“Dear Captive Audience”

The ITC has launched a Pop-up info-tainment channel for the summer – “Dear Captive Audience” is connecting with you, the locked down executive and home worker.

Together, let’s smile, learn and exchange.

This light & fruity interview channel has plenty of usable tips and powerful content AND we want you to get involved too.

Please share and subscribe – AND – Do you want to be on the show? Just get in touch with a brief description of your topic – We are all in this channel together!

Link; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu013R6JDblbQDVB4ifznOA/videos?view_as=subscriber

Rwanda; Jeremy Solomons talks to Matthew Hill Part 1

Jeremy Solomons – Talks to Matthew Hill

Jeremy Solomons – In his own words

The ITC is proud to bring you an interview with one of the most popular and influential interculturalists, facilitators and writers.

Jeremy has lived, studied and worked in France, Germany, Hong Kong (and China), Israel, Italy, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Born in Manchester, England – home of the Industrial Revolution and Manchester United – Jeremy holds an MA in French from Oxford. As well as speaking mother-tongue English, he has been fluent in French, German, Italian and US American, and proficient in Spanish and Texan!

He moved to Rwanda in 2019 – In this interview he talks to us about

his Personal cross-cultural adaptation after 27 years in the USA,

why he moved away from the USA – The drama of Trump, the appeal of the new, his first impressions and false impressions of his newly adopted country, what life is like, the fact that he is a white male, and, his thought on the issues facing Rwanda and how his work intertwines with the needs of the local population.

You may contact Jeremy at;

36 KG 2 Ave., Kigali, Rwanda – +250/781555577 – jeremy@jeremysolomons.com

   

Rwanda – Jeremy Solomons Talks to Matthew Hill

Part 3

Resource List for Rwanda

Prepared by Jeremy Solomons, Maurice Kwizerimana and others in 2019

  1. Movies/TV/Videos
  • Black Earth Rising 2018 (very powerful Netflix faction series; view with caution)
  • The Widow – 2019
  • Rwanda – 2018
  • The Day God Walked Away – 2009
  • 7 Days in Kigali – 2014 (Prime Video)
  • Raindrops Over Rwanda – 2018 (Prime Video)
  • CoExist – 2014 (Prime Video)
  • Sweet Dreams (The Story of Ingoma Nshya – Rwanda’s first women’s drumming troupe) (Prime Video)
  • Let The Devil Sleep: Rwanda 20 Years After The Genocide – 2014 (YouTube)

and please avoid:

  • Hotel Rwanda – 2004 (banned in Rwanda and NOT recommended)
  • Rwanda: The Untold Story – 2014 (banned in Rwanda and NOT recommended)
  1. Books
  • Shake Hands with the Devil – Romeo Dallaire (ex UN Leader) – Da Capo, 2004
  • We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with our Families – Philip Gourevitch – Picador, 1998-2015

·      Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey – Fergal Keane – Penguin, 1997

  • Rwanda Women Rising – Swanee Hunt – Duke University Press, 2017

·      Forgiveness Makes You Free – Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga – Ave Maria, 2019

·      Cockroaches – Scholastique Mukasonga – Archipelago, 2016

  • No Greater Love – Tharcisse Seminega – GM&A Publishing, 2019a
  • A Thousand Hills – Stephen Kinzer – Wiley 2008
  • Left to Tell – Immaculee Ilibagiza – Hay House – 2006-2014
  1. Articles
  1. Organisations
  1. News

Event – Conscious Use of POWER, 29th November 2019, London.

Join The Inner Activist to understand your relationship to power. Build capacity and connection within the communities you serve!

