As a highly competitive industry in rapidly changing times and increasing ecological pressures, the engineering profession seem trapped in a pattern of conflict we can’t seem to break.
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You seem to share a consternation that seem also to be an increasing trend in society. Let’s call it populism.
Nanette – by Hannah Gadsby. Selected bits from the transcript.
Some notes from the piece “Complicating the Narratives” by Amanda Ripley / Solutions Journalism Network about the current US divide.
Paraphrased: Conflict is important. The power of stories is to help people find a way through that conflict.
Something happened today which made me think about how we deal with ‘respect’, and the ‘old guard’ and ‘engineers’. I’m still processing what happened and many of the people I am discussing this with requests confidentiality, so maybe I’ll update this later once we agree on it all and have their permission. It did remind me of a few things, most notably a workshop on complexity we had in March 2018.
Sometimes when people ask me why Future Water exists, before I go into the transdisciplinary blah blah company line, I say that we’re trying to teach engineers to talk to other people. It started as a joke, because it was launched by a team who consisted mostly of engineers, and is currently hosted in the Engineering Faculty, but I am more and more convinced that is what our true purpose is.
I’ve just given another paid workshop, to an audience I at first felt like I have no rapport with – they’re public administrators. My slides were technical, an attempt from my side to show that this is serious, that I did my homework – a common academic / engineer fault, I suppose. But I spoke personally. I’ve slowly decided personal and authentic is my brand, and to hell with it. Shit’s my thing, deal with it. And they loved it. I don’t know if they’re convinced, and frankly, I don’t care. They listened and that is the first step. More on this a bit later. Continue reading “Peopling rather than experting”
After being caught with a dirty house yet again when a film crew arrives, I decided to just embrace it ….
Embrace your inner scruffy. Design it well from the start.
It being anything from good quality odour absorbing clothes, low maintenance houses, rainwater collection devices …
My house. Completed (as far as houses are ever ‘completed’) in September 2016.
- My style
- What I value
- What I don’t have patience for
- How best to communicate with me
- How to help me
- What people misunderstand about me
This is the overview article: Writing guides to our work styles helped my team bond by Sarah Kessler
That question—what do people misunderstand about you?—is not really about other people. It is about how you see yourself.
The next day I wake up certain that I have overshared to a wildly inappropriate degree. I open the document in a mild panic and re-read what I wrote. To my surprise, it does not sound like the ranting of an emotional exhibitionist. It doesn’t sound shameful. It just sounds human.
The point is, the things we find so shameful and embarrassing about ourselves are very rarely as embarrassing or shameful as we believe them to be. Everybody has their quirks. The ability to share those bugs, and to give others the space to share theirs, can actually be a really nice feature.
conversations that aren’t consensual.
It was easy to judge my colleagues’ “weak’ attempts at honesty. Harder was realizing that their silence and restraint was an even more profound form of vulnerability. In holding their cards close, my co-workers demonstrated the importance of moderation, a strength honed through experience and challenges I have not yet known. And in revealing their personalities to me, and to one another, over time, rather than laying themselves bare, they taught me an equally powerful truth—which we’re so deeply deluded about in the age of social media—that exposure doesn’t always equate to honesty.
If you’ve read this far, you know I don’t mind writing about myself, and as with most first-person essays, I’m only revealing to you as much of myself as I want. That was true of the user manuals: I opened the door, but not more than I wanted.
I used mine to stake out some territory I felt important, about not making assumptions about what we think we all believe and know.
To me, respect is not ‘on my terms’. Respect about outside of my terms. Empathy. Coming to the party without the ‘only as much as I want’ bit. Or maybe that’s trust. Respect is opening the door as much as is needed. How much you want is a different issue. Respect is stepping back from what you feel is important and looking at what others may feel is important and only then making the informed decision. Yes, what you feel is important, of course, but it is not the only thing. Maybe Oliver gets this but writes it differently, but writing that already breaks me. My problem with this generation, and it’s really a pity that the example of this generation is male, because, you know, triggered, is the ambiguity. In that one sentence there is both ‘my territory’ and ‘not making assumptions about what we all believe’. With that sentence what I see is that “I don’t make assumptions about what you believe – I state what I believe and I don’t care about what you believe”. So it’s true you didn’t make assumptions, but that’s not helpful at all. At the same time, again, I can see that this is Oliver feeling very vulnerable indeed. I do feel sympathetic to that, I really do. I just also remember Margaret Atwood’s saying “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
Our team often writes about politically sensitive topics, and it’s easy to assume we’re all on the same page. That’s a mistake, and if we’re not comfortable raising opposing views, we risk falling into group-think.
I strongly dislike the administrative busywork that tends to fall on women in a workplace, stuff like deciding who brings snacks to the meeting and planning Secret Santa. I express that I would rather not have Secret Santa than waste time talking about Secret Santa.