Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Putting emphasis in the right place

 Marketing guru Seth Godin writes a post-a-day and he has done so for many, many years - well over a decade.

There are times when Seth's posts just hit the mark. Today's was a good one. The title is "What does it mean to do well in school?". You just learn, remember for as long as the test, get a good mark and you're considered smart. 

Seth quite rightly asks, "Where do we look up insight on your resilience, enthusiasm, cooperation, curiosity, collaboration, honesty, generosity and leadership?".

This made me think about a post I wrote in 2013 called 'Valuing female brains'. I wrote it after reading a blog post 'How to talk to little girls' and this was shortly after a girlfriend had her first baby -  a little girl.

As Seth described, emphasis is placed in school on marks and not on the very important elements that make us good contributors to society, good friends and good colleagues. There is definitely value to getting good marks and the satisfaction of achieving them through keen attention, participation and hard work; but I'd certainly prefer a colleague with the qualities that Seth has listed than one who was a straight-A student.

As for talking to little girls - that post struck a chord and has stayed with me since. I still make a point of asking girls about their interests and activities rather than remarking on what they are wearing.

I see that the link for the original blog post is no longer active. But look what I found online -  a short youTube video (1 minute - watch it).

And here is something in the same theme, written around the same time (2011) on the Huffington Post by author Lisa Bloom. And an informative post - same theme - on written in 2019. I've enjoyed the refresh and ideas presented in this latter article.

This is actually quite relevant to teens and women too, not just little girls. We're in a period where social media posts of value get less likes than ones showing cleavage and skin. I'm in luck as my most Liked posts feature Rusty. Hahaha.  Still, I can totally see the impact of social media and how you present yourself on the confidence, self-esteem, perceived value and appearance rating of teenage girls especially. Not nice. Again, value on how you look and pout and flash rather than who you are.

We're not going to change this any time soon, but our one-on-one interactions - and how you talk to girls - make a big difference too.

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