At the beginning of February, I began writing in earnest on the theme of ‘Soft Skills’ for my weekly e-mag, S P A C E.

The stories were a mix of things, some of which were researched pieces from internet articles that then peppered up some personal commentary to add to them, which I felt comfortable sharing through the online space for the zine because I know everyone who subscribes, personally. I mean, you have a mini-mag with an esoteric name like S P A C E and you don’t go head to head with the likes of TIME. Wait.

Wait.

Some of my favorite stories in the series this time are Q&A interviews with HR experts. The titles of those issues of S P A C E are: S P A C E | ‘Is it an Employer’s Market, or an Employees?’ and S P A C E | ‘People Operations.’ You can find them in the shop.

Subscribe to ‘Soft Skills’

I can send you all the issues in the series if you subscribe to S P A C E.

To do that, here is a link.

http://chuffed.org/project/spacethezine

Thanks.

 

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April

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More is here.

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Soft Skills: A series of conversations in the cloud

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‘I’ll meet you there’

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What are soft skills? Why are they important?

 

Talking about soft skills, the job site Indeed says:

Soft skills are abilities that relate to how you work and interact with other people. Commonly noted soft skills include communication, teamwork and other interpersonal skills. Employers look for candidates with soft skills as these skills are hard to teach and are important for long-term success. Soft skills are different from hard skills, which are technical in nature and job-specific.

 

In their ‘HR Toolkit’ category, the website Workable blogs:

‘Soft skills are general traits not specific to any job, helping employees excel in any workplace. They include communication, teamwork, and adaptability, often termed as transferable or interpersonal skills. They’re essential for professional success.’

‘Essential.’

Let’s explore, then.

 


Soft skills vis-a-vis the conversation salon


I was happily writing my books for these last ten years, but it’s time to bring some of what I’ve learned from memoir-writing, namely, the work required to reflect, and deeply consider, multiple angles and listen for those (even 1:0, this matters), for others purposes, now. That’s why I’m going to invite anyone curious about soft skills to a ‘mini-conference.’ We’ll talk in a forum I’ll host on Zoom voice; no more than 4, because, it’s the way I like to host these open spaces. See more about Open Space Technology at the Wikipedia page for it.

So, whoever comes is the right people. It starts when it starts, it’s over when it’s over, and whatever happens is the only thing that could’ve. In a nutshell, that’s what ‘open space’ means. I’ve adapted it slightly, here and there, over these last 20 years for my conversation salons, roundtables, ‘parties’, and various get-togethers with new and different others convening for the ‘craic,’ as we would have said, in West Cork. There, and other places, like Seattle, Durham NC, Phnom Penh, are where I’ve spent chunks of time in a row (3-10 years), and where I’ve gotten to understand how other people explore, engage, invite, connect, and become part of a conversation that’s elegant, not just there.

 


Making space for ‘Soft Skills’ dialogues


Personally, I think Soft Skills come right into play in parallel with designing space for elegant conversation; that’s what I’d like to explore with HR professionals, this spring. The event is free to participate in, but application is required.

Apply here.

More from there if it’s a fit.


Connect with Kismuth


More there and perhaps on LinkedIn for Kismuth and Kismuth on Facebook. Let me look into how to make the best use of these channels, for 2024’s goals for Kismuth to connect leaders in HR. To be continued, in an empathetic, conversation-led way.

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Soft Skills

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Journal to reflect, and to get to know yourself better. See patterns, over time. You can, and maybe you already do. But what if you could share this journaling and reflection experience with others?

 

Writing for reflection

The Cojournal Project started in 2014. It’s me sending a weekly writing prompt, and then, us talking together about it, over email, in asynchronous and international conversations. There are no more than four people per circle. Several dozen people have taken part, over the years.

I feel this is useful and important for people who don’t know how to find time and space to ‘learn and grow’, in a way that isn’t prescribed like through a class or a course or something that is formal, and usually one-way (or top-down).

Personally, I love the conversations that meander, are informal, and sort of jazzy in style. We talk, and we riff, and something happens in that space. I feel that the beauty is the emergence that’s there to explore, and invite to come to the surface. Words are the notes to the music we make, together.

 

 


Making conversation spaces: in real life, online


Before covid, I used to host conversation roundtables like ‘Make: What is the creative process?’, ‘Origin: What is fromness?’ or ‘Beauty: What is it, who gets to decide?’, and maybe 100 or so, more. All around the world, wherever I was, I’d find people and invite them to convene and connect. Riga, Tokyo, Warsaw, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Oulu… Yes, a great deal of movement, pre-covid. (None, now. I’m quite stationary, and content, where I am).

Still, I recall these moments with a great deal of fondness. The people were amazing. It takes courage to ‘opt in’, I see that it’s harder and harder to do this, given the age we’re in. Many times I had highlights and even more times, it was completely a fail, lol, but that’s okay. That’s how you figure out how to make it better, redesign slightly, retest, keep going. Making conversation spaces that really get people inspired, not recording anything, and never sharing, after we leave, the contents are so personal, after all. That’s why there aren’t any pictures. I’m not keen on ‘marketing’ these things, showing off all the cool photos of all the cool people. That’s just not my style.

I loved meeting and connecting people with one another, before the pandemic. I loved experiencing the gatherings of us, in real life, to see each other, and to investigate and inquire. Even now the (few) people I know who wind up visiting cities in which others are whom I know, I will connect them. So they can meet. In the way I love: meaningful conversations, I’m certain, will come of these initiatives.

Now, though, I’m less inclined to make this effort to go and physically meet people in real life, and get them talking. It’s a lot of overhead.

