How I managed with dyslexia as a firefighter

When I started work as a firefighter, I wasn’t in a position where I had to do a lot writing for or to other people. At school I taught myself how to memorize things in a most amazing way, because I struggled to read. I listened very well in meetings and when I was briefed about something, my memory was phenomenal.

However after two years in the job as a firefighter, I was offered temporary promotion to Leading Firefighter ( Crew Manager ) where I was in charge of a crew at the front of the fire appliance. It was then that I was being made fun of and being discriminated against. It seemed to take forever for me to read documents, and write reports and messages that were often riddled with errors. There were no computers or spellcheckers around then in the early 1990′s.

In 2005, after 15 years in the Fire Service, I completed a Politics Degree at the University of London and in the process I found out that I had the learning difference called ‘dyslexia’ a year prior. I always wondered why I was told that I am intelligent and full of good ideas and on the other hand can be sloppy and slow when it comes to paperwork. Now the penny dropped.

Just because someone has dyslexia, it does not mean that he or she is in any way less intelligent than his colleagues. In fact, chances are, he or she brings creativity, insight and powerful problem solving skills to your team.

According to Ronald Davis, author of the 2010 book, “The Gift of Dyslexia,” dyslexics think “outside the box” and often excel in entrepreneurship, science and inventions. Polar explorer Ann Bancroft, industrialist Henry Ford, and billionaire businessman Richard Branson all fit this pattern. Other famous and high-achieving dyslexics include physicist Albert Einstein, artist Pablo Picasso, movie director Steven Spielberg, and five-time Olympic gold medalist rower Sir Steven Redgrave.

With effective support, someone with dyslexia can be a valuable asset to your team. You can create a supportive and accepting environment for a dyslexic team member by adapting your communication styles and by providing appropriate resources. Ask what works best for him / her.

The way that she / he perceives the world is unique and can be a catalyst for innovation and success. But Davis also warns that, if not handled properly, the challenges faced by dyslexics can lead to low self-esteem, stress and even depression, which can exacerbate their condition.

Chances are, as the manager of a dyslexic person, you will have challenges to deal with. Changing his role or duties could cause him or her problems as he or she tries to adapt to new processes, for example, so you may need to provide additional training.

Similarly, introducing new technology can mean that you have to help him or her to adopt new ways of working. However, some new technology may really benefit him or her, and boost her engagement and productivity.

It shouldn’t be necessary in any workplace to hide something like dyslexia for fear of being made fun of or being discriminated against — so here are a couple of tips to encourage and protect people with dyslexia:

Tip 1:

Some dyslexic people are reluctant to disclose their condition. They may worry about how it could impact their employment and career prospects, for example, or out of shame at their difficulty in reading and writing.

Tip 2:

People with dyslexia in the U.S. are protected against discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act 1990, and those in the U.K. are covered by the Equality Act 2010. This means that employers need to make “reasonable adjustments” in the workplace so that dyslexic team members have the same opportunities as anyone else.

Wherever you work in the world, talk to your HR department for more information about what legislation applies to your organization.

Dyslexic photo

Categories: Bullying, Firefighting, Harassment, Personal Development, Professional Development, Stress | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

So — Theresa May is our new prime minister…

So we have a new prime minister.

Undemocratically elected Theresa May will waltz into number 10 tomorrow evening.

For weeks swathes of the nation have praised our ‘democratic’ decision to leave the EU. But is our democracy an illusion? We are still no closer to leaving Europe and now have a head of state that no one voted for – aside from a handful of the political elite.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Labour Party refuse to acknowledge Corbyn, despite him being ‘democratically’ elected by the Labour membership.

Ah, British democracy…

Personally, I think Theresa will be there until the inevitable general election, when Boris will reappear and reclaim the popular vote.

(Of course, there is the chance Labour can unveil a secret weapon before the General. Though Angela Eagle is most definitely not it.)

It’s all a ruse, dear reader. Political parlour games.

Cameron quit, forcing Johnson’s hand. Johnson conceded it a clever move… he stepped out. Gove took the hit, knowing full well he’d never win leadership (but will have been promised a high cabinet role in the future). Meanwhile, May was happy to have a go at PM that she wouldn’t have otherwise got. Prime Minister looks great on a CV, no matter how it got there.

