Welcome to Weekly Rapts
Every week I come across some exceptional articles, books, videos, tweets and other stuff that captures my attention and inspires me to action which could be to write about a blog post; have a conversation about it with someone; create something from it; escape down a rabbit warren to learn more about it.
These have enraptured (‘rapt’) my imagination and attention for the week so I’m going to share them here as (‘wrapped’) gifts to you too.
This week….special mention goes to Simon Terry.
If you’re not following Simon’s blog posts or Twitter handle (@simongterry) give yourself a slap around the head and get thee to a doctor.
His posts are always insightful and packed with lots of value that comes from many years of experience working in business with business. I have a lot of respect for his work, the way he thinks and in general, the way he approaches things. Sometimes we need people like this in our lives whom we can observe and learn from.
When he’s not working, he loves to bake and you should check out his Instagram account because every time he posts a photo of his delicious baked goods, I swear and I can smell them. He’s just an all-around good bloke.
This week, I’ve been trawling through his website. Why? There’s just SO much there to learn about.
In particular, what I look for is how I should be phrasing things when speaking to business. You see, I’m too emotional (maybe that’s the Greek in me), I take things to heart and wear my heart on my sleeve (make my feelings apparent). I’m passionate about learning and mindful that others aren’t – or at least need to find a way to be able to bridge that gap in articulating the value of collaboration and learning in a business sense. Simon has that in spades.
So this week, the post he shared about how a Thousand Blog Posts Changed My Life was wonderful. It resonated strongly with me as I’ve been blogging since 2005 on a personal blog Ramblings until I later moved over to this blog.
What I particularly loved was how he mentioned the system of daily practices. Reflecting on my own blogging journey, while I must say it hasn’t been consistent because over time, my explorations led me into journalling (in years past) and vlogging (last few years), these require a different way of communication and sense-making.
For journalling, I was lacking the feedback but it was highly introspective writing meant only for my eyes; meanwhile the vlogging I was lacking the meandering mind and the ability to get “clarity” in a verbal format. When I think of it, I’m not the type of person who talks out her thoughts – in fact, I’m pretty hopeless at this – but writing them down is far more preferable for me.
I believe that Simon’s post should be critical reading for anyone in business who is thinking “what’s the value of blogging?”.
I’d be saying “what’s the cost to you if you DON’T blog?”
I LOVE this post (as I do ALL of @simongterry writing. He writes about blogging and it’s beautiful. It resonates so strongly with me. How valuable would it be if we could do this in our own way in orgs and share our voices too? https://t.co/6QTAsKkcgX
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) May 30, 2019
Simon Terry is on a roll.
This is another excellent blog post that was timely because last week I was at a client site doing my thing and I’m amazed at people at the coalface who always question me on why they should be having conversations online, collaborating in enterprise social networks when they get zero value from them.
In fact, they say to me…”they’re a waste of my time because everyone just posts stickers and gifs – all irrelevant stuff that I don’t have time for.” (I’ve lost count of this comment over the years and have written about it extensively on this blog about how to overcome it such as How to Explain Yammer amongst many other posts about the same topic).
In this post, Simon shares an extensive ingredient list and steps on how to start and what to do to encourage people to have meaningful conversations online that allow people to show and share value.
Once again, this entire post is so rich in ideas and while I was reading this, I was thinking “what are some personal examples in my life that show how this occurred and how the return came back to not only me, but the team I was working for and the organisations I was with?”
I’ve been following the work of Sylvia Tolisano (@langwitches) FOR YEARS. Her blog posts on digital literacy and social media for learning are abundant in ideas, resources and links. Her entire website is a massive resource that I continually keep coming back to.
Although her audience is mainly teachers and educators, everything – I mean EVERYTHING – she writes has a direct application for every one of us.
In this post, she writes about the challenges of curation – and let’s face it it’s a skill we all need to have. (I’m amazed that with my peers in Learning and Development, curation seems to have dropped out of favour in the last year as not many people write about it or explain their process). I’ve written about how I curate in this blog over the years and at one time even had a panic over it Curator Panics Over Link Rot.
— Silvia Tolisano (@langwitches) May 20, 2019
And then this….Sylvia shares this WONDERFUL BLOG POST of her personal journey to push out of her comfort zone and learn something new – RUNNING!
She’s using Instagram to document her entire journey and once again, I can’t tell you HOW MUCH I LOVE PEOPLE WHO SHARE WHAT THEY DO OUTSIDE OF WORK USING THE TOOLS, METHODS, NETWORKS & MEDIA THAT THEY USE, ROLE MODEL AND ESPOUSE AS PART OF THEIR DAILY WORK.
