BY Russell Wardrop

DATE: 02 DEC 2016


We are approaching the crazy time that is festive networking  and we want to do everything we can to encourage you to go out there and get busy. Why? Because the ability to forge alliances, engage with new people and connect at a human level with others is a basic need.

In December we are giving you a KissTip every day up to Christmas to help you with your relationship building***.

We seem to be losing the art of connecting and technology can shoulder some of the blame. But there is more to it than that. The front page of The Times yesterday ran a story that a headmaster has written to parents saying the “age old practise” of pupils putting up their hand to answer was being abolished as it did not help their education.

What if wee Gerry needs to pee before playtime?

The same piece reported that the University of Edinburgh had banned students from raising their hands in meetings as it could violate others’ “safe space” and dozens of universities have introduced an app that sends anonymous messages to a screen at the front of the lecture hall, so they don't have to speak out.

What happens when they leave their cloistered existence to get a job, or a taxi when there is no UBER? Or simply find some friends who don’t spend all their time fretting about the world and looking at their shoes.

Next we will be picking the school hockey team based on a random number generator at the front of the class. Unless it is deemed inappropriate to have any competitive sports.  Or perhaps letting students stay home and teaching them all individually in case they make eye contact with someone they might not like.

You will not learn resilience and self regard if you never experience challenge or discomfort. You will not come by critical faculties like influencing or assertiveness or curiosity if you stay in your own private bubble and have a personal snowflake alarm that can detect your discombobulation from three paces. You grow by challenging yourself and have others challenge, motivate and inspire you.  

There is another way. Encourage school kids to put their hand up, tell them to put their hand up, and show those not doing so the way to go: pick the hockey team based on ability and encourage those not picked to be better. Inspire students, our future leaders, to get in about it, sleeves rolled up. To debate and discuss and engage and disagree with people of every stripe. Even those, especially those, they disagree with.

Baz Luhrman says, “Do one thing every day that scares you”.

The only quibble you might have about that: only one thing?

***A KissTip each day before Christmas... Be the first to see them by following us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.


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about the author

Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.

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