Fifty Patterns for Making Sense


The Patterns



To use these patterns, study the discussion sections for each pattern either by selecting one of them below or paging through all of the patterns.  You can also move to the section on using the patterns.  It may help to get the full picture by reading the summary statement of the patterns.



1.  Situational ecology

2.  Start locally

3.  Learn by going

4.  Lateral messages

5.  Convergent agendas

6.  Use an intermediary

7.  Distribute ownership

8.  Distribute tasks

9.  Chain and network, not hub and wheel

10.  Move around

11.  Like to like

12.  Acknowledge power

13.  Use a statement

14.  Give information

15.  Take at face value

16.  Tit for tat

17.  Assume cooperation

18.  Optimize goals

19.  Start cold, warm up

20.  Comfortable moments

21.  Asynchrony over synchrony

22.  Flextime

23.  Small differences

24.  Other's autonomy

25.  Personal space


26.  Privatize

27.  Two-way communication

28.  Oblique position

29.  Equal height

30.  Neutral turf

31.  Speak last

32.  Pause

33.  Wait

34.  Slow down

35.  Hedge

36.  Slow answers

37.  Find syncope

38.  Assume indirectness

39.  Human identity

40.  Say elm, not tree

41.  Listen to accents

42.  Be cranky

43.  Be vulnerable

44.  Creative wandering

45.  Tell stories

46.  Joke

47.  Exercise

48.  Watch your diet

49.  Cultivate your own humanity

50.  Enjoy the humanity of others


There are 50 patterns for responsive communication.  We have not separated them into categorires because there are so many connections among them.  But there is still a certain amount of order in this list.  The first patterns given are more general and apply to groupsor organizational structures.  The last patterns apply to personal behavior.  Most of the patterns fall in the middle and  apply to interpersonal behavior. If your concern is with the larger picture, you'd do best to look first at the earlier patterns on the list.  If your concern is with personal development, go first to the patterns nearer the end of the list.





learn responsive communication

50 patterns for making sense

using the patterns

research base