Sticking with Description

After several years with a language learning company, I have non-renewed my position. I am now between jobs, taking time to reflect on what has transpired and clearing my head before I decide on a next direction.

I have attempted to write a few blog posts based on my experiences from my recent job. But I find that even after six weeks of time off, I am unable to identify small enough slices to take myself through the Experiential Learning Cycle, ELC, as I usually practice it. I find that each time I reach for something it contains too much to unpack, too much back story, and I get lost. Lost in the players, the history, the context, the comparisons, the situations.

I am lost in description. I have so much description it overwhelms me. I am reviewing the events—things I could have done differently, things I wished I had done differently, things I wished I had done at all. They seem to overwhelm the things that went well.

I am lost first in the big picture, and then in the details of that picture—going in circles, spiraling in on myself. I can’t seem to find the middle ground; I’m unable to sort out the wheat from the chaff. I can’t put my finger on what is important and what was merely critical, or extraordinary, or unbelievable. I keep lifting up rocks and finding news things to explore.

I am lost. But maybe this is the first step to getting to the things I think I have learned. What is it exactly that I think I learned about leadership, about clarifying the organizational zeitgeist, about finding criteria to address individual situations within policies and procedures, about balancing company values with client expectations and beliefs, about professional and personal relationships?

After six weeks my only clear thought is that I need to write the stories first, to stick with description is OK. To not push myself through the ELC is OK. To trust that as I write the stories, the clarity will come. Then I might I be able to dig into the next stages of the ELC.

This post was written by Tana.

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