David Gurteen’s newsletter is always full of wisdom and links to relevant sites.
In today’s newsletter he cites Andrew Armour who says:
Most meetings, workshops and conferences are not viewed as an opportunity to converse, listen, build dialogue and explore solutions, but a means to present, report, control, persuade — to control your own plan, to get buy-in, to approve or deny.
No wonder then, that when the time does arise for focused, innovative, open and progressive conversation that most of the time –we fail.
This is common knowledge among reflective people, and in Armour’s listing of reasons why meetings, workshops and conferences are still organized in the way they are, lies the explanation – it’s a power game. Not showing up at a meeting in which you are supposed to participate (even if not personally invited) is seen as a lack of loyalty, however useless the meeting is for you.
This reminds me of The law of two feet, that David alluded to already in 2003:
… if at any time you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing – use you two feet and move to some place more to you liking.
Another quote in David’s newsletter is by Ralph Waldo Emerson and goes like this:
Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day.
This again reminds me of Scatman John’s words:
I want to be a human being, not a human doing