Communication, whether chatting or in written form, can use a helping hand from nursing diagnostic reasoning. The steps help you to talk with others in a helpful, responsible manner— to begin with, the words we use with each other need to have agreed-upon meaning. Not to be assumed, check with each other that you understood what the other person meant to say. When each person agrees about a topic, examine the situation.
Follow-through includes checking what each other are intending. In other words, the five nursing process steps of assessment, diagnosis, outcomes or planning, implementation, and finally, evaluation, restart the feedback loop of communication and understanding.
The following gets into the details with helpful links attached.
Communication Step One: Assessment
Nurses Doenges and Moorehouse enhance diagnostic reasoning in nursing. For example, internationally, nurses’ standardized medical terms in a communication feedback loop provide efficient, rapid diagnostics. In short, this is the step-one assessment phase in the nursing process – nurses use their minds and skills to render the best possible outcomes.
Consequently, nurses deal with objective observation and decision-making, the need for a reference standard, and evaluation of the system over a range of clinical situations or patient populations. For example, in the community, professionals can use standard ‘best-practices’ criteria to perform intake reports for each reported assault or sexualized assault.
Intuition, akin to the creative mind, is the entry point into diagnostic reasoning. For example, Heuer and Pherson indicate diagnostic reasoning is a structured analytical technique, a pre-designed template to assist the practitioner in assessing a situation. Intuition is the first cognitive step in problem-solving. Similarly to nursing diagnostics, doctors Rajkomar and Dhaliwal respond well to their intuition but find the diagnostic reasoning process, and perhaps the software involved, time-consuming. That is to say; their intuition is faster than the labour-intensive diagnostic reasoning software in a race-the-clock practice. However, they acknowledge that the software increases accuracy in diagnosis for ultimate patient safety. Intuition is the starting point with the diagnostic software as the aid. In short, thoughtful communication combines with lifelong learning, which enhances overall intuition.
Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s genius is an example of a lapse of reasoning and failed intuition, or is it? His despair over the harm industrialization was committing against the natural environment drove him to send bombs to a few powerless academics to get his message out. Mercier and Sperber’s opinion was that Kaczynski’s background knowledge and expectations were flawed. He targeted ‘powerless’ academics instead of more powerful ones. That thought is an assumption since he did succeed at getting his message out: we do know mathematics prodigy and professor Kaczynski and his message concerning the effects of industrial society on the environment. Unfortunately, his method became the message. Kaczynski’s intuition motivated him, but his communication tool for planning and implementation was an utter failure. Ultimately, each aspect requires the other for sound planning outcomes.
Communities consist of individuals. It sounds obvious, but when we make plans to set things right, or better, within the community motivation wheel, individuals can become just cogs in that wheel. In other words, neglected needs in the carefully made plan can feel like a monkey wrench into the strategies the planners treat like one’s personal newborn baby. The cautionary tale is to have a design that is inclusive and not based on imagination.
Many of our community problems end up in court. Therefore, if this avenue cannot be avoided, it is wise to consider the legal language. If a person gives testimony that contradicts itself, the judge and jury could imagine the declaration as a conjunction fallacy in which both statements cannot be equally valid. They cannot conclude beyond a reasonable doubt. So too, any information we need to act on needs to be carefully teased out for clarity and honesty. What is the context of the situation? What are the necessary conditions to ‘draw the conclusion‘? For more insights on handling the legal quagmire, and what to say when, where, and how, see Guiding Star’s UnHoly Orders Series.
Reasons and rationales are for social consumption, constructed under bits of psychological insight. We interpret and explain thoughts and past actions with implicit or implied reasoning.
Step Two: Communication Assessment
Secondly, good sense and sound judgement help communication. Logic does not tell us how we reason or how to reason. A deduction is a part of how we naturally process information in a top-down manner. Inductive reasoning happens when you think of different connecting observations and reach a general conclusion from personal experience.
Mercier and Sperber suggest scientists rotate conflicting theories to achieve a higher level of coming together. Keep an open mind by examining opinions to determine if they are justified. Sound rational reasoning does not guarantee a coming together of ideas since an argument is a debating tool with little mutual edification. We want our reasons to justify us before other people. When we learn in a respectful discussion of different viewpoints, we learn to appreciate each other with more in-depth insight.