 Theresa May leaving No 10. From Wednesday, it will be her new home.

Theresa May leaving No 10. From Wednesday, it will be her new home.

Categories: Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

How tough times helped shape Wales’ football manager

Chris Coleman has masterminded Wales’ greatest football achievement — reaching the semi-final of the Euro 2016. Yet the manager describes himself as a man who has had “more failures than I’ve had success”. Their journey into uncharted territory has been an uplifting tale, and the spirit of the adventure has resulted in Coleman’s stock rising to an all-time high. Yet his journey to this pinnacle has not been straightforward. This is a story of a man who has shown great resolve in the face of adversity – and is now reaping the benefits of always “daring to dream”.

The crash

Coleman’s playing career ended prematurely and in brutal circumstances, as injuries sustained in a car crash in January 2001 forced the then Wales and Fulham centre-back to retire. Despite battling back to make a brief swansong appearance for Wales as a late substitute in the win over Germany in May 2002, Coleman had to confront the grim reality and announced his retirement five months later aged just 32. ”He is not one for talking a lot about his innermost feelings. But after that [the crash] he did write me a letter,” says Kit Symons, Coleman’s former centre-back partner for Fulham and Wales.”It is probably the only time he wrote a letter to me and I have kept it to this day. I will not say what was in it and he probably won’t thank me for mentioning it.”But arguably the accident was the biggest event of his life along with the birth of his children and getting married. For someone who is always laughing and joking and taking the Mickey, it showed the magnitude of what happened. Coleman’s son Sonny, now 23 and working as an agent, was 10 when his father had his crash.”He never let on how bad it was, larger-than-life character that he is,” he says.”I didn’t even see a change in him, but he knew he would have to retire. He tore his Achilles tendon, broke his fibula and tibia, shattered his knees – basically all the worst injuries you could imagine for a footballer.”Despite that, he was still himself, still laughing and joking. It was nice of [then Wales manager] Mark Hughes to give him those two minutes against Germany.”Coleman’s final international appearance came as a substitute for a player making his first, Robert Earnshaw.”That was a great thing to do. I always respect it when there’s that respect for players who are retiring, giving them a chance to say goodbye,” says Earnshaw, who scored the only goal in that memorable victory.”I was making my debut so it was the beginning of my career and the end of his. It was a nice moment.”

From Premier League to Greek second division

The silver lining of Coleman’s early retirement was a fast-tracked route to top-flight management, succeeding Jean Tigana at Fulham in April 2003 to become the Premier League’s youngest manager.He impressed at Craven Cottage, guiding Fulham to four years of mid-table stability before a poor run of results led to his sacking in April 2007. Coleman’s next job was in Spain with Real Sociedad, fulfilling a long-standing ambition to manage abroad – but things did not go according to plan. Late for a news conference and untraceable on his mobile phone, when Coleman finally turned up an hour and a half later he told waiting journalists his washing machine had flooded his flat. However, Spanish newspaper Marca published stories suggesting Coleman had been out partying until 5am and the former Wales defender eventually admitted doing so, before apologising for his “mistake”. ”I have had to change quite a bit about myself and that is probably maturity as well,” says Coleman. ”When I was 32 I’d look back to when I was 20 and think, ‘Why did I do that; that was stupid’ and, equally now, I look back to when I was 32, 33 or 34 and think, ‘I can’t believe I did that’. “ With Sociedad just a point away from the automatic promotion places in Spain’s second division, Coleman resigned - citing his untenable relationship with the club’s president – and he returned to England with Coventry. Former Coventry chairman Ray Ranson hired Coleman in 2008 but sacked him a little over two years later as the Sky Blues finished the 2009-10 season in 19th place in the Championship – their lowest league finish in more than 45 years. ”We had a good working relationship but in the end it didn’t help the situation that we were financially hamstrung by the people I owned the club with. I think we were both let down in that sense,” says Ranson. ”The players really liked him. Nobody at Coventry has a bad word to say against him. I do think international management suits him. “In an attempt to rebuild his reputation, Coleman took charge of Greek second division side Larissa – following a recommendation from Sir Alex Ferguson. ”He’d told me to take whatever came up, so I did,” says Coleman. ”If you get it wrong, two jobs running getting it wrong it’s hard to get a third one. That’s generally the rule. I got it wrong at Coventry. I could give you sob stories but, if I’m honest, I should have done better. ”A year out was good, thinking about my approach in and outside the job. But it was still the second division in Greece. One of the best things I’ve ever done because you find out a lot about yourself out of a comfortable environment. “With Larissa’s financial difficulties meaning Coleman went for long periods without being paid, he left again despite some encouraging results. He secured the job of his dreams in January 2012, though it was in tragic circumstances as he succeeded Gary Speed as Wales manager following his close friend’s death two months earlier. ”I’m here for a lot of right reasons and I’m here for a lot of wrong reasons, and that doesn’t really sit right with me,” Coleman said at the time. ”But of course I’m extremely proud to be leading my country. It’s my proudest moment.”

