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Dear Friends,

The brilliant Kelly Diels taught me that citation is a feminist practice. By carefully acknowledging those who have taught us, inspired us, or helped us organize our thinking, we share credit and uplift each other, and avoid the appropriation of ideas and voices.

Citation is a challenge for me. I don't have a great memory for details and facts, and in the past I've just let ideas wash over me without keeping track of their provenance. But I'm trying to improve, by keeping track of articles I have read (thank you Pocket) and making note of inspiring conversations.

So having said that, some credit where credit is (over)due: As a side bonus, citations give you, my reader, lots more lovely things to read or watch, and people to follow.
A green frog with brown patches is pictured on a large, shiny green leaf

The Thrill of Possibility


If you had spoken to me in January or February, I would have said that I have to get out of the house every day. I simply must, I would have said — if I go for more than 36 hours without leaving the house I get all twitchy and miserable. I must be around crowds. I must consume coffee made by other people. I must see my friends.

If you had spoken to plenty of managers and companies in January or February, they would have told you that having a 100% remote workforce was impossible. We don't have the technology, they might have said, or people have to come together to meet, brainstorm, make decisions. And besides, how can we tell if people are doing their work if they're at home?

If you had spoken to many city planners and politicians in January or February, they would have said that you can't just give homeless people a place to live. And that you can't just paint bike or bus lanes on major roads. There's no political will, they might have said, or the constituency won't like it. It's impractical. It will cost votes.

But it's become clear that lots of things that seemed impossible — or at least, wildly difficult — have turned out to be quite possible.

How can this be? Rosamond Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander suggest an answer in their book, The Art of Possibility. The book describes twelve "practices in possibility" which are designed to shift the reader's perspective and open their mind to new possibilities. The first practice in the book is "it's all invented". They say:
 
The frames our minds create define — and confine — what we perceive to be possible. Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.

My idea about the necessity of going out was invented. Managers' ideas about working from home were invented. Barriers to providing housing for unhoused people were invented. The logistical limitations of creating more bike lanes were invented.

The world changed, the frame changed, and suddenly things were possible that had not been possible before.

What heretofore unseen possibilities have arisen in your career or business? In your town? In the world?

What's NewStriding purposefully into a better future I hope

Not much to report in this section: I've been working and thinking about my business, but nothing to type about yet. I'm looking forward to more training this summer. (I love school.) And, as always, I've been reading a lot.

Fun and Interesting

  • The normalization of microaggressions is antithetical to a well-rounded society with equal opportunities for marginalized individuals. Ellen Pao calls microaggressions "death by a thousand cuts", and suggests we respond with "a thousand Band-Aids". This article by Hahna Yoon gives some strategies for doing that. How to Respond to Microaggressions [nytimes.com]
  • Many of us are guilty of taking more time to daydream about our goal than actually following through. A coaching engagement is often 12 weekly sessions, over a span of about three months. It's a nice period of time — a year is too long for a concrete goal, but you can't get much done in a month. This post from Ink+Volt explains how to set and achieve a 90-day goal. How to Achieve a Big Goal in Just 3 Months [inkandvolt.com]
  • An interesting mix of sang-froid and empathy, Westley is an excellent bluffer and therefore a good negotiator, too. Management consultant Liz Kizlik has profiled The Leadership Styles of The Princess Bride. [lizkizlik.com]

Thank you for reading this far!

If you like what you read, hit reply and let me know, or forward it and let someone else know. If you have questions or comments, hit reply and let me know. If you have seen something interesting out there, hit reply and let me know. Are you seeing a trend here? If so... hit reply and let me know! I look forward to hearing from you. ❤️

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Copyright © 2020 Amy Rhoda Brown Coaching, All rights reserved.


I live and work on land which for thousands of years has been part of the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat. Today, this meeting place is still home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island, and I am glad to be able to live and work here.

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