I grew up with comedy, listening to and reciting Rowan Atkinson and Monty Python while doing the dishes with my brother in our suburban Palmerston North kitchen. We would invent and record or perform sketches, and put on shows for anyone who would watch – costumes, recorded music and all. At university, we wrote and… Continue reading Can’t you take a joke?
In his 2004 book, Don’t Think of An Elephant, American linguist George Lakoff described the power of “framing” – the use of commonly understood metaphors, or narrative constructs, to describe issues or events in a way that makes sense to people, and means they will be more easily convinved of a contrary world view. Thus,… Continue reading Framing and Free Speech: are we letting the alt-right win the battle of wits?
I'm nearly 50 years old, I've been playing netball on and off since I was 11, and recently on the netball court I learnt something about how to be good in the game. Like lots of lessons, it’s possible I already knew it. But I certainly wasn't applying it in my game. And because I think it… Continue reading Life lessons from the netball court
“Give me compliments, I said give me compliments” is the refrain from a strangely compulsive YouTube video (pictured above). No matter what the under-appreciated protagonist achieves - getting to work on time, loading the dishwasher - he gets no praise. His awesomeness is written off as if it were “of coursedness”. It’s good to learn to live… Continue reading Can you live without praise?
If you’ve ever been given bad news, you’ll know that the best way to hear it is straight. Facts, stated clearly and compassionately, allow you to process and act on the news, however unwelcome. Last week I got some bad news. I was partly expecting the bad news. What I didn’t expect was that it… Continue reading Tell it to me straight
What is your purpose? Have you thought about it recently? Just over a year ago I realised that mine had shifted, and I no longer felt – as I had for so long – that what I did was me. That realisation sparked a major change in my professional life. Last month I was asked… Continue reading Purpose is personal: what’s yours?
When I was in my mid-twenties I was a junior member of the editorial team in a television newsroom. I had a lot to learn about television news, so I tended to just listen, and when I did contribute, I quickly learned that my input was offtrack. It turned out I wasn’t really very good… Continue reading The female gaze; the mother tongue