Updates from May, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Brigit Law 11:16 pm on May 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Journalism, , PTA   

    Kids Minds Matter 

    Last week, I started with a new – the second – team of Scottie Chronicle reporters, and this evening I finished their ‘Reporter Survival Pack’ with worksheets, letter to parents, Tips & Tricks in journalism, as well as the necessary candy treats, pens and block notes (see picture below).

    These groups of school kids are one of the best things I have experienced in my time in the US.

    Compared to Europe, the American PTA has amazed me. So much more support from parents seems to be needed here, and so much more can be achieved when parents and teachers work together. Compared to Europe where parental support is often limited to lice control, reading mom/dad or Christmas party, the American PTA opens doors to parents to set up Science Fairs, Book Fairs, National Reflections Art Awards programs, Spelling Bees, and much more.

    Inspired by the American spirit of ‘The Sky Is The Limit’ (as long as you are willing to execute your own ideas), I became the CEO of my own PTA program: The Scottie Chronicle – a school news paper for my kids’ Scotland Elementary school in Chambersburg, PA.

    Working with these kids brought me closer to my quest to understand better the way humans communicate. How much can kids critical minds bring to an organization, a community, a school? And, are we really listening to them? Can we let them lead us in how we should lead them?

    One thing is for sure, not listening to the perceptive minds of kids or watching them grow up with our full attention, will keep us falling behind in social development and economic prosperity.

    In the end it is like horse riding: you can only lead a horse if you let the horse educate you on it’s needs.

    20130507-234420.jpg

     
  • Brigit Law 4:30 pm on August 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Architecture, , Erol Han Havaceken,   

    Communicating The True Colors of Society 

    Beautifully displayed, these true colors of society in name and paint!

    Photo by Erol Han Havaceken, currently featured by Art & Architecture on Facebook.

     
  • Brigit Law 6:12 pm on August 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    What’s Your Slogan? 

    It’s amazing, that feeling when you hit on a slogan that is really you.

    For me, it’s this one of Dr Seuss, that sums up my whole life since I left home at eighteen.

    “From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”
    ― Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

    What slogan says it all for you?’

     
    • themysticmom 5:14 am on August 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Great question! I think I have several. One of my favorites came in an anniversary card from my in- laws: “Everywhere you go becomes a part of you somehow.”. This is so soothing for those of us who like to grow “deep roots,” but are all too often uprooted and transplanted again! 🙂

  • Brigit Law 11:20 pm on May 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , leiderschap, neurologie, sportmanship   

    New Leadership is a Sense that stimulates the Mind 

    I guess no one can write, talk or think about leadeship without making synergies with sportmanship from time to time. Especially when you live in the USA.

    This evening I read this poem to my eight year old daughter which reminded me of the real status of leadership: that of a human Sense that stimulates our State Of The Mind. A sense that can be developed just like a sense for sportmanship. Just listen to this pro’s advice…

    PRO’S ADVICE
    If you want to play tennis, I’ll give you a tip:
    You must practice your stroke,
    You must tighten your grip,
    You must straighten your shoulders
    And swivel your hip
    And develop your sense of sportmanship.
    (Poem by Shel Silverstein in Every Thing On It)

    It is the status of the mind. Like sportmanship, leadership is not the end or the beginning of something. It is the State of the Mind that steers our behavior to getting something done.

     
  • Brigit Law 10:32 pm on May 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Summer Reading Program   

    Summer Reading improves Creative Minds at Scotland Elementary 

    Dr Seuss, Walt Disney and Shakespeare: these are the three protagonists in the new Summer Reading Hand Book 2012 that I created in my new capacity of PTA chairperson for the Summer Reading Program 2012 at Scotland Elementary in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

    Over 400 copies are ready to go out to all students during this week’s Scholastic Book Fair.

    (More …)

     
    • themysticmom 1:50 pm on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      So proud to know you and all this hard work! You are AMAZING! (Plus, thinking on a grand scale might be another thing we have in common! Remind me to tell you THAT story another time… :))

    • DeniseDenkt 2:50 pm on May 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      What a beautiful and inspiring project is this! We should have that here in Holland too.
      I’m sure that all children will like this!