Nightmare of Novi Sad

The first few months of Coleman’s reign were turbulent. After overseeing a friendly against Costa Rica in tribute to Speed, he lost his first four games in charge in earnest – the worst start by a Wales manager. The most galling result was a 6-1 mauling by Serbia in Novi Sad, Wales’ heaviest defeat for 16 years. Coleman considered his future afterwards but Earnshaw, who was in Wales’ squad that night, says the players were not aware of their manager’s inner turmoil. ”There was emotion but no hinting it was too much for him,” he says. ”It doesn’t surprise me that he thought that, but when sometimes you can’t see the end of the tunnel, it can be very, very difficult and dark.” Less than a year into his tenure, Coleman was already under intense pressure. Victory against Scotland lifted some of the gloom and, although Wales failed in their attempts to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, finishing with a commendable draw in Belgium provided a glimmer of hope. The start of Euro 2016 qualifying brought renewed optimism with a relatively kind draw and a promising group of players featuring Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams. Wales delivered on their promise handsomely by securing their place at a major tournament for the first time since the 1958 World Cup. Having overseen one of Wales’ most humiliating results, Coleman had orchestrated one of their proudest moments.

The turnaround

Wales’ transformation under Coleman has been remarkable. Five months before he was appointed, Wales were ranked 117th in the world, their lowest position. Four and a half years into his reign, Coleman is preparing Wales for a first semi-final in a major tournament.”He had a difficult start but since he’s put his own stamp on the team he’s been absolutely incredible,” says the talisman of the current side, Gareth Bale. ”He initially wanted to try and not change too much, too soon. Obviously results did not go the right way. He changed it and it has paid massive dividends. “The success has not changed him as a person to those closest to him. ”I’ve always seen him as a big character and he has always been my hero,” says Sonny. ”He was 22 when I was born so, with the age gap quite small, we’re best friends as well as father and son. ”He was a big influence and one of the reasons why I’m working in football now – the ‘dark side’ as my dad calls it! ”We have the same kind of interests, the same music taste. Johnny Cash was my grandfather’s favourite. He sadly passed away two years ago, but he passed that on to my dad and he’s passed it on to me. ”My dad likes the Rolling Stones, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Foo Fighters – and if Wales win, he’ll always play ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis. “The key to Coleman’s – and Wales’ – success is the absence of fear. There is no fear of failure. He and his players dare to dream. And if they continue in the same vein against Portugal on Wednesday, there is a fair chance the Welsh changing room at Lyon’s Parc Olympique Lyonnais will be shaking to the strains of ‘Wonderwall’.

Sir Alex Ferguson (left) gave Coleman some management career tips

Sir Alex Ferguson (left) gave Coleman some management career tips

 

 

Categories: Sports, Sports Psychology | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

UK has voted to leave the EU– What’s next?

Now that the UK has voted to leave the EU– What’s next? Here’s one possible outcome…

In a similarly dramatic referendum 50 years ago, Singapore citizens voted to leave British colonial rule and join the new Federation of Malaysia. But following race riots that ran out of control, Singapore was expelled from Malaysia and left as an island to fend for itself.

