Lessons for Living – 101 Tips for Optimal Well-being at Work and Beyond

This book, by highly respected author, educator and adviser, Neil Thompson, offers a much more grounded approach to the complex issues involved. Part One provides a clear and helpful overview of key issues relating to promoting well-being – our own and other people’s, while Part Two offers 101 practical tips. This book will be ideal for anyone wanting to make a positive difference, whether in the caring professions, in a management or human resources context or just in their own personal lives.This is not a book that gives you instructions. The main aim is to give you food for thought, to support you in thinking through a number or key issues, warning you of pitfalls to avoid and helping you plan your own way forward.

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

Twitter: Follow Neil Thompson on Twitter

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Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Question routines

Routines can be very helpful, as they enable us to deal with straightforward matters quickly, easily and efficiently. However, there are two potential problems with this. One is the danger of ‘routinization’, which is what happens when we overgeneralize and adopt a routine approach to non-routine situations – that is, we fail to distinguish between those situations that are simple enough to be dealt with in a routinized way and those that are not. The other danger is that routines become part of a culture and continue to be used long after the situation that first led to their development has ceased to apply. That is, they have become habits which were useful to begin with but are no longer helpful but continue to be used because no one has thought to do anything different. It is therefore important to question our routines from time to time, to see whether we are: (i) overextending them to non-routine situations; and/or (ii) still using routines that have long since lost their usefulness.

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Ensuring every older person is treated with dignity as a unique individual

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Is your workplace autism-friendly?

Only 1 in 6 autistic people are in full-time employment and this needs to change. With small adjustments and better understanding, we can make it easier for autistic people to put their talents to good use and thrive at work. Like everyone, autistic people have their own strengths and weaknesses but all autistic people can struggle with communication and experience extreme anxiety around unexpected change.

The modern working world, where communication can be far from clear and constant change is the norm, can be a challenge for many autistic people. Download your comprehensive free pack full of information, tips, posters and other resources you can use in your workplace to create a better environment for your autistic colleagues, or for yourself in the workplace.

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

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Race Matters Blog – Do you want to write on race equality issues?

Do you have a passion for race equality and want to write about it? Why not write for Britain’s number one race equality thinktank? We promote our blog content on social media and by email to our extensive UK-wide network.

We are always interested in receiving pitches from both new and established writers and multimedia creators.
Take a look at our latest blog posts for an idea of our content, which is always topical, thoughtful and examined through the lens of race.

Our purpose is to promote diverse voices and perspectives, providing information on issues that help to unpick stereotypes and challenge decision-makers to make better policy for a fairer Britain. The Race Matters blog is distributed via our various social media channels and mailing list to at least 10,000+ supporters, including a large cross section of policy-makers, academics, teachers, students and activists.

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

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Over 75% of adult directors not fully confident about delivering new deprivation of liberty system

More than three-quarters of adult social services directors are not fully confident they can deliver the new system for authorising deprivations of liberty due to come into force next year, a survey has found. Eighty two per cent of directors reported having no or partial confidence that they could deliver their statutory responsibilities under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) in 2020-21. The LPS, which will replace DoLS, is due to come into force in October 2020 but that may be delayed as a result of the … focus on Brexit. The survey findings come after annual official figures showing the number of completed DoLS applications in England reached a record 216,005 in 2018-19, 42% more than the 151,970 recorded two years previously.

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

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Lessons for Living – 101 Tips for Optimal Well-being at Work and Beyond

This book, by highly respected author, educator and adviser, Neil Thompson, offers a much more grounded approach to the complex issues involved. Part One provides a clear and helpful overview of key issues relating to promoting well-being – our own and other people’s, while Part Two offers 101 practical tips. This book will be ideal for anyone wanting to make a positive difference, whether in the caring professions, in a management or human resources context or just in their own personal lives.This is not a book that gives you instructions. The main aim is to give you food for thought, to support you in thinking through a number or key issues, warning you of pitfalls to avoid and helping you plan your own way forward.

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

A fresh look at social work theory and methods

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Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Don’t let forms shape your practice

I often encounter situations on training courses where people say things like: ‘We can’t do that; the form won’t let us’. Of course, forms are a way of recording and collating information and therefore have an important part to play. However, recognizing the value of forms and allowing them to dictate our practice are two different things. If the forms help, that’s great, but if they are framed in such a way that they are unhelpful, shouldn’t we be changing the forms rather than changing our practice to suit the form? So, an important question to ask is: How do we get a form changed? What are the feedback mechanisms we can use to let the appropriate people know that these tools (for that is what forms are) are not well suited to purpose and need to be revised? The effort required to do this could be well repaid by the progress made and is certainly a better alternative to allowing forms (rather than our professional knowledge and values) to shape our practice.

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

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Why #EverydayInequality?

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.

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

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Britain is one of world’s most age-segregated countries, study finds

Britain is one of the most age-segregated countries in the world with divisions between generations increasing over the last decade, according to a report. The report by United for All Ages, a social enterprise that works to bring together old and young, calls for urgent action to end what it calls the “age apartheid” dividing the country.

It says people often have little contact with other generations outside their own families. Divisions have grown, it says, partly as a result of housing market trends, with wealth concentrated among older generations who tend to live in towns and rural areas while younger people gravitate towards cities.

