Fortunate people…

often have very favourable beginnings and very tragic endings. What matters isn’t being applauded when you arrive – for that is common – but being missed when you leave. – Baltasar Gracian

Dear friends of the,

After 5 years of Harlekin, we have decided to stop publishing our blog. Why? There are many reasons, because the seven of us have new and very different professional or private projects ahead of us to which we want or need to devote more time.

It’s a good time to look back on. We have learned a lot, discussed a lot and laughed a lot while preparing our contributions. But this is the end, beautiful friends, the end. We would like to thank you for your loyalty. We are proud that so many Harlequin “fans” have taken the time to read our articles every week. 

Some Harlequins will be saying goodbye with a personal contribution in the next few weeks, so it is still worth looking out for new articles.

Best wishes,

The Harlequin Team

Watershed moment or do we just carry on regardless like lemmings?

In the current climate (sic) of doom and gloom I have been struck by the special nature of our predicament. I am among the first to groan inwardly if I hear that clichée “The Chinese word for problem is the same as for challenge.” Actually, my research revealed that the Chinese word 问题 “wenti” is usually translated as problem or question. But then I always assumed it was another of those urban myths, like the Inuit having 357 different words for snow. But I digress…

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Let your forehead go all soft…

Since “indoor” group sports are not possible at the moment (1), I have been obliged to look around for yoga courses on YouTube – and without much enthusiasm at first. I found what I was looking for from a young woman from Berlin who explains really well and clearly indicates what matters in individual exercises. A real happy ending for me – in the meantime, “yoga with tablet” has become an enjoyable (and beneficial) part of my everyday life.

However, after the first few classes, I found that the blocks I had to overcome were less physical than linguistic. I had certain difficulties with prompts like “Let your forehead go all soft”, because whatever I had hoped for from yoga – a soggy noodle it was not.

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Great Minds Think a Lot

… and lesser ones too

Dear listeners, let me welcome you to our live feature here at Harlequin Radio on “Conspiracy Theories and Fake News”. Of course we have again invited guests, whom I will introduce to you in a moment, but please participate directly. Our lines have already been open for an hour and we look forward to your contributions. My name is the Harlequin von Zurich and today I am pleased to welcome as guests: Mark Twain, Frank Zappa and Oscar Wilde.

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Happiness is not a gift from the gods…

… but the fruit of inner attitudes.1

I have been working as a leadership coach for many years. Every few weeks, I go in this role to a monastery with managers who have lost their jobs. In the workshop we work on the themes of inner images, the future, failure, fear, hope and so forth.

They have been dismissed because of a personal conflict, have fallen victim to restructuring or have themselves decided to leave the company. What the participants have in common is that they previously had power over others and now have lost it. Until now, they had been used to developing visions, strategies and concepts and making decisions for others. Now, others have often decided over them.

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Digital Nomades – The herd moves on

Being able to exchange information promptly and over long distances has always been the decisive driving force behind new forms of communication. In most cases older practices have faded into the background and then – over time – been “forgotten”. Interesting migration paths of communication are to be found everywhere. Adults view the communication behaviour of their children or today’s youngsters critically (and with a degree of horror). And there we have it: we can hardly imagine these kids without smartphone, SMS and WhatsApp!

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Dear readers, this year, too, the team is saying goodbye for the summer holidays. Last summer we bridged this time with “our favourites” – this year we would like to present the Harlekin “contributions of the year” to you once again.

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Retiree Reveries

Just to get things clear from the beginning: The title does not refer to the daydreams of any old pensioners, but it is about the preconceptions that people between 60 and 67 have about their own retirement period, which is ahead of them but has not yet begun.  The topic comes up again and again during enjoyable evenings with friends, and the “fantasies” in this regard not only say a lot about the nature of the people involved in the conversation, but also about the challenges of their particular everyday professional lives.

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Language is randy …

Well, not always. Because somehow I’m annoyed by the gender-conflicted writing and language use in politics and reporting media, which thereby vigorously represent their own media interests. On the one hand, they report about LGBT, PRIDE and Christopher Street Parade – we are diverse – and on the other hand, it is the same instances that press language from a principally asexual understanding into a binary, more precisely bisexual form.

(For those of you whose native language knows only one grammatical gender for nouns – such as English –  and conveniently side-steps the issue, German has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. This does NOT mean the gender is determined by an object’s physical characteristics. So a table is masculine, a snail, though a hermaphrodite, is feminine and a girl is neuter. Seriously. Harlequin BCO)

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