The Alien Game

Here’s an illuminating game you can play.

Imagine that an alien comes to watch you at work (or with your family) for a day. The alien has perfect command of your language but no understanding of your culture. Your practices, tools, systems and relationships are all new and strange to it.

The alien’s part in the game is to be deeply interested in each thing that you do, the way that you speak with people, the meetings you go to and the processes you follow. It asks you, at every turn

“What is it that you’re doing? And why are you doing it?”

Your only role in the game is to answer truthfully each time. But you’re not allowed to say “It’s just what we do”, or make up a plausible, but false reason. “I genuinely don’t know”, “It’s what my colleagues taught me (but I don’t know why)”, “It’s what we did in my family when I was growing up”, “it distracts me from what I’m scared of”, “it keeps me looking good” are all allowed, if true. You have to have to account, as completely as you can, for each part of your day.

The last part of the game is the most important.

Given what you’ve said, you get to decide whether to continue on as you are.

Or whether something – perhaps many things – have to change.

Photo Credit: rishibando via Compfight cc

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