Friday, 20 November 2009

Life, Work, The Universe.......You are a people person! And It's got to STOP!

It's official! I AM a people person.
......And I have to stop it!


In front of the other trainees the principal trainer tells me with a pointed finger:

"You are a people person! Stop it!"

It's the task that's important, not the people. The task, the task, the TASK!!!!!

I recognise this as Robert Fisher territory. But I'm also an Analyst (silent sneer from Trainer when he uses the word Analyst) and I can see that this highly regarded course is little more than an anglicised version of Fisher's Getting To Yes plus some useful tools pulled from wrapped up in a framework to strip out the humanity and replace it with task orientated thinking.

You can imagine that being involved heavily in business redesign and change management, I would argue differently. Without the people element being taken into account no task, certainly none involving culture change will ever succeed.

But food for thought. I'm recognised as a people person - GOOD! On closer self inspection, maybe I DO go too far? My mind is full of a thousand questions and avenues of thought.

One blindingly obvious realisation is that I'm not just in the wrong job! In the wrong career and I should consider seriously my desire to become an MBTI Practitioner.


Even before the end of today I want to punch the principal trainer. Seriously, I want to take him outside and punch his lights out. I have never felt such a strong negative response in a training environment before.

By the end of the day I am disengaged from the training and the trainers, and don't see any benefit in returning to the course tomorrow.

The course runs on and finishes about the time I normally get my train. So, I return to a darkened office to work and wait out the two hours until the next train home.

I'm emotionally and physically wrecked by the time I get home.


Friday. AM. Very AM. Heavy rains have caused extensive flooding in NE England and southern Scotland. Trains are cancelled due to flooding. The Dark Side of The Force, intervened has!

I return to bed for an hour and plan to work from home. But, I don't want to give in. Don't want to give anyone the satisfaction. I email the training department as it's still too early for anyone to be around and let them know that I am delayed but coming, in albeit late.

The drive into Aberdeen is cathartic. That extra time to stop, think and reflect this morning gave me the opportunity to realise that my aggressively negative reaction is actually internal confusion created by a very emotional environment.

By the time I walk into the course there has been a paradigm shift in my thinking. The entire experience has changed for me. My anger has gone, I can have taken control of my emotions, am confident and now thinking on a completely different plane.

Today everything clicked into place - there was no eureka moment! Yet my attitude and way of thinking had taken a 180 degree change in direction. I had no conscious thought of the change taking place. No dawn of realisation. It was no more dramatic than slipping into your shoes in the morning, but something quite profound had changed in me.


Was it worth putting myself through the emotional wringer this week? 100% yes! Definitely I now have a clearer picture of where my strengths lay and where I should be heading careerwise, plus a professional task orientated approach, based on clarity, focus and confidence. Most of all, I came away with a new respect for myself.


Finished the week zoning out, glugging down a bottle of Big Chill and watching 3000 Miles to Graceland (Kevin Costner & Kurt Russell, 2001).

Great movie! Don't take too seriously just sit back and enjoy the ride. It's a heist story featuring one of the best shootout sequences in cinematic history. The shootout takes place during an Elvis convention at a Las Vegas casino and has fast, stylish inter-cutting between the violence and scenes from the dance floor where Elvis clones sing whilst gorgeous showgirls dance around them. It's visually balletic and real fun to watch! Perfect way to end this week!

Viva Las Vegas Baby!



  1. I've read this post several times and i am glad that you have gained something from what appears to have been a week from hell. I fervently hope that you can use the skills and direction that you have now focussed to find a worthwhile job in th near future.

  2. Wow, those corporate propaganda people are good, getting you brainwashed in less than a week.....

  3. Thanks for the supportive comments Phil.


  4. Hi Anon

    They would be good indeed if that was the case - but I went along with an open mind and a desire to learn. Funnily, I think I learnt more of long-term value vicariously rather than as a direct part of the training agenda throughout the 4 days.

    I think overall the course itself was more difficult for me as an INFP (according to Myers-Briggs personality profiling) so you can imagine the conflict created through the exercises and trainer's pronouncements being at complete odds both with my dominant personality traits and core values.

    The fact that I was able to resolve that internal conflict and still come away having benefitted from the course is a massive achievement - even more so because I came to it on my own.

    LOL! It would be better for me and my career if I were a dispassionate corporate zombie.