At the time, the skeptics saw a bleak future for Singapore.

At the time, the leader of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew spoke with tears on National TV: “Every time we look back on this moment when we signed this agreement which severed Singapore from Malaysia, it will be a moment of anguish… because all my life… I have believed in merger and the unity of these two territories.”

Then, realizing Singapore had no one to depend on but themselves, Lee Kuan Yew decided to reinvent Singapore – and focus the newly independent island on becoming a world leading nation.

He looked beyond their relationship with the British Empire and Malaysia to the rest of the world. He looked beyond the present to 50 years in the future.

Suddenly, what looked like a crisis was turned into an opportunity, with SIngapore being the first nation to be deliberately designed for the 21st Century.

50 years after that separation and new focus, here’s what that separation has led to…

Today Singapore has been recognized globally as:

> The No.1 most educated country, according to the OECD Global Education Report.

> The most innovative country, based on the Global Innovation Index published by INSEAD, WIPO & Cornell University.

> The world’s easiest country to do business in, according to the World Bank (7 years in a row)

> The No.1 country with the best business environment, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

> The No.1 city with the best investment potential, according to BERI.

> The most transparent country in the world, according to the Global Competitiveness Report.

> The 2nd most competitive country in the world, according to the World Economic Forum.

> The 2nd most technologically advanced country, according to the WEF Global Information Technology Report.

> And the 3rd richest country in the world, according to Forbes, with one of the lowest levels of poverty and one of the highest density of millionaires in the world.

Singapore has achieved all of this 50 years after a separation that was seen at the time as a major crisis from which it might never recover.

It was achieved by focusing at future potential over existing partnerships and by focusing at the advantage of speed over scale. They set their own rules based on where the world was going instead of where the world was.

Of course, there’s huge differences between the UK and Singapore. But there’s also huge difference in the times we now live in. With the growing waves of technological and economic change, it’s the most nimble nations that will win in the next 50 years.

And while it will be the ones that can move rapidly with the times that will win, it will be the ones tied down in regulation and bureaucracy that will be left behind.

Of course, this is just one possible outcome from the current situation. The UK could also get caught up in bitter in-fighting and holding on to the past. It could be left behind in a wave of anti-immigration and protectionism. It could trip up over a fatalistic focus on short term currency and market swings. Or get stuck in everyone spending more time complaining about the weather than preparing for a sunny future.

Which path the UK takes is up to its citizens. But to choose to be a world leading nation of the new tomorrow is as valid a path as any.

In the midst of the current chaos and divide, there now lies an incredible opportunity for the UK to unite, put the past behind it, and reinvent itself for the future ahead.

And just as countries can reinvent themselves, against all odds, so can you.

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” ~ Malcolm X

UK EU pic

Categories: Personal Development, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

What would happen to the EU-derived employment laws with UK leaving the EU?

I wrote a paper on discrimination rights and the implementation of the EU equal treatment directives in the UK in 2005.  Now that the UK has a leave vote for the so-called ‘Brexit’, what will happen to all EU-derived employment laws  that have become entrenched in the UK legal system?

Perhaps someone should tell Dave Cameron – not to mention UK Independence Party supporters – that there are good arguments to suggest that little would change. According to James Davies who is is joint head of employment and Bethan Carney who is is a practice development lawyer at Lewis Silkin, it seems unlikely that UK employment law will be transformed in significant ways. Below, I set out their argument:

Legislative challenges

To some extent, what happens to UK employment law will depend on how the government tries to extricate itself from the EU. European law has been incorporated into UK law in a variety of ways. Some UK laws are secondary legislation, that is, regulations introduced by a government minister under powers granted by the European Communities Act 1972 (the statute enacted to incorporate EU law). One example is the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE), which implements Directive 2001/23. Other UK-implementing legislation, such as the Equality Act 2010, is primary legislation (that is, an Act of Parliament).

If the government simply repealed the European Communities Act, the regulations passed under it (for example, TUPE) would probably fall away. In contrast, freestanding acts of Parliament (for example, the Equality Act) would remain in force. The result would be inconsistent and confusing for businesses. Repealing all primary and secondary legislation in one swoop would result in an avalanche of legal changes for employers and their staff. A more realistic approach following an exit from the EU would be to maintain the status quo and address particular laws individually over time. This could be done by repealing them or merely tinkering to make them more palatable to the UK business environment.

