was working with a male supervisor of an all-female team. As I watched them interact in a formal, conflict resolution conversation, I became painfully aware of his unconscious—and incredibly powerful—dominant behaviors. I watched the women react and heard them give feedback about everything except those specific signals of power and control.

I then realized that I may do the same. Sometimes I unintentionally send signals to claim or maintain my position. Sometimes I react unconsciously to the signals sent by others. Of course there are other times where I consciously and/or intentionally choose a dominant or subservient stance, but I only worry about those when I don’t do it well.

The situation that really challenges me is the one in which I participate in patterns of which I am not aware. Perhaps that is what it means to be part of a dominant culture, but what function does such an asymmetry serve in the complex adaptation, self-organizing, emergent process of social structuration? Is it necessary, or is it an historical artifact that we can and should abolish for the survival of the human race?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.
ABOUT US

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.

© COPYRIGHT 2022. 

Social Links: The Cynefin Company
Social Links: The Cynefin Centre
< Prev

So, what about accountability?

- No Comments

Recently many of my conversations have focused on accountability. Sometimes the context is management of ...

More posts

Next >

Until We Meet Again

- No Comments

This guest blog has been a great example of self-organizing process for me. At least ...

More posts

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram