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Posted by Philip on 2 May 2013, 2:04 pm in , , , , , ,

What I don't do and why (HT @thisissethsblog)

This morning I read a blog post by Seth Godin. He's one of my favourite bloggers, mainly because he's brief and uses ideas from one area and applies them to others.

Here's what it said (I've taken the beginning, middle and end — you can read the whole post here).

If your writing feels like nothing but easily defensible aphorisms, as if you're saying things that are obvious... Consider the alternative. Say the opposite.... And then tell us why. We'd love to know how you're going to wriggle out of that. And along the way, if your story is a good one, we might even give it a try. 

It struck a deep chord with me, because I do struggle to write about what I do. So I decided to apply Seth's advice to my "Hire Me" page — and here's what I wrote:

I'm available to work with and speak to professional and inquisitive people who want to think differently about diversity, approach their work more creatively and/or wish to lead some sort of meaningful, lasting social change.

I don't do training. I won't give you tick boxes. I won't tell you how to think, say or do the right thing. Because there isn't a right thing.

If you choose me to work with, you won't always feel comfortable. You won't always know what's going to happen. You won't know how it's going to end.

Neither will you be in the same place as where you started. Nor will you think the same or have the same conversations. You may even be a little confused.

I learnt a long time ago, through my training as a counsellor, that confusion is a great place to be, because you're able to consider all options. I've learnt from Sir Ken Robinson that you can't have an original thought if you're not prepared to be wrong. I've learnt from Kathryn Shultz that being wrong fuels innovation. I've learnt from Brené Brown that being uncomfortable, or vulnerable, is where we find our strength.

I've learnt from my own experience that diversity is not about knowing about other people, it's about knowing yourself. Our diversity isn't our labels and categories, it's our uniqueness and commonality.

Most of all I've learnt that social change is what happens over there when you thought you were changing something here.

So, work with me and you'll know yourself better. You'll know how to be wrong, make mistakes, recover and benefit from the learning. You'll have laughed and maybe even cried a little.

And you'll never be the same again.

I'm really happy with it. It feels like the most clear description of my work, which is unclear at best, I've ever articulated.

And who knows? Someone might give it a try.

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