In correct chronology, this story begins with me swearing at Mr Fishtron, but to make sense of it, I'm going to jump ahead to this most recent Easter. On the Thursday before Easter, I receive this text from Mr Fishtron's mum: "I'm very worried that you are hoping for work time. Please don't bring work this holiday. It is only a few days. We would like to visit with you, share tasks, celebrate Easter together. Please let me know you get this." My reaction was defensive. We were planning the trip and had started packing. I ended up politely but bluntly saying, sorry, my work goes where I go. I ended up staying home with the dog and got some much-needed chores done while

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I was born in Hong Kong and I moved to Canada with my family when I was 10. I had a tough transition. As an immigrant-settler, I had a hard time fitting in and I did not see myself represented in the media, literature and politics. Fortunately, I found strong mentors in the music and creative writing programs at school—or rather, they found me. I know first-hand how impactful these programs could be for young people. Now I have two little rugrats of my own who are both in the public school system. While there are some great updates in the curriculum on socio-emotional development and reconciliation, music, arts and culture have been pushed to the margins. Outdoor education lags behind compared to even other

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Last month I went to Activate, conference-retreat and, as was the case last time at Hollyhock, I underwent a transformative experience. Last time the setting was different—it was a conflict skills workshop, where hours and hours of internal work was expected. This time, although I was there to network and improve digital skills, the grounds and people still gave me space to grow, which was amazing. I picked up more than a few nuggets of gold that I can here and now refine into a guide post of sorts. Speak to the emotion Mo Dhaliwal's lecture was about using branding to speak to the audience's emotional brain, rather than the rational brain. Tyler Michaels briefly touched on using scripted chat boxes to reach audiences at

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Many of my friends (and clients too!) roll in social justice circles. We discuss feminism and equality and all the wonderful things that happen in the world. They've taught me much—the difference between equality and equity, what is emotional labour, why a group that was formed because it was excluded by another want to exclude. What's right, and what's wrong. One of the my main learnings of skilful communication is to not take be wary of taking a position. Positional arguments gloss over the needs of the conflicted parties; you're more likely to gain mutual understanding and rapport if you back up and build your solution collaboratively on shared values, and a collaborative process will, in a virtuous cycle, build rapport and understanding. Be wary

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