Ask “What if?” to what seems to be unthinkable. Test a notion regarding the future by imagining a believable alternative future and seeking alternatives to inflated confidence in one’s plans and decisions. Descent, as such, is not the enemy. It helps you to grow in a structured self-critique. The opposing view gets you out of your comfort zone. Think beyond your habitual routine way of doing things.
Anticipate other people’s reactions: review mutual expectations, discuss and negotiate in detail. Arrange ongoing communications. Is the basis of your justification accurate? Opportunity to explain and justify yourself affect how people assess your thinking and actions, and how they speak of you.
Lawyers strategically plan while weighing heavily on the my-side bias. The truth gets trampled in the minutia of competing facts. My-side bias divides the pros and cons. It avoids the difficulty of not finding anything wrong with one’s position while delivering rhetorical pronouncements. Thus, a civil court may be the alternative answer to criminal court for sexualized harassment, provided the sentence includes proven treatment along with significant punitive measures for the offender. So too, we must check our assumptions at the door when we seek to help one another.
The Legal System
Arguments of duty and obligation have a Greek origin. They are formulaic, rules-based, necessary, imperative, and absolutist. Specific ideas are seen as normative or absolute, beyond which there can be no further argument. It is more of judging or punishing rather than a healing model. The nursing diagnostic models see past this forced dichotomy.
Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative of morality transforms principles into an end in itself and not a means to something else. Both the right to life and the right to choose in the abortion debate make just such claims of deontological statements. The stance that privately motivated killing is wrong but killing in war can be justified, is also deontological reasoning.
A belief just because we want it to be real treats morality as a means to something else. Thomas Hobbes suggested a modified self-interest, which pragmatically takes the interests of others into account. Cooperate. The good of the group is paramount over the well-being of the individual. Good is a collective concept. Education, poverty mitigation, addiction and trauma therapy as well as healing while remaining in the community with guardians and managers. Straight jail or prison time becomes a revolving door of incarceration, more to revenge and lacks both insight and the ability to change the troubled person’s path.
Open-ended and clarifying questions help the person interviewed to open up and trust you. Demands create a competition for energy and open the way for childhood dramas to take over. Yes/no answers from closed questions assumes a direction of thought, attitude, and actions. It neglects objectivity.
Quiet Your Mind
Mindful meditation provides an open mind, strengthening our awareness.
Be willing to change to succeed together. Respectful reasoning, anticipation, critical thinking, consequences, and a clear mind will help you to make a useful assessment or diagnosis. From here, you move into self-care and in community care.
Step Three: Plan for Specific Outcomes
Similar to a nursing care plan, community action plans set measurable and achievable short and long-range goals in one’s personal, business, and community life. Usually, the standard business model of start dates for activities and completion dates are in the project planning stage for each item.
Blocks to Successful Outcomes
Stunted thinking and difficulty building effective plans could be the result of a trapped personal life, leaving the person with woolly thinking. Since it siphons your energy, you cannot get your best efforts out of your planned project. All too common, the issue is a relationship addiction.
Growth stops when you or someone you know is addicted to another person. Energy and creativity are drained by the manipulations. Control and handling someone is a sign of emptiness within the offender. The person who “acts out” is needing an intervention. Have conversations with others with one-on-one attention. Speak particularly with children. As a result, they will develop self-confidence and assurance. Habit-forming actions respond to constancy and baby steps. Above all, include the offenders, targeted, and those who are within reach of the drama. Addiction, whether psychological or chemical, demand energy from the environment. Handlers take care of the person and do not fall back into control dramas. Helpers among family, friends and neighbours teach the afflicted how to manage day by day and minute by minute. Be a listening ear. To learn more, see our UnHoly Orders book series.
Longing and Impulse
Unchecked restlessness is like an unbridled animal. Desires are the source of dread, of not obtaining, of not indulging. Unchecked, drives of passions and desires do us harm. Lost longings create grief and resentment. The belief that one’s wishes will bring happiness is the great deception. You can manage your impulses. Irritations trigger anger and hatred. Claim compassionate endurance for yourself, or is pride and prejudice versus modesty and humility merely illusions?
