Give us a hand

6th July 2001 at 01:00
What does your writing say about you? Elaine Quigley explains This is dynamic script, no fuss, straight to the point and clear. The upright direction shows independence and the firm vertical emphasis shows purpose. The script is arcade (arched) and angle (pointed), both shapes that denote thought and control.

The natural movement of the lines shows that initiative and coping skills are more important than sticking to a set pattern. This woman is a force to be reckoned with.

Once she gets the ball rolling, the next option seems to emerge automatically. Because she doesn't follow a pattern, others cannot read her intentions and this puts her in a strong position to negotiate and get results.

She may be strong, but she is also reasonable. She respects those who stand up for themselves, but has a sense of responsibility for those who can't. She always rises to a challenge and likes others to do the same.

She can't be bothered with overly nice people or flattery. She puts her cards on the table and expects others to do so too. She quickly senses who carries the weight in a group and deals with them directly. She doesn't worry whether or not people like what she says, as long as she knows it is for the good. She wants to enjoy life, and gets most satisfaction from being in a position to achieve high results for the group.

Barbara Herszenhorn is head of Chadsmoor junior school in Lichfield, Staffordshire It's so accurate, it's unbelievable. I have passed it among my staff and they say it is me down to a T.

You could delete authoritative and put bossy. I am straight to the point. But I am also reasonable.

I am an individual. And I am not the norm as a headteacher. Set patterns bore me and I'll abandon a plan if it is not working. I like the notion that I am a strong leader - in my Ofsted report it said the school had particularly strong leadership. I can make hard decisions but the heart-warming thing is that it says I like to nurture people as well. I think I can instinctively spot the "fragiles" in life and gather them up, children or adults.

I love life, and I know it's unfashionable to say you love headship, but I love my job as well.

Elaine Quigley and Barbara Herszenhorn were talking to Harvey McGavin. You can email Elaine Quigley at

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