Learn to un-learn

This week I spent a few days at a course on sociocracy 3.0. It was very inspiring and I had a lot of learnings regarding collaboration and communication. I’ll write about this later. Today I want to set a perspective on a very special learning I had on the side of the course: Un-learning works better with an outside perspective.

Human beings are lazy, some more than others and depending on the situation laziness manifests itself in very different ways. One example for this are routines. When I am in a place for more than one time I usually pick the same spot to sit. Being in a rather small room with thirty people for three days is a bit of a challenge for me. So, during the course I sat in the same corner of the room for most of the time. The good thing is, that other people moved around so I had different neighbors all the time.

Here’s what happened on the third day: A participant whom I perceived to be very observant during the days before swooped in on „my“ chair the moment I wanted to sit down after a short break. Such things happen all the time and are not that spectacular. What caught my attention was that he looked at me. I recognized he had probably planned on taking my chair and his gestures signaled that he would have been willing to leave me the chair if I needed him to do so. He told me he simply wanted to mix up the sitting-constellation for a bit. This suddenly made me very aware of my routine.

One of the mottos of the course was „learning and un-learning“. To learn something new you sometimes (most of the time) have to let go of something else. Often we might not be aware of the things we have to un-learn. And therefore I think it is a nice thing if people around you give you a friendly push now and then to become aware and find a new path.

I experience that in learning contexts, in contexts where many people try to learn together, there starts some sort of collaborative learning. People are aware of others learning and are willing to give others this friendly push. I’m thankful for that and hope I get a lot more of such pushes and can give others those pushes, too. Especially since nowadays people are in a learning context almost all the time, I think it’s nice to know that you are not in charge of all the learning but can rely on others to push you a bit if needed.

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