So now it’s online. I send prompts to those who want to be part of the conversations (you’ll apply, then you’ll register to set up a weekly fee, and we go from there).

Asynchronous email conversations are my way of continuing to host dialogues that advance our ideas together and challenge us to dig a little deeper. Writing isn’t just publishing; it’s exploring, and discovering, too, I feel. Journeying in real life is this, too. The destination isn’t the point: it’s how fun it is, along the way, to move through the world and see what is out there for us to get to know, to understand. More and more, I see that Kismuth was never about publishing books, as much as inviting these kinds of curious, fun, light, and informal conversations. To happen.

 

“A journal is your completely unaltered voice.”
— Lucy Dacus

 

The Cojournal Project, then, is a chance for you to talk to me and others, through our weekly online prompt-led conversations. Who joins? Mostly, people I’ve met personally, as I’ve gotten to know and invite people to read my books in Kismuth, or talk together at conversation salons, or simply connect over the occasional group zoom call. I remember a time when serendipitous encounters were much more common and welcome than they seem to be today (in an era of too-much-info, too any new things can overwhelm). Let me curate this opening for your window into whatever’s next, whatever’s possible, by placing you into a circle with me and up to two others.

 


Journal with me and others: write, share, converse


We’ll meet there when we like, talk together, and expand on ideas that might have been blooming, but remained stuck, due to lack of freshness, inspiration, or a chance to simply share in a way that doesn’t judge and isn’t with people you already know. Originally that was my hope, to build a group of conversation spaces for us to semi-publicly connect (not a group, not a club, not a clique, and not a company). The differently-minded, meeting in the humble, casual, informal spaces I love to convene in, for Kismuth connections.

Be a part of it. Here’s an application form.

 

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Kismuth Connexions

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The Mirror

A conversation in an asynchronous, international circle of guests (no more than 4). We’ll talk together about the topics that emerge, starting from the point of application when you get in touch with me to tell me what you’d like to explore.

In the past there have been a series of Mirror reflection series on topics like, ‘Strengthfinding’ (2023), ‘Slow Moment’ (2018), and ‘A Nomadic Existence (2014). The idea is that we can discover a theme that the group feels is unique and curious, and I will create writing prompts and host the dialogues (on email, and the occasional group Zoom voice call for those who opt-in), to explore it. We’ve created an anthology, ‘The Mirror’, from the writings of some of the guests in the 2014 cohort. You’ll receive an eCopy of it when you register for The Mirror.

First, let’s see if we’re a fit. Apply to start a conversation.

Here’s a link.

http://dipikakohli.com/apply

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Balance

Where are you, what’s working well, what’s in balance and where do you think there are areas to move the dials so you feel more ‘well.’ Let’s talk about the concept of balance. This was a great conversation salon in the past, and worked out into a series.

Feeling in balance. Feeling good. Let’s discuss it? It’s an open conversation for those who choose to take part, nothing will be recorded or distributed anywhere. It’s just like the 90s when we talked in person without bothering about recording and documenting everything. That’s my preference.

Let’s converse?

Register your interest by getting in touch. More from there.

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100 Conversations

Zines

These days I’m making small format zines. A5.

I’m publishing them here where I live and distributing them, too, through a local cafe outlet. This is new for me since most of the work from the Atelier S P A C E teams was online work. We collaborated in the cloud. We published there, too. Conversing and talking and connecting and making zines. A new issue, every week.

The new projects are coming into shape for winter. One is the series, Winter 2023/24, ‘An Ecology of the Moment’.

This issue, ‘If we don’t know each other,’ is one of them.

The beginning of that story is online. It’s at dipikakohli.com/if-we-don’t-know-each-other

Checkit!

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Make a Zine with Atelier S P A C E

Join us for a fun and creative online event where you can learn how to make your own zine! Atelier S P A C E, a renowned creative studio, will guide you through the process of designing and crafting a unique zine from scratch. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, this event is perfect for anyone interested in self-expression and storytelling.

During this interactive session, you’ll get the chance to connect with new individuals from around the world and share your ideas and inspirations. With Atelier S P A C E’s expert guidance, you’ll explore various techniques and tools to create a zine that represents your personal style and interests.

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to unleash your creativity and learn from the best. Join us for ‘Make a Zine with Atelier S P A C E’ and discover the joy of self-publishing!

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An Ecology of the Moment

Atelier S P A C E | Virtual

Be part of the S P A C E-making editorial conversation. It’s fun, light, and informal. See how it all works, in real-time, interactive, hands-on zinemaking sessions. Choose any three Tuesdays in December or January to be part of making the series, S P A C E | Winter 2023/24 collection.

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Jump the Fork

Book reading. In person in Phnom Penh. Tickets are USD15 and come with the eBook, Jump the Fork. 

This event will take place on December 2, 4, 8, and 20. Rotating venues in BKK1, TTP, TK, Koh Pich, and BKK3.

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Book Club | ‘Breakfast in Cambodia’

‘Her writing is almost poetic.’ -Reviewer on Amazon Kindle


Join a virtual conversation to meet other writers/readers, and share your questions and comments about Kismuth’s books. October’s Book Club selection is Dipika Kohli’s Breakfast in Cambodia, which is set in Phnom Penh.  We’ll discuss it for 40 minutes in a Zoom voice call. To book your spot, you can purchase an eCopy of Breakfast in Cambodia. Here is a link: https://designkompany.gumroad.com/l/villagereport


 

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Offline

A conversation salon, set to take place in a relaxing, quiet space in Phnom Penh. Max 4.

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