Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sssshh - It's a secret!!

My daughter was expressing her levels of appalledness by a recent exercise they were asked to do at school and it does, in my opinion, make you start to question the intelligence of some people.

One of the things they were asked to do in this exercise was to write their secrets into their workbook. Horror was expressed by many of them in class, although the vocal ones seem to have been mostly girls. They challenged the teacher and refused to do it.

In my opinion this raises other questions, but what did the teacher expect? Girls seem to have more secrets than boys and I would expect the boys to have taken the approach I would have done. I would have made something up along the lines that I would expect my peers to have written. The fact that we all would have done the same thing invalidates the exercise anyway.

Girls are 'more honest'?

If we take this exercise logically it is one that cannot be done.

If the secret is written down then it is not a secret any more hence it no longer fulfils the requirements of the exercise!

It does bring to mind a management training exercise I was involved in some years ago. There were about 12-15 of my colleagues around a table and we were given the exercise. A group of visitors were trapped in a pothole and we were running the rescue team from a remote location. There were men, women and children in the trapped group which included some elderly and unfit. We had to decide the order to bring them up to safety as they could not all be saved and some would die.

I was appalled at this and said that I wouldn't be involved in this and that we, as a team should leave it to the chaps on the rescue team to make those decisions as they would have the greatest information and that we should support them with whatever resources they needed.

The reaction of the rest of the group was that I was wrong, the exercise said that we had to do this. I still refused - I was adamant that I would not even PLAY at being god and controlling who should live or who should die. One of my colleagues turned to the trainer and asked him to tell me to get involved properly. I remember that the trainer said nothing but shrugged his shoulders and turned to face the window. I suspect I had played right into his hands! Was this what the exercise was about? When people saw that there was another way they started to join my side and by the end of the exercise there was only the person who challenged the trainer left on that side of the table.

I wonder if the class missed the purpose of the secrets exercise?

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