Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mass Therapy

We're having a collective therapy in Psychological Issues in Management (PIM). I know I should not say this, as Prof Fernando Bartholomei hates that, but still, it's more catchy.
After two sessions, I'm more able to see the value of that class. There's something in Bartholomei that is so out of synch with what he says that it's puzzling.
The first session was about Law of Reciprocity. As future leaders, to influence, you must be willing to be influenced, to be trusted, you must trust. etc. It has to be a spontaneous "trade". I liked it. Not revolutionary stuff, but it's always great to be reminded that. To "work" on your "soft" side, after too many analytical courses, and before action-oriented electives.
I'm saying that the Prof. was so out-of synch that I suspect some bluff from him. He's a therapist of his own, and an expert in OB (I even wonder if he's not in charge of creating P1 teams). He talks about balancing life and work and all the usual blabla stuff. Yet, although you feel he means all that, he provoked us to an extent that some people felt uncomfortable. To me, it's always great to be pushed out of your comfort zone in such a place like INSEAD (a lab, if you like). Seeing some disgusted student faces, I don't think everybody felt happy with it. True, there were some rude words, tough behaviours, un-PC comments. But isn't it what INSEAD can afford vs. other US Bschools? To be sure, in the US, Fernando would have triggered zillions of lawsuits.
The second session was even more insightful. It was about the Rogerian method of therapy. Carl Rogers (pic) was some pioneer in listening methods of therapy. He probably believed that, by just listening actively, you let the autonomy out of the patient, and let him or her find the "solution".
We had a very nice exercise whereby the Prof. acted as the patient, and we came up with Rogerian questions.
Basically, anything starting by "Why" was a bad Rogerian question, anything just paraphrasing was an undershot Rogerian question. It seemed that 80% of the class was not very Rogerian, and very judgemental/action-oriented. Myself included.
I guess the best part about Rogers was the debate on accepting yourself as you are. By your own standards. Not to please others, not to perform in someone else's value scale. It is a great lesson for job searches. You have one or 2 chances in your whole life to do what you like, with a great bargaining position. INSEAD is one of these chances. Don't blow it just to do what others think is cool to do...

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