End of day one at the conference. Sat in the bar with a fine G&T. I’ve committed to running a popup learning session on narrative learning: how we take learning out of the sessions and forward into our everyday practice. Today has been about experience, meeting fascinating people and sharing stories, discovering new areas of my ignorance.
One thing i’m always interested in is the ‘footsteps’ out of our learning, the final stage of our learning methodology. Chris and I share the experience of having shelves full of notebooks that we never refer back to: for years, we would religiously take notes, but never actually go back to them. Then, in a coaching session one day, he was thrown the challenge not to learn anything new, but rather to make better use of what he already had: to narrate his learning. In response, he started his blog.
There’s a lot of interest in blogs, as ways of developing a voice, of capturing and rephrasing what we learn, of telling our story. Be they monthly, weekly, ad hoc or daily, they are seen as effective tools: semi formal, reflective. I use my blog to iterate my thinking, to try out ideas and to try different ways of expressing them. I often feel ideas developing over time and this narrative channel is a core part of that development.
John’s approach to writing is different from mine. Whilst i tend to write in one draft, stream of consciousness, he prefers to write his posts by doing a first draft and then leaving it for a while before coming back to edit it. He’s quite reflective. Different ways work best for different people: i think i write more like a conversation, less like an article, and rarely with a pre formed agenda. We all agree that feedback to our narrative is important, that we really value it, and everyone expressed surprise at how exciting it felt when we first got external feedback.
Feedback on your narrative, the ability to tell stories and then to get feedback on them is valuable. It can spawn new stories, new tales. As we move through the second day of the conference we are increasingly interested in legacy: how do we take the learning forward, how do we sustain connections? Maybe this blog will be part of my personal learning, maybe it’s a story i’ll come back to.