“Although life is rich in lived experience, we give meaning to very little of this experience” – Michael White, 2007
This quote from Michael White was from the first class of Advanced Seminar in Media & Communication and has a recurring theme throughout this course.
As I reflect on my experiences at BCM311 I find myself doing a technique that we learnt this semester, that is, the practice of narrative therapy. Narrative therapy as I understood is the retelling of events or steps that we have taken in a part of our lives and identifying what actions we took that uphold our values.
As we practiced our interview skills with other classmates we asked them to identify a recent decision they had to make. The outcome positive or negative, however why they chose that decision to find the source of their values. It is from this listening practice we gained the skill to look out for the ‘absent but implicit’.
Hearing a story but listening to the choice of words of how the individuals preferred way of living is conceived.
“It is not possible to talk about anything without drawing out what it is not. Every expression of life is in relation to something else.” – Michael White, 2006
Through our interviewing narrative practices a common theme emerged, that is, the workplace.
Our workplaces are a complex environment where our values are tested every day and we struggle to navigate our way through.
- Values such as fairness, loyalty, reliability, honesty and acknowledgement are the common values we try and uphold or expect to experience in the workplace.
Though in a world of careless managers, demanding customers, lazy co-workers and high expectations of flexibility we constantly struggle to find that place of perfect existence. That place does not exist it would seem.
As fresh university students’ soon to become professionals in the workplace we are now going to have to navigate our way through our careers. I reflect on the week where Sue Turnbull joined us in class for a narrative practice interview as she discussed her pathway through her working life. She discussed what choices she decided to make and to become a University professor at a later stage in her life. A quote that highly resonated with me was when she said
“Others got ahead of me, they had ambition, I don’t have that”
It resonated because I relate, I also do not have ambition. Is that a bad thing? As a non-ambitious I am comfortable going with the flow, achieving goals at my own pace and having no concrete direction. The workplace however is filled with all types of people who have different values and would disagree with a lack of ambition and enjoy the competition to get to the top. For me I am excited to close this long chapter of my university life and see what the future holds, one step at a time.