... the post on learning styles is making me circle back to a post from two months back: Tell me, who is it you are?
Part of that was my own circle (complex systems and connections), but it got reinforced by fellow Watermarker Katherine's response and further exploration of her own learning style and what the blog has contributed to that.
It's making me smile how our particular styles shape how and what we write. - Well, that's my response and reaction to her brilliantly reflexive and analytical post on learning by blogging. She starts explicitly: This is about an exploration who I am, a sensemaking of what interests me. And she continues with the role and development of writing.
Writing is something that she used to do professionally and I still do professionally, and when reading her post I thought along about the rules I did and did not impose on my little blogging adventure. There are some clear rules, the clearest is that most people, bar immediate family, who do not blog themselves have only initials. - Leading to funny confusions of whether M is one or indeed several friends (well: currently M stands for three). There is another one for writing: be narrative and associative. Write the way that usually gets you into trouble for your academic publishing adventures.
Thus: the blog, from fairly early on, and now more and more deliberately has been set up as an other, a space that can, is, moves and develops. I am convinced that the blog benefitted from it; while joking at times that my academic writing gets even more like a brainstorming session and thus is even more likely not to fit, I am also certain that my academic writing does benefit from the blogging.
But - and this is now the topic of this post (long lead in, I know): I have most definitely benefitted from that rule which really is about establishing a frame for emergence*.
And that leads me back to my initial comparison of Myers-Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI) being comparable to horoscopes: I'm cancer, so I'm crabbit, I bite, I like moving sideways rather than forward and really, while being all tough, I am very soft if I decide to open my shell - oh, and frequently I do loose my shell, shed my skin and become something else. Well - that's it, isn't it? Simple and it goes for 1/12 of the world's population.
I did find out who sent me the login for the MBTI test - it was part of my research management training course I was about to embark a few weeks later. The course took up a fair bit of time and strongly focussed on personality preferences, team management and career development of yourself and your team.
There were two initial discoveries about the type indicator:
1. I can confuse quite convincingly - the test involves a set of opposite preference pairs:
- (a) how you gain your energy - from the outside or inside (Extrovert or Introvert)
- (b) how you gather information - by Sensing or by iNtuiting
- (c) how you make judgements - by Thinking or by Feeling; and lastly
- (d) your lifestyle preference - by planning or by being open (Judging or Perceiving)
But - and that is what got me:
2. my preference combination - while pretty rare - offers about 5-8 insights into who I perceive myself to be that I think only I and some close friends know. How on earth did Myers-Briggs know that I love paradoxes? That my desk is generally pretty messy but there's all the connections everywhere? That I know stuff about people often long before they know it themselves? And that I will usually withdraw from situations and people without ever saying much?
There are two more points for this - the implications for group dynamics and for learning and development - that's next. And there's another one, which connects to this as well as to so many other things: it's about the construction of real and imagined readerships - and our positioning towards, alongside or against those we do not know.
* well - take the principles of the Social and Organisational Learning as Action Research group at the University of the West of England, Bristol, for such frame.