Decision conversation in Green Park
I have always wanted to meet at Cafe Nero on Dover Street to chat over a cup of cappuchino outside and watch the busy passerbys of Mayfair. The customers that sit there in the mornings exhude an air of comfort and confidence. Every day I pass by it I wish there was someone I could sit down and talk to.
Today I found it too noisy to sit next to the afternoon traffic of Piccadilly. So my conversation partner and I moved to Green Park to sit on the grass.
As the noise of the traffic subsided in the distance, we began to relax and start a real conversation about decision making, the subject of our forthcoming workshop. In fact, it was a continuation of a conversation we began long ago.
"Tell me a decision problem you have," he said.
"I need to decide whether to get involved in helping my friend find the cause of her brother's death," I said. "She told me that I had to make a decision."
"My instinctive reaction is to help as much as I can. After all, I once did the kind of work he did, so I understand the terminology and the work environment. Her family is like my second home in this country. It also seems the thing to do for a friend. My natural curiosity and problem-solving attitude impels me to unravel the mystery."
"I'm also aware that I have little time to help. Many years ago I approached another case with the same zest thinking that I could help the family seek closure. What I learned from sieving through police reports and interviews with the family was that it was too big for anyone. The case of my friend's disappearance took over my life and my mental space. In the end, all I managed to accomplish was to put together web pages to allow search engines to find her and others to read about her."
"If I get involved, I want to know everything. I don't want to be excluded. So it's sort of all or nothing."
The life coach thought for a brief moment, and said,"Okay. I've thought about it. You need to ask yourself whether you would like to help out of interest or commitment. They are quite different things."
I pondered for a second and replied,"I don't think I can commit to helping all the way. I think I will offer my advice and opinion when asked but not more."
At that moment, my colleague joined us to participate in group decision making.
continued in next journal entry
29 July 2004 Thursday
Patty my friend, how could this be your end