My Learning in Action

Saturday 22 September, 2001

Arrived at the house and met up with Robert. He gave me useful feedback from last night. He said the way I had talked in the meeting showed authority. I was strong and in control, I held the stage and I was a man. Karaj later confirmed this by saying I had been smooth and even in all my contributions during the meeting. He went on to say that my latest appraisal is excellent, and that the appraisals generally are maturing nicely. Those feedbacks say a lot about the progress I am making.

Karaj added that he had wanted to give me instant feedback during Francis’s visit but had not wanted to show me up. I have shown in my latest appraisal that I am ready for challenges regardless of who is present. Moreover, I act on those challenges and all this shows maturity. He also reaffirmed our relationship with one another by saying, ‘I used to have 30 secretaries. I don’t have them anymore, I just have Jonathan. What he has created is impossible (Newsletters, appraisals etc.) and I’m not going to let him go.

The women began to arrive for their group. Natasha brought her dog which, as it tends to do, crapped on the path in the garden. I told her about this and my annoyance was clearly tangible because she cleared it up immediately and walked back into the house seemingly in some sort of huff. Karaj later told me that I had acted correctly. This is my environment and I don’t want it crapped on.

George, Robert and I eventually set off to work on Sunil’s flat. I felt very tired from the week and I wondered just how much we’d get done. Kuldip arrived just as we did and the four of us had lunch together before George told us what needed doing. Without any prompting I took the main bedroom, Robert took the kitchen, George took the hall and stairs and Kuldip one of the small bedrooms. For the rest of the afternoon we worked hard on our respective rooms, taking the odd break together. By the time Sunil arrived the entire flat had exploded into colour. I had stripped and painted the bedroom and also made a start on the bathroom. The entire time was quiet, comfortable, empowering and highly productive.

Sunil cooked for us and we ate together. It was a lovely way to end an industrious day, but I later learnt from Karaj that we should not have allowed Sunil to attempt to pay us back for the work we are doing. What we should have done is compounded his problem with receiving by taking him out for dinner. He would have struggled to cope with that, which is the whole point really.

As it was he had to sit down, saying that it was a bit too much for him, which I took it to mean the whole experience of having people work on his flat and bring it to life. It was at this point that I had a glimpse of what I can do. I prompted Robert for the second time to raise his issue of feeling attacked with George. He did so and all four of us benefited. Robert realised that when he feels attacked it is because what is happening to him is what he does to other people. Sunil took this on and realised that what irritates him, is how he irritates others.

By this time we were all sitting on the floor making sure that Sunil was okay – a move which I had initiated. When I was satisfied that he was, I stood up to open a window. As I stood, with the others sat down in a row in front of me, I thought about the hierarchy from the garden. Here was another one and again it was interesting, because George was nearest to me, followed by Sunil and tucked into the corner of the room was Robert. I felt in control of myself and the situation. I had urged Robert to raise his issue, I had held Sunil back until Robert had finished, I kept an eye on Sunil and generally stood over proceedings. Robert thanked me for prompting him. At times I felt like I was copying Karaj, but I reminded myself that it is my responsibility to maintain Karaj’s principles and methods at all times. This evening showed me that I can do that.

All in all a very enjoyable, rewarding and revealing day. I am growing and I am becoming empowered. Slow down, don’t get cocky.


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