Date: February 12, 2007 02:18PM
I've spent some time lately reflecting on why I think the Impact Trainings are such a destructive force in the lives of their trainees and I came up with a couple of reasons that I wanted to post on here. These ideas have probably been hinted at in prior posts but I don't know if the message has come across as clearly as I think it needs to. As a result, I submit the following:
On the first day of Quest the trainer introduces the training by saying something to the effect of, "What happens in this training room is real life. Make no mistake, what happens here is an absolute reflection of all of your real lives...” The meaning is that each person can evaluate their lives and determine success or failure based on the feedback and "results" that they generate in the training room. The idea is that a trainee can learn to "be a winner" in the training room and use those skills to "be a winner" in real life. This principle is reinforced repeatedly throughout the various levels of training.
This idea creates a cycle that keeps people coming back to the Impact Trainings. Many of the people in my various groups would encounter intense conflicts at work and at home that they may not have experienced before. Their conditioned response to this conflict was to bring it up in the training room and search for guidance. The trainers and staff were always willing to give advice but any problems caused by the advice would lead the trainers to shift blame back to the trainee. As a result, the trainer would attempt to hold the trainee to a twisted type of accountability and offer more advice on the situation. This tendency leads many of the trainees to lean even more heavily on what was said by the trainer. In the mind of the trainee it was not the poor advice offered by the trainer that lead to a poor result but rather a lack of "clarity" on the part of the trainee that lead to a misunderstanding of what the trainer was saying and subsequently caused a failure in application.
From time to time, trainees would talk about experiencing tremendous "breakthroughs" in various areas of their lives. However, within several days, weeks or months the trainee would inevitably begin to talk about running into the same issues that they were having problems with in the beginning.
I realize that this may seem like a lengthy explanation but please bear with me. The trainees are taught to measure success "by results" however any and all "results" in the training room are completely manufactured by the Impact Trainers and staff. Any interaction that a trainee makes while in the training room will be construed as either a success or failure based entirely on the desired results of a particular process. Eventually, possibly subconsciously, the trainee begins to manufacture their own "results" based on what they think they should be experiencing as a result of their Impact training. On several occasions I heard people discuss their poverty, impending divorces and even suicides of family members in a way that completely absolved them of any responsibility. While it is not healthy to dwell on tragedy, the trainees were manufacturing their own version of what was going on and never recognizing the personality flaws that lead to the tragedy in the first place.
Verbally, Impact trainings champions accountability but the environment that they set up is completely contrary to their words and inevitably leads trainees to become some of the most unaccountable people on the face of the earth. They can justify and rationalize anything which leads them to be everything that they were trying not to be in the first place. The only difference now is that they see themselves through the rose colored rationalities that the Impact Trainings has taught them to use when interacting with the rest of the world, and the cycle goes on and on...
Finally, once a trainee has reached a level of perversion so great (not all get there but I saw enough to last me a lifetime) that Impact sees their involvement in the training as a detriment to the business model, then the trainers and staff wash their hands of the person altogether and ask them not to come back.
Impact creates an environment where real accountability is thrown to the wayside which leads people to do things that they would never have done before, then they release that person into the world with no guidance or support once they see that person as a potential liability. Creating the monster is bad enough, releasing it and claiming to have had nothing to do with it is even worse.
I don't see a reason to list specifics at this point. I referenced a few in prior posts but if anyone has any thoughts or questions, I would love to hear them and I would be happy to address them.