Case law

If this happens, a major issue will be the post-exit treatment of European Court of Justice (ECJ) decisions. Presently, UK courts must interpret EU-derived legislation in accordance with ECJ rulings and a body of UK case law has built up that does so. On leaving the EU, the ECJ would no longer have jurisdiction and its future decisions would not be binding on UK courts. However, it seems likely that if the UK were to retain any laws originating from the EU (which is probable), the UK courts would still take account of future ECJ judgments as persuasive – albeit not binding – when ruling on those laws. In this case, the ECJ would continue to exert an appreciable influence.

A further complication concerns pre-existing case law. Past ECJ rulings have become entwined with UK court decisions and legislation. For example, ECJ decisions on what amounts to a TUPE transfer, that sex discrimination includes gender reassignment and that pregnancy discrimination is unlawful without the need for a comparator have been written into the law. Additionally, when taking into account ECJ decisions, UK courts have incorporated them into their own jurisprudence. For instance, the leading Supreme Court decision on the types of factor that might justify age discrimination depends on ECJ reasoning. Sometimes, UK courts go a long way to make UK legislation consistent with ECJ rulings. Prominent examples include recent cases on holiday pay in which the courts have read additional wording into the relevant UK legislation to give effect to ECJ decisions.

Past decisions remain binding on lower courts, subject to their ability to distinguish them because the particular facts of the case are different. Possibly, UK courts would treat the fact that they are no longer obliged to apply ECJ judgments as a materially different circumstance justifying a complete departure from previous rulings. However, it seems more likely that they would continue with many established doctrines (if for no other reason than to preserve legal certainty) – perhaps retreating from more extreme decisions that have required words to be read into legislation.

Possible outcomes

The ensuing period of uncertainty could prove a real headache for businesses. Employers would be unable to predict with any confidence whether the courts would feel obliged to follow or depart from existing precedents. There might be several conflicting lower court decisions until a case came before the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court and a binding precedent was set.

What if the UK were to get rid of all legislation of EU origin? Once deleted from the statute books, the related court decisions would be of merely historical interest. It seems unlikely that all EU law will be consigned to the UK’s legislative dustbin, for two main reasons.

First, both employers and employees consider much of the body of EU law to be a good thing. Most employers would not argue that they should be free to discriminate or even that there should be no right to paid holiday. In reality, a handful of laws would probably be scrapped owing to unpopularity (the Agency Workers Regulations being the most likely example) and some fairly minor modifications might be desirable for certain others.

Removing entire laws would be much easier from a legal perspective, because it would not give rise to the uncertainties discussed above; but on a practical level, it would engender many other issues. Even if employers and employees wanted to discard all existing EU legislation, large numbers of commercial agreements have been based on it. Abruptly terminating TUPE, for example, would cause havoc with commercial outsourcing arrangements, which all contain provisions based on the assumption that TUPE will operate to transfer the employees if the agreement terminates (and have been priced accordingly).

An even more compelling reason to retain the bulk of EU legislation is that the UK would want to stay in a relationship with the EU. It is the UK’s biggest export market and, as such, the UK will want some sort of free trade agreement with it. Practically speaking, the options for the UK would be either to join the European Economic Area (EEA), like Norway, or to negotiate bilateral agreements with the EU, like Switzerland.

EEA membership

The EEA is made up of the EU and three of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. As part of this arrangement, the EEA EFTA states are obliged to accept the majority of EU regulations without being part of the EU decision-making process or able to influence it. Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein thus participate in most EU social and employment policy. For example, the EEA agreement incorporates many EU directives, including the Equal Treatment Directive, the Collective Redundancies Directive, the Part-Time Workers Directive, the Posted Workers Directive, the Parental Leave Directive, the European Works Councils Directive, the Acquired Rights Directive, the Working Time Directive and the Agency Workers Directive. Further, the influence of the ECJ would still be felt because the EFTA Court, which interprets the EEA rules, is obliged to follow ECJ case law.

