I’ve recently been working on a new back office web application development tool, that has me frustrated. And I am clearly a “Disillusioned Learner” in the development level of pain. A “Disillusioned Learner” (a.k.a. D2) is the second of four stages of development that we all go through as we’re learning a new task. (See Situational Leadership® II for more info.)
The reason that this level is so painful for me, is because I’m at D4 with most of my job. That means I’m speeding along efficiently and productively, making an impact and enjoying it. Then SLAM! My face gets figuratively smashed into my computer screen with a rude awakening to my inability to figure this new “thing” out. Now this “thing” could be anything. Insert your own confusing or frustrating task between the quotes. Bottom-line: I’m freaking frustrated.
In the middle of my first “what the…” moment, I yelled out, “Consternation!” The word jolted me. I paused. Then said to myself, “You’re weird.” It’s a sad thing when you catch yourself in frustration, and you’re alone.
Of course, half of the battle of D2 is recognizing that you’re in it, and the other half of the battle is patiently asking for what you need, so you can progress to the next level. However, with this “thing,” getting what I need is not readily available. I have to patiently wait. And waiting in our uber-fast world, is painfully difficult. Which makes D2 all the more frustrating. Let’s call it exasperation.
Then, compound that with the awful self-deprecating trick our mind plays with us while were in D2: “See. You’re not as good as you thought you were.” Ugh. Now I’m starting to feel angry. Not good. It’s no wonder that most people quit their jobs when they’re D2 at something.
However, to turn things around, all I needed was a phone call from a coworker who is smarter with this “thing” than I am. And to my surprise, he’s having a hard time with it too. It’s not just me.
Wow. I needed that. D2 is easier with friends.