If Something Works…

Saturday 14 June, 2003

Awake. Tired and very stiff. Had trouble sleeping last night – so much body pain. I felt short-tempered, but I welcomed people as they arrived for the men’s group.

Priya joined us and we led with her item. She wanted to do a case study to improve the process of her work. We worked through the item and and the conclusion was that nothing changes. Processes will be repeated forever so settle in, predict what will happen and know that you will go through the same thing ad infinitum. That’s why Karaj doesn’t worry. It’s also why the world was not sorted before I was born, (despite my protestations that it should have been).

Together we planned Calvin’s week off before dividing into two groups. Some stayed in the house to work on Ishwar’s memos, while others went into the garden to do some physical work. I observed George, Calvin, and Leon as they dug the trench for the pipe from the conservatory sink. Leon was not supported during this work. He expended too much energy when, as an engineer and an elder, his expertise should have been otherwise employed.

In the house, Ishwar gave his feedback on the work he had done with Dev and Priya. He had told Dev to put his computer away so they could just talk, but Dev had ignored him. Two days ago Ishwar had told Shona to leave the flipchart and, together with George, they just talked about their to-do lists. It had been an effective session but he did not use his learning to reign in Dev and Priya. As I told him: if something works, use it again and again.

Shona joined us and we talked about the contribution Arun has made to us. Priya was then challenged on her issue of timekeeping (15 minutes became half an hour). It is important to be punctual, to keep agreements because otherwise there is no trust. Leon told of the importance of his punctuality with his son, showing his son that his father is there and cares. A lovely example.

Priya reported back on the work with Dev and Ishwar. She couldn’t do it at first and then, when she read from the notes she had made, her language was inappropriate and her notes were incomplete. I noticed how she had her head bowed right down and realised that she could not look us in the eye because she was trying to deceive us and wing it.

Our discussion led on to why people prefer dramas. Some people’s need for drama is greater than their desire to sort themselves out. Karaj: ‘The best drama is sorting yourself out.’  Hence the riveting nature of my appraisals. The goal is to fall in love with your to-do list and then you’re not bothered about other people because you are so interested in yourself.

Karaj on Ishwar’s issue of what to do next with a work project: ‘We have to wait until the very last second and listen to our feelings rather than act, because we don’t know what management is up to.’ There is confusion, so stay with the confusion instead of doing something rash just because the current circumstance feels uncomfortable.

Simran was challenged again (and fined). Instead of following an existing agreement with Harriet, he involved George unnecessarily and also failed to ask one of the men to help him get the bed out of the car – he chose Priya as an afterthought. There is no analysis of his actions and certainly no application of what he has been told again and again: not to do things on his own.

Summary: A tough day for the first eight hours because of tiredness, stiffness and pain. No energy left; wrecked. Gained energy every time I talked and contributed, yet still my mind wanted me to withdraw and be in pain. Again, I noticed how much more mature I am these days – no unnecessary comments. It is natural and I am calm about it too. Good learning points about how things never change and that people prefer drama to sorting themselves out.

Related post: Keep Doing What Works

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