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Viewing entries tagged with 'authenticity'

Politicians – leaders or followers?

Posted by Philip on 1 July 2016, 9:33 am in , , , , , , , , , ,

We call our politicians — whether local, regional or national — leaders, but are they really?

Given they are reliant on public support and popularity to be voted in, politicians can't really show true leadership, particularly leading up to elections. They have to listen to the public and represent the majority view if they want a chance in office.

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New Zealand’s superdiversity — really?

Posted by Philip on 17 November 2015, 10:07 am in , , , ,

A new organisation, the Superdiversity Centre, sprung up last week, launching two reports: "The Superdiversity Stocktake: Implications for Business, Government and New Zealand" and "The Superdiversity, Democracy and New Zealand’s Electoral and Referenda Laws."

At 350 pages with the Executive Summary on page 215, excuse me for not reading the Stocktake. When I finally found the Executive Summary and skimmed its nine point font, it said Government needed to move faster on superdiversity because its responsiveness to ethnic diversity is slower than business.

The Electoral and Referenda Laws report is slightly more digestible at 69 pages but I could still only bring myself to skim its equally small typefaced Executive Summary, albeit more logically located on page 4. It, like the Stocktake, defines 'superdiversity' as NZ's ethnic and migrant population. The report makes the point that this population is increasing and warns of under-representation in voting if laws don't include access for non-English speaking citizens.

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5 ways to avoid assumptions

Posted by Philip on 18 April 2015, 9:14 am in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We all do it. See someone new and, within seconds, our brains start making up stories about them. Or we meet them, exchange a few words and before we know it, we're filling in the gaps with our imaginations. The result? Assumptions.

I did it recently, ironically right after running a workshop on accessibility and confidence for health staff. My colleagues Kylie, Sam and I were about to get into the car when an elderly gentleman approached us.

"As always happens in hospitals," he said, "I'm lost."

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When success becomes excess

Posted by Philip on 15 March 2015, 12:48 pm in , , , , , , ,

People at PasifikaSaturday 14 March's NZ Herald editorial questions the future of the Pasifika Festival, dubbed the "biggest celebration of Pacific Island culture and heritage in the world". A short-notice move from its Western Springs Park home, because of the Queensland fruit-fly quarantine in the area, has been eclipsed by allegations of inauthenticity, over-commercialisation and anti-competitive sales restrictions by major sponsor Tip Top.

Amid threats of boycotts by Pasifika founders, Ateed, the Auckland Council's tourism, events and economic development agency, insisists that the Festival’s “uniqueness and charm” will remain intact. This despite “palagi” (non-Pacific) PR company Orange Productions scooping the contract to stage the event this year and allegations of non-consultation.

Pasifika turns 23 this year. It’s had a pretty good innings as far as events go, particularly spawning from cultural and community roots. I can’t think of another running as long in New Zealand.

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Pride Festival? Or Avoiding Shame Shenanigans?

Posted by Philip on 3 March 2014, 6:56 pm in , , , , ,

I attended one event at this year’s Auckland Pride Festival. That was the Big Gay Out. I didn’t enjoy it much. Part freak show, part dance party, part concert, part excuse to be young and drunk in the middle of the day.

After four hours, I ended up positioned seemingly exactly between the Caluzzi dance tent and the main stage occupied by Goodshirt (sadly most people were too young to remember them but they had a good go). Suddenly I just had to go. As a young guy did the YouTube drunk stagger past me, I realised I had no idea why I was there.

Shortly afterwards a friend recommended I read “The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World” by Alan Downs. Downs is a Dialectical Behaviour Therapist, a discipline to which I don’t wholeheartedly subscribe.

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How to be authentic and congruent

Posted by Philip on 8 July 2013, 2:00 pm in , , , ,

Authenticity and congruency are important in all relationships of trust, but are crucial in roles of leadership. They allow you to be transparent because what you think and say are aligned.

Without good self-awareness it's hard to be sure that you are congruent on the inside and and coming across as authentic on the outside. Here is a quick and simple exercise I used in the weekend that effectively allows you to assess whether your inner and outer worlds are matching up.

  1. Divide a sheet of paper into four (two rows, two columns).
  2. Number the top two spaces 1 and 2 from left to right.
  3. Number the bottom two spaces 3 and 4 from left to right.
  4. Label Space 1: "Conversations I have with myself about myself".
  5. Label Space 2: "Conversations I have with myself about the world".
  6. Label Space 3: "Conversations I have with the world about myself".
  7. Label Space 4: "Conversations I have with the world about the world".

The top spaces represent your internal world or self-talk. This is where your reflection takes place.

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Negative feedback: when things go bad

Posted by Philip on 16 May 2013, 12:46 pm in , , , , ,

A commenter on my last post rightly pointed out that, in some situations, "confrontation is likely to result in ... someone vulnerable, usually the person offering the critique, however justifiable, getting a knuckle sandwich." Hopefully, things will rarely get that physical but, it's true, negative feedback, however carefully prepared for and framed, isn't always taken positively.

As I replied, I had planned a follow-up post about things going wrong for sometime in the future, but given the comment I thought I'd write it sooner than later.

First up, I failed to clarify that, for the last post and this one, I am writing from a leadership perspective. I am assuming that, as someone in a leadership role, I am giving feedback to a subordinate (excuse the authoritarian term), a colleague or someone senior to me but who respects me in my role.

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Negative feedback: turning it around for good

Posted by Philip on 13 May 2013, 2:53 pm in , , , ,

Show me someone who has never been told they got it wrong, or someone who hasn't had to break the news to someone else, and you'll show me a liar. Let's face it, we've all stuffed up and we've all been pulled up for doing so.

The question is, how was it communicated? I'd say 95% percent of the time, it was by punishing or being punished, shaming or being shamed, losing it or being bawled out.

It doesn't have to be that way. Nor is it useful. It causes ill-will, arguments, bad relationships, violence and worse.

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How to have a difficult conversation with someone you respect (and stay friends)

Posted by Philip on 23 November 2011, 7:00 am in , ,

We've all had the experience of having to say something to someone we like and respect, but we know they're either not going to like it, or worse, it's going to have a negative impact on them. It could be telling your boss you're quitting a job, giving feedback to your parents or partner about something they've said or done that's upset you, or perhaps even letting a friend know you've heard something negative about them.

Here are some quick tips or making talking about it easier - for them and for you:

Warn them first

Let them know you have something to say to them that's important and you'd like to make a time to talk with them, probably for an hour. If they say, "Tell me now," don't. Politely say you don't have the time straight away and you'd rather make another time. Arrange a private or anonymous - and preferably neutral - place to meet, like a cafe, meeting room or shared lounge area.

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