Avoid my-side biases (heuristics), which are wedded to an over-inflated belief in one’s intuition. You may be correct or partially correct. It is best to adapt than to identify with error and make mistakes because that embraced error becomes part of your life journey. How is your mental mindset? Do you have an inquiring and active mind? It makes life interesting. A librarian may help you find the books you need. Be amazed at what you didn’t know! You gain ways to express yourself that you didn’t have before, whether the readings confirm or deny your initial assumptions. It can be a poor substitute for working in a diverse group for answers, but digging in on expert writings does a person well and enhances communication skills with more precise insights.
Do you understand other cultures and how society interprets events? We are at risk of neither acknowledging nor appreciating their contribution to the mosaic of life. Clear thinking is preferable to muddled thoughts. It is a laudable goal to seek qualitative reasoning in collaboration with people from various walks of life and multiple places.
Write It Out
Get those jumbled thoughts out on paper for a communication exercise. Is there a start and finish to this line of reasoning? With each part of the issue, rank it and see how it interrelates or links to other aspects of the matter at hand. In cooking, one would need a shopping list. Review the protocols for handling raw meat, and for washing your food under the tap after buying it. The various aspects of the task grow as one proceeds with food preparation and the cooking process. How do you organize to have all the dishes ready for the table at the same time? This example gives a hint of how complex an issue can be.
Examine an opinion or attitude by studying each part one at a time. For example, the sulphur attached to the scent molecules helps make the scents stronger to our olfactory membranes. Often our emotional biases mix up our observations such as smell versus taste. Observe faulty leaps of judgement to slow down a little and think about what is triggering your reactions. For example, some people prepare onions in water to avoid tearing. They can then enjoy the onion stress-free. So too, with communication. Simple solutions are possible!
Is your opinion a random idea or a particular piece of communication? What is its relevance? Critical thinking puts you on a surer footing in the days and years to come. What is the real situation or question? Are pieces of information designed to misdirect you? Check your facts. Could fear be the engine for misinformation, or is there another purpose? What is the core issue?
Have you checked on others who do not hold your view? What did you learn? Write it out while looking closely at the points that were different from yours. What are the differences? Why?
Step Four: Communicate
Whether you are a neighbour, professional, or relative, you remain in the learning and observing stage even as you communicate. Self-care is essential. Your best self can help others to be their best selves. For example, one’s mental model can get in the way of seeing where your plan has gaping gaps, no matter how many times you exercise the feedback loop process. As a result, we miss positive possibilities not yet dreamt of.
In particular, experts work long and hard developing their mental models (mindset) to know so much about an issue or topic. My-side blindness of a mentality or a change in circumstances affects the plan and its result. The future (and the present!) is not stagnant, a rewind of the past.
Step Five: Evaluate the Result of the Plan
Practice communication from different angles. What we have experienced in the past helps shape our intuition. Challenge the usual attitudes. As the saying goes, we cannot see the forest for the trees. A forest has many dwellers, six-legged, four-legged, two-legged, wings, no wings, streams and so on. We learn much more when we become acquainted with their perspective and that of others. What have we missed? To agree just to be agreeable fails to explore the unexplored. Make steps to gain new ideas. Get enough sleep, for dream sleep helps to think things through.
Dare to live the dream. Let your thoughts flow. Classifying the possible, probable, likely or unlikely allows you to spot what you may have overlooked, consequently to ruminate over, sleep on and be able to look at an issue with a fresher perspective. What new resources can you try?
Redefine the Problem
To become wise, redefine the problem. The brain can handle it. So can your mind. You can get out of your mental ruts and habits. It is a choice to speak well and to understand and to be understood.
Choose to see the situation from a different angle. Reframe the question, task or problem to wake up different parts of the brain. New insight dawns as you bring to light the suppressed view. Work with others to gain a broader understanding and a stronger intuition. Other people’s insights teach us more about life.
Imagine you are in the future. You discover your ideas were wrong after all! Who knew?
Two years before COVID-19 hit, did you plan for it? What did you assume about the future?
We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know
Guiding Star Publications Incorporated provides you with books that help you to understand your world. They are a helping hand and a light to guide the way. What might have been partly responsible for a problem that you did not consider before? Uncertainty about what may happen or what you thought was right is a measure of wisdom. Do you want to be relied on as the answer person? Consequently, your exposure to other experiences, not your own, likely falls short. You might fear revenge if you do not appear confident. Excellent communication depends on the strength of true humility and well-tended intuition. Guiding Star Publications is here to light your way! It is only a click away.
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