  • Brigit Law 2:29 pm on April 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: noaberschop, , TCTubantia, Twente   

    Noabershop geeft Revlon gevoel 

    Afgelopen week rapporteerde de Twentsche Courant Tubantia met een blog van Laura Smit over de gevaren achter het uitsterven van het noaberschop.

    Noaberschop is het Twentse woord voor nabuurschap: de gezamenlijke noabers (buren) in een kleine sociale gemeenschap. Een belangrijk fenomeen, in het verleden maar ook in de toekomst (denk Sociale Media!).

    Het verhaal van Laura raakte mij. Vooral omdat ik, sinds ik 20 jaar geleden Twente heb verlaten voor stad en buitenland, overal gevraagd of ongevraagd het noabershop invoer. De noaberplicht zit blijkbaar diep geworteld in mij. Eerst onbewust maar nu bewust, gebruik ik bij elke verhuizing voor het werk van mijn man – die voor een groot internationaal bedrijf werkt – de Twentse kunde van het oprichten van een noabeschop. Het geeft mij de broodnodige veerkracht om als persoon en gezin internationaal te kunnen opereren en overleven. Het noaberschop is voor mij een overlevingsdrang.

    Deze investering in noaberschop levert veel op. Het noaberschop geeft mij namelijk: …

    (More …)

     
  • Brigit Law 11:40 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: doodle, images,   

    Unfamiliar story more enjoyable after looking at appealing images 

    “Simply looking at images of food that appeals to you can make something taste better, according to a new study by scientists at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland.”

    I guess one could imagine this reasoning applies to story reading too.

    Our eyes are a hugely important instrument for communication.

    Eye contact with image processes important emotional information to us. People, often without consciously doing so, probe images or positive or negative moodsigns, just like in eye-to-eye contact with other human faces.

    What’s more is that eyes send images to our brains. By providing images in addition to text, we can influence and make it more easy for our eyes to understand the text or what is being said. A side note however, if that we need to make sure that we do not overkill with images so our brains become lazy and loose the ability to think creatively.

    Our eyes are our visual system. Our eyes visualize the written or spoken story. In particular those which are still unfamiliar to us.

    So, if you are keen to transmit or digest new information and knowledge this week, make sure you get a stories with taste and clear vision.

    Have a delicious Doodle week!

     
  • Brigit Law 3:16 pm on March 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Gender Balance, , Muna Abu Sluyman   

    Balancing Out The Corporate World With Quotas 

    Last week a post from the Economic World Form showed up on my Facebook with Muna Abu Sluyman from Saudi Arabia sharing her ideas about gender and equality at the work floor.

    In her blog ‘Balancing Out The Corporate World’ she explains why mandatory quotas are needed to ensure that women join the decision makers in this world. I couldn’t agree more with her.

    Indeed, quotas are a crucial step to female empowerment in business with the end goal to achieve a better balance in decision making and, hence, finding solutions to the needs of a community or society at different levels of emotion. The latter – the goal – is often forgotten in the debate about this instrument, what a quota merely is. That is why we all, men and women, need to force ourselves to look beyond the instrument and understand better the goal we want to reach. This important worldwide debate should not be belittled or slowed down by some of the less flattering details of the instrument.

    In many instances, quotas are not very popular and stir up a lot of emotions. You only have to look as far as the Dairy and Fishing industry to see how quotas give people the creeps. But is that a reason not to use them?

    Don’t get me wrong, working with quotas is not a concept that I favor in principal and like to think we don’t need them. Regularly, my husband – a decision maker in industry – and I have tough discussions about it. On the other hand, why is it so difficult to accept that quotas help? Many woman – and I am one of them – just need that extra push get a sound and respectful female leadership community to look up to. Why? Because there is an urgent need for people and profiles we as women can more easily:

    • identify with,
    • admire, and
    • get inspired by.

    The key emotional ingredients for moving up and forwards in business, wouldn’t you say?

    I know, quotas feel like putting an elephant in a china shop. However, it is not unusual in business to put an elephant in a china shop in order to get things moving and shaking and more importantly, to get people to change their believes that are hidden far back in their mind and steer their unconscious behavior. So, quotas could be the hammer on a fragile nail that refuses to go in. Now, the challenge is to use the hammer in a subtle way.

