The Human-Relations Phenomenon: High levels of openness can be precipitated by the perception or assumption that this group has been formed to provide healing help and support. Those of us who provide human relations training and consultation are guilty not only of creating temporary sanctuaries that do not prepare people for their return to the real world. We are also guilty of sometimes forgetting that the group or organization with which we are consulting has work to do. It is not in the business of helping people heal their wounds, meet all their interpersonal needs, or find their bliss. These “softer” outcomes would certainly be a blessing for members of the group and can help the group become a Team. There must still be a return, always, to the task at hand.
For those of us who are conducting human relations training and engaging in organization development consultation it is important to remember that the ultimate goal concerns productivity. The “the bottom line” is the ground on which the welfare of those working in the organization can be based. There is no “welfare” (job security) without financial viability. There is a good reason for all practitioners in this field to reflect on why they are working in this arena. The fields of human relations training and organization development have often been wrongly identified as “value-free.” They are, in fact, saturated with strong (even admirable) values associated with social justice and human development. These values, however, are not utmost in the minds and hearts of many clients who hire and pay these trainers and consultants for their work.
The Faux Openness Phenomenon (Redux): Low levels of sincere openness can be precipitated by recognition that what is occurring is not real openness. It is instead compliance with repressive norms or even a coercive shattering of defenses. With this statement we are moving beyond the analysis of faux openness that was mentioned above. We would suggest that false openness can result not only from failure to address inclusion and control issues, but also from a much more destructive process that was engaged in some human relations training and organization development work done during the 1970s and 1980s.Download Article 1K Club