Monday, 31 January 2011

who knew...

So - after an extended lack of blogging. It's time to briefly update things.

The picture above is of me on the BBC Breakfast show.

(You can watch the video here if you like.)

That's me. On the red sofa.


Because the ten core skills of dialogue were suddenly perceived as being newsworthy?


Because it was felt that enough was enough and there should be no more trivial conversations on Breakfast TV? That it was time for an in-depth analysis of what it might mean to co-create fresh new alternatives to the stale, binary combat between journalists and politicians?


It was because the work I'd done for PIzza Express had been slightly thin-sliced by various journalists and I ended up being quoted (and mis-quoted) in newspapers about my expertise in the art of flirting.

Yes, flirting.

Now, while I'm perfectly happy to admit I enjoy a good flirt as much as the next woman, I've never really considered myself an expert in the field.

So, I found it a little odd to be presented as someone who could help people with 'chat up' lines. A little odd, but not objectionable.

Harder to take was the perception that it was this skill that I'd spent years perfecting and dedicating my professional life to. (By the way, what a great idea - a company specifically designed to help people flirt. In another life maybe.)

But most people who know me - while they might point out that it was only a matter of time before my hobby became exposed - might also know that my passion is for dialogue; for conversations that go somewhere; that create movement, shift, opportunities and new ideas.

Creative conversations.

Conversations that count.

Conversations that create new possibilities, satisfaction and strengthened relationships.

(Actually this all sounds very much like flirting doesn't it? Oh well - maybe I'll live with my new label after all.)

Anyhow - the good news is that as a result of my unsought after press coverage, I've come into contact with some fascinating people and some new opportunities.

So - I have no regrets about appearing on Breakfast telly. Or in any of the newspapers that claimed to have spoken to me when they hadn't. I'm a big boy now and it was good for me to be reminded that I'm as naive as I ever was.

On the live shows at least, I got a chance to talk about what I really wanted to talk about and that was good for me. It was good for me to have to be on my mettle.

The one thing I would have liked I suppose, would have been to have a little book to point to. A lasting physical reference to the work I've actually been doing in the last ten years or so rather than touring the country helping people to come on to each other. (Read that sentence carefully.)

And the good news is (partly thanks to the attention I got), it looks like I might get a chance to make that very thing a possibility.

And so, after a 8 weeks of a long serious corporate job, I'm now facing the exciting and slightly daunting challenge of putting into the written word some of the things I've been thinking about and talking about since I started The Dialogue Project, as a direct response to the events of Sept 11th, 2001.
Blimey - a book.

Will it be any good? Who knows.

Will it be read by anyone except me? Maybe not.

Is it something I want to do? Very much so.

I love a challenge.

And anyway, at least in a few months time I can sidle up to the fascinating woman sitting in a cafe and casually remark: "Sorry for interrupting you but... I just couldn't help but notice how beautiful your ten core dialogue skills were."