Disclaimer: This isn’t related to teams, or the readings on teams – I don’t think that I’ve learnt anything yet about teams at this early stage – at least nothing actionable as per Daudelin (1996), so I’ve written what I have learnt, and maybe I’ll learn something about teams next week.
I learnt something about myself this week – I know this sounds like a normal sentence, but it’s not something that happens a lot; or if it does, it’s something that occurs in my subconscious. But this didn’t, which was surprising in itself, and I can’t help but think what caused it – but let me describe this “it” first.
Here’s a snippet of “what I think is me” for background: I am normally very, very good at “shutting” parts of myself away. For instance, if I’m working on this learning journal right this instance, I can generally ignore the growing mountain of work that I have to do for my robot (another Uni course); I can ignore the problem sheets I have to do and everything – including non-Uni-related stuff – that, well, isn’t management. And while this means that I am good at focussing and getting tasks done to a high standard without being distracted, a side effect of it means that I can sometimes come across as insensitive – I choose what I care about, and care about it deeply, but what I don’t care about doesn’t even surface.
Today, I had an interview for a summer internship position. Let me say that I have been to a grand total of one “real” interview in my lifetime. I’ve known about the interview time since Friday, so I guess that was plenty of time to prepare and stew. And stew I did – I seemed unable to achieve even small tasks; unable to focus or think past the interview. In my robot-paper meetings, I was unable to focus to the extent that I normally can. I successfully did nothing for a whole two-hour break, despite having a full workload. I even delayed the writing of this journal until after the interview was completed.
What exactly did I learn? I learnt that the position of this “boundary”, between compartmentalise-able and non-compartmentalise-able, is more limited than I thought it was. There must be some kind of scale – be it dependent on nerves, importance or other characteristics. But what is even more surprising? I don’t think I would have picked up on that before undertaking this course.
It is actually a scary thought how much difference – if it really is a causal relationship – this course seems to be starting to have over my thinking. Daudelin (1996) does say that “spontaneous reflection is often stimulated by the nagging...challenges” – I feel that a “nagging challenge” is a perfect early definition for this course.
And here’s my action – albeit a minor, subtle change in attitude - to complete my learning: I’m on the lookout. If this course is changing me and my thinking, I want to know. I want to be able to decide if it’s making me grow or if it’s stunting growth. I want to be in charge. I don’t know if I will be, though. And that’s a scary thought.
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36-48.