The Managing Stress Practice Manual

Stress is increasingly being recognized as a serious problem in the modern workplace. In this practice manual, Neil Thompson uses his decades of experience of helping people tackle stress to provide a clear and helpful guide to the key issues and lays the foundations for a positive and constructive response to the challenges involved. This is an essential guide for anyone wanting to keep pressures within manageable limits.

Available for purchase along with many other books by Neil here or from the Avenue Learning Centre here.

Time and Workload Management: An essential guide to managing a heavy workload

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Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – Tolerate silence

In working with people emotions are never very far away. Being able to tune in to other people’s emotions, to be aware of our own and get the balance of head and heart right is often referred to as ‘emotional intelligence’. A key part of this is being able to tolerate silences. When someone is distressed or otherwise in the grip of strong emotions, they may fall silent, and that silence can feel very uncomfortable for us. We can be very tempted to jump in and ask a question or just fill the gap in some way. Understandable though this may be, it can be quite problematic because we are, in effect, giving the person concerned the message that dealing with our own discomfort is more important than giving them the emotional space they need. If we are able to resist the temptation of filling the silence we give the much more positive and supportive message that we are there for them, that they are not facing their difficulties unsupported. And what an important message that can be.

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The Professional Social Worker: An essential text for all social workers

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Skills to shape a better world of work – 17th September 2019, London, UK

 

Skills are vital in enabling individuals and countries to thrive in an increasingly complex, interconnected and rapidly changing world. Countries in which people develop strong skills, learn throughout their lives, and use their skills fully and effectively at work and in society are more productive and innovative, enjoy higher levels of trust, better health outcomes and a higher quality of life.

This is your chance to debate the issues. The OECD Skills Strategy dashboard shows the UK is a relatively strong performer overall in developing and using people’s skills. However, the UK is not a leader in skills development and use. The comparatively low levels of basic skills among tertiary graduates in particular is a concern. There are important questions to be asked about whether the UK’s performance in developing and using the skills of its people is adequate in the context of a rapidly changing and complex world.

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Connect with Neil Thompson online! For Neil's blog and more resources

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Everyday inequality

Over the past decade, the narrative around inequality has changed dramatically. Inequality is now widely accepted as one of the – if not the – biggest issue of the 21st century. Think tanks and charities produce endless research and reports on inequality and its effects, but real people’s voices and stories of inequality specifically are not well evidenced in this work.

There is currently no platform or forum providing information or access to the lived experience of inequality or its everyday impacts in the UK, especially not in an accessible way. There is also a general lack of shared knowledge about what it is like to experience inequality everyday, what that includes and how its specificities range across different contexts. We think that this is stifling the possibilities for change and debate about contemporary Britain.

Inequality affects us all, but we know that it is the people who are most affected by inequality whose stories we hear the least. They’re also more likely to be over-looked, go un-consulted or are simply discredited or shamed when they do speak out about their experience.

This needs to change.

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Twitter: Follow Neil Thompson on Twitter

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The Managing Stress Practice Manual

Stress is increasingly being recognized as a serious problem in the modern workplace. In this practice manual, Neil Thompson uses his decades of experience of helping people tackle stress to provide a clear and helpful guide to the key issues and lays the foundations for a positive and constructive response to the challenges involved. This is an essential guide for anyone wanting to keep pressures within manageable limits.

Available for purchase along with many other books by Neil here or from the Avenue Learning Centre here.

It’s all about people: visit Neil Thompson’s humansolutions website

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Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – Silence does not equal consent

This is a mistake I made many times early in my career: making a suggestion or proposal, having no one object to it and then assuming that the lack of explicit objection constituted agreement to what I had put forward. I then had the unpleasant experience of watching my plans fall apart as people did not cooperate with them or play their part in moving things forward – or even, on some occasions, actively sabotaged what I was trying to do. It only slowly became apparent to me that they were never really ‘on board’ in terms of what I had proposed but, for whatever reason, had chosen not to voice their disagreement. So, there is a very important lesson in this: we cannot assume that silence equals consent. A lack of explicit disagreement is not the same as agreement. So, if we are relying on others to bring our plans to fruition, we need to make the effort to ensure that they are genuinely in agreement and make it clear that if they are not, they should say so.

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

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User-led groups discuss how to turn back the tide of closures

User-led groups met this week to discuss how to turn back the tide of closures of organisations run and controlled by disabled people and service-users. Research shows the number of user-led groups continuing to fall, due to austerity cuts and other trends affecting their funding.

The closures mean user-led organisations have a “diminishing” voice in opposing oppressive policies, according to a briefing released ahead of the meeting. The closures are leading to a loss of a collective voice for disabled people, and the knowledge, peer support and advocacy that user-led organisations provide, the briefing said.

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

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Are local governments excluding women?

