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Medium 9781626568242

3: Conventional, Constricted Collaboration Is Becoming Obsolete

Kahane, Adam Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.

—John Maynard Keynes1

Our most common default mode for collaborating is controlled. But in most complex and contentious contexts, this mode does not and cannot work.

John and Mary are talking about what to do about their son Bob’s financial problems. They want to help, and they also know from experience that they can’t force him to do anything. They don’t want to fight either with each other or with Bob. So they need to find a way to work this out together.

John takes a directive approach. He thinks that Bob has been messing up his life for a long time and that they need to get him to sort things out once and for all. Mary thinks that Bob is having a tough time with his business and that they ought to give him some money so that his children don’t suff er, but she is willing to go along with John. They agree on a narrow compromise: they will give Bob the money he needs to catch up on his mortgage but also make it clear to him that this will be the last time.

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Medium 9781855750869

44. Dread of Cigar and Cigarette Smoking. [1914]

Ferenczi, Sandor Karnac Books ePub
Medium 9781855757776

CHAPTER FOUR: The evidence of the quality assurance officer

Haney, Janet Karnac Books ePub

In this chapter, we are going to hear the evidence of the quality assurance officer from the BPS. As Ms Ross is a witness on behalf of the HPC, she is questioned first by Ms Kemp. Having established a few administrative details, Ms Kemp opens by quoting from the statement, in which Molly has said:

I have always had a good professional relationship with Malcolm Cross and felt that his behaviour on the evening in question was entirely out of character.

This is similar to the testimony of Mr Hughes, who also suggests he has a long-term knowledge of Dr Cross against which to judge Dr Cross’s behaviour on the evening in question as unusual.

Under questioning, however, Ms Ross is unable to say how long she has known Dr Cross, and cannot be more specific than to say she has worked with him on “just a few” occasions. Ms Kemp and Ms Ross are supposed to be speaking on behalf of the HPC but have produced ambivalent and contradictory evidence in the first moments of their testimony. Ms Kemp moves quickly to her next point, which turns out to be her only point for this witness: “How did Dr Cross behave at the pre-meeting?” This question is borrowed directly from Kelly Johnson, who posed it in a letter to Molly Ross in the run-up to the hearing. Although Ms Ross has already replied, and her reply is in front of everyone around the table in the bundle of papers, Ms Kemp invites her to tell the Panel “in your own words” what she has said.

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Medium 9781855753747

CHAPTER FOUR: Relationships and the growth of personality

Seligman, Eva Karnac Books ePub

The love relationship of man and woman that builds itself into a marital union invites more of our interest and empathy than any other human relationship except, perhaps, that of parent and child. The seeking for this adult relationship, its preservation and its development towards parenthood, are among the deepest aspirations of almost everyone. Its rights and its duties are jealously guarded by the individual. The high evaluation of its importance for the individual is endorsed by far-reaching social measures and many institutions. The unravelling and reknitting of the complex strands that make up this intimate relationship, its conflicts and satisfactions, is the concern of this introduction. It is, however, a technical piece, and its main purpose is to demonstrate a technique of “marital therapy”, i.e., of helping with emotional conflicts that are felt to be destroying the relationship and the persistence of which indicates that the couple cannot overcome them without outside help. Such a therapeutic technique has a further usefulness; it provides unique opportunities to observe and understand the processes of marital interaction. Indeed, the deeper understanding of such intimate relationships and of individual personalities can only be gained in the context of a professional relationship with those who seek help for their suffering. Only under these conditions can access be gained to the inner psychological forces that make for the conflictual, as well as for the more fruitful, aspects of this close relationship.

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Medium 9781605099798

Chapter 9: Humankind Is a Work in Progress

Mehta, Pavithra Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Dr. V is in his office. He is wearing thick, black-framed spectacles, and his head is bent attentively over a massive book. Approaching 24,000 lines, Savitri is reportedly the longest epic poem ever written in English. Composed in unrhymed iambic pentameter, its lines hold a rumbling grandeur.

All he had done was to prepare a field;

His small beginnings asked for a mighty end1

On the wall behind him are two black-and-white photographs. When Dr. V is at his desk, the portraits seem to look out over his shoulders. To the left is Sri Aurobindo, the man who penned the lines being read; he has a flowing white beard and a noble bearing. To the right is a woman, her gaze direct, her smile deep and warm. Mirra Alfassa is the name she was given at birth, but she is better known as the Mother.

The story of Savitri can be traced back to an old legend tucked into the labyrinth of India’s celebrated epic, the Mahabharata. In the original telling, Savitri is a beautiful princess who, by the tidal force of her love and purity of spirit, vanquishes Yama, the Lord of Death, to win back her husband’s life. In Sri Aurobindo’s symbolic treatment of this tale, Savitri’s quest represents the adventure of life and consciousness on earth, an evolutionary journey in which mortals transition through successively higher planes of consciousness, setting the stage for a total transformation of life as we know it. Savitri was composed over more than 20 years, and Sri Aurobindo (a prolific writer who earned nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature from Pearl S. Buck and Aldous Huxley) is said to have written each stage of this vivid, spiritual epic from the level of consciousness it describes.

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