Bilateral agreements with EU

The Swiss model does not offer much more hope to UK ‘eurosceptics’. Switzerland has more than 120 agreements with the EU – many of which incorporate EU law – and Swiss legislation often follows EU law, even in sectors not covered by these agreements. In practice, Switzerland has data protection, TUPE, discrimination, collective redundancy and working time laws and the Swiss courts often follow ECJ case law.

Even the most fundamental goal of many eurosceptics – namely to reduce EU immigration into the UK – may not be achievable under either of these types of arrangement. The free movement of persons is an integral part of the EEA agreement and Switzerland had also signed up to this principle. A recent Swiss referendum resulted in a vote to cap immigration, but this has put the entire basis of the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU at risk, and it is not yet clear what type of arrangement may emerge from the renegotiation.

No major transformation

It is doubtless true that either as a part of the EEA or under bilateral agreements with the EU, the UK would be able to negotiate some exemptions from EU employment law. However, the EU would be reluctant to permit ‘social dumping’ and allow the UK to undercut EU states through lower employment standards (for example, removing paid holiday or scrapping collective redundancy consultation) while remaining part of the free market. The EEA agreement and the agreements with Switzerland allow these countries to access the single market only in return for signing up to significant portions of European law. France and Germany are especially unlikely to allow the UK – as a key competitor and larger economy than the existing EFTA countries – to gain a competitive advantage through free access to the EU market with lower levels of employment regulation.

Clearly, if the UK did scrap all EU-derived employment law and abandoned the free movement of persons, it would have major consequences on UK employers – and on businesses from other EU member states that work in the UK or are in competition with UK firms. However, the relatively minor changes that are, in our view, more likely would do little to exaggerate the already significant differences between the employment law regimes in different EU member states.

Boris brexit

 

Categories: Politics | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Can rapid urbanisation act as a catalyst for development and growth in Africa?

More than half of Africans could live in cities by 2050, but how will this affect development? Well I am a British citizen through birth and I also have Mauritius Citizenship through my father and I can only give you my take — Mauritius is a model of true democracy for every African country.

It’s also one of Africa’s great destinations, located in the middle of the turquoise Indian Ocean, inhabited by a multi-racial, peaceful people, covered in great golf courses, offering myriad water sports, luxurious resorts, an old colonial capital, great food, three- and four-star hotels, one of the world’s best botanical gardens, good nightlife, beautiful beach bars, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one of the oldest horseracing tracks in the world and great sightseeing … I truly believe that this tropical island 2,000 miles off the southeast coast of Africa provides a template for a model African travel destination.

So back to the initial question — with more than half of all Africans expected to live in cities by 2050, can rapid urbanisation act as a catalyst for development and growth? The latest African Economic Outlook says it is possible, but only if authorities prioritise inclusive growth, jobs, better housing and social safety nets, and improve links with rural areas. “To seize this ‘urbanisation dividend’, a number of bold policy reforms are necessary,” the report says.

In the meantime I’ll stick with playing golf in the sunny Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

Kroo town slum in Freetown. The latest African Economic Outlook (pdf) says authorities must prioritise inclusive growth, jobs, better housing and social safety nets.

Kroo town slum in Freetown. The latest African Economic Outlook says authorities must prioritise inclusive growth, jobs, better housing and social safety nets.

 

 

Categories: News, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Stalking

Definition:

Stalking – Any pervasive and unwelcome pattern of pursuing contact with another individual.

Hunting and Haunting: 

While most of us are taught to be most fearful of strangers, in most cases of stalking the perpetrator is someone known to the victim. The stalker may be a family member, friend, spouse, co-worker, partner, ex-spouse or ex-lover – the common denominator being a sense they have an emotional ‘tie’ to their target.

Stalking is a form of harassment which is illegal in many countries, where it can also be valid grounds for a Protective Order or even criminal charges depending on severity.

Stalking can be overt (confrontational) or covert (hidden), and a stalker may employ one or both forms.

Overt Stalking is characterized by confrontations, demands for attention, threats, pleading for recognition, persistent unwelcome advances and intrusions, phone calls, personal appearances and the like.

