I’m so upset i can hardly type. I cannot believe that UK is heading for leaving the EU. Living in Australia, I’ve got used to the idea of two homes; but it’s really hard to see the UK as home at the moment.

Australia is far from perfect. Refugee policy, treatment of aboriginal culture, extractive industry, sexism… There’s lots to dislike. But the trajectory is towards better: there are active conversations about building new futures, a sense of hope, a self-reliance that it can be done. Anger is motivating positive change.

I left the UK in the afterglow of the 2012 Olympics & Paralympics. When a multicultural, hopeful Britain at ease with itself as a post-colonial nation felt like it was just round the corner. But now, the impetus for change looks like in reverse: into a small-minded, xenophobic and evidence-free bubble of petty hate and blame. It looks like a majority of people hold the EU responsible for the Austerity measures that they voted for.

So while I can’t say either culture feels perfect, I’m much happier with the Australian trend than the British one.


What can I do to be a better collaborator?

My working group in our adaptive leadership training program is looking at collaboration: within our museum’s context, what is it, how can it be effective and deliver value to our public. Challenged to arrive at three questions that get to the core of the issues, I reflected on advice that a colleague received from a 360 reviewer recently, that ‘the only thing any of us can ever really influence is our own behaviour.’

Which led me to these three points.

  1. How can I better forgive, and work with the grain of, your foibles of personal style, professional codes and pressures of role in order to collaborate with you effectively?
  2. What can I do to overt my foibles of personal style, professional codes and pressures of role so that I am easier to collaborate with?
  3. How can I forgive myself for the inevitable remaining consequential negative impacts of my approach on my collaborator, in order that I may remain in an adult, not parent/child/codependent, state of interpersonal behaviour?

The last is hardest. However hard we try we won’t always get it right. And as i have learnt over the past three weeks of conference challenge, there are many reasons why someone may find collaboration really hard. But it will not serve our goals if I am too riven with fear and guilt to continue to act. And it cuts both ways – my difficulties in collaboration are likely to be my problem, not yours, and it is up to me to fix them. Remaining Adult-Adult (in the transactional analysis sense) is essential – I must notice and resist the push from guilt and fear to enter into a non-Adult state.

Easy to write. Hard to do.