20 May 2004

The final word in Armi’s journal entry was “OK”. That brought back some strong memories from last night’s psychodrama training. One group member, the protagonist, had just finished saying a rather long and deep piece, and at the end of it the director simply said “OK”.

Well the trainer, probed to find out what was behind that rather simple statement. As it turned out, there was a lot more behind the ?ok? than just an acknowledgement or encouragement of what had said by the protagonist. The “ok” was masking a whole lot of understanding and assumptions—a bit of a double edge sword really. So, as I write this I’m carrying over feelings from last night which prompt me to think “what is the other side of this?” What understandings and assumptions has it raised for me.

Perhaps one is around leadership. I’m not sure that Wilfred Bion and his ideas are fashionable in the leadership literature. Anyway, to summarise on of his ideas (rather poorly), Bion suggests that when things don’t work out the way they want it too, the group will often “kill’ the leader and seek to replace him/her with a new one (who is often seen as a saviour). This, unsurprisingly, can be cyclical. So there it is my weak understanding of the situation. Only those who are in the situation can assess which parts are assumption and which parts are useful understanding.