Covert Stalking is hidden and includes following, tracking, spying and secret manipulation, for example.

A vivid portrayal of stalking most people are familiar with is Glenn Close’s character Alex Forrest in the movieFatal Attraction.

What it Looks like

  • Following an individual or tracking their movements and actions.
  • Presenting oneself repeatedly to a person who has asked to be left alone.
  • Persistent unwelcome phone calls, emails, text messages, letters, parcels, third-party messages or Online postings to personal web pages.
  • Intruding or inserting oneself into the relationships of another person without their explicit permission.
  • Intercepting another person’s mail, email, phone calls or messages.
  • Uninvited handling, manipulating or observing the property, assets or communications of another person. Stalking may or may not be accompanied by acts of violence or threats of violence towards the person being stalked and their possessions.

How it Feels

Being stalked is a terrifying experience. One is left with a difficult choice between protecting one’s own rights to privacy and getting into an ugly and potentially dangerous confrontation with a person who is demonstrating very little respect, self-control, ethics or sound judgment.

People who are stalked are often familiar with the person who is doing the stalking and are familiar with their habits. However, they are often afraid to confront them for fear the perpetrator will “blow up” or for fear of escalating the harassment. They may also feel afraid to involve others or request help for fear that they will be judged for “over-reacting”.

People who are married or related to a person who is stalking them often feel that they have no legitimate right to protect their privacy and their assets or demand an end to the intrusive behavior. Many cultures promote the idea that loving relationships are unconditional and that for a person to be a loving spouse or a family member they should keep no secrets, expect no privacy or have no boundaries within the relationship. Stalkers also use such arguments to intimidate a victim into surrendering their rights to privacy. This can cause the victim to feel trapped, with no recourse to support from the outside world.

What NOT to do

If you are being stalked, harassed or your privacy is being invaded:

  • Don’t ignore any acts of violence, threats of violence or destruction of property. Avoid the tendency to write it off as “an isolated incident”. Most victims of domestic violence have written off incidents and haven’t seen “the worst” yet. Report it to the authorities immediately every time. That is the only effective way to protect yourself and make it stop.
  • If the person is violent or threatens violence towards you do not confront them. Let a restraining order and a police officer do the talking for you.
  • Don’t go it alone or keep what you are experiencing a secret. Stalking thrives on isolating a person.
  • Don’t nominate yourself to the position of the person who must help the stalker, make them feel better, change their ways and heal. You can’t do it.
  • Don’t give up any healthy relationships with family, friends and acquaintances or let them slip away because of pressure from another person.
  • Don’t give up a good job, good habits, career, hobbies or interests for the sake of another person. What is good for you makes you stronger and is good for your loved-ones. True Love never asks a person to sacrifice something that is good for them.
  • Don’t immediately fall for a “hoover” if a stalker suddenly promises reform and a change of their ways. If they ever do change their ways they will need a long time to work on their stuff and your involvement will only slow them down.

What TO do

  • Report all acts of violence, threats of violence or self-harm to the authorities immediately every time. And document the incident and your report in a diary in case records go astray or you need to give a lawyer a chronological account. This will also help you see any patterns to the behavior.
  • Learn what you can about the Personality Disorder your loved-one suffers from, and how that is likely to affect their behavior, their thoughts and their moods.
  • If your stalker has ever shown signs of violence, undertake a MOSAIC threat assessment (www.mosaicmethod.com) to get a clearer picture of the risks.
  • Unless they are violent, confront the person who is doing the stalking. Preferably do it in daylight, with a friend by your side, in a place where you can easily get out – like outdoors on a sunny street or in a cafe. Tell them simply, gently, but firmly, that you do not want them to continue that behavior. Try to criticize the behavior rather than the person. Tell them that it is not welcome to you and you are moving on. Don’t wait for them to understand or try to get them to see your side. Just tell them plainly that that’s just the way it is and leave it at that.
  • Talk to trusted friends and family about what you are dealing with. This helps to compare your thinking with other people who can perhaps see things in a different light and can tell you if what you are dealing with sounds reasonable.
  • Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Develop an emergency plan for any scenario that may include violence or abuse being directed towards or your children.
  • Maintain your healthy lifestyle and healthy relationships. You will need them. Explain to your loved one gently, if necessary that you have made your decision and that is that and then move ahead. If they really do love you they will be happy to support you in what is good for you. ( Source: Out of the FOG )

