SESSION 7 - Mar 19, 2018

I. CORE preparation MATERIALS

1. The Ladder of Inference by Chris Argyris is a framework that enables us to see how our assumptions, biases, preferences, past experiences all can impact how we form opinions and beliefs which then cause to take action in certain ways.

By noticing our automatic 'runs' up the ladder we can begin to expand our capacity to think smarter, by first noticing big assumptions or preferences, and then challenging ourselves to consider what we may be missing by allowing them to influence our opinions and beliefs without examination.

A learning PDF of the slides from our Session 7 videocall can be downloaded HERE

A practical 3-page guide to the Ladder of Inference can be downloaded HERE

A Ted Ed video on the Ladder of Inference can be seen on our Women Agents of Change Vimeo channel.



Mar 19, 2018 9am US Pacific Videocall - A focus on The Ladder of Inference (a way of looking at the system of our habitual thinking) by Chris Argyris

Mar 19, 2018 6pm US Pacific Videocall - A focus on The Ladder of Inference  (a way of looking at the system of our habitual thinking) by Chris Argyris



Tiny Habits tip for integrating the Ladder of Inference in your everyday.

If you want to practice noticing and challenging your own assumptions, draw a little ladder on a post it and place it in the inside of your laptop or on the cover page of your notebook. Every day when you go to turn on your computer or reach for your notebook, the simple visual cue will remind you that you are practicing noticing your own assumptions so that you can think more expansively and learn to challenge your own outdated assumptions.

When working on noticing assumptions, notice moments when you are 'surprised' by something. That is often a signal that something you are witnessing or hearing or seeing does not align with a previously held assumption (whether conscious or unconscious). In those moments of 'wow!' or 'huh!' you are on the verge of learning something quite new and useful, but your brain and your inner critic/risk manager may be activated as well as you may be at risk from deviating from the status quo. It is highly likely in those moments of sparked awareness that the next thing you do is forget or gloss over the surprise. That is your inner critic or risk manager trying to keep you safe from the new insight and what it may entail. So in those moments, make a note of the wow or huh, and revisit it later to reflect on its implications, what you may want to do to learn more, how you might want to shape a small practice to weather away at the previous outdated assumption you were holding, consider how it shows up in other ways, etc. Reflect, notice, reflect, notice, so that you can improve your future automatic thinking.

Some possible Assumption challenging photos below. Add your own favorite ones on our Women Agents of Change Facebook Discussion group in the next couple of weeks.


Hedy Lamarr - inventor of the technology that enabled WiFi,. And also movie start of the 30s/40s.








Librarians - in the 30s librarians in the US in areas where the roads were inaccessible formed librarian on horseback groups to make books available to children and households in the countryside










artemisia gentilischi.jpg








A renaissance painting from a master painter: Artemisia Gentileschi. One of the few women painters of the period who was allowed to follow her painting passion and whose work is celebrated and has survived.





And when you hear the moniker composer or classical music composer or opera composer who do you picture? Here is an article from the Smithsonian on some women composers whose names should be as readily accessible as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. And yet......







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