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Fluid identity & Liquid lead: In Other Words… Change Your Hat! - Guest Blog by Claudia Kratzheller

What kind of roles do you take on in your life? The friend, the colleague, the entrepreneur, the lover, the wife, the mother, the father, the advisor, the server, the boss, the victim, the buddy, the odd one out…

There are many variations in the playground of life. But have you ever thought about them more as a ‘Fluid Identity’ with a ‘Liquid Lead’?

Let me explain what I mean…

We all have different tasks and roles in our lives that we either have chosen, have rolled into, or have been given… mostly it’s a combination of those three that shape and influence what we DO in our lives.

Do you identify with them?

Are you comfortable in these roles?

Does it feel like sitting in a box?

It can feel safe, but maybe also limiting…

Do you feel trapped sometimes?

Do other people see you according to these roles?

Do you put other people in boxes?

You know what: We all do it! And often unconsciously…


  • the professor who is listening and lecturing

  • the garbageman who is taking out the waste bins

  • the inspirational speaker in the church

  • the parent who is taking care of the child

All these people are in roles, but do you see one role as more important than the other?

Here’s a situation to illustrate the idea of playing with roles and one’s status:

In a restaurant - the guest says to the waiter (agitated and reproachful): “Waiter! There is a cockroach in the loo.”

The waiter (patient and calm): “Well, I suppose you’ll have to wait then.”

Here’s some stuff to experiment with:

Explore and play around with shifting your various roles. Notice what you do in your daily life, within a particular role. 

For example: doing the dishes. Listening to a friend. Being the one who pays the bill. Being the one who fixes and helps. Being the one who is emotionally strong and keeps everything together.

Does it serve you?

Does it serve the whole situation?

Keep it.

Does it not?

Change something.

It can be a small change, a small step – then observe how it feels; and how it affects the whole situation.

The idea of the ‘liquid lead’ is not to be bound by fixed roles, but to change and blend fluidly between the roles of following and leading… so that ultimately there is no leader and no follower. The roles become superfluous as it is a constant flux of lead-listening and active-following.

In Tango and Contact Tango, it happens naturally – politics and society are moving in that direction also perhaps.

In Conclusion:

Keep the dignity and respect you have for yourself, apart from and beyond any specific roles. Play with them as they are not who you ARE.

Inspire other people to go beyond their labels and assumptions, and connect to them as human beings rather than their roles.

After all, the role is merely what you DO, it’s not who you ARE.

Disclaimer alert: When you play with these roles, choose moments that are safe for you! It might not be wise to shift your behaviour too suddenly or at random when the stakes are high (at a job interview for example - unless you don’t care too much about the job of course).

It could also be that other people around you get surprised, as they are used to seeing you in one role, and suddenly see you as something else.

Let them have their feelings, and feel free to explore beyond the ‘box’!

More info about Claudia Kratzheller 

The essence of her work:

Supporting you to trust your body as a compass for embodied communication, to connect, interact and enjoy relationships. 

She also developed the Pelvic Grounding Matrix, a series of gentle and centring exercises that help you to move with ease and less effort. 

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