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Below the Surface

There are many cases in life and in people where the most interesting, scary, revealing, important or surprising elements lie beneath the surface.

Below the Surface My scientific client, Pratt & Whitney, makers of engines for aircraft and numerous other purposes, often uses diagrams and charts to explain concepts. And I'm not talking about diagrams of equipment; I mean conceptual diagrams. One of their standard diagrams is called an “Iceberg Chart.” The meaning of this may be apparent, that much of what is important in a project, approach or undertaking lies beneath the surface. And the information and needs that are below the visible surface must be taken into account for a full, productive, even safe picture and a successful outcome.

Like many business tools, the point may seem simple and obvious but the real meaning is deep and useful. I have recently been confronted anew with the startlingly obvious and important fact that much of what is important about people, both good and bad, lies hidden beneath the surface. If we don't pay attention to our own interiors and to those of others, we are walking through a world that is only a small percentage of what is actually there. Not to mention, we will be constantly confused because the real action and motivation lies beneath. So take a dive with me and uncover some real juicy stuff. 


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