Learning, Work

Learning hurts

Since last May or so, I’ve been participating in a leadership development program at work. It’s been an…. interesting process. After self-awareness and emotional intelligence, we’ve moved on to situational leadership.

I’ve noticed a pattern in the way that I’ve reacted to each new area. It seems that I don’t like it when I don’t understand or “get” what I’m supposed to be doing.

The self-awareness survey and report really stressed me out, I didn’t know what to expect or what the “right” answers were. I ranted and raved about it for weeks. Then, after the bit that I expected to be really painful – the debrief – it was like a weight lifted. The emotional intelligence sessions were less worrying, but nevertheless I had moments where I just felt a strong antipathy for the whole thing.

I got over it, carried on and learned some new stuff.

Now, a new phase is starting about leading people depending on their skills and confidence. Again, I felt really uncomfortable and close to tears at one point because I felt so out of my depth. I had a chat with my manager on our messaging system and told her how I was feeling. I didn’t need her to help me fix it, I just needed to express it. I got past the discomfort and committed to the session.

What was really interesting though, was that the trainer was talking us through how the people we lead manage learning. She told us how her child gets really frustrated doing their homework and she celebrates their frustration because that means they’re learning, because it’s hard.

That rang true, small boy is the same. When he’s finding homework (almost always maths) tough, he gets really frustrated with himself and often tearful. Several hours later, while in the shower (I do my best thinking in the shower when I’m not able to run), it came to me.

I react in the exact same way.

When I’m finding learning really hard, when something doesn’t come naturally, I get frustrated too. I get upset and cross and I often lash out at the thing I’m supposed to be learning. Just like small boy. Just like the people I’m supposed to be learning to lead.

Because, learning hurts.

Love from Smell xxx

14 thoughts on “Learning hurts”

  1. I really appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in this post. It can be rather uncomfortable when learning and doing new things. I often equate it to feeling S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D insi many ways. What you think you can’t do you find you were able. Great article 😊

    Pastor Natalie (Examine This Moment)
    Let’s take a moment 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So very true! Especially the part where you said, “I felt really uncomfortable and close to tears at one point because I felt so out of my depth”. But, I will say, those times are the times we learn the most. Because we not only learn something new, but we also learn something about ourselves and become stronger for it. Great job! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aw sorry to hear your frustration I can totally relate, trust me! It’s important to be kind to yourself with new things sometimes we over-expect way too much! I always use EFT tapping for the judgement and frustration it really helps!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Learning can be tricky especially as we all do it in our own unique ways; as a teacher it’s good to know all the varying styles but it’s common to come across the frustration. Finding a way through that can be equally frustrating too; this was a really interesting exploration of that — it’s got me thinking about my own styles of learning and how they have changed/evolved over time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s an interesting insight. I lived through so many fits of tears with my girls when they were struggling with homework over the years. I had to remind myself it was because they were learning and trying.

    It is tough to learn new things but we have to push ourselves outside our comfort zone to experience true growth. I’m sure when you look back in the future, you’ll see this leadership training program as a period of significant growth and learning.

    Liked by 1 person

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