The Gap Between Intentions and Effects

Sallyann Roth

Family Therapist, Trainer, and Co-Founder of the Public Conversations Project in Watertown, Massachusetts

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

Everything we do, whether we are asking a question, or designing a conversational structure, we are always planning. We want it to have certain effects. But the effects that we have and the intentions that we have are never going to be exactly aligned. So another piece that we try to get to in the training is to create a sense of mindfulness about the gap between intentions and effects.

... A responsible facilitator is always mindful of the gap and always trying to reduce it and doesn't feel awful when there is a gap. It's not that you've done something wrong mostly, it's that you need to step back and get reconnected to try again. It becomes a learning experience, as opposed to a failure experience.