This week’s reading once again is related to self-reflection and learning. I’m still finding a lot of ideas from previous week’s readings coming up a lot, I believe these are the central themes of this course. However, from this week’s reading I have come to noticed that the problem or obstacle that we face when learning, is our ego. That is the problem, we think we are smart and we know better and we let ourselves get in our way when we are trying to improve, like how Chris Argyris from the reading has mentioned “people consistently act inconsistent”. I personally have a strong ego from time to time, I find it hard to admit that I’m wrong especially in front of people that may not know more than me. Although to my argument, I would say I don’t experience successes a lot but I am kinda driven fiercely by competition and some-what aggressive.
According to the reading, the author points out that most people have this problem because they are so used to successes and do not come across failure very often. I would like to extend this and say that it also applies to people that are very aggressive in nature, even though they may not have experienced any successes. Furthermore, I think it is also our ego that leads us to behave in such a way rather than how we experience success and failure. Then there is that environmental factor that is grounded by society from a very early age, the basic survival of the fittest idea. Therefore, all these various factors have made our ego of what it is today, that we find it difficult to admit that we are wrong or that we do not know.
Since the ego is getting in our way of truly learning, I believe one of the ways of fixing this is to be humble. Humility is another theme of this course, if I recall correctly from the Level 5 leadership reading? The so called Level 5 leaders all had humility. In order to truly learn, we must humble ourselves. When we go to school and listen/do what our teachers say that is when we learn. You see, we go to school because we believe the teacher knows more than us and when we listen/do what they say, we are putting ourselves down in order to learn. Self-denial is part of humility. We must first acknowledge that we are not good enough before we can accept someone else’s ideas. Of course we still need to critically evaluate it before accepting it as truth, this I cannot emphasize more. The bottom line is you cannot pour into a cup that is already full.
Therefore, my resolve is to start practicing humility in my day to day life and try not to let my ego get in the way. Not just that, I will take every opportunity for learning and not be afraid to make mistakes while I am still at University. I think University serves as a good place for us to learn, make mistakes, fall and get back up. Finally, I would value every statement from someone that would criticise me and learn to not take it personally.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4--15