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The Three Laws of Performance | 表現的三個法則

I'd like to share key takeaways from the book I recently enjoyed called "The Three Laws of Performance" by Steve Zaffron and David Logan who offer an answer to: How can conversations enable organizations & leaders to rewrite the future?

Law 1: How People Perform Correlates to How Situations Occur To Them.

A person's experience includes one's view of the past (why things are the way they are) & the future (where things are going).Facilitators cultivate awareness in participants about their own subjectivity through open-ended questions that invite insight in to how we interpret situations.  Continue inquiring & reflecting until the actions of the "other" are understood to bereasonable from the actor's point of view. 

Law 2: How a Situation Occurs Arises in Language. 

"Language" includes spoken & written communication, body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, images, music, appearance and any actions with symbolic intent.  The unsaid is the most important part of language.  But when unsaid & communicated without awareness, language becomes linguistic clutter, such as: assumptions, expectations, disappointments, resentments, regrets, interpretations, significance and issues that feel dangerous.

The key to performance is not pushing new conversations about strategy or reorganization into an already cluttered space. Articulating the unsaid - that's when space begins to open up.  

Recognizing the "unsaid" begins with oneself: 

  1. Be aware of the talking voice inside your head.  Its loop-track takes up much of your awareness. 
  2. Be aware of your own "rackets":

A complaint that has persisted for some time; A pattern of behavior that goes  along with the complaint; A payoff for having the complaint persist; A cost for  this behavior. 

The payoff & cost are evident in the realm of unsaid & unaware.  Name the racket & recognize that how a situation occurs to a person is exactly what holds him/her back from breakthrough performance.   When you name the unsaid, at first the situation sounds absurd; then you naturally think of ways to clear it out.  The learning here is: name what is unsaid and deal with it.

Law 3: Future-based Language Transforms How Situations Occur to People.

People live into the future they perceive coming at them.  This "default future" is made up of one's expectations, fears, hopes, and predictions, all of which are based on past experiences.

Future-based (generative) language creates a future to replace the default.  Recognize that facts do not constrain people, language does.  Name the default future and ask, “do we really want this as our future?”  Complete unresolved issues from the past.  Completing means moving it from the “default future” in to the past so the issue no longer drives one’s actions nor continues to color how situations occur to a person.  Then, envision with others what future would inspire action for everyone.  Address the concerns of everyone involved, and be real in the moment of speaking.  When you have a shared vision people will naturally self-organize to realize it.

Leadership that arises from the Three Laws of Performance has the power to rewrite the future of an organization.  The authors call these perspectives "leadership corollaries".

Leadership Corollary 1: Leaders have a say, and give others a say, in how situations occur.

Leaders who empower others to rewrite & realize futures can transform any situation, no matter how seemingly impossible.   Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can I interact with others so that situations occur more empowering to them?
  • What processes, dialogues, or meetings can I arrange so that people feel like co-authors of a new future, not merely recipients of a default future? 

Leadership Corollary 2:  Leaders master the conversational environment 

What makes the most difficult situations become malleable are the conversations that exist, or can exist, in an organization.  For most organizations, the network of conversation is noisy, conflicted and filled with chatter describing a default future.  This conversational environment makes new & different futures difficult to imagine.  Two elements needed for a conversational environment to achieve breakthrough performance are:

  • an ongoing, company-wide commitment to resolving incompletions;  
  • implanting integrity. Integrity creates a condition of workability. (Without it, effectiveness is diminished and displaced by broken promises and a lack of accountability.) 

Leadership Corollary 3:  Leaders listen for the future of their organization

  Leaders create conversations composed of future-based language.  These conversations invent futures for the organization that previously did not exist.  However, leaders do not rewrite the future by themselves.  THey create the space and provide the “listening” for that future.  

Conclusion: Creating a Self-Led Organization

Honoring one’s word (integrity) creates complete social and working relationships which provides an actionable pathway to earning the trust of others.  A person who acts in this way is "Self-led."  Self, with a capital “S”, represents a full integration of all parts of a person; it arises in language and through conversations. 

A Self-led organization is created by stakeholders' participation in the organization’s conversational ecology.  This network of conversations enable organizations to continually rewrite the future and by doing so are able to adapt to the inevitable oscillations of business and life!  Through conversation, the organization’s Self emerges - this is the collective essence of how stakeholders view a future that inspires and fulfills their concerns.  

The conversational environment needs to include integrity & future-based communication in order for new futures to emerge.  Once leaders enable stakeholders' alignment along declarations about the new future of the company, managers can then build systems, processes, policies and procedures to turn the declarations into reality. 



我想要分享我最近讀的書『表現的三個法則』的重點。作者Steve Zaffron and David Logan, 對『對話如何協助組織與領導者重新撰寫未來?』這個議題提供他們的見解。

法則(一): 人們的表現與他們如何認知事情的演變有關

一個人的經驗,包括他對過去的看法(事情為什麼會這樣)以及將來(事情會如何發展)。引導者蘊育參與者的主觀覺察力,問他們開放式的問題 邀請他們對發生情況提供有洞見的詮釋。引導者應當不斷持續地探詢與反思直到從個人的角度能夠理解別人的行為。


法則(二): 語言可以影響事情的演變

語言包括溝通上的口語、文字、肢體語言、面部表情、語調、形象、 音樂 、外表以及任何帶有象徵性企圖的行為。沒有說出來通常是最重要的。沒有被說出來而且欠缺察覺的溝通時,語言反而成了文字垃圾,包括假設、期待、失望、遺憾、 後悔、詮釋、象徵性以及感到危險的議題。表現的關鍵不在於推動與策略有關的新的對話或在擁擠的空間重新搬動。說出未說的話─空間因此而打開。


(1) 要留意在你腦海中的聲音。那個聲音不斷播放佔據你大部分的覺察力。

(2) 要留意你自己的“喧擾”:存在已久的抱怨、隨著抱怨而來的行為模式、抱怨繼續存在所帶來的好處、為這個行為付出的代價。



人們活在他們所認知看到的未來。這個『自動化未來』由個人的期待、 恐懼、希望與預測所構成;這些都與個人過去經驗有關。








  1. 對於解決未處理完的議題有持續地、全面性的承諾。
  2. 在組織內植入誠信風氣。

誠信風氣創造一種可行的環境。(缺乏誠信,工作效率降低,取而代之的是不信守諾言、缺乏責信) 領導力衍生原則三: 領導者為尋找組織的未來而傾聽所有的創生性語言依賴語言行為就像是以未來為主的語言宣言。







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