A new low in meeting behaviour was described in The Guardian on Saturday this week - a collleague leading a meeting had stormed out of her own meeting with the parting words;
"I won´t have someone with a 2:1 from Liverpool tell me what to do"
Whilst this letter came in response to a discussion on growing demands for graduates needing to achieve a first class degree in order to gain a foothold in the job market, that whilst of some interest to me as a parent, is of even more interest to me as a facilitator! For the facilitator it begs a whole host of questions regarding the context, set up and progress of the meeting, culture of the organisation and an interesting insight into the issue of ego.
We all have an ego, its part of our personality and its role (describe by Freud) is to find a balance between primitive drives, morals, and reality, whilst also being concerned to protect us from threat.
Many of the differences that show up in individual behaviors (and which manifest themselves acutely in many meeting scenarios!) result from the fact that the ego develops with experience. The ego helps to inflate a person’s sense of self-worth. The ego also has a deeply ingrained, compulsive need to remain separate and superior at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances and when there are many competing within the same space its easy to see one small part of the jigsaw that contributed to the comment and the walk out... as facilitators, we must SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND and encourage others to do the same. Participants will never walk alone!