“The agentic state – people enable others to direct their activities and then pass off the responsibility for the results to the individual giving the orders” Milgram (1974).
Too many adults, escaping from work is just spending time with no ‘the guy’ telling them what to do. It can be safely argued that the huge majority of adults are naturally opposed to this degree of control they are exposed to in the office, however necessary that control often is. Even if a kindly boss delivers orders in a considerate way, a strong desire for autonomy stays.
When I was able to play conkers, marbles, military, snowball fighting or slipping on schoolyard ice, it was with a degree of autonomy combined with about agreed rules where infringement of the principles were met with a collective oversight of their young playground people. Wrong and right were self taught and self learnt as a result of routine encounters without the controlling influence of adults. Eventually, people who’ve been permitted to develop and find out for themselves, that all important sense of right and wrong, have been successful.
These days, in the absence of conkers, marbles and other frightfully dangerous actions, and in the middle of test targeted pressure learning from the classroom, you’d think that kids would be allowed to be able to regulate themselves on the sport field. Regrettably, the grown up understanding of ‘success’ has stretched its ugly tentacles to creep to the foundations of that pure bastion:
Some months ago, I was asked to oversee and follow a group of Year 3s into an indoor cricket championship. As a result of pod mix up, our kids were trained ahead of the competition – in baseball. Not to be discouraged, the overall short I gave our budding cricketers was hit on the ball, run have fun. Now fast cricket grants the rival teams 200 runs. We ended with a score just below 200 because of the fact that despite their (our) lung exploding and glorious runs between the wickets, we inevitably fell victim to ‘stumping’ and the consequential six run obligations. Then came your college.
Initially I set it down to some kind of professionalism or not getting carried away with their own performance (that I believed, given that specific group and cricket, would put fear in the opposition). Before the very first over was actually over however, I (and thankfully not my group of 8 year olds) soon understood the reason for the above stony fizzogs.
Guilt can’t be disguised easily by decent folk ( so I understand your employees are decent folk). Each and each and every time an (other college) batsman put willow to leather, their trained feet stayed planted – in that regard their well drilled discipline ought to be commended.
However, smiley faces and rosy cheeks weren’t in attendance.
These days, in the absence of conkers, marbles and other frightfully dangerous actions, and in the middle of test targeted pressure learning from the classroom, you’d think that kids would be allowed to be able to regulate themselves on the sport field. Regrettably, the grown up understanding of ‘success’ has stretched its ugly tentacles to creep to the foundations of the pure bastion.