Identity

Respecting: a Lesson in Generosity

A glorious May in a Northern city. Being out in the empty streets at 9 o’clock in the evening was strangely soothing; people had gone home from their offices, the shops were closed and the large, black buildings had heaved a sigh and settled down for the night. I...

Recalibrating: How am I?

People keep asking me how I am coping with lockdown. Given that it is also January, the coldest and often most miserable month of the year, and given that I am a little up and down emotionally at the best of times, and struggled with lockdown when it first happened in...

Relishing unusual connections

So here I sit, morning coffee in hand, sun streaming through my east facing bedroom window, and I am transported. Uplifted, taken delicately by the hand to another place, where there is no nastiness, no anger, no sorrow. Just kindness, connection. I can see the hills...

 Relishing the impact of inspirational colleagues 

About 12 years ago I did my Belbin Team Roles1 analysis. It came free with the purchase of a book and I duly registered, contacted several colleagues to fill out the questionnaires and awaited the 360 type results. Belbin, for those who are not familiar with it,...
Remembering examples of humility

Remembering examples of humility

Many years ago when I was new to working with doctors, I met a professor of cardiac surgery. He was approaching retirement, white hair, half moon spectacles, and was the most gentle, enquiring, curious participant on the courses we were running about Supervision. So...

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Recognising leaders

Recognising leaders

There’s only room for one sun in the room, I thought, watching as my colleague held forth yet again. Only happy when at the centre of a group, talking, less good at listening and desperate to do anything to avoid being alone.  You would think that the sun, as the...

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Re-questioning: who am I?

Re-questioning: who am I?

Who am I? What am I here for? Where am I going? Is this it? These are just some of the existential questions that escape from their dungeon in the darkest recesses of my mind from time to time. Along with the crazy comparisons – she has a chair, he’s running a...

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Reflecting humanity

Reflecting humanity

It was raining heavily, rush hour, darkening skies despite the August date. With two teenagers in the back, excited by the film they had just seen, and the windscreen wipers on fast, I navigated the queueing cars in both lanes, sighing at the realisation that the...

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Reconnecting: let’s have a good old chat

Reconnecting: let’s have a good old chat

It was my first day of work. First day as a fully qualified but on probation teacher. It had taken four and a half years with no holidays – we did our teaching practices in the holidays, and I had worked very hard to achieve not just a degree but a diploma in...

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Reconsidering who we are: unconscious bias

Reconsidering who we are: unconscious bias

He appeared in the door of the room I was working in. My students (a group of consultant surgeons) were taking each other through various surgical skills teaching: anastomosing chicken legs; suturing banana skins, and having great fun. Only I noticed the man at the...

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Re-positioning: Do our emotions have memories?

Re-positioning: Do our emotions have memories?

Sometimes I think my emotions run through my veins where everyone else’s run through their arteries. I don’t mean mine are limping back to the heart, oxygen delivered, pressure reduced; I mean that mine are there, visible just under the surface of the skin, not buried...

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Re-visualising: Who am I?

Re-visualising: Who am I?

I am a sponge. Some people are rocks. But I am a sponge. You can confide in rocks and whatever they do with you at the time of the confidence, it will slide off them soon after and they will carry on with their sturdy, often plodding ways. They are rocks because they...

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