    Back to the challenge of inspiration and perception. When I searched for images to go with this article I noticed how difficult it is to find images that portray the essence of this subject . If you Google on let’s say ‘Board Woman’, you get girls in bikini. Online magazines like Spiegel Online lack imagination with an awful image of a lake and mountains when covering the Norway Case in their article ‘Norway’s Experience Shows Compulsory Quotas Work’

    And another very sad image of a woman alone in a meeting room was shown alongside the article Norway’s New Quota: Corporate Board 40% Women Or Else!

    And what do you think about this awful image alongside another article from Spiegel Online ‘Gender Equality’.  The Dominatrix looks like a nicer person to work with than this woman …!

    And perhaps wort of all are magazines and blogs that do not even have an image with their articles on gender equality, such as Ignore the doubters. Norway’s quota on women in the boardroom is working

    Sadly it looks to me that the media wants us to believe that we have a long, muddy and indefinite path to go. Of course, it is nothing like that at all. It are all man who wrote these articles.

    What we need is a tsunami of contemporary images of women in this world doing their leadership job on a daily base. Women like the Principal of my kid’s elementary public school, Scotland Elementary School (PA), who steered the school into the top three ranking of public schools in the area.

    Windows of opportunities are opening for women, but for how long will they stay open? I am sure that this era of social practices and emotions will be followed up by a new one where men will claim their positions in leadership back, whether in a traditional or new format. The changing of the wheel goes fast. Change in business and society lays around the corner, all the time.

    And THAT, my dearest reader, is WHY we need QUOTAS as a mean to enhance Female Leadership.

     
    • gromykl 4:00 pm on May 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Couldn’t agree more! 🙂 Just wrote a similar blogpost a little while ago. Found this blog through twitter searching on expat, just started off as a expat spouse myself with a small child and are trying to find my way

    • Mike 1:38 pm on August 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Your first error is think that for start much people support female empowerment like something good for our society. Your second error is think that the end justifies the means, and it turns worse when you understand that the last objetive is not shared for most of the people. If you dare to break one of the few principles that is really accepted for most of the people like valid, like is formal equality, to be able to favour women ¿how would you defend yourself if appeared a new social-engineer ideology that conclude that its better for the society, men and women, return to the traditional sketch, and that the state must break the formal equality in order to get that?

      • Brigit Law 4:54 pm on August 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Mike, female empowerment, – or a women’s gateway to equal participation in working life as I prefer to call it – is not something one supports but merely confirms. It is like potty training a toddler: you need to give the toddler a potty to succeed. For woman’s equal participation you need to give her a quota to succeed.

  • Brigit Law 10:29 pm on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coaching, creative leadership, soccer,   

    Storytelling Coach Is Winning Card For Soccer Team 

    If you believe, like me, that leadership is more than top down communication. If you, like me, believe that leadership is more coaching than dictatorship. And if you, like me, believe that established leadership styles are in need of an overhaul, than check out how the coach of my son’s soccer team uses Storytelling and wins the league. Storytelling is the new coaching technique.

    (More …)

     
  • Brigit Law 4:46 pm on December 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2012, behavior, , , trends   

    New Trend for 2012: Social: Yes! Media: No! 

    According to new Dutch trend predictions for 2012 anything and everyone media savvy like Foursquare is out of fashion and anonymity is the new ‘cool’.

    Here follows a very telling selection of what is popular in 2012 as listed today in Vrouw, an insert in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf:

    Quality

    Anonymity

    AZ (as opposed to media savvy Ajax)

    To love each other (rather than getting married)

    Radio (as opposed to TV)

    Serving Leadership build on thrust and achievements

    Simplicity

    Old fashion (made) pictures

    Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (as opposed to self enrichment)

    Say yes to moving

    Saving

    Pure Nature

    Depth (as opposed to superficiality)

    Crowdfunding (as opposed to Good Cause)

    Full sentences (as opposed to abbreviations)

    I love this human skill of true resilience: making whatever economic situation hot and trendy and 2012 it is depression, slump and malaise that will bring us together in a more simple and less pretentious fashion.

    Despite what all marketing agencies say, when I read this list, I conclude that for 2012 there will be more Social but less Media. And that is probably a good thing.

    Happy 2012!

     
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