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The defence of our self-image (our ego) always takes precedence over an objective approach. This practice of defending our ego is what I call 'ego management' in contrast with 'rational management' which is what everyone pretends is going on. Personal agendas are followed in order to satisfy personal goals which support the ego. Most individuals in a meeting have a personal agenda. If a team are attempting to devise a sales strategy, the sales executive will want to sell as much as he can to get his commission and to hell with whether the customer actually pays.

Humanists believe that learning is best when we experience or do something for ourselves and use both our thought process and our feelings, rather than observe someone else or hear about it. This is known as 'experiential learning', and has taken over most management training where 32 B. Stone, Confronting Company Politics © Beverley Stone 1997 4 Taking Action in a Hostile Environment 33 participants become involved in activities which use their past experience, make them aware of current behaviours and try out alternative approaches.

If you don't mention it, it's equally stressful isn't it? So stress and anxiety are an inevitable part of living, whether you go for what you believe in or deny what you believe in. People imagine that however bad it is right now, it'll be worse if they try and change. It is worth considering however, that you know it's 100 per cent bad now but if you change you have at least a 50 per cent chance that it might be better! If you stand still by always denying your own needs and in order to live according to other people's needs' you are wasting your life.

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