Report on Psychology Group Meeting - Meeting, Friday, 16 June 2017

This meeting was in a sense a repeat of our last one in that those attending were unable to come in May but those who attended then had to offer apologies for this one. After a brief discussion it seemed sensible to cover our last meetings quite interesting content so that those present could as it were catch up with other members. For this reason the agenda for the June meeting has largely been transferred to July. With that decided it was as ever a delight to welcome a new member, Anne Skinner, to our group and hope she’ll find us sufficiently interesting to become a regular attender at our meetings.

Before we began, however, there was an admin issue to deal with and this was the appointment of a Group Treasurer. I understand that the U3A National Committee advises all U3A groups to appoint Leaders, Deputy-Leaders and Treasurers with their terms of office to preferably last not more than 2 years. For a group that has so far never had to be involved in the handling money this may seem strange but at a Group Leaders meeting it was pointed out that should our U3A accounts be examined by say the Charity Commissioners then to have a statement of the financial standing of any group would be very helpful. In the case of a group that does not handle any money then, towards the end of the financial year, an email from an appointed Treasurer, who should not be the Group Leader, stating that fact would be perfectly adequate. This may seem bureaucratic but we were told that it is important nevertheless. Our current treasurer, Wendy, was present, agreed to accept a nomination for the post and I’m happy to say was unanimously re-elected.

As agreed we then watched the 14 minute and oddly titled video clip, “Highly Boring People”, which as at the last meeting proved to be interesting to members as it raised some valid points. The term “boring” here really refers not to the people themselves but the fact that they can organise themselves to efficiently to deal with those tedious but necessary tasks that most of us find boring in order to focus their abilities on more creative and interesting tasks. This raised an interesting discussion before we moved on to the next clip which members present had previously missed. This related in animated form the so called “48 Laws of Power” taken from the book of the same name. As members who have seen this before will recall it is based on the sometimes unscrupulous methods some people are willing to use to gain and maintain advantages for themselves, an approach sometimes described by psychologists as being Machiavellian and considered by some to be an actual personality trait. This clip of course proved to be great food for discussion and this occupied the remainder of our meeting.

Our next meeting will take place at the usual time and venue on the 21st July, when I hope we can look at material concerned with the psychology of the workplace, relationships we often term, ”office politics”. For most if not all of us who’ve spent decades of our lives in the workplace this topic will I’m sure prove to be food for much interesting discussion.

I look forward to seeing everyone again at the next meeting.

John Moore – Group Leader.
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