Resolution 9: From dissonance to consonance

Many people seem to make resolutions in January for the New Year. I usually don’t… but this year it seemed like a good idea. So, this is my resolution number 9 (why start with 1?).

Defining thoughts

A resolution is a formulated mental intention. In music, it means progressing from dissonance to resolutionconsonance (agreement or harmony).

I’m fascinated by definitions of words in the dictionary. “Look it up”, my dad would say when I asked what a word meant. This always led to an interesting journey from word to word to uncover meaning.

These days, I’ll often compare definitions between my bound Concise Oxford and online resources. In the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, an example of consonance is, “in good writing there is always consonance of thought and expression, as the use of simple words for simple thoughts” ( Sound advice for a writer!

The use of the word “simple” here refers to easily understood, rather than lacking in knowledge or expertise. More commonly, we refer to this as “plain” or “clear” writing.

Forming the plan

Dappled Path, original oil painting by Catherine Orfald

Dappled Path, oil painting by Catherine Orfald

It’s pretty easy to make a resolution. It’s a lot harder to get there.

I think it’s important to form a plan. And, the plan needs to have a destination… a focal point. I need to know what I’m aiming for. So, in my resolution, that’s harmony or balance.

Now, working “backwards” from the destination, what do I need to do to get there? My plan specifies the steps I need to take towards my goal.

Once the steps are written down, it’s easier to follow the path and more likely that I’ll achieve my goal.

Aligning objectives with the goal

This process is similar to our collaborative instructional design method.

We start by identifying each performance gap and the objective (what is the goal?). Then, we work back to define the enabling objectives for the learning content (what are the steps to get there?). Next, we determine the instructional approach and design effective learning content (how is it presented?). After the course is delivered, we evaluate the effectiveness based on feedback, learner achievement and performance outcomes (did learners make it to the goal?).

Working in collaboration ensures the outcome is aligned with strategic business objectives. We’re more likely to be in agreement and achieve harmony.

From dissonance to consonance

So, my resolution number nine is to move from dissonance to consonance. To strive towards harmony and balance in my work and life.

Maybe I’ll think about resolutions one to eight now…

Watch for my next blog on clear writing!


Resolution 9: From dissonance to consonance — 2 Comments

  1. Way to go Catherine-on your blogging start and your resolutions. By the way-I love this painting!

  2. It was a very special day painting done this summer in the woods with Dexter at my heel. The painting was snapped up at the Perth Autumn Studio Tour on Thanksgiving weekend by an avid collector (you know who you are :-).

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