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Learn with Neil Thompson: Sign up to Neil’s YouTube channel

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Menopause at work

he menopause is a natural stage of life for women, usually in their late forties/early fifties. It can also happen earlier or later. For many women symptoms last about four years, but in some cases can last longer – up to 12 years. Part of the process includes what is termed the ‘perimenopause’ when a woman’s body is starting to change in the build up to the menopause. The perimenopause usually starts in the mid-forties, but can start earlier or later and last several years. The perimenopause is not the same as an early menopause. Perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms already affect a substantial number of workers. That number is expected to grow considerably, with more older workers forecast to stay in or go back to work.

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Emotional Competence Learn to develop your emotional intelligence and resilience

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Lessons for Living – 101 Tips for Optimal Well-being at Work and Beyond

This book, by highly respected author, educator and adviser, Neil Thompson, offers a much more grounded approach to the complex issues involved. Part One provides a clear and helpful overview of key issues relating to promoting well-being – our own and other people’s, while Part Two offers 101 practical tips. This book will be ideal for anyone wanting to make a positive difference, whether in the caring professions, in a management or human resources context or just in their own personal lives.This is not a book that gives you instructions. The main aim is to give you food for thought, to support you in thinking through a number or key issues, warning you of pitfalls to avoid and helping you plan your own way forward.

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

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

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Neil Thompson’s Lessons for Living – Everyone has 24 hours in their day

‘I don’t have enough time’ is a commonly heard claim in busy workplaces, and there is certainly a great deal of evidence to show that time pressures are very significant for a high proportion of people these days. However, what we have to recognize is that everybody has the same amount of time – 24 hours in each day, seven days in each week and so on. It is not the amount of time available that distinguishes some people from others in terms of work pressures; rather, it is what we try to do with that time. If we try to do too much, we can end up spreading ourselves too thinly and end up being far less productive than we might otherwise have been if we had planned our use of time more strategically. Similarly, some people respond to high levels of pressure by burying themselves in their work and do not take time to step back, plan, set priorities or develop effective strategies for managing that level of pressure. They risk getting stuck in a ‘hamster wheel’ of relentless pressure that does not get them very far at all. Managing high levels of pressure is a very challenging enterprise, but we very much need to develop strategies for doing so and not allow ourselves to try to do the impossible by being unrealistic about what can be achieved in the time available – for example, by internalizing, or colluding with, other people’s unrealistic expectations, rather than challenging them.

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Dealing with Stress: Important guidance on keeping stress at bay

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How to help people with dementia: A guide for customer-facing staff

By recognising symptoms and demonstrating understanding to someone who may be having problems, you can help improve the everyday lives of people living with dementia.

This booklet gives an introduction to dementia and how it can affect people. Easy-to-follow tips outline the important elements of communication and the guide also explains how other physical, environmental and sensory factors can cause difficulties, and suggestions of how to reduce their impact.

You can download a guide for customer-facing staff, or go to our online shop to order printed copies for your organisation.

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

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Grieving the loss of a work identity

A recent conversation with a 67-year-old friend who found herself unexpectedly retired by a job elimination brought home a grief we often fail to acknowledge: the loss of our work friends.

“I used to talk to these people several times a day,” my friend said. “Now, I don’t talk to them at all.” When I asked if she’d considered reaching out to say hello, she shrugged. “I don’t see the point. We don’t really have anything to talk about anymore,” she replied.

The combination of losses — her job, her work friends, her daily flow of conversation — was doing a number on my friend’s head.

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Facebook: Connect with Neil Thompson on Facebook

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Coming together to fight inequality

Experts and international institutions now recognise that inequality must be tackled. And every government has pledged to reduce inequality within and between countries. But in practice not much progress is happening and in many countries we are even going backwards. When it comes to action they are still reaching for the same old failed solutions.

Only when people join together from the grassroots up, mobilising and organising to build power and demand accountability and greater equality, will things change.

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Sociological insights to help understand people’s lives and their challenges

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Lessons for Living – 101 Tips for Optimal Well-being at Work and Beyond

This book, by highly respected author, educator and adviser, Neil Thompson, offers a much more grounded approach to the complex issues involved. Part One provides a clear and helpful overview of key issues relating to promoting well-being – our own and other people’s, while Part Two offers 101 practical tips. This book will be ideal for anyone wanting to make a positive difference, whether in the caring professions, in a management or human resources context or just in their own personal lives.This is not a book that gives you instructions. The main aim is to give you food for thought, to support you in thinking through a number or key issues, warning you of pitfalls to avoid and helping you plan your own way forward.

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

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

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Neil Thompson’s Lesson for Living – Accept what you can’t change

‘Facticity’ is the technical term for the things we cannot change, the things that are beyond our control. There will always be such things, and we have to get used to that. Some people have a problem because they tend to be defeatist. They accept things that they don’t need to accept – they fail to recognise that there are steps they could take to address their problems. However, the problem I am talking about here is the opposite of that. It refers to situations where people know there is nothing they can do, but they try to do it anyway. For example, someone who is interviewed for a job, but is unsuccessful may not be willing to let go of this fact. They may rail and rage against their potential employer, as if they have done them a significant injustice, rather than accept that, in the interviewing panel’s view, another candidate was better suited to the job. Not getting the job does not mean that you are a failure or that you are inadequate; it simply means you were not their first choice. Change what you can change, by all means, but railing against what you cannot change is a waste of time and energy and succeeds only in generating unnecessary bad feeling.

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

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