Managing the Message #3: "I feel your pain..."

…..whenever I hear this, my immediate thought is “the hell you do…!”
It doesn’t matter whether it’s from a friend, a family member or a politician who wouldn’t know me at a hundred paces (or even the obligatory two metres)…be aware that however I happen to be feeling, it’s guaranteed to make me feel worse. Let’s face it, it would be a brave/foolish man who said to his partner during childbirth “Don’t worry darling, I feel your pain…”
Don’t misunderstand me, care and compassion are very important, never more so than in times of difficulty and they are a very important part of what makes us human. But we do need to be careful not to overuse it, or use it inappropriately, especially if our intention is to help. We are awash with phrases such as this right now and I include in that “We’re all in this together” because actually, it’s neither true nor helpful. I’m “in it” my way, you’re “in it” your way and we’re all trying to find a way through, and doing it “our way”.
So, what do you say? Well, essentially, it’s not about speaking it’s about listening. Listen first, speak later. When someone tells you that they are really struggling, resist the temptation to tell them that you fee...

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| 25th March 2020, 11:53:23 | Posted by Rosemary Taylor

Managing the Message #2: If you want to be taken seriously, lose the red nose...

I went for a run this morning (still allowed) and I was thinking (also still allowed….for now), did we all get the message from our Prime Minister last night? Well, the acid test of whether any message is effectively received is the response….and so, whilst running (still the same run, so allowed), I watched the traffic. Part of my run takes me along a major road, always busy. Was it as busy today as it was yesterday? Yes. I found myself designing some bizarre system of censorship, assessing whether the journey of each vehicle could be regarded as ‘essential travel’. Few, in my (admittedly haphazard and speculative) opinion met the required criteria. The trucks are helpful because they usually state their contents on the side of the vehicle and so, on that basis, “Eggs – yes”, “Easter Eggs – no”. As the cross-country car transporter swept past me I wondered at what point shifting nine Vauxhall Astras became essential travel…and what about the car drivers? Well, bear in mind if you’re driving a Honda Jazz, you are by default, over 70 and should be self-isolating, and also bear in mind that thousands of cases of Covid-19 have been traced directly to use of petrol pumps, so to th...

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1 comment | 24th March 2020, 10:57:14 | Posted by Rosemary Taylor

Managing the Message #1: "It might not be rocket science..but it might just be neuroscience"

Supermarkets and governments have, on a daily basis, been pleading with the public to stop panic-buying because, they tell us “there are no shortages and the supply chain is working well”. The message is sound, sensible and well-intentioned, so why doesn’t it work? One of the key problems here is that when presented on daily, if not hourly, TV news updates, the announcement is, on every occasion, delivered by a newsreader sitting in front of a huge and shocking image of empty supermarket shelves. Essentially, the words tell us one thing, but the picture suggests the exact opposite –there’s a contradiction. The brain dislikes contradictions, so it has to make a choice as to which message it believes. The words are meant to reassure us and/or prompt a change in behaviour – but the image instils shock, fear and a whole range of other emotional responses and the tension and mismatch between the two create alarm.
And so to the neuroscience – which has the greater effect – the words, or the image? It will always be the image, simply because the brain likes pictures, it stores them away for future reference, marked ‘important’. That image stirs the emotional brain by playing to our m...

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| 23rd March 2020, 11:45:47 | Posted by Rosemary Taylor

The Impact of Professional Development

A new report from the Education Policy Institute, commissioned by Wellcome and including analysis from the Ambition Institute concludes that high quality CPD for teachers has a significant effect on pupils’ learning outcomes. Evidence suggests that quality CPD has a greater effect on pupil attainment than any other interventions and can also improve teacher retention.
…We’re not surprised by this – are you?
Contact us for details of our high quality CPD.

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| 2nd March 2020, 14:14:40 | Posted by Rosemary Taylor

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