Conflict at work: A new leadership model for a virtualised world

2020 has been a strange year. In many ways, the pandemic has brought us closer together. At the beginning, we stood united. And since the nation was forced into giving home working a try, many of us have been invited into the homes of colleagues, gaining a unique and privileged insight into the personal lives hiding within our professional networks.

But in other ways the crisis has divided the nation. The three different tiers are a rather crass example of that, but there is other ‘othering’ at play, too. While most agree the health of the nation is the prerogative, there are split opinions in terms of what aspect of health to prioritise – physical versus mental, versus economic. These facets of health are clearly all linked which is why there are many differing ideas about what the UK should do next. Perhaps this division in opinion is why there are as many rule breakers as there are law-abiding citizens, or so the media would have us believe.

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

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Spotlight – The Care of Older People Practice Manual

A key text for challenging ageism and promoting dignified practice. Dr Sue Thompson presents invaluable guidance on how to take care of older people in positive empowering ways that avoid common ageist assumprions and practices. This is an essential guide to good practice in eldercare.

Available for purchase here or here

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

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Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Remove distractions where possible

Effectiveness in working with people relies to a large extent on being able to communicate successfully, to make a genuine and meaningful connection with the person(s) concerned. Distractions can get in the way of this (for example, a television being on during a home visit or noise coming from an adjacent room). We need to be tuned in to how problematic such distractions can be, and this is for two reasons. First, it makes it harder for both parties to ‘connect’ where there are distractions; and, second, if it is clear that you are aware of such distractions and you are doing nothing about it, both your credibility and your effectiveness go down significantly. So, having the presence of mind to identify distractions and the negotiation skills necessary to reduce or minimize them is an important foundation for good practice in the people professions. Sadly, I have seen so many people try to press on despite distractions and pay the price when it would have been far more effective to recognize the significance of the distraction and try to do something about it.

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A fresh look at social work theory and methods

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Taking action against ageism

It is essential that we challenge ageism at every opportunity. However, many older people have told us that they find it difficult to recognise ageism, and are unsure what to do to challenge ageism when they encounter it.

That’s why we’ve developed a new guide – Taking Action Against Ageism – which provides a range of information about the different types of ageism and age discrimination people may experience, the ways that ageism and age discrimination can be challenged and the organisations that can provide help and support.

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A practical guide to supervision of students & other forms of workplace learning

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The Spectrum magazine

Welcome to the Spectrum magazine, one of the UK’s largest collections of autistic art, poetry and prose. Created by autistic people, our content covers all things autism – from articles on ASD and aliens, to everyday reflections of life on the spectrum. Here you can download our latest issue in PDF format, subscribe to the paper version, or read the magazine online.

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If you’re a social worker come join us in the Social Work Focus Facebook group!

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4 steps for navigating bereavement in the workplace

Employees could be faced with the passing of a colleague, family member, friend or even, someone they provided care for. It could be from a long-term illness, an accident, COVID-19 or perhaps from a sudden and unexpected health condition. For many employers it can be difficult to know how to respond and support employees through bereavement, you’ll probably be asking yourself, how do you support your employees?

For some people, work is an important coping mechanism. It can be a distraction and provide a sense of routine during distressing times. Whilst work may be part of the coping process, it’s important for line managers to understand that they may not be able to perform at the same level straight away.

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Effective Teamwork: The importance of working together

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Spotlight – The Learning from Practice Manual

An essential resource for practice educators and study supervisors. Helping others to learn is a skilled job. This practical guide offers extensive advice and guidance on how to get the best results, whether in student supervision or any other process of helping colleagues to learn.

Available for purchase here or here

Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – Don’t take it personally

In the people professions we will often come across people who are distressed, agitated or otherwise in a bad place. Often this will result in their being unkind or worse towards others, including ourselves – even though we may be doing our best to help and support them. They may swear at us, insult us or even physically attack us. Now, while such behaviour is not acceptable and should therefore not be condoned, we should also recognize that we would be wise not to take such matters personally. It is much more likely that they are taking their frustrations out on the role we occupy or the organization we represent or, ironically, may be venting their dismay and/or wrath in our direction because they feel safe enough with us to do so (a very backhanded compliment!). Encountering such negative feelings is difficult and challenging enough, so we have to make sure we do not make it worse by taking it personally when in most situations that is not likely to be the case.

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Not a textbook, a hands-on manual of practice guidance. An essential resource!

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