The latest insights on narrative, storytelling and leadership in higher education.

Friday G&T Gallery

Is vulnerability a choice?

“Our lives are less stressful when we have people with whom we can relax and be authentic. Without genuine vulnerability, it’s impossible to build the types of relationships that can provide comfort and increase resilience.”

Vulnerability isn’t always a comfortable place to get to, but the rewards are worth it. When faced with the choice to be vulnerable or not, which path do you take?

These quotes are borrowed from an excellent blog, Is Vulnerability a Choice?, by Farnam Street.

Launched in early 2016 as a way to deal with the stresses of work, Shane Parrish created Farnam Street. Since then, it has become a movement to help readers ‘master the best of what other people have already figured out.’ If you haven’t discovered it already, take a look here:

Values come first

“How we support one another sets the tone for how we treat students. Values come first.”

Values matter. How we treat others – our colleagues, students, managers, and peers – ripples out into our wider organisational cultures. This is the first point driven home in a compelling new blog from Professor Shân Wareing, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Northampton.

At the start of a new year, how can we make sure that we always strive to put values at the heart of everything we do?

Inspired by speakers at the World Education/OECD Conference, Professor Wareing goes on to discuss how learning is social, inclusivity, evidenced based enhancement and the process of change. You can read the full blog here: Five Themes from Education Systems Around the World

A G&T from Dr Seuss

For the last Friday G&T before Christmas, we couldn’t resist this festive phrase from one of our favourite children’s books. Over to you, Dr Seuss…

Kindly borrowed from Dr Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas

We’ve loved bringing you your Friday Gift and Tonics this year, and we hope you’ve enjoyed them too. The G&T is taking a short festive break and will be back with a New Year bang on Friday 10 January 2020.

From everyone at Invisible Grail, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Any questions?

How do you ask questions? And what do effective questions look like? 

Subtle changes in how we ask our questions can be the difference between inviting people in and shutting them out. This tweet, shared by Dr Jacqueline Antonovich (@jackiantonovich), shows how we can open up questions to our students using simple shifts in our words.

Dr Jacqueline Antonovich is an Assistant Professor of History at Muhlenberg College in America, and Executive Editor of Nursing Clio, a peer reviewed blog that ties historical scholarship to present-day issues related to gender and medicine. 

What’s the secret to leadership?

Back when the days were longer, sunnier and a little warmer, I asked my colleague Paul Gentle what’s the one piece of advice he would give to a leader. We’d been talking for a while now, and he paused, and then he said this.

If there’s one thing you do this festive month, try this. It’s a wonderful gift to give.

What's the secret to leadership picture

I was talking to Paul as part of Invisible Grail’s Interview Series, exploring the way people with different areas of expertise see the world, and what we might learn that could reshape the way we see our own professional narratives.

Along with Paul’s interview, you can read pieces from Leah Weiss, professor in compassionate leadership and Julian Stodd, author and advocate of social leadership.

Please read, enjoy and give this one a go. 

Louise, Director of Marketing, Communications and Operations