I woke up looking forward to the day. It felt like a special day for some reason. Harriet and Priya were late and I realised what I had done. Although I had told Harriet it was a 09.00 start when she phoned yesterday, my please others (driver) had reacted to her gasp by telling her it was okay if she turned up at 11.00. At the time I thought nothing of it. I always do this! I give people news they perhaps don’t want to hear, my please others driver then softens the blow, but it is only meant for that instant because I still expect them to follow my initial instructions. When Harriet was not at the house on time it told me how serious this issue is for me. There is no clarity with such mixed messages and as such I cannot be trusted.
We began with a meditation. I relaxed and told myself to go back to this relaxed state every time I was confronted and had to confront, which Karaj had told us would be happening all day. He also asked us to ask ourselves whether we were ready to communicate.
I began the session with my review of yesterday. The learning points which came out of it were:
- Verbalise every thought otherwise I am letting everyone down and destroying them
- See the positives of Karaj coming back to me even though I may feel he did not initially listen to me – e.g. when George warned him about the tunnel bricks after I had told him the same
- I set up a game after Leon’s call by saying to Simran that I was not sure what I should have said – there was no responsibility or accountability on my part for what I actually said (which was fine)
- Simran’s response – ‘What did you want to say?’ – was solution-based and made me wrong. Also there was no attempt on his part to create a relationship, which he could have done by getting me to come up with my own solution.
All this took over an hour and Karaj challenged the rest of my team (the youngers) as to why they had not shut me up. This was the first of many references to my/our team over the course of the weekend and with each reference I felt the team and myself get stronger and stronger.
Our Respective Visions For The Team
We were sent out again to determine the purpose for the day. Dev was put in charge by Karaj. We discussed our visions for the team. Simran didn’t really have one and Dev verbalised his annoyance and irritation at the fact that the rest of us had not talked to him about his vision, which is comprehensive. I countered his comments with irritation of my own which he politely and too easily accepted. As my turn approached I was discounting myself (again), saying to myself that I had nothing in mind, nothing to say. All I had in my head was the concept of instant feedback. When my time came I went with that and as I talked my vision came, and it seemed to come from nowhere – the power of verbalisation.
I want to be part of a team which allows me to confront and be confronted. This will begin to chip away at my please others behaviour which is the cause of many of my problems. For instance, I am highly effective when I verbalise my real thoughts and feelings rather than those which I think people wish to hear. In fact, every time I try to please others, I get it wrong and end up pleasing no-one. Through the use of instant feedback we can become a highly effective, functional, dynamic and supportive team. It occurred to me that confronting and verbalising are also a legitimate and effective outlet for my emotions. In addition I want to become proficient socially, knowing when to speak and when to keep quiet – this will have a positive influence on my AC behaviour. So my vision for the day was to verbalise and confront (and be calm when confronted).
Ishwar wanted to know what other people’s visions were first before he came up with his own. I suggested that this was a cop-out to avoid doing the work, which is a trait of his. Eventually he came up with a vision of a team capable of setting up businesses and projects.
When Dev talked about his vision including being able to have people’s scripts and visions ‘next to them’ when relating to them, we began to get excited about working through each others scripts. This should have been a signal for us to stop. Karaj later fed back to us that we have done scripts and that is not what the day is about. Dev took this to mean that everything he had initiated as team leader had been wrong. Karaj also told him that he was not being effective as a team leader because I was answering for him and generally doing all the talking.
We reconvened after lunch and Karaj finally told us what we had already known yet forgotten – that the purpose of the day was to sign the contracts and discuss their implications.
Warnings Against Complacency
We worked through Simran’s vision, objectives and how he will use Karaj as a consultant, all of which will form the appendix to his consultancy contract with Karaj (signed also by each member of the group. I later challenged Simran because he had not informed me of our lack of tapes to record the session. I had no problem challenging him because I had been (appropriately) confrontational all day and had in fact enjoyed the alive feeling it had given me. I did feel a little nervous but I could have alleviated that by involving my team and asking for their thoughts on the suitability of the punishment – to buy the next 20 tapes himself.
The part of me I saw when I argued with Dev yesterday has remained and is beginning to blossom. It is a part of me which I have not felt for a long time and it has given me an insight into the true me and the power I have when I am congruent with who I am rather than manipulative or trying to please. [And yet the very next day I would manipulate my entire team like never before.]
After working through Ishwar’s vision, a process which was put on hold by an hour’s discussion into his use of the word ‘statement’ (as opposed to ‘vision statement’) – something which ties in with his job and his issue of feeling accused – Karaj rounded off the day. He told us that we have another 600 tough days ahead of us and that it will be 2004 before we can relax in any way. He added that in 2004 some of us will not be here any more. This could mean that we have either left or died. My immediate reaction to his words was that I will be here. [I wasn’t. I left on New Year’s Eve 2003.] This thought was accompanied by the feeling that I do want to live, so I’d better start living. And that is how I have felt today with my confrontations and my verbalisations: alive.