Making Sense

It happens under two conditions that I have found common every time: the first is that these are relatively unimportant meetings, meetings with third- or fourth-level figures, to whom I present the services of my company, with the aim of obtaining the necessary support to meet higher-level managers.

It never happened when the meeting was attended by leading figures, senior executives and CEOs.

Making presentations of services is for me an extremely easy and pleasant task, I started as soon as I graduated, I joined a prestigious consulting company, and there they massacred us making us work fourteen, sixteen hours a day, under enormous pressure and in a completely ruthless way.

For years I have been making presentations, normally, every week, I make a dozen, I know the script perfectly, arguments, objections, counter-objections, pauses, no uncertainty or doubt possible, and so I can devote all my attention to interaction with people.

I am considered excellent and impeccable, even if I know the subject by heart, every time I review it before entering the scene, I adjust it so that it adapts as much as possible to those in front of me ... my partner teases me a little, tells me hun, enough for today, isn't it? you're good, you know everything, what do you care about? Now let's enjoy the movie...

This is of great help to me, otherwise I would always be on the ball, and I would not be able to enjoy life, which is the purpose of the whole game, and she is a treasure ... very different from me, very creative, free and independent.

Second condition: with me is my boss, Frank. When it is not there, everything goes smoothly, but everything is smooth. Instead when he is present at these low-level meetings the blockade comes.

For a while he didn't notice it, I masked it with a cough, with a sip of water, a few seconds ... then it became more apparent, and of course we talked about it thoroughly.

Actually, instead of Frank I could probably have been there, he is a couple of years older than me, and I know the job and I do it better than him ... but for my life balance, when the possibility of applying for that position opened up, I did not push.

I do not say that if I had pressured I would necessarily have obtained the assignment, maybe not, but I decided not to push: I have been in that company for less than two years, already the work as it is committed to me a lot, I was getting excellent results and strong rewards, I should have taken responsibility for the work of the team (which I have already done in the past in other companies),  but I didn't feel ready for the change.

They were very hard years, extremely challenging, very little time for the family, for the girlfriend, for me, and even Virginia, my girlfriend, agreed not to increase the pressure ... we are about to get married, and this project also requires time and energy, there are many things to do and prepare.

I respect Frank very much, we are very different, and in excellent relationships... only that it seems to me lost time and wasted effort, we go around in two, like two policemen, when I am enough and leftover ... and then I seem to go back, I certainly do not need a controller, although I know that he is obliged to accompany me in some meetings regularly, it is one of the objectives that have been assigned to all the bosses of his level, they must accompany sales managers to a certain number of meetings every month.

I know, but I admit I'm still a little annoyed, nothing personal, it's just the thing itself.


This fragment of narration is largely part of the first opening session, some details emerge in the second, we have more than enough to start the code hunt.

Not that they are all clear to me, even if I am an expert on the subject, I need "pieces" to work on, time to let them emerge and time to connect them: but even with these few elements it is possible for me to glimpse the game of some codes, some common to all human beings, others, so to speak personalized.

That I can see them is certainly a good thing, but the point is that it is absolutely useless for me to see them, it is my client who must be able to identify them and "see" them as guides of his current action.

That I know what steps must be taken, presumably, to achieve a change, is, again, a good thing, but also totally useless: it is my client who must take those steps in order to modify the codes (if it is possible) that today he uses to govern his interaction with the environments with which he has to deal.

I can't do it for him, it's not enough for him to list them and describe the codes, and describe the steps to take... so, what do you do?

John O. is in front of me, showing his willingness (provisional, and with reservations) to engage in a job with me, in some way, that he still does not know, and that he probably imagines as a presentation of what happens to him and wait for instructions from the expert.

Does it work like this? Not quite.

It is clear to me that we will get the desired result, indeed, the desired results, as it will be discovered in short, to the extent that my client will be able to generate a new code, for him, able to improve the integration of the activation of the codes he already has.

Things are as they are, how we are dealing with it is another pair of sleeves: the codes are the guides of how we are dealing with it, some codes, perhaps well experienced, lead us to get what we need and the related pleasure (inevitable signaling of our profitable system), others may fail,  we do not get what we need and we get the related displeasure (inevitable signaling of our precious nociceptive system).

In short, it went well, we are happy (joy, enthusiasm, contentment, cheerfulness, pride, very pleasant), it did not go well, damn (disappointment, regret, sadness, bitterness, frustration, anger ... unpleasant things to try)!

The first goal we have is to make sense of what seems not to have it at all, getting the feedback of a new narrative of what affects my client, replace the "suddenly and for no reason I find myself without word and without thought" with something better.

Giving meaning, already... exactly what does it mean to make sense?

In the literature the trend of Sense Making is known, but it is useless here: for us systemics, sense making and making sense have a very precise meaning, it means identifying through which connections what we observe is intimately connected to, and rooted in, our survival.

It means being able to read with the greatest possible precision how the behavior we observe, the result of the continuous elaboration that our systems, the systems of which we are constituted, make codes that guide our every smallest act, each and every our smallest action, is aimed at obtaining for us what helps and supports our survival.

Accepting right now that for us, the term survival can really include everything, constitute itself as a goal that imperiously imposes itself by superordinating every aspect of our lives, from the most brutally "physical", from the search for food and water, to the most (only apparently) frivolous and ephemeral, the purchase of the latest model of Jimmy Choo.

The "theorem" of which we want to construct the proof is: the block of thought and speech of John O. during the execution of the presentation task is a complex act aimed at the survival of John O.

We insist very much on this point, and on the related that-what-is-not:it is NOT a malfunction, it is NOT a pathology, it is NOT a mistake, it is the best answer that John O. , the systems that make up John O. have identified, among all those possible to him, to the cogent need to survive.

That this answer may seem to us to be a failure is little or not at all relevant, compared to the question, for us absolutely primary, of the "substance" of which that answer is constituted: and it is precisely by relying on the knowledge of the substance of which the answer is constituted, of John O. and of every living being, that we can continue, in the quasi-certainty (full certainty we obtain only later,  ex-post) that we will find the evidence that allows us to affirm that what may now seem to us to be bankrupt, in truth it is not at all.


First task is code hunting, identifying as best we can which codes have come into play, and my function is more or less that of a hound at the service of my client: follow tracks, tracks, and flush out codes.

The second task is, using new narration as a fundamental feedback, to develop a new code capable of governing, of integrating more effectively the activation and execution of the identified codes, since it is not possible, systemically, simply to "deactivate" the codes by resorting to the "will".

The safe and not too long way that allows you to perform the second task, is the clear and conscious identification of the advantages that the identified codes have allowed to obtain, the framework, the history of the construction of each code, to account and reason for how those codes have done the work they had to do, to the advantage,  protection and salvation of my client.


The direction of the hunt is not accidental: even if now we do not know how to explain it in this specific case, we know that the neural codes that have come into play have constitutively the objective of protecting the survival of my client: it is therefore a matter of identifying which threats, in the real environment and in the virtual environment, have arisen.

Why follow the path of threats and not that of opportunities?

For now for probabilistic estimation, the first clues seem to converge on the onset of unfavorable environment configurations to my client, we will see.

The first to appear is a general emotional code, common to every human being, which elsewhere I have defined as the code of protection of rank, the first clues are the unimportant encounters, with low-level players