Come get involved…


About this Event
How we are in the world, how we relate, collaborate and lead arises in part from our experiences with power. Power can be a negative force, creating division, polarization and systems of oppression, or it can be a source of personal growth and collective transformation within our communities. Conscious Use of Power deepens our understanding of the conflicts, polarization, and feelings (such as anger, pain, guilt, helplessness, apathy and despair) caused by abuse of power and the resulting trauma. We explore the development of our social identities, both marginalized and dominant, as sources of strength and wisdom, and as places of deep wounding. Practices to get us ‘unstuck’ and help us tap into our psychological and spiritual power will free our capacity to build relationships across difference and to consciously use all forms of power to resource ourselves and our communities. Together we work to support the inner and outer changes which build solidarity, allyship and collective power.
***Learning outcomes***
Establish the relationship between inner work and leadership for the benefit of the communities you work with
Understand the various sources of power from psycho-spiritual to systemic and how they surface in social and environmental justice work
Explore your personal relationship to power – how does it shape your lived experience, how do you use it to impact the lives of others?
Identify skills to build relationships across difference (race, class, gender, ability, etc.)
Discover tools and practices to resource yourself under pressure to respond to challenging situations
Who is this workshop for?
We invite participation from individuals who have a foundational understanding of anti-oppression and how systemic power dynamics such as colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy have shaped the world around them. This workshop is open to:
Grassroots activists and change makers
Non-profit and Charity sector
Students and individuals interested in social and environmental justice
Registration fee
The Inner Activist prioritizes reducing barriers for program participants. One of the ways we do this is through a tiered fee model. We invite you to consider principles of self-determination and equity as you choose your tier.
£20 – Supporter (support others as well as yourself)
£10 – Sustainer (pays for you)
£5 – Community (discounted)
About The Inner Activist
The Inner Activist’s mission is to co-create learning spaces that develops compassionate, reflective and responsive leadership in individuals and communities, supporting leaders to skillfully navigate emotions, conflict, power and difference grounded in a commitment to social justice, diversity and equity. We do our work in hopes of a world where individual and collective leadership is based on justice and sustainability for all people, communities and the Earth; leadership that is self-aware, compassionate, collaborative, courageous, empowered and accountable.


To learn more, visit http://www.inneractivist.com. Get in touch with us at registrar@inneractivist.com

Book Review – The Global Mobility Workbook, by Angie Weinberger. Review by Matthew Hill

This punchy book covers the many and varied aspects of an expat move, with the momentum, depth and finesse that anyone new to Global Mobility will truly appreciate. Continue reading

Book Review “The Learner’s Journey – Storytelling as a Design Principle to Create Powerful Learning Experiences.” Written by Bastian Küntzel Review by Matthew Hill

“Identity is the story we tell ourselves”

Bastian Küntzel, Interculturalist, trainer and volunteer, has pushed himself to produce a practical book, that reflects its subject matter, is fit for purpose, and, keeps the audience engaged all the way to the end. Just like a good story.

Success – The book works. Imagine if this tome had failed to keep the reader turning the pages or left the trainer / coach / presenter more confused than when they started!

A journey to wisdom

Tone – The author adopts an intimate style with self-deprecation, revealing honesty and scattered references to Hollywood films that we all know – Harry Potter, Die Hard, Lord of the Rings, Iron Man, etc. We are drawn into this cosy fireside chat (the worked examples in the book’s appendix include old barns and wood burning stoves to add to this feeling), as we begin to join Bastian in his story and journey.

With references to the works of Daniel Kahneman, Joseph Campbell and Yuval Noah Harari, the author provides evidence that he has read widely, dived deep, and, is up to date with his sources and research. The authors are sited in footnotes at the bottom of each relevant page. A bibliography at the end would have been a nice addition.

He deconstructs their models to form his own philosophy around identity, learning, motivation and change, and, does so in a clear, rational and appealing manner.

The Hero’s Journey – We start with the 17 common elements of all stories as collected, analysed and explained by the great Joseph Campbell. With liberal reference to George Lucas who famously used Campbell’s schema to produce the most successful film franchise in the history of cinema – Star Wars, we understand why Bastian adapted the title of Campbell’s most famous work and named the book – The Learner’s Journey.

We then move to Dan Harmon’s updated and truncated model with 8 phases of the voyage.

1. Protagonist

2. Need

3. Go

4. Search

5. Find

6. Take

7. Return, &,

8. Change

The supposition is that this universal structure, found all over the world, in all cultures and throughout time, provides a robust template for training design.

To prove this point, the author spends the rest of the book matching Harmon’s stages to the student’s learning journey and suggests activities, criteria and pitfalls for each step along the way. This unique approach aims to help the classroom pupil to change, transfer and re-integrate into their workplace.

There are some fun moments – The holding of a “Fuck-up” night during an off-site multi-day training – A sort of improv, open mic session where story telling on the theme of how it all went wrong leads to bonding, positive vulnerability and the parking of egos for the duration of the course.

Criticism – Whilst the book is a light, informative and a well-intentioned effort – the model does not always fit the facts, the training purpose, or, the audience. The 3 examples at the end mostly fit but do not 100% conform to the stages of Harmon.

Audience – This book will appeal to those trainers, facilitators, teachers and coaches, that have enough experience to be able to put together a course for themselves – A beginner may be overwhelmed by having to adapt to the various stages and resign, disheartened.

Personally, I identified with the stages and found myself beginning to brainstorm activities and exercises that would fit the 8 parts and found plenty of ideas to insert into each stage.

Conclusion – This is a clean, simple and useful book that will help the passionate trainer, looking to improve or perfect their design craft to take their classroom delegate’s experience to the next level.

There are enough warnings and sorry tales contained within the pages too to act as a vicarious instruction manual for the newer designer.

All in all, The Learner’s Journey is a recommended read for the progressive and open-minded trainer who wishes to gain entry to the hearts and minds of their audience, move them emotionally, and, achieve a learning transformation that is worth reading about.

The book is accompanied by a resource centre – www.learners-journey.com and is available in Kindle and paper form.

The 7 Benefits of Developing A Killer Keynote Speech. A presentation skills post by Matthew Hill

Or, how to construct a speech that will work for you, pay back handsomely, and, improve your life, and, the lives of others.

1. Know your subject to own your topic – For many mild-mannered experts, their very depth and breadth of knowledge can make them hesitate when answering an intelligent audience question. They scour their vast mental library, struggle to gather all the points together, and, construct a punchy response.

The outsider, failing to appreciate this process, can easily conclude that they are less an expert and more a ditherer – Tragic.

Do they understand you?

The discipline of preparing a speech involves writing down and presenting your key points is an ordered way. You, the keynote speaker, have the opportunity to simplify your “mind palace” and craft an appealing “starter”. You would not attempt to serve a vast main course before your guests are ready to enjoy it. Working on constructing a meaningful presentation will reacquaint you with your material, and so, allow you to chunk down complexity to bite-sized and understandable units of entertaining and informative communication. These will intrigue your audience, warm them up and prompt them to…ask for more.

Benefit – The ability to package vast quantities of data, research and experience into digestible blocks, frees the expert to enjoy audience encounters, with the boosted confidence of a great communicator – And, this makes them irresistible to their audience.

2. Clarify your thoughts – Most experts form their professional opinions and conclusions early in their careers. A problem then arises, if the field moves on. They slip behind current thought and look old fashioned.

Preparing and researching to construct a new and up-to-date keynote speech, offers the opportunity to make sure you are ahead of the curve, on top of latest developments, and are thus, preparing something that is bullet-proof to critics. There is nothing worse than an old soldier grinding out stories that are no longer relevant or peddling models that have been disproved and dismantled long ago. It is embarrassing and unnecessary.

Benefit – The structured thinking and “audit” of your work, that is required when forming a new core presentation, keeps you abreast of wider developments and will save you that red-faced moment, “Have you taken new theory X into account?”

With due diligence and thorough preparation, you will now answer, “Yes. And here is how theory X will impact you.”

3. Broadcast to the word – Every month I meet intellectual giants who are private heroes and heroines – They have the answers but they are not spreading their wisdom widely. A keynote speech is the perfect vehicle to build and expand a tribe of fans and followers, share your key messages with a wider group, and, generate momentum and action.

It is no use being silently right. To be consequent is better. And, to have followers adopt, act and start the revolution for you, is best.

Benefit – When structured correctly (See me for further details), a great keynote speech, gets your vital message out into the world, changes perceptions, alters behaviours and provokes improvement that saves lives.

Hello – I’m spreading a message

4. A starting point, helping you develop your collateral – Not many people would start building their “library” of Intellectual property and informational product assets with a keynote speech.

But, why not?

When you have a gem and take it on the road, the audience, their questions, and, the input they provide after the “show”, can spark 100 ideas for you to solidify in further posts and pieces. If you listen to your listeners, they will help you create a battery of products that can become a resource for everybody. Remember, publishing 100 new written posts is just another way of saying, “Here is my new book.”

Benefit – Your presentation becomes the catalyst for other IA – Informational Assets – Stand-alone products and properties that work to start making you famous and spreading your credo. They do this via social media, even when you are sleeping.

May I present…

5. Positioning yourself – Do you want to be (Daniel Priestley’s concept) A KPI – Key Person of Influence? The authority granted to keynote speakers is extraordinary. My speeches have generated income, invitations and infamy, and, in a short timeframe too.

In fact, a good presentation to an invited and relevant audience is the single quickest way to demonstrate your worth, qualify out the timewasters and qualify in interested parties. It generates the number of emotional and intellectual touches (see elsewhere) necessary to have decision makers rush the stage and beg you to do the same thing for their audience. The gravitas and marketing power of great public speaking cannot be understated.

Benefit – Some of the credibility of the event, the sponsors and the other speakers at a conference will rub off on you. If you are new to the game and work hard to become competent in your presentation skills (See elsewhere on the site), you will become equal in status to the best people in your field. And that is exciting.

6. Spread the word – We have covered some of the ways that message multiplication happens. Audience members ask you for a repeat performance. Conversations lead to further written and published posts. And, there are other ways to reach more people too. The obvious one is video.

When you have reached a competent level in your presentation skills, you will be ready to record and edit your efforts, and, put them in a “show reel” to generate more speeches, or, start a YouTube channel to showcase your message.

Benefit – When you capture your keynote speech in digital form, you can insert highlights and clips in your posts, newsletters or E Mails, to wow your growing crowd of followers. This will help you win the competition against all the noise and distraction out there, and, will vastly expand your reach and appeal.

7. Maximise your day job – There is nothing as attractive as a great public speaker. You will rarely get more attention than when saying something pertinent to your audience. You will experience a peak of appreciation when taking in the long and loud standing ovation generated by your amazing keynote speech. A memory that will not fade.

Benefit – If you want to feel alive, make a difference and generate more excitement in your life – You know what you have to do next…

Conclusion – The process of preparing your keynote speech can be as profound for you as that speech is impactful for your audience.

Building your speech presents you with the opportunity to refine your message, refresh your research and to craft your pitch to be optimally appealing and moving to your audience. Because, in the end, it is all about your audience.

Great speeches are a time-effective way to interrupt for attention, demonstrate your depth and value, and, move a wider audience. Your tribe will get to know you, like you, trust you, and, reach out to get in contact. Speaking in public leads to invitations, sales, friendships, and, the amplification of important messages, that make a difference in the world. It is only in this way that anything changes.

Action Time – How do you feel now? Are you ready to do the work and put your own keynote speech together? Do give me a call and tell me what topic you are passionate about. I would love to hear from you.

And, do you want the stars in your team to structure their thoughts and knowledge to help your company expand and reap the financial rewards of their expertise via great public speaking?

***Either way – Do take action and get in touch today***

About the Author – Matthew Hill is an author, keynote speaker and presentation skills facilitator. He works with corporate executives to uncover their hidden presentation talents, and, develop their speaking and writing competence, to make them maximally effective in converting cold but qualified audience members into followers, raving fans and customers.

He can be contacted on 07540 65 9995. International +44 7540 65 9995.

Mind Your Language – Don’t Say That! – An Exploration Of Frustration Within International Teams. by Matthew Hill #language #understanding #peace

That is completely outstanding, wonderful and awesome.

Do the utterances of your colleagues radiate a grey pessimistic gloom that makes you want to shake them? Or, do some of your overseas team members chuck out so much insincere whooping enthusiasm, that you feel as though you may be presiding over a 5 year-old’s birthday party with jelly and ice cream?

Language

Before we leap to judgement about the passive or active language of our fellow executives and how angry this makes us feel, let’s take a breath and put this into context.

