Iains reply – “David, I don’t think you really want to portray yourself as a Rescuer in the Karpman sense. We strive to be driven by the needs of context rather than the needs of our egos – Iain”
Firstly, I have not studied or researched Karpman in any great detail. From what I have it seems very interesting so I think I will do more. Good always comes from reading and replying to posts. ;0)
So, Karpman’s Drama Triangle:
- Victim – The person who is treated as, or accepts the role of, a victim
- Persecutor – The person who pressures, coerces or persecutes the victim
- Rescuer – The rescuer, who intervenes, seemingly out of a desire to help the situation or the underdog.
Of these, the “rescuer” is the least obvious role. In the terms of the drama triangle, the “rescuer” is not a person helping someone in an emergency. It is someone who has a mixed or covert motive that is actually benefiting egoically in some way from being “the one who rescues”. The rescuer has a surface motive of resolving the problem, and appears to make great efforts to solve it, but also has a hidden motive to not succeed, or to succeed in a way that they benefit. For example, they may feel a sense of self-esteem or status as a “rescuer”, or enjoy having someone dependent or trusting of them – and act in a way that ostensibly seems to be trying to help, but at a deeper level plays upon the victim in order to continue getting their payoff.1
So, after reading this I’m still happy to call myself a rescuer except for one part; the last sentence. Many ‘consultants’ are known for doing this; but not I. So in that respect I agree with Iain. Oh, and this – but also has a hidden motive to not succeed, OR to succeed in a way that they benefit – however is does say OR.
There is however, the rest of it. Ego will always play a role in the given context. Everyone has an ego, and everyone is driven by it to a certain extent. There are extremes of course, but I’m talking extremes. When I join a project, I do the best I can to help that project. Why? I want it to succeed for the customers, for the project team, for the business, AND myself. I get a great feeling from contributing to project success; it also helps my reputation, which in turn helps many other things that could be closely related to my ego. After all, a simple pat on the back is an ego boost (and who doesn’t like pats on the back?).
Another note on this is the mention of trust – or enjoy having someone dependent or trusting of them – How long do we spend building up this trust, and how much do we strive for it? This trust is key to testers, especially in a context-driven world where hiding behind a process is not what we do. Being trusted has a tester (or rescuer in this case) allows far greater independence and confidence in your work.
Ask yourself why you’re a tester (or anything else for that matter); and I mean REALLY ask. Delve deep into that question and I bet you find an ego driven aspect somewhere. No matter if it is big or small, it will be there.
Like I said, I want to look at this further as there is MUCH more to it; but this will do for now. :0)