What is a citizen and how do I become one? by Daphne Laing

We are all global citizens now, but what does this actually mean?

If we accept that an individual can have multiple non-opposing identities, it would logically follow that it is possible to have multiple citizenships, as indeed many of us do…yet this multiplicity seems only to mean that we can use different passports to facilitate travel from one political system to another….and has nothing to do with sharing values, rules etc. Having looked at the questions for the UK citizenship test and scored a big fat zero on history, just scraping through, I am having an(other) identity crisis…… a UK passport holder born, brought up, educated and tax paying in UK for most of my working life, having taught English, acculturation and intercultural communication for 35 years, I am somewhat surprised at the criteria for citizenship of “my” country.

multiple non-opposing identities

Memories of Communication

Multiple non-opposing identities

For the first time I ask myself “Do I want to be a citizen?” Though I feel a strong connection with my home culture and I understand that on a deep level I probably make assumptions and bear prejudices that would link me to membership of a group of “people like me”, I have long preferred to introduce myself to “others” as a European- thus avoiding the Westerner (i.e USA) or the British (i.e. football hooligan) labels. I am proud of the values which underlie the formation of and continuance of EU, and believe passionately that the institution, for all its faults, has gone a long way to building bridges, to signalling a third way of “doing things”; an alternative to purely money or military oriented politics…. And a clearly stated definition of citizenship.

Yes, I like that…….

To note the ease with which I can explain my choice of association and acknowledge the possibility of duality here may go a long way to explaining my utter bafflement at recent events; but does this also indicate that EU citizenship as a concept is doomed to be more divisive than inclusive? A Them or Us sense of belonging which by its very nature hints at republicanism?

This brings me to a third model: global citizenship, whose qualities seem to be espoused by international NGOs like Oxfam and which is defined as a quality a person demonstrates whose identity is linked more with a common humanity than with any political or other allegiance- but if citizenship means to be held to account by a system; history; shared values, how can any of us possibly call ourselves global citizens except as representing an academic intellectual stance?….

Recent developments have forced me to reflect on what it means to belong….to an organisation at odds with my personal values; to a country hurtling towards xenophobia and isolationalism……

Am I the only one to feel like le Petit Prince?

“To establish ties?”

“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince

About the Author – Daphne Laing is a renowned education professional in the field of culture, language and citizenship.

daphne-laing

Independent Trainers – Have You Defined Your Professional Identity – What is your Purpose? Blog post 2 by Matthew Hill

What is your Purpose?

We are asked at every Chamber networking event, “So…What do you do?” and every receptionist asks, “Who are you?”

But,

Have we ever done the groundwork to find out the real answers and to reply with certainty and confidence?

In the Zone… What if…?

What if you could not wait for the early morning alarm to ring and you could leap out of bed and rush towards the training room to perform your Calling / Vocation / Best Self Work?

I used to work in Prague with a wonderful young team of Czechs with new business falling from the trees like golden leaves in autumn. I got up at 5AM and was in the office before 6 to get the show on the road. Yes – and it really can be a reality for you too.

Tourists at Prague Old Town Square

Let me through, I love my job

The Journey

It starts with identifying your core characteristics and being objective (this is a challenge if you acquired parent taught cultural modesty, “Who do you think you are?”, “Keep your feet on the ground”, “Don’t get big headed”, “Modesty in all things etc.“

It is time to name and not be ashamed of your strong suites, your core positive attributes and your calling powers. So… What do you possess that is extraordinary?

*An amazing voice

*Wit, charm and an eloquent silver tongue

*Intelligence tempered with empathy

*A niche that is super-relevant today

*Deep technical knowledge

*Unique experience

*A dramatic life story to share with others

*Or are you a Linguistic acrobat?

Converting this into your Professional Identity

1, Own it by articulating it frequently with friends, family, delegates, participants, coachees, prospective clients, strangers, colleagues and peers.

– Yes it will be excruciating in the beginning – professional persistence is required.

  1. Find the answer to this formula – ”I am on the only XXXX that does YYYY.” More difficult than it looks this is the distilled essence of your professional identity.
  2. Build a Key Note or “Stadium” Speech (we cover this in the webinar.)

Apply Rinse and Repeat

When you identify who you should be working with (See the next post – Ideal Customer) you will own your identity and niche. You will apply your experience effortlessly. Time will fly by. You will experience a floating, flowing connectedness with your training delegates that will amaze you both. This is the evidence of the unedited super you and it is magnificent.

Conclusion

The magic triangle for trainer success looks simple – it connects your Identity with your niche area and the audience you were meant to serve.

Geometric tile mosaic with colors triangles. Abstract polygonal and low poly pattern background. Ideal for screen wallpaper or other works and design.

Identity,niche and audience

It starts with you seeking and defining the amazing you and what you uniquely offer to the world in general and your special chosen audience in particular.

Action –

For more ideas on how establish and grow your Independent Trainer Business we invite you to join us for the Independent Trainer Consultative Selling Webinar 3 – GOING FOR GROWTH, on 5th October 2016, 6PM London time, 7PM Paris time. Register now at;

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8107589113940386817 

We look forward to seeing you there.

London, Lahore and more than a little Austria

London, Lahore and more than a little Austria

London, Lahore and more than a little Austria An eye-witness post from intercultural enthusiast Tariq Mirza Growing up in London can be tough for a child. The City is somewhere between a melting pot and a tinder box of cultures. … Continue reading