The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Learning as a social process

Whenever people come together there is the possibility to learn from one another.

Quite often such learning is left to chance. The aim to grasp every chance comes with an attitude of being wide open to any learning. There is no harm in this, however, I’ve often noticed in training how this approach was also there to avoid feeling challenged. Stepping into learning requires one’s engagement and desire to learn. It involves self-determined learning. And it involves flexibility in the learning process. Especially when there is no clear curriculum to follow, and intention is the only guide available.

With intention as the only guide, one becomes the guardian of the entire learning process. It means exploring how it works for oneself and taking care of one’s experience in the process.

The latter can be a challenge, because of the way people react to one another. When people experience a problem, they want to solve it and seek the support of others. But what often happens is that people start to minimize that problem by explaining how big their problem is, or they try to reassure the person by offering well-meant suggestions to see the positive aspects of life instead. A third way people react to a problem is by trying to help the person to solve it, which is most often done by sharing advice.

The person who has shared a problem can find herself triggered by such reactions. Instead of hearing the comments as the way the other person approaches the situation, they then start to listen to an implicit message that accompanies the explicit message.

It needs to be noted, that sometimes these implicit messages received actually are reactions to the implicit request the person sharing a problem made herself. However, not always. It also helps to remind oneself of how one habitually interprets what is being said. The ability to do so depends on their awareness of the story they tell themselves and how awareness enables them to question their interpretation in a dialogue with the other.

None of this should prevent people from reaching out and discovering how they can learn with others or result in making it a solitary process. However, this then means exploring one’s reactions to others in the learning process, setting an intention, and developing a way to implement one’s intention that suits the respective situations.


Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *