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Meeting Participant Roles and Contract

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Towards a New Order of Meeting Participation
MEETING PARTICIPANT CONTRACT
0. Preamble
CONTRACTUAL BONDS BETWEEN PARTICIPANTS
Acknowledgement of Interacting Roles at the Shadowy Roundtable Hidden within every Meeting
Role 1. 'Unemployment' Metaphor
Role 2. 'Degradation of environment' Metaphor
Role 3. 'Ignorance / Mal-education' Metaphor
Role 4. 'Undernourishment / Malnutrition' Metaphor
Role 5. 'Domination / Red tape / Mismanagement' Metaphor
Role 6. 'Underproductivity / Overproductivity' Metaphor
Role 7. 'Injustice / Criminality / Injured innocence' Metaphor
Role 8. 'Illness / Malformation / Therapy' Metaphor
Role 9. 'Impoverishment / Exploitation / Wealth maldistribution' Metaphor
Role 10. 'Shoddy workmanship / Overskill / Overdesign' Metaphor
Role 11. 'Misrepresentation and Disinformation' Metaphor
Role 12. 'Tokenism / Hedonism / Ritualism' Metaphor
PARTICIPANT COMMITMENT FORM

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The following is an experiment in outlining a proposed contract between participants in a meeting. In the spirit of depth psychology, it is designed to acknowledge specifically the pattern of interacting roles at the shadowy 'roundtable' hidden within every meeting. This roundtable and the relationships are illustrated by Figure 1. The emphasis is on the nature of the specific contractual bonds between participants. An analogous text was developed subsequently relating to a Community Participant Contract in Towards a New Order of Community Participation (1997)

PARTICIPANT ROLE REMINDER

1. We are less rewarded for our involvement in a meeting when we assume that our role has been more central to its processes than when we are able to question its value to other participants.

2. We degrade and pollute the meeting environment more when we assume that any negative impacts of our initiatives on other participants are of little consequence than when we have doubts concerning the ability of the meeting to deal with them.

3. We exhibit a greater degree of ignorance in a meeting when we assume the adequacy of the knowledge we demonstrate than when we question its validity from the perspectives of other participants.

4. Our contributions are less nourishing and enlivening to other participants when we assume that they are naturally fruitful than when we question their fruitfulness to others.

5. We contribute more to the mismanagement of a meeting when we assume that our favoured procedures are the most useful to other participants than when we have doubts concerning their efficacy for others.

6. We are less productive in a meeting when we assume we are responding productively to other contributions than when we have doubts concerning the contribution of our efforts to the productivity of other initiatives.

7. We are more threatening to other participants when we assume that our role is not experienced as intimidating and discriminating by some than when we question how others may be threatened by our actions in the meeting.

8. We bring more malaise to a meeting when we assume that we are paragons of well-being than when we have doubts concerning our degree of health in the eyes of others.

9. We are more exploitative in a meeting when we assume that our initiatives do not impoverish the experience of other participants than when we question this possibility.

10. We make more inappropriate contributions to a meeting when we assume that they are naturally appropriate than when we have doubts concerning their degree of appropriateness to other participants.

11. The representation of reality that we endeavour to communicate to other participants is experienced as more incoherent when we assume that it offers unique integrative advantages than when we question whether this may be the case for others.

12. We are more effective in turning cultural and religious celebrations into meaningless rituals when we assume that they are not experienced as such by some than when we question why this may indeed be the case.


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