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Viewing entries tagged with 'awareness'

Diversity is hard work

Posted by Philip on 16 June 2017, 3:17 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

When I began working for myself in 1998 I read a book — I can't remember which — that made an important distinction between hard work and difficult work. I've never forgotten it.

Hard work is about being persistent, disciplined, committed and, sometimes, working long hours (especially in the case of starting a business). Difficult work is complicated, confusing or highly technical — it takes a certain level of intellectual or specialist "grunt" to achieve the desired outcome.

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Five reasons to embrace conflict

Posted by Philip on 31 October 2016, 5:37 pm in , , , , , , ,

Conflict — it's easy to avoid. In fact, we often do anything we can to avoid it (well, I do). Often that means not doing anything.

Six people sit, three each on both sides of a table. Centre couple arm-wrestle.

Within the last 24 hours I was involved in a conflict situation with a colleague. I won't go into the detail — it's irrevelent. But the process the two of us went through — an action, a reaction by me that created conflict and then a conversation to come to a resolution — reminded me that, even though it is acutely uncomfortable, when handled constructively, conflict can have truly positive outcome.

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Remembering my purpose — revisited

Posted by Philip on 7 October 2016, 2:45 pm in , , , , , , , ,

Last week I blogged about my purpose. I said I felt purposeless, and wondered if being purposeless was, in fact, my purpose for now.

I've changed my mind. I wonder if surrendering my purpose was part of rediscovering it. I also wonder if my parents bringing a whole lot of newspaper clipping from when I was born has helped me remember.

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Depression and anxiety — illness not weakness. Or something else?

Posted by Philip on 9 May 2016, 4:38 pm in , , , , ,

Last Thursday I attended the Health Promotion Agency's video preview session for its refresh of The National Depression Initiative​ (depression.org.nz). The National Depression Initiative (NDI) "aims to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety on the lives of New Zealanders by aiding early recognition, appropriate treatment, and recovery."

I was there as one of 15 New Zealanders who have shared their stories of living with depression and anxiety. For me, it was living with aggressive and abusive neighbours over two years (2011 and 2012) that created acute anxiety ​​and prompted me to offer to share my story. But, in the course of doing so, I've come to realise that I've experienced both depression and anxiety many times over my lifetime.

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Diversity and the re-orientation of awareness

Posted by Philip on 10 December 2015, 11:00 am in , , , , ,

In the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s I ran awareness workshops. They were focussed on raising awareness of others' diversity, often a certain aspect or characteristic: their disability, sexuality, etc. I also attended workshops aimed at raising my awareness of others, eg. cultural diversity.

I've been reflecting on the work I do now, in particular sessions I've led for ATEED and Idea Services' Autism and Specialist Support team in the last week. I realise I've totally re-oriented the role of awareness in understanding and responding to diversity.

These days I work with people to increase their awareness of themselves, to develop self-awareness.

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Taking my hat off to teachers

Posted by Philip on 5 December 2013, 11:53 am in , , , ,

I can be a bit cynical and critical of schools and the education system. But I had an experience yesterday that has completely changed my attitude towards teachers.

It was a privilege to be asked by Epsom Girls Grammar School to work with Year 12 students putting themselves forward for leadership positions next year. I did a 20 minute TED-style talk entitled "Dynamic Leadership", followed by two workshops on mastering the five tasks of leaders (based on a business model by Warren Bennis).

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Drop the WAR on drugs for aWAReness of dosage

Posted by Philip on 15 May 2012, 8:27 am in , ,

Every substance known to us is potentially useful and harmful.

Marijuana in small doses is great to relieve nausea or pain. Take too much and you get clumsy and paranoid.

Pseudoephedrine, the base of P or methamphetamine, does wonders when you have a cold, but only in a tiny amount. Smoke a heap of it in a pipe and you lose it badly.

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Trees in the distance

Posted by Philip on 27 March 2012, 6:11 pm in , , ,

On Sunday I sat out on my deck and noticed, in the distance, a gap in the landscape. A tree had disappeared.

Whoever decided to chop down the tree didn't realise they would change my view.

How many times, when we act, do we unknowingly change another's outlook, opinion, ideas? Might we even impact more tangibly on their lives?

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The three ways people do change

Posted by Philip on 4 November 2011, 7:07 am in , , ,

When it comes to change, I think there are three types of people.

  1. A small number of people want to enquire more deeply into self-change. These people see that they are responsible for what occurs in the world.
  2. A greater number want change, but think self-change is a bit wanky or woo-woo. They want to be able to actually get on and do something to change things outside them, in the world. They see change as systemic.
  3. The third group complain about change being imposed on them. These people often feel 'done to' rather than empowered, victims rather than creators.

Over time people in group 3 may move into group 2 and start doing more constructive things in an attempt to change systems, structures and other people.

But those in group 1 will always be most comfortable and effective with change.

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