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

Friday G&T Gallery

The simplest things are the most effective

Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective. You don’t need an over-thought, detail-drenched idea to make real change happen.

Take the humble conversation. Not the sort we have in agenda packed meetings, or in response to an email. But conversations which focus on simply understanding each other better. Where we talk, listen and truly hear the person in front of us. If we can find this time, could this change the way we connect, work and live, for the better too?

This idea is taken from our reimagned blog Chasing the unicorn: restoring elusive conversations. We were struck with the idea that so often opportunities are missed because we simply run out of time for conversations. And when we do have them we tend focus on operational issues, when there’s so much more to our work and who we are than simply how we do our jobs.

Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash.

The power of emotional courage

“How we deal with our inner world drives everything. Every aspect of how we love, how we live, how we parent and how we lead.”

Emotions are not simply good or bad. They’re our signals. Accepting and living with the whole bandwidth of human emotion is part and parcel of living a meaningful life. From psychologist Susan David, here is a moving TED talk on why it’s OK not to always be OK, and instead find courage in our emotion.

Around the world people are championing Mental Health Awareness week. Susan’s talk is all about unpicking rigid denial of our emotions to find greater fulfillment in everything that we do. 17 minutes long, it’s worth every second.

Not knowing can be tough

One thing is certain; there’s a lot of uncertainty. 

Not knowing can be tough, but it can also be liberating: it’s honest, it’s vulnerable, it’s human. So if you find yourself faced with the fear of not knowing, try this question from Liz Wiseman.

Back before things were so uncertain we wrote about the power of not knowing. Reading it back through this week, it seemed more relevant than ever. Let’s flip our worlds from prioritising what we know, to encouraging curiosity and learning about what we don’t. Here’s the full piece: The power of not knowing.

Photo by Ana Campa on Pixabay

The love ethic

What ignites you? What is it that gets you up in the morning, and helps you be present for the people you care about, at home and at work? 

We’ve had more time to think about these questions lately, and they led us to bell hooks’ love ethic. That love is an act, not just a feeling. Where we don’t just listen but hear, where we share with the intention to be open and curious, and where we pursue solidarity with others.

Let’s choose more love. A quote from the wonderful intellectual, theorist and writer bell hooks.

Whilst researching for a new blog on love and leadership, we came across bell hooks’ work. There’s some fantastic reading around this, including Brené Brown’s ‘Doubling down on love‘ and a research article by Patrick Barnosky on the love ethic in community development.

Photo by Levi Midnight on Unsplash

The Friday G&T will be back with you after the bank holiday, with fresh inspiration arriving on Friday 15 May.

The power to act

“The artist Ai Weiwei called creativity ‘The power to act’.”

Imagine what could be possible if every single person were able to develop their talents and potential to the full. Unleashing creativity in every shape and form to shape the future of our world.  

A 4-minute watch for your Friday G&T from Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts.

This is one in a series of videos from the Royal Society of Arts ‘Shorts’ collection: a series of espresso-ideas for the mind.

Take a short break with Matthew’s video on creativity, or check out other speakers including Brené Brown, Dan Pink, Simon Sinek and Susan Cain. 

Reshared via the Royal Society of Arts Open Access Licence.