What gives us our language?

If your country had a history of keeping people down via serfdom, feudal oversight and soviet communism’s secret police – If a little war, starvation and religious persecution were thrown in for good measure, what discourse would be heard in your market square!

Too much?

Optimism – Before we totally condemn the US for their crass and trivial sounding, “Everything is awesome.” Let us pay tribute to the language that facilitated the actions of 5% of the population (USA) to produce 23% of the turn over OF THE WORLD. We may criticise a lack of depth but you cannot argue with the result.

Pessimism – Conversely, from my 5 years in Central Europe, working with a generation that followed the Soviet regime, I came to understand the cynical, dark and cautious language of the region in a new way. This different perspective freed both them and me from the energy draining depression that many expats complained about, (when they thought no locals were listening.)

“We tried that last time and it did not work”

History – When you have control and agency ripped from your arms by aristocratic overlords, then Communist apperachnics, and finally, Western corporate bosses, your language will morph into something pragmatic and functional. The Czech, “We tried that last time and it did not work” or, “There is a problem” seem to signify a reluctance or unwillingness to cooperate.

This is to misunderstand them.

When we dig deeper, we uncover a more profound truth. View this class of communication as an enquiry about your intentions. Then, relax a little, and, respect the input, regarding it as relevant and sharp. We are really hearing, “Can we trust you?” “Are you for real?” “Will you change your mind next week and so render this urgent request for action, pointless?”

The Slavic slaves will be servants no longer. Their words symbolise the overthrowing of oppression. Depth, connection and respect are required. 

Meanwhile, in the middle…

Geographically and energetically, the UK and much of Continental Western Europe fits somewhere in the middle. Our modest phrases give us away too. In response to an enquiry into our mental and physical wellbeing, the Brit may say, “Mustn’t grumble” “It could always be worse” or the anodyne and meaningless, “Fiiiiine”.

We see ourselves as free, democratic action takers, steering our ship on our own terms and yet, this passive language is manifestly pessimistic, fatalistic and, to an outsider’s ear, almost tragic.

The core cultural value that drives this avoidance of hubris and enthusiasm, is modesty – Cultural modesty. I have written a lot on this subject. The history of the British people, pre Empire, was similar to that of Russia. The surfs of the UK were a miserable, Baldrick like lot, (though he was much more optimistic!)

Here, we are signalling the tall poppy syndrome, though it is God who will smite us down for standing up and standing out, not a secret policeman in the middle of the night.

The Brit must avoid displays of ostentation and be ready for the next disaster to arrive at any time.

I spend a little time in Southern Germany these days and notice a related style. On entering a restaurant with pleasing décor, positive staff service and quality food and drink, the first comment by a local may well be a critical or negative one. Again, a self-flagellating form of avoidance – Dodging the wrath of God.

Optimism

Britain’s new Emperor (We will see if he is wearing clothes, shortly), has spoken of the need for optimism by Brits after enduring the 1000 day water torture that is Brexit.

***I feel the average Brit will roll their eyes at this, fearing a whooping American-like, forced enthusiasm with an implied command to display compulsory happiness***

We have just come out of a decade of austerity – Flogging will continue until morale improves.

Now, we are being instructed to drive the UK’s economic car over a Sovereign and “self-determining” cliff with a smile on our face. – See? I am doing it myself!!!

Go USA!

The context of US language is fascinating. Disparate exiled European groups landed on the East coast and headed out West to stake a land claim and work unbelievably hard, to try to build a cabin, plant, tend, harvest and preserve crops, and gather enough fuel for winter. 62% failed. I guess the ones that made it were using more positive and action based language than the ones that froze or returned. “Just do it” “Make it happen” “Outstanding” “I won”.

Conclusion

Language divides us.

The language of the “other” can be irritating.

We can mitigate our bitterness and animosity when listening to the message of our overseas counterpart by taking a peak at the fascinating history that helped establish their idioms, punch lines and social fillers that we hear today. And, it is by respecting the past and their past, that we can ensure a tolerant and healthier approach to the “other”, and, enjoy their language and energy today.

Now, wouldn’t that be awesome, problem-free and totally fine!