We have been working with the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) to assess whether local government is working well for women. Our year-long Commission is jointly chaired by Labour’s Dame Margaret Hodge MP and Conservative councillor Cllr Gillian Keegan, Director of Women2Win. Funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Commission will adopt a strategic approach and focus on the newly created structures at a local level and how they are including or excluding women.

Local government spends £94bn each year: it plays a vital role in providing services on which we all depend and tackling the challenges we all confront, and it is changing fast. Budgets have been cut significantly since 2010, the powers councils exercise are changing, and devolution will see an increasing shift of power and decision making to the regional level. Women are more likely to rely on the services that councils provide, and make up 78 percent of the workforce, so they should be properly represented in decision-making positions. But this is not the case.

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

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How space exploration provided a new career path for women

Parish Hirasaki was not planning on being a scientist. At least, not when she first got to Duke University.

“I was sent off to college to find a husband,” Hirasaki says. “And to get a teaching degree so if god forbid anything ever happened to that husband I could work when my children were in school. So that is the era I came from. “

The year was 1963. And as Hirasaki tells it, that’s what most women did… if they had the opportunity to go to college at all. But once she reached college, Hirasaki quickly realized teaching wasn’t in the cards. She struggled with the liberal arts courses. But she had always been good at math. So she changed her major. But somewhere along the line I got interested in working in the space program,” Hirasaki says. “And thought, ‘Gee, maybe I can be an astronaut one day.’ And I think if most people back then who went to work in the space program fess up, that’s what they were thinking, too.”

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A fresh look at social work theory and methods

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The Managing Stress Practice Manual

Stress is increasingly being recognized as a serious problem in the modern workplace. In this practice manual, Neil Thompson uses his decades of experience of helping people tackle stress to provide a clear and helpful guide to the key issues and lays the foundations for a positive and constructive response to the challenges involved. This is an essential guide for anyone wanting to keep pressures within manageable limits.

Available for purchase along with many other books by Neil here or from the Avenue Learning Centre here.

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

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Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – Who is being awkward?

It is not uncommon for us to find ourselves in situations where we are wondering: ‘Why is so and so being so awkward?’. In such circumstances we tend to focus on their behaviour or attitude, but this can be misleading. That is because the chances are that, while we are thinking they are being awkward, they are probably thinking we are being awkward. So, what can often happen is that a situation that is rooted in a conflict between two parties is not recognized as such by either of them, each putting the difficulties down to the other’s ‘awkward’ behaviour. While some people are often uncooperative for their own reasons, in the majority of cases believing that someone is being awkward should alert us to a conflict situation which should be addressed as such – that is, we need to look at the situation in terms of the interactions between us (and any conflicts of interest, perspective, goals or values that might be underpinning them) and not simply in terms of the other person’s behaviour.

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Effective Teamwork: The importance of working together

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Sex and dementia: The intimate minefield of consent in a care home

Frank and Mary loved each other’s company. They would sit together and hold hands. Both had dementia and were living in a care home. Their closeness made them happy and their families were delighted. Mary wasn’t bothered when Frank called her by his wife’s name, nor that he began to intervene in her day-to-day life. They were besotted. He started sitting her on his knee, and, after a few drinks, they could be found canoodling in the corner.

More disabled people opt for self-employment

More disabled people than ever before are choosing self-employment, but are being let down by poor support from government, according to new research from IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) and the Community trade union. The study, Making self-employment work for disabled people, claims that 611,000 UK disabled people now work for themselves in their main job. The report also found that although they overwhelmingly see self-employment as a positive way of working, they do not get the support they need from government.

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Emotional Competence Learn to develop your emotional intelligence and resilience

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Making a sustainable community: Life in Derwenthorpe, York, 2012–2018

The Managing Stress Practice Manual

Stress is increasingly being recognized as a serious problem in the modern workplace. In this practice manual, Neil Thompson uses his decades of experience of helping people tackle stress to provide a clear and helpful guide to the key issues and lays the foundations for a positive and constructive response to the challenges involved. This is an essential guide for anyone wanting to keep pressures within manageable limits.

Available for purchase along with many other books by Neil here or from the Avenue Learning Centre here.

Dealing with Stress: Important guidance on keeping stress at bay

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Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – Head and heart work at different speeds

From time to time we find ourselves in situations where we are find it difficult to comprehend what has happened – times of loss, crisis or sudden change, for example. It is as if our head knows, but our heart hasn’t caught up, and so ‘it doesn’t seem real’ can be a thought that runs through our mind. This is a perfectly normal phenomenon and nothing to be concerned about in itself. However, we need to be wary of two potential problems. One is that, when we find ourselves in such a situation, we may make decisions that we later regret because we have been destabilized by the change that has occurred…

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The Avenue Professional Development Programme: Join Neil’s online tutorial group

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