Friday 11 Sep 2020
⏰ MELBOURNE TIME
9.00 – 11.00 am
⏰ LOCAL START TIME
Ms Margo Lockhart
Facilitator and Coach, Margo Lockhart and Associates, Australia
Margo Lockhart is a highly regarded facilitator, designer and coach with a deserved reputation for developing trust and rapport in the working environment.
With an academic background in education, counselling and systems psycho-dynamics, Margo brings a disciplined and reflective focus to her work.
She has extensive experience in program design and implementation in a very diverse range of organisations, and regularly facilitates Management and Leadership programs, as well as courses in Emotional Intelligence, Team Dynamics and Influencing Skills.
Margo is an experienced board director, having spent 10 years on the boards of various environmental groups. As an advocate of animals rights and animal welfare, she is now focusing her academic work on the implications, the psycho-dynamics and the ‘social politics’ of industrialised animal agriculture.
Dissociation, the ‘Meat Paradox’ and Leadership
This paper will explore dissociation and the ‘meat paradox’, and use this issue as an exemplar of how leaders today and in the future need to deal with complex and often paradoxical emotions and situations.
Global meat consumption is at an all-time high (Ricard, 2016); whilst a rise of moral aversion towards animal cruelty has recently been documented (Leroy & Praet, 2017). The ethical conflict caused by the thought of our behaviour harming animals while also enjoying meat as a staple in our diet, has been coined the ‘meat paradox’, wherein negative feelings about eating meat are countered by mechanisms of rationalisation and moral disengagement (Joy, 2010 and Bastian, Loughnan, Haslam & Radke, 2012).
The paper will explore the cognitive dissonance of the ‘meat paradox’, and link this to the concepts of collective blind eye (Steiner, 1999) and collective denial (Long, 2015). Both Steiner and Long argue that these societal defence mechanisms hinder our thinking about unthought knowns (Bollas, 1987), and limit our effectiveness to live and lead well.
Dealing with our own paradoxes is a challenging but vital leadership skill in today’s complex world. Personal authority is enhanced when we take the time and effort to understand such unconscious processes. This paper will help leaders to:
- Recognise the presence of paradoxes in both personal and organisational life,
- Engage with ‘wicked problems’ and difficult moral dilemmas,
- Explore tensions and contradictions rather than suppress or deny them,
- Be observant of mixed messages as sources of hidden paradox, and
- Explore the opportunities as well as the challenges a paradox offers.
Bastian, B., Loughnan, S., Haslam, N., & Radke, ,H.R.M. (2012). ‘Don’t mind meat? The denial of mind to animals used for human consumption.’ Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 247-256.
Bollas, C. (1987). The Shadow of the Object: Psychoanalysis of the Unthought Known. London: free Association Books.
Joy, M. (2010). Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows. San Francisco: Conari Press
Leroy, F., and Praet, I., (2017). ‘Animal Killing and Postdomestic Meat Production.’ Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 30(1), 67-86
Long, S. (2015) Turning a Blind Eye to Climate Change, in Organisational & Social Dynamics 15(2) pp. 248–262
Ricard, M. (2016). A Plea for the Animals: The Moral, Philosophical and Evolutionary Imperative to Treat All Beings with Compassion. Colorado: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Steiner, J. (1999) Turning a Blind Eye. The Cover Up for Oedipus, in Bell, D (editor) Psychoanalysis and Culture. A Kleinian Perspective. Gerard Duckworth & Co. Ltd. London., pp 86 – 102
Introduction by Ms Helen McKelvie
Small group discussion; impressions of the paper and developing questions for the presenter
Discussion forum with the presenter; moderated for the speaker to elaborate their ideas
Small group activity or discussion ‘What does this paper tell us about working into the future?’
Discussion forum with the presenter; themes from the discussions
Whole Symposium across the papers reflections on the sessions