The fourth installment with a video clip, and final one for the time being, will focus on the remaining half of my simple ‘sketch’ with a description of what I call the Passive mode games people can choose to engage in and how these fit into our personal and work lives and the environment around us.
There are two types of behaviors here, Salvaging (of course, played by Salvagers) where one chooses passively to give in or to let go of value, and its opposite, Complacency (played by guess who – Complacents) where one feels entitled to passively receive value however one can get it, by expending little or no effort.
I suspect you can readily recall people and/or situations from your experience that fit into each of the four quadrants, perhaps even show some evidence of ‘game-changing’ (pun intended) as the situation progresses. We’ve been trained to think of ‘game-changers’ as people who somehow are able to snatch Victory from the jaws of Defeat (by moving to a more +∑ outcome). If we are on the winning side, we label them Heroes. But we forget that history is also rife with people who have managed the opposite, snatching Defeat from the jaws of Victory, and we label them Losers. Or Villains if it was intentional.
Think of your last argument with your spouse. (Ok, think harder…) It probably began as a discussion over on the right side (of the sketch), the Breakeven side, but due to missing or misinterpreted information, it quickly swung hard left to the either…or side (Win-Lose, Lose-Win), followed by both sides plunging downward into Survival mode, until one of you finally realized (without admitting error, of course) that coming up for air into the Salvaging mode would be most appropriate for cooling off, bringing peace, whatever. And after that pause, being adults and partners with more at stake in the relationship, managed to find a way to end up in the Builder area, kiss and make up.
Parenting is not quite the same. Here, we’re not a team of equals, parent and child. Most of the time we realize that we are trying to raise a child up by working as a Builder. However, if (WHEN) the child senses/feels you’re really acting in the Survivor mode for some reason (they are missing information) they will often respond in like form. Bingo, you move into an either…or situation where someone must win. If the parent gives up and moves to the Salvaging mode then it may be short-term peace but actually long-term disaster.
Negotiating the work environment can pose similar journeys between supervisors, peers, and subordinates, although admittedly without the full complement of outcome choices. Finding these situations will be a common theme in many of the blog postings that follow.