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I am very happy to report that our team has managed to bounce back from the brink of death with overflowing losses into the healthy, happy zone of small profits. I am extremely happy that there is finally a positive note happening and that Peter managed to push us into an awareness of what we've been missing all along. I would say, despite this small success, that I am still floundering within my own mind-set that isn't allowing me to seek help to remedy my mistakes or learn to help myself out of tough situations. Instead I find myself trying to "go it alone" and tackle things without seeking external help when things get dire.

When I think of reasoning for this, it really goes back to my own past experiences in both team situations and alone. I have had an overly healthy share of scepticism for how much others can help and am too proud of my own abilities. If I find myself failing at something I feel a sense of shame and embarrassment that is disproportionately large for failed task. Asking for help I often feel is failing at my task and revealing my weakness. Also within teams I frequently feel that I put myself at the weak end of the interactions if I am the one that doesn't fully understand situations so I have tended towards trying to solve things within my own mind. There is also amongst this, a definite awareness that our marks may well be affected by the effort that we are perceived to have been putting in to this assignment and I had in the past felt that I was relatively well versed with business simulations and to ask questions would be to put under scrutiny how much preparation I had put in.

I think essentially that the case here was fear to seek out Peter's or anyone else's help in the situation in order to avoid any negative responses from these parties. In my definition of success, external help was some form of cheating and my desire to do well on my own steam was overwhelming. Upon close reflection on this idea, I realised that I am not comfortable with failure because I always shelter myself from it and am somewhat paralysed by failing rather than getting back on that figurative horse, I never allowed myself to fall out of the saddle and actually just hung with one foot in the stirrup as it ran full speed. This is much like Argyris (2002) noted where not enough failures have been experienced and so I defensively respond instead of learning from the failure. Despite all of these reflective journals, I am learning how to reflect but have managed to skim over learning from my own mistakes within my team which is also damaging to the other members since they don't benefit from a  CEO with a growing ability to solve strategic problems.

Now that the group received help, I realise that it was foolish of me to maintain my attitude in the sense of not seeking help. There are a few actions that I could take over the next few weeks. The most obvious is to carefully apply what we have already learnt about MikesBikes this week and continue to seek out Peter's help to check how our decisions are going or any confusions that we hold. I am definitely pushing towards this option rather than letting it slide again. I suppose the flaw with this plan is that I waited so long to seek out answers to the really big issues that it is no longer the perfect plan since we can only really consult Peter for the next decision and then we are somewhat powerless. But I will seek out his help as best I can.

I plan to seek more help in my other classes too in regards to ever-nearing assignments. Pride is getting in my way and it's time to take some big steps towards helping myself. I don't want to jeopardise any more grades or opportunities to learn and connect with those around me.

 

REFERENCES

Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4--15

2 Comments

  1. Hi Lisa, I really liked your learning journal this week. I feel that it's very insightful and shows that you're learning some important lessons that will help you be successful in your academic career. I would like to offer some insight from what I've learned in sociology and my own struggles with shame and fear of failure. I think that it is important to really understand where your feelings of 'shame and embarrassment' are coming from. Part of that means really understanding what shame is. Sociologists understand shame to be a social emotion. That is, we feel shame when we feel inadequate compared to socialized norms. Shame can be self-inflicted or imposed by others. Hence the term "shame on you". Shame is simultaneously a tool for the individual and society to police behaviour to keep it in line with accepted social norms. If I were to walk through the halls at uni without a shirt, people would look at me funny, which presumably would make me feel embarrassed (a form of shame) to the point that I put on a shirt. This example shows how shame operates to ensure people behave within the bounds of social norms. However it also shows that social norms are socially constructed and often aren't fair or equitable. There's nothing inherently strange about me not wearing a shirt. It's only within a certain social context, time and place that it's strange. If I were at the beach, no problem. If I were a member of an indigenous tribe in Africa, also no problem. Walking through the halls at uni...weird (but why?). When I was struggling with my own fears of failure and feelings of shame I had to come to a reconciliation with social norms. I had to ask myself, what norms am I trying to adhere to and are those norms actually realistic? For myself it was the norm of individual success, the idea that in an individualistic society, we are individually responsible for our own success or failure. We are socialised to perceive seeking help as a form of weakness. We thus feel embarrassed and ashamed when we seek help because it sends the message that we've failed (or at least that's the perception). Essentially, I didn't seek help because doing so was a confirmation of my fears. I was a failure. Ironically, by not seeking help failure became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I failed a pre-requisite maths class a few semesters back for this very reason. I would encourage you to really think hard about what society expects of you compared with what you expect of yourself and seek a reconciliation between those differences. Basically, it's important to come to a place where you're successful in your own right and not because society says that you are. Decide how YOU measure success instead of worrying about how others will measure it. Consequently, such a shift in my own attitude led me to pass the required maths class at a comfortable margin the second time I took it. I wish you luck on the rest of your academic career. I have no doubt that you'll be proud of whatever it is you decide to accomplish here at uni. (smile)

  2. Hey this is a really good learning journal and its obvious you have put a lot of effort into this. You gone nicely in depth into the problem you have faced and you have displayed great evidence of learning that you have done. You have followed Daudelins structure well with a good problem analysis and you have managed to explore some of the roots of this problem. You have showed some really good critical analyse here where you have gone beyond what is needed and looked below the surface which has added a lot of depth to this piece. One improvement i would suggest is to perhaps condense it a little bit as it is quite long and wordy. This is the last one anyway so i guess it doesn't really matter (smile). Good luck with your summative journal (smile)