Watching the country enter the election frenzy, I am reminded of the games people play and how, without awareness, we get trapped in repeated patterns with people around us. An email arrived about this as I pondered and I again reflected how when we’re aware of intention, we receive what we need directly!
The email was about Eric Berne’s work on Transactional Analysis (TA) and his work on the parent/child/adult laid out in his book ‘The Games People Play’ in 1964. The goal way back then, as “training” emerged for the first time, the new idea was to understand how people behaved especially when things went wrong and to learn ways to break dysfunctional patterns that damaged results. During the 70s, 80s,and up to now, many more aspects of human nature, behaviour, personality make-up, relationships and community cultures have been disected, examined, profiled, repatterned and worked through. From early Carl Jung days through Eric Berne and many more psychologists, academics, therapists, nlp practitioners, coaches and infamously management consultants (and not forgetting the innovative theory of positive psychology from Professor Martin Seligman as late as the 80s), we have evidence about how humans behave… yet the learning is still in its infancy. We regularly observe ‘bad behaviour’ occuring right in front of us daily, on TV, in Parliament, on the streets of Britain, in the Boardroom and across society.
Back to our election role models tearing each other apart on TV, in the Media and across the gambit of party political ‘bad behaviour’, for what reason do we allow this? I am not accusing anyone more than another. It appears to me that ‘bad behaviour’ is a norm in our cynical masculine world. And women are at fault too of taking on a more aggressive stance than their true gentle feminine nature can provide. And gentle guys don’t always stand up for their softer side when overtaken by alpa males. ‘Bad’ seen as OK behaviour is everywhere — we love to ‘roast’ celebrities, highlight the bad guys and never honour the good. Strange behaviour to me in a world that cries out for ‘kindness’ and ‘compassion’, ‘trust’ and ‘authenticity’ and social responsibility at work and at play.
So where is my thought process going?
This is not about ‘men are bad’ and women are good’ indeed bad behaviour has no gender or generation bias, we can find bad behaviour everywhere. It is about the definition of ‘bad behaviour’ and the consequences of it as the ripples spread. And it is for me, understanding that one person’s point of view and perspective can easily affect another negatively …however it is the way one delivers one’s point of view and the value attached to both the other people and the context of the situation that are key. If we turn up to every situaion, every conversation, every interaction with an intention to a) be present b) seek understanding and c) focus on outcomes that benefit each and the whole simultaneously …then we can rise above the most diverse challenges and opinions with honour and respect for those involved. How great would that be? How healthy the mind set and the result will be?
Maybe an election where politians came out with only their own positive message and actually appauled that which has been achieved so far. With the economic chaos we have and the downturn, ‘togetherness’ might be a more appealing campaign – and capture the ‘hearts’ of those disenchanted voters like myself.
I heard recently of a female CEO who encouraged her management team to focus on being ‘kind’ and was regarded with distain by her male colleagues, yet research suggest that ‘acts of random kindness’ produce outstanding response in customer service…let alone conscious acts of kindness as part of a service promise delivers high results every time! There is also clear evidence that this ‘kindness’ approach brings good health, community cohesion, trust and renewed energy …and could help us deal with what is becoming critical i.e. financial and social recovery.
I am very passionate about my world…your world…our world… I have a new grand daughter, now 6 weeks old, and she and her brother aged 2 and a half are the new generation looking forward to a future that we now have the responsibility to co-create a new way that builds on social and economic integration, maybe leverages social enterprise, values of philanthroprenuership and feminine/masculine joint partnership… is it a dream? A world that values human life above profit yet values the mixture of work and play that enegises both people’s personal fulfillment and their bank accounts.
I am not a fluffy female insisting on women on board for numbers, I truly believe that as our world evolves we all , men and women alike, add our natural talent to the pot, we all create our communities and we all have roles to play – not games. If we are to play games, then let’s play them from the heart and embue a new co-collaborative healthy competition, a ‘together’ ethos and/and a nature love for who we are ‘warts and all’.
I love working with my clients, people who want to improve, explore, change their ‘damaging’ patterns and want to learn to be more alive, more naturallly motivated and more successful – I help them play the game for love not fear. Maybe our politians will learn that one day, however I believe in that political arena, we may need to seriously change the playing field first before the players can learn a new game!!!