la boetie partners




Our working principles provide a powerful framework to enable groups to have game-changing conversations and sets each group member in a specific mindset to allow conversation of an unparalleled density. The three principles are:

  1. Seek out the good reason : we always have a good reason to say what we say, think what we think, do what we do. Do not argue about what you do not agree, just search for the good reason of the other person, especially when it bothers you ! You will find the lever for shifting the conversation to a more productive space.
  2. Speak out when you have something in mind important, if you do not do so, the others will miss important information. They cannot access to your “good reasons”. Do it especially when it is difficult, when you fear to be contradicted, that is when it helps the group the most.
  3. Learn from others : just consider that there is something you have to learn from the conversation, especially if you already know the person – you will enter a new world!


because the principles:

  • create a « special space» for respect and openness : each participant is encouraged to talk and listen carefully
  • lower the pressure, as they are not « strict rules », but more a guide all are encouraged to follow. Moreover, because they are simple everyone can help each other in applying them.
  • are simple and logical (everybody understands and agrees with them), yet very powerful : when you really try to follow them, you step into another mindset. And this mindset can remain in the organisation, after our intervention.


We present the 3 principles before any important conversation or workshop : we present them briefly, and explain why they are useful.

Then we ask each participant to think which of the 3 principles will be the hardest for them to respect, and why ? If one stands out, we discuss further with the group.


The idea comes initially from the work on empathy by French psychoanalyst Serge Tisseron who identified decisions you can make to develop true empathy. Today we keep the third rule as the cornerstone of his work : to develop true empathy you have to decide that you will learn something from others.

The second one (speak-out) is a summary of the work of Will Schutz on openness showing that teams are more healthy when everyone feels free to speak out and the work of François Morel showing that highly reliable organizations put in place rituals, processes and training to enable people to speak-out : it could have prevented the explosion of the Columbia space shuttle for instance.

The first principle comes from the work of the famous organizational sociologist Michel Crozier who tried to understand unusual behaviour in organisations by suggesting that everyone has a good reason to act the way they do.