A while back I did a "self-awareness" course which was about becoming self-aware. (As you might imagine).
For me, it is an uncomfortable and confronting thing to realise how my behaviour affects others' perception of myself. One of the things the course looked at was "transactional analysis" and the kinds of states one goes to during interactions. Based on the observations he made of me during the 3 hour course, the facilitator told me I move into the "free child" state a lot.
"The Natural Child is largely un-self aware and is characterized by the non-speech noises they make (yahoo, whee, etc.). They like playing and are open and vulnerable.I took from his [the facilitator] attitude that this state is not the one to be in if you want to be a leader or considered a rational adult member of staff. In my defence, I would like to add that on that particular day I was emotionally vulnerable owing to a number of things happening both at work and home.
The ... Little Professor is the curious and exploring Child who is always trying out new stuff (often much to their Controlling Parent's annoyance). Together with the Natural Child they make up the Free Child." ~ from Transactional Analysis [my emboldening]
The questions I find myself asking are these. In an environment where we are exhorted to be creative, innovative and disruptive in our approach to librarianship, what is the role of the free child? What is the role of Adult in this environment?
"the Adult in us is the 'grown up' rational person who talks reasonably and assertively, neither trying to control nor reacting aggressively towards others. The Adult is comfortable with themself and is, for many of us, our 'ideal self'." ~ from Transactional AnalysisOr am I reading too much into this? Are these things unrelated? Have I taken it out of context?
Yesterday someone tweeted this blog entry:
"The antidote to consumption is play: physically and mentally. We have stripped many of our institutions of play as we became heavier with the burden of information to pass on. It is inevitable. But play is not what happens at ‘recess’ or ‘lunch’. Play is not mindless, in the same way not all information is mindless. Compelling information coupled with playful experimentation, helps us create meaning and improve processes." - Consumption MentalityWhile coming from a different perspective, the part about play not being a mindless activity but rather helping us build meaning and improve processes intrigued me.
There is a part of me that wants to justify allowing the creative side of myself to appear in the work environment - this I freely admit. But I do wonder if I'm shooting myself in the foot to let it do so if I wish to be seen as "professional" and having worthy leadership qualities.
On the other hand, I see a real risk of librarians stagnating into starchy, un-interesting creatures with no flexibility if we do not provide a space for playfulness. Or perhaps I'm just equating "professional" as boring... certainly the times I've been accused of being "not very professional" is when I have been expressing humour or playfulness.
This is very deep. I am interested in your opinion.