Tag Archives: accomplishment


By Jim Selman | Bio

One of the aphorisms we were given at the end of the est training in the 1970s was the statement, “Understanding is the booby prize.” It has taken me most of my life to really appreciate and mostly live day-to-day with this trueism. In our culture, understanding is assumed to be more or less synonymous with ‘knowledge’. It’s the point to most communication and a prerequisite for most commitment.

If I have acquired any wisdom over the past six decades, it is this: the purpose of learning is action and understanding is a by-product of accomplishment (not a prerequisite). When I speak to groups of people, it usually takes me a few hours for them to ‘get’ that I am not communicating so they understand me, but communicating in a way that I hope will provide them with some new possibility or opening for action. As a coach, I am very clear that

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