I’d never heard of the rock/water logics, so my colleague nutshelled it for me. (PS: This is the kind of stuff I eat up. I LOVE Rubik’s cubing the human mind.) In case you’re like me and you’ve never heard of this philosophy, let me try and nutshell. And if you are familiar with it, I’d love to hear your take.
The idea of rock and water logic was introduced by a guy named Edward de Bono, a respected “great thinker”. This is his official website (I’d say the great thinker could use a great designer, but I digress), and this is a good summary of his thesis. The way my colleague described it, neither logic was better than the other, they just are. You are either a strongly confident “rock”, generally unmoving, sure and certain in the one best choice. Water logic is flowing, adaptable, conforms to its environment. Both logics have their place in our lives. On a team, it’s good to have the conviction of the rock and the flexibility of the water.
(If you read Edward de Bono’s work, he actually says that rock logic is “traditional” thinking. He definitely urges people to think outside the rock, to embrace “lateral thinking”. Too bad my whole epiphany catapulted off the notion that all my relationship problems could be traced to this basic but fundamental difference and that I just had to accept it.)
I can say with utter conviction that I am a water logic person. It can be a wonderful quality, sure. It’s great to believe there are a myriad of solutions to every problem, not just one (or worse, none). BUT I can also say that my adaptability makes me endlessly accommodating—a trait that can bite me in the butt when it comes to any kind of teamwork. I can see the merit of my own choices with utter clarity, but I can also see the merit of EVERY ONE OF YOURS. I’ve been accused of being a pushover more than once, but really, it’s because it ALL SEEMS POSSIBLE.
Also, I’ve butted heads with more than a few rock-logicians in my time. Oh, how they stand firm in their resolve, a resounding “no” to every one of my suggestions. It can be frustrating. It can be exhausting to always, always have to flow around them.
So it was with some relief that I realized we were two logics with the same goal—to get the job done, be it an actual job or an emotional conundrum, in the best possible way. We just have two very different approaches. Both ways do have merit. I’ve had to learn to adopt a bit of rock logic, to decide what I really really believe in so I can defend my ideas when they need defending.
Sometimes the water has to collect in a pool against that rock, and sometimes the rock has to let itself disengage and be carried with the flow.
I know I am, but what are you???
Deb: Well, Barb, I think you know what I am. I am water logic too. And frankly I think it is very unusual for two water logics to accomplish anything as a team. But we do, don’t we, Barb?
I may have been a bit of a rock when I was younger, a stone if you will. But over the years I yielded to the flow, which I think is my true path.
When Barb and I work we are all about the compromise. And I mean ALL ABOUT THE COMPROMISE. Does it always serve the project? I don’t know. Does it always serve our joy in doing the project? OH YEAH! So we flow and we flow and we love every minute of it.
So we … Go with the Flow––You KNEW I had to say it!