Communication beyond the box

Its 2019, the world is in the midst of a political whirlwind. There is no question that the United Kingdom is stepping forwards along with other countries around the world when it comes to its approach to disability. These changes have been more prevalent in the world of mental health, disability and racial discrimination. But what leads to these changes? Is it as simple as one persons opinion or belief? Is it the society change of approach?

There is no hard and fast answer to these changes and it could take years of unpicking to identify the specifics but not impossible. The focus should not be on the unpicking of the changes but developing on the positives that these have brought.
There is a difference in reality, everyone has to deal with different positives and battle through personal negatives. One aspect that seems to be forgotten in the modern world of social media is that there is no normal, there is no perfect. Behind the perfect impression is a true reality some people will openly display this in order to inspire others.

When it comes to the crunch, society brings many challenges. For many years humans have developed means to communicate, language has developed these changes have striated each generation