I’m shouting this because let’s face it, it’s BLOODY INSPIRATIONAL.
This instantly showed me a different, unique and personal side to Sylvia – it made her less about her work in education and business and more about the person. We need more of this.
If you’re not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you’re not learning or growing; (so don’t tell others to do it if you don’t follow your own advice)
Patti Shank shared this article and it had lots of people commenting on it. Check out the threads of conversation in my timeline to see the chatter.
I’m not going to go into it here as I can write an entire book on the subject but ultimately when I come to think about my situation, it was also a mix of ignorance on my part and on wanting to help others but in the process, affecting my own livelihood.
When I managed to have chats with people who were more experienced in this matter, they gave me some ideas about how to handle requests and a business coach even gave me some suggestions for structuring an offering – and I even role played a phone conversation with him – just so I didn’t jump the gun all the time offering people suggestions for what they could be doing.
Yeah I should have been smarter in this aspect from get go. Initially I was having coffees until I realised they were asking me questions on how to do their L&D jobs. Then I stopped & told them my rates. Guess what? No one wanted to meet for coffee. 😊 https://t.co/Mg2IDYJ84e
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) May 31, 2019
This piqued my curiosity by Mark Carrigan (@mark_carrigan) because I’m an avid walker and my best thinking is done when I’m out and about doing my walks. I can plan, outline and structure what I need to do and then get home, sit at the desk and pump it out because the bulk of it has already been done in my head. I also go on a weekly walk with my friend Marilyn Snider (@malmade1) a global education educator and this also helps me clarify my ideas and projects by talking to them with her.
As I read this post, I recalled the walk that was incorporated into the excellent workshop called Creative Melbourne (see the video I created about it below) run by Arthur Shelley (@Metaphorange) that had the group exploring old and new architecture in Melbourne and the stories of what we could learn from the environment around us.
It also made me think about the conversations we’ve been having with Fiona Tribe (@white_owly) about this idea of conversations and doing an activity around it. I’m not going to divulge what that activity is here because that would be giving away the secret but it’s an activity that humans have been doing since prehistoric times but in modern life, we seemed to have lost it; but when we do it, we always come out of the experience in a positive way. Right, no more said.
I was perusing this article because recently I’ve started to focus on my diet. I packed on a few kilos over the Hawaiian holiday and let’s face it, I’m in my 50s now and I’m seeing all sorts of weird stuff on my face (wrinkles that won’t go away) and fat that’s finding a home under my back near my arms (WTF is up with that?!).
Madly I delve into Google and type: “quick ways to lose weight” etc. You know the drill – you’ve all done it and stumbling across all sorts of different websites, YouTube channels and podcasts in search for quick wins.
My parents recently lost a lot of weight simply by focusing on eating more proteins and vegetables with daily exercise of walks and I figured if they can do it, so can I.
I’ve been doing the same and so far, feel pretty good about it. It’s a blend of intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet and it took up to Day 4 before I started feeling energetic, well and not hungry. I have also been viewing Dr Berg’s YouTube channel because he explains it well. I’m not entirely sure I need to do a ketogenic diet as I’m thinking down the track, I’d still love to eat some carbs mainly in the form of porridge (which I love) and breads. Maybe I just don’t need to eat them every single day…
Oh well, I’m still new to this and bumbling my way along.
Where do I start with this one?
I think my self-awareness has actually thwarted my corporate career – struck a heavy nail through its heart, banged on with a heavy mallet with each post I wrote over the years to an unrecognisable pulp of gush and gore.
Lesson 1: Women underestimate themselves, but not in the way most people believe (my thoughts here for me is that I lack the confidence believing that my contributions are actually valued by anyone)
Lesson 2: Women aren’t getting good feedback (my thoughts here are that I’ve worked in predominantly male environments in the past and KNOW that they will not share feedback to me in case they hurt my feelings or I get emotional or they’re seen as providing preference to some women over others; whereas in environments predominantly female, there’s an unspoken but “felt” competition, professional jealousy (?) with each other. I’ve not had female managers so hard to comment about this one).
Lesson 3: Women tend to take feedback to heart (my thoughts here: maybe there’s a lesson in lesson 2. It’s true – I take feedback to heart at the expense of ignoring the bigger picture. This needing to please everyone all the time is doing my head in and making me go backwards).
Lesson 4: HARDEN UP & SWEAR! (Okay, I just added that myself).
I should have. I have to work on this. My usual way letting it slide, making some excuse to leave, pondering it for days, tweeting/blogging annoyance, turning it into a lesson. It’s easier to swear and be done with it.
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) June 1, 2019
So that’s my weekly wrap up! What have you come across this week?