Glass Ceiling? If only it were so simple

Is it too critical, or too nuanced, to suggest that it’s not just the visibility of female role models that is an issue ? Visibility – and more fundamentally, existence – is certainly important: the vast literature of leadership development and behavioural change provide endless examples of the power of modelling what you wish to create, rather than merely calling for or espousing it. Without role models, the idea that something is possible is far harder to grasp or conceive.

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Populating the tent

Promoting other people in your own image not only says something about your preferences, it says something – and not something particularly healthy – about your own self-image. Leadership depends not just on developing self-awareness, but on maintaining it – staying aware of your impact, of the impression you create, and your relationship to the changing world around you. (If you want a truly ghastly analogy here, consider the scene in Behind the Candelabra where Liberace produces a photograph of himself as guidance for the plastic surgeon hired to ‘re-model’ his partner. If you want to be adored, try being adorable. It’s cheaper and it leaves fewer scars – on everyone – although it does mean finding out what other people find attractive.)

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Adult Learning Fortnight: Somatic Coaching

While an introductory session – and a subsequent brief blog – can only scratch at a surface, the first task is definition. The word ‘somatic’ is likely to be unfamiliar to most readers: the link is not to ‘soma’ (the fictional pleasure-drug in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, albeit that Huxley was drawing on ancient Indian practise), but comes from the Greek, meaning ‘of the body’. In the context of Somatic Coaching, this does not refer, however, simply to sports coaching but to coaching that recognises the unity of mind and body and points out that our lived experience comes from and is ‘felt’ not in one or the other but in – to use a phrase from the discipline itself – “the living body in its wholeness”.

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Slow, slow, quick-quick, slow …

In a society that doing otherwise is effectively daring to signal that we're dispensable, how should we respond. Certainly it was hard to avoid the feeling that Steve, a self-employed man looking to parlay a commitment to festival organisation into an events management business, had chosen to be busy as often as possible. It’s also telling that the most shocking sentence uttered was his statement that you shouldn’t “allow the outside world to demand 100% of you”. Giving 95% is our era’s equivalent of blasphemy.

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In the back of cabs, trust matters

In an age when ‘things go viral’ with alarming ease and speed, we’re ‘in public’ more often than we used to be – even we’re not necessarily aware or conscious that we might be. Social media might let us all ‘get our messages across’, but it also gives the rest of us the right to reply and the opportunity to view and to judge. Seth Godin or Franz Kafka – you decide.

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It’s l8tr than u think: living with social media

The latest outcries about social media – certainly not the first, and undoubtedly not the last – are about threats of violence to women in the wake of Jane Austen being selected to appear on £10 notes (it would be interesting to poll those posting the threats to ask them if they can name the people appearing on the tenners currently in their pockets, as I suspect Jane Austen may not be their true grievance with the world) and cyber-bullying. In the wake of the most recent revelations of what can only be called despicable – and as Tech Radar reminds us – illegal behaviour, there is inevitably a sense that Something Must Be Done.

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Keeping it real: if you can fake that …

Surely I’m not the only one who has noticed the steady rise of ‘fake’ as an insult. If you’ve ever watched Big Brother – in itself, a social experiment that has morphed into light entertainment – you’ve probably noticed that this single adjective now encompasses every variety of dislike, including just genuinely disliking someone: in the show’s context, it truly has become the four-letter f-word. Inauthenticity is the most deadly slur that one candidate can utter against another, even while speaking in the context of a competitive game show based in large part around the social popularity of those taking part.

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Apprentice 2013, The Final: Never mind the botox …

The tension in my living room is electrifying. Well, it’s not every day you find out you have a bumblebee colony in your back-garden, is it? Only an hour to go, and I can go back to watch them woozily float in and out of their nest, paralytic on nectar, and quietly congratulating myself on allowing them to live in harmony with nature. A quick whizz through The Apprentice Final and I can go back to doing something positive about sustainability …

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