It’s already week 7 … Where does the time go?! We are now at the point where the end of the semester is dawning on us and any more experimenting on our simulation is out of the question. People are becoming very competitive on MikesBikes and a lot of teams are doing an outstanding job. Everyone in my team seems to understand what they are meant to be doing and after some discussion, everyone is sure of what steps they would like they’re department to take in order to improve. Therefore, the weeks are starting to feel quite repetitive as I show up to team meetings knowing exactly what needs to be discussed and start deliberating the same thing, every week. This isn’t much of an issue, but the main problem here is finding relevant points to discuss in these journals and trying to link them to that week’s readings since I'm lacking anything to say that will actually differ to what i wrote in the previous journal. Yes, I haven’t exactly been putting my heart and soul into the last couple of journals that I wrote as I did have a lot of other assignments to focus on, but I just felt like the feedback I've received from few people was harsh.
In one of this week’s readings, Argyris (1991) discusses the tendency for many professionals to deny the reality of failure whenever they are faced with it. According to the scholar, these professionals are used to succeeding in almost every aspect of their profession. For this reason, whenever they experience failure or, as Argyris (1991) put it, their single-loop learning doesn’t go as well as it usually does, they tend to become defensive, reject any criticism that they may receive, and often avoid blame by blaming others for their own failure rather than just accept their hard effort for what it really is- a hard effort. What this scholar has established is very similar to how I reacted after receiving the feedback that I did the past couple of weeks. I became defensive over my own work, as one usually does, and began making claims such as “they’re just being really harsh” or “they didn’t even take the time to try and understand what I was saying”, when ultimately, I was the problem.
This was clearly my way of defending my work, in addition to the very famous excuse of “I had other assignments to focus on” which I’m sure everyone else in this course also had. Argyris (1991) had emphasised that these professionals were used to success and that’s why they tend to have a hard time accepting failure. Although not proud, I feel like I should note that I know exactly what it feels like to experience failure however, that definitely does not detract any of my denial when receiving such constructive criticism. The feeling of defensiveness is common whether they are used to succeeding in everything, or failing in most things in life. Through Argyris’ (1991) work, I have realised that I just need to accept this ‘failure’ [of writing journals that lack depth] in order to better myself for the next week’s learning journal. Their criticism is there to help me learn.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4-15