For this task I had the pleasure of interviewing my current manager and close friend Felicity Worth. Although interviewing a familiar face was a comforting experience, I wanted to ensure I was attentively listening to how Felicity phrased her responses. I wanted to let her responses guide the conversation to ensure my interpretation of her words was accurately represented. I also wanted to make sure she was aware that her responses were going to be shared to my tutor, class mates and later shared online in this blog piece. Felicity explained she is “a very open book” and was happy for people to hear her story. I felt the values and points I took away from our discussion stuck out most to me. We all interpret information in a unique way and the key words that stood out to me may be different for someone else but the values and points I drew out were most meaningful to me. I also thought Felicity’s ideas of the future of work were quite insightful and she highlighted points I hadn’t thought about before. For example the possible increased need for jobs and industries such as psychology, counselling, massage and healing, jobs which involve human to human understanding and connection and cannot be replaced with technology/robots.
Key Values Learnt Through Narrative
My interpretation of Felicity’s core values in life and the workplace included skills such as listening, observing and understanding people. All of which can be summed up with one word, empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and this perfectly sums up the responses I took away from our discussion. I do however understand that empathy and the skills necessary to empathise with one another are skills that of high value to myself therefore this shaped my response and the entirety of my presentation.
Applying narrative concepts and theory to my presentation, I turned to Michael White’s ideologies as explained in “The Absent but Implicit – a map to support therapeutic enquiry” (2009) By Maggie Carey, Sarah Walther & Shona Russell. As mentioned in my presentation I felt that Michael White’s concept directly related to Felicity’s experience and hearing Felicity explain her disruption and how she established her core beliefs, it seems these were values she had always felt strong about through previous life experiences yet could only make sense and distinguish them years later.
“In order to make sense of certain experiences, we need to distinguish these experiences from others that already have meaning to us and which have already been described or categorised in some way” (Carey, Walther, Russell 2009)
When creating my presentation, I wanted to keep things simple yet highlight important points, quotes or phrases on my slides. I formatted my slides with minimalistic colour schemes with small animations to draw attention to what I believe were the important parts of the presentation. I also wanted to make it feel personal and invite my classmates into the interview experience as well. I achieved this by adding photos and quoted phrases with word for word speech of snippets from our interview. I think by adding an exact visual or verbal representation of Felicity I allowed for a more personal, authentic and real depiction of her.
Applying narrative skills and theories learnt through class in an interview of my own was a very enjoyable experience. Not only was I able to get a better understanding of an individual who’s values I already admire but I was also able to acknowledge what values are of importance to myself. Felicity has taught me a lot, especially that “personal and professional life must be blended as they cannot exist without one another”, this is something I hope my classmates also were able to take away from my presentation.
To view my presentation slides and script click the link below:
Carey, Walther, Russell 2009, “The Absent but Implicit: A Map to Support Therapeutic Enquiry”, Family Process, Vol. 48, No. 3, viewed 25th October 2020, https://narrativepractices.com.au/attach/pdf/Absent_But_Implicit.pdf
Lexicon Dictionaries English , Empathy | Definition Of Empathy By Oxford Dictionary On Lexico.Com Meaning Of Empathy, viewed 30th October, https://www.lexico.com/definition/empathy