I recently attend two courses at the School of Life. One was called ‘How to communicate better at work’ and the other ‘How to have better conversations’. Both classes were pretty theoretical (as the School of Life has arisen from making people aware of the philosophies we do or do not engage with in our lives). However, one key point I drew from each class was that good questions are key when communicating.
I work for LGBT Health and Wellbeing, supporting services working with older people to become more inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. This is a valuable opportunity to affect change – and I want it to be the change that older LGBT people actually want to see!
I come from a family of tinkerers. My granddad was always in his shed hacking away at something or in the garage mucking about with his Morris Minor. He was a postman, not a carpenter or an engineer or a mechanic. Mostly, he didn’t know what he was doing. My grandparent’s house was full of botched repair jobs. (Putty, I remember a lot of putty. And gaffer tape.) And the car probably only just stayed on the right side of road worthiness.
This exercise comes with a health warning - it can unearth unwanted emotions. Participants need to be encouraged to look after themselves and only deal with parts of their lives that they choose to.
Draw a linear graph of the ups and downs of your life. Make it as simple or complex as you like, add colour and illustration. This was a particularly useful tool during a two year project with asylum seekers where language was limited.
Since the changing of the year seems to be the time for lists, top ten lists, etc., I decided to compile mine about being creative whist producing cutting‐edge research. Not for the faint‐hearted! Here goes:
1. Be curious. Be a detective. Be ready to be surprised by answers you never expected. It should, in the end, be a good story that you can tell.
2. Insure that the method fits the question(s). This can often take some time. Be willing to investigate until you find the right method. This will save you a lot of grief later.
Fit for the Future is a partnership project of Iriss and Scottish Care dedicated to inspiring better outcomes for older people by working with providers from the independent sector. The project worked with care homes and care at home providers in four areas - Argyll and Bute, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire and West Lothian - to support innovation and service redesign. Key areas such as outcomes, care in times of transition, community links and compassion were explored.
The past year has seen a massive leap forward in Virtual Reality(VR) technology. One company in particular is at the forefront of this exciting new frontier.
What a year for Glasgow. Many of us felt the warmth and goodwill that animated the carnival atmosphere in the city during the Games, stretch beyond the referendum as a tangible urge to transcend the politics of competition, blame, beliefs and opinions. A welcome move away from ‘us and them’, towards just us, is visibly taking root and still the need to nurture our ability to communicate with openness, affection, wit and skill remains constant. It seems wise to meet this need with a broader, subtler definition of listening than we are used to.
So. Blogging has (almost) come of age. Twenty years ago, a software developer in California ushered in a new era of communication. Dave Winer published his first blog post on 7 October 1994. He called his blog Davenet, and he’s been writing it most days since. And today he’s joined by many millions of bloggers worldwide.
Integration is at the top of many social care, housing and health professionals agendas which made me wonder about the role of the arts and artists the integration debate.
In my mind there are two forms of integration, service (or process) integration and workforce (or people) integration. It's the latter, rather than the former, where I think that the arts has much to offer.