Has this ever happened to you? You’re in one of those company-wide meetings at work and someone announces that it’s time to do some training. So the head of HR announces that you and your coworkers will be doing a role-playing exercise to learn how to calmly and professionally deal with an upset coworker. He introduces some high-paid training consultant. And everyone slinks down in their seats, hoping they don’t get picked.
So the consultant assumes the role of the boss. And you get picked to play the irritated employee. The two of you stand onstage, a few feet apart. The “boss” tells you not to be cautious or shy. “This is a training exercise,” he says, “there are no wrong actions, only learning opportunities. So go for it.”
So the role playing begins. You lean forward and start shouting. Then you whip your foot out and tag him in the nuts. When the consultant grunts and leans forward in agony, your knee races up, catching him in the forehead. His head whips back and he starts shouting swear words at you.
And you say “Whoa there, language. Definitely not professional. And you need to work on that anger.”
I really miss those meetings. I haven’t heard the word “synergy” in years. But this might be why tele-commuting is taking off.