NSAM08 17x11_txt rep_v2.indd

 

Categories: Bullying, Harassment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The Greatest : Remembering Muhammad Ali

The whole world that has heard of or knew the great boxer Muhammad Ali  has been saddened and shocked by his death today. I was too young to remember his early years in the mid 60′s as a great boxer and Civil Rights campaigner however as a child in the 70′s I remember most of his fights and soon got to hear about his campaigns outside the ring too. He was one of a few icons that inspired me as a child. The inspiration led me into taking up sports at school and in my spare time including boxing ( which I took up because I wanted to fight back the bullies I was up against ). A couple of the best fights I remember him for was “ The Rumble in the Jungle ” against George Foreman and “ Thrilla in Manila ” against Joe Faizer. I was aged 9 and 10 respectively then.And of course I remember him for his humanitarian causes outside the ring — He was truly the greatest.

Here are a few of his most famous quotes:

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.

 

 

Categories: Politics, Sports | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off

The Panama Papers – Infographic

I had a regular reader of my blogs, who was inspired by one of my blogs, ‘The World reacts to the Panama Papers‘, and as a result, researched further on the topic and designed an infographic based on it. It’s a great honor for me to publish this as I think it would help a layman understand what the leak is all about. I am an avid fan of The Center for Public Integrity who are central the the Panama paper leak so with pleasure here is the Infographic below — Source : http://www.courierstrack.in/

Infographic CT

Categories: Politics | Tags: , , | Comments Off

The recent elections and power — two different things

I have more power than the recently elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and the new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. After all, I have dual residency in both the UK and the Philippines and the only power these two people have over me is Legitimate Power — let me explain…

A president, mayor or prime minister has legitimate power. So does a CEO or even a fire chief. Electoral mandates, social hierarchies, cultural norms, and organizational structure all provide the basis for legitimate power.

This type of power, however, can be unpredictable and unstable. If you lose the title or position, your legitimate power can instantly disappear, because people were influenced by the position you held rather than by you.

Also, the scope of your power is limited to situations that others believe you have a right to control. If a fire chief tells people to stay away from a burning building, for example, they’ll likely listen. But if he tries to make two people act more courteously toward one another, they’ll likely ignore the instruction.

Relying on these positional forms of power alone can result in a cold, technocratic, impoverished style of leadership. To be a true leader, you need a more robust source of power than a title, an ability to reward or punish, or access to information.

The type of power that I am talking about that I have is expert power and referent power. Anyone is capable of holding power and influencing others — you don’t need to have an important job title or a big office. But if you recognize the different forms of power, you can avoid being influenced by those who use the less positive ones – and you can focus on developing expert and referent power for yourself. This will help you to become an influential and effective leader.

When you have knowledge and skills that enable you to understand a situation, suggest solutions, use solid judgment, and generally outperform others, people will listen to you, trust you, and respect what you say. As a subject matter expert, your ideas will have value, and others will look to you for leadership in that area.

What’s more, you can expand your confidence, decisiveness and reputation for rational thinking into other subjects and issues. This is a good way to build and maintain expert power, and to improve your leadership skills.

Referent power comes from one person liking and respecting another, and identifying with her in some way. Celebrities have referent power, which is why they can influence everything from what people buy to which politician they elect. In a workplace, a person with referent power often makes everyone feel good, so he or she tends to have a lot of influence.

Referent power can be a big responsibility, because you don’t necessarily have to do anything to earn it. So, it can be abused quite easily. Someone who is likeable, but who lacks integrity and honesty, may rise to power – and use that power to hurt and alienate people as well as to gain personal advantage.

Relying on referent power alone is not a good strategy for a leader who wants longevity and respect. When it is combined with expert power, however, it can help you to be very successful.

30khan2302c

Sadiq Khan is the New Mayor of London

Categories: Personal Development, Politics, Professional Development | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off