Let’s be clear from the start: This post is not about the excessive use of alcohol! This time it’s actually exactly what it says.
Several years ago, a former colleague and still good friend of mine, a Frenchwoman who lives in Germany, came into the office in the morning completely shocked. She told me that she had spoken to her mother in France on the phone that morning and in the course of the conversation wanted to tell her that she had bought a new bathrobe. But she couldn’t think of the French word for “bathrobe”! She was very startled by this and feared that she was forgetting her mother tongue.
Inspired by Max Frisch’s questionnaires, the questions below are meant to invite you, dear reader, to reflect on how you deal with breaks. Perhaps you would like to look more closely at one or two of the questions. Perhaps one question in particular concerns you. Take a conscious break and write down what comes to your mind about the questions. In this way learn how you treat interruptions. By reflecting on the questions, you will learn more about your attitude towards “downtime” and whether or not you want to change your specific behaviour. The collection is subjective. Maybe there are other other issues about this topic that you refelect on. There is so much more to discover…
How the name of the ship fits the situation! Isn’t that funny? Yes, but only for those who have nothing to do with it. But wait: if we drill deeper into this event, we come to a behavioural pattern that should be more or less familiar to all of us: megalomania. This time on a global scale.
M.C. Escher, a Dutch graphic designer/artist born 120 years ago – he keeps going viral on social media and almost has pop star status. Who doesn’t know his graphics? Impossible perspectives, metamorphoses and optical illusions are the programme in his pictures and an almost endlessly repeated theme. A brilliant visionary!
My first conscious acquaintance with what is meant by respect, without knowing the term, was in early childhood as the – sometimes forceful – demand to obey and behave respectfully towards my parents and grandparents.
“The greatest danger in times of upheaval is not the upheaval itself, it is acting according to yesterday’s logic.” (Peter Drucker)
Organisations are living systems
Not everyone has to agree with this, but for me it has become an important insight. To understand the point of my article, I will briefly explain my starting point: One of the first important decisions I made was to revise my image of organisations. I had experienced my employer of many years as a more or less well-oiled machine. But this image finally crumbled when this organisation was compelled to restructure in order to survive in a competitive environment.
When we were expecting our latest grandchild, my husband and I were asked for our opinion on possible first names. Because the child’s relatives live in the Netherlands and Peru, it should be a name that is familiar in both countries and easy to pronounce in both languages. One of the names on the list was “Camilla” – and I was the one who spoke out against it because of the aforementioned association.
The author of the following article is Michael Clark. Now retired, he is pursuing a lifelong interest in communication. This led him to language studies, to teaching language and contributed much to his work as a business analyst. He has lived and worked in multicultural and multilingual environments in different countries for most of his life – currently in California.