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Rod Webb

Glasstap Limited

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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Show Racism the Red Card


I’m feeling rather proud of myself. A little exercise I wrote for Trainers’ Library several years ago has been endorsed by Show Racism the Red Card, the charity that uses professional footballers to educate against racism.

The exercise in question is The Witches of Glum. The charity considers it to be such a powerful tool for illustrating how deeply rooted stereotypes can be, and the dangers of making assumptions, that it’s to be included in a resource pack being put together for educational establishments around the UK. I’m thrilled that something I really enjoyed writing might be helping to make a difference.

I have to be honest though. This isn’t the result of some grand scheme. I never imagined Witches of Glum would become one of the most popular and widely used exercises in Trainers’ Library ( when I wrote it. I didn’t even appreciate, when I’d first written it, how much discussion and learning it could provoke.

Sometimes, training can seem a fairly unrewarding role, particularly if you’re dealing with behaviours that are slow to change and/or you’re not on site to see what happens after you’ve finished delivering your training.

It’s worth remembering then that the actions we take every day as trainers (and as non-trainers) are like pebbles thrown into a still pond. We never really know how far the ripples we create will travel.

Sometimes the extent of our influence is surprising. I had another sharp reminder of this a while back when I bumped into someone who had attended a Creative Thinking course I ran for volunteers a few years before. He told me how that training course had inspired him to launch a community music shop, which sells instruments and music and, perhaps more importantly, is widely involved in supporting and encouraging the local music scene. Core Music in Hexham provides rehearsal space, music lessons and even recording facilities, and all profits are reinvested in the local community, providing music based services to those who can’t afford to pay for them.

I’m sure many of you have similar stories about the ripples you’ve generated from your own training interventions, and if so, I’d love to hear them.

Of course not all the ripples we generate will be positive. I’m sure we’ve all had situations where we wish we’d handled a situation better. But just recognising them and learning from them are part of that ripple effect too.

Now, I’m going to go before I tie myself up in mental knots.

For more information about the great work Show Racism the Red Card is doing, visit their website at And for Core Music,

One Response

  1. Witches of Glum

    Hi Rod

    I’ve been using this story for several years and always found it to be very effective for listening skills, I got it originally when I worked in HBOS through our membership of the trainers library. When I moved a few years later to one of the Virgin Group of companies I used it again. It got some really positive feedback in both organisations. I am pleased that it’s been endorsed by "Show Racism the red card", and I totally agree that its excellent for highlighting assumptions.

Author Profile Picture
Rod Webb

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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