Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Dadirri listening

Listening, of course, is more than just hearing. It is about paying attention to someone in a way that creates a genuine human connection. Sometimes that connection is enough to enable the person concerned to feel stronger, more confident and better supported in dealing with their difficulties. Listening is an important first step in terms of exploring potential solutions, but at times listening is enough on its own to find the strength to move forward positively. ‘Dadirri’ is a concept drawn from Australian aboriginal culture which refers to the type of listening that creates that all-important bond, listening that gives a strong and genuine message that we are concerned and that we are here to help without judgement. It could be described as listening with our heart, rather than just with our ears. When you have been on the receiving end of such listening you will know about it, as you will feel the positive, empowering effects of it. Learning how to develop dadirri listening is therefore an important step forward for us to take.

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A Career in Social Work: Part biography, part overview of social work careers

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Supporting hybrid working

Many employees now work in a hybrid way. Hybrid working is a flexible working approach where employees spend some of their time working in a remote location and some in office – or other – work spaces. Working in a hybrid way requires clear ways of working, planning and organising if it is to be successful. Hybrid work must be tailored to the unique needs of the individual, team, department or organisation.

Exactly how to undertake hybrid working will vary from organisation to organisation, and even from team to team. The role of the line manager is key to ensuring effective ways of working. Managers are responsible for communication, performance management and collaboration within hybrid teams.

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The Authentic Leader A new approach to leadership in Neil’s important book.

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Is society coming apart?

Despite Thatcher and Reagan’s best efforts, there is and has always been such a thing as society. The question is not whether it exists, but what shape it must take in a post-pandemic world? In March 2020, Boris Johnson, pale and exhausted, self-isolating in his flat on Downing Street, released a video of himself – that he had taken himself – reassuring Britons that they would get through the pandemic, together. “One thing I think the coronavirus crisis has already proved is that there really is such a thing as society,” the prime minister announced, confirming the existence of society while talking to his phone, alone in a room.

All this was very odd. Johnson seemed at once frantic and weak (not long afterwards, he was admitted to hospital and put in the intensive care unit). Had he, in his feverishness, undergone a political conversion? Because, by announcing the existence of society, Johnson appeared to renounce, publicly, something Margaret Thatcher had said in an interview in 1987, in remarks that are often taken as a definition of modern conservatism. “Too many children and people have been given to understand ‘I have a problem, it is the government’s job to cope with it!’” Thatcher said. “They are casting their problems on society, and who is society? There is no such thing!” She, however, had not contracted Covid-19.

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LinkedIn: Connect online & join Neil Thompson’s HUMANSOLUTIONS discussion group

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Rights-based practice in the early years

With support from the Cattanach Trust, the Year of Childhood specifically focused on the Early Years Sector, namely identifying and amplifying good practice in early years settings. highlighting impact for children, families and communities. By engaging parents and carers in conversations around the importance of human rights in children’s earliest years, we identifying good practice internationally via a webinar series, and highlighted the challenges and opportunities of embedding children’s rights in the early years.

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A fresh look at social work theory and methods

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Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – You don’t know how I feel

Many people confuse sympathy (sharing the same feelings as someone else) and empathy (being able to recognize someone else’s feelings and being able to respond appropriately, but without necessarily having those feelings ourselves), while others settle for apathy, in a state of semi-burnout. But clearly empathy is what we need to aim for: being able to be supportive of others who are wrestling with emotional issues, but without facing the same emotional challenges ourselves. However, what is very clear is that this is not simply a matter of saying: ‘I know how you feel’. This is a very unhelpful and potentially quite counterproductive way to respond, partly because: (i) we do not know how someone else feels (for example, if I am helping someone who has just lost their father, the fact that I have lost my father does not mean that I know how they feel, as our respective experiences of losing a father may have evoked very different feelings); and (ii) making such a comment means we are focusing on our own feelings, rather than those of the person we are trying to help.

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Healthy places, prosperous lives

The UK is getting poorer and sicker, and this trend is not equal across the country. Poorer and sicker areas are getting poorer and sicker the most quickly. To help develop a path forward, IPPR held a series of multi-day deliberative workshops across the country – each exploring people’s understanding of health, its relationship with prosperity, and priorities for change. Based on these priorities, we have developed a new framework: ‘Seven for Seven’ – or seven foundations for seven healthy life years.

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How to Do Social Work: A basic guide from one of social work’s leading authors

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5 ways great managers make their teams happier – Without sacrificing productivity

The workplace is changing. Technological innovations in fields like artificial intelligence are transforming organizations at a breakneck pace. Ongoing economic uncertainty is leading to layoffs and higher workloads. It’s difficult for many workers to keep up. Given increased pressures, it’s not surprising that workplace stress and burnout is on the rise. According to The Economist, 68% of managers and 60% of non-managers reported being burned out in the past 12 months. One-third of U.S. workers say their mental health is getting worse due to long hours, excessive workloads, and other factors, according to a survey from the Conference Board.

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Facebook: Connect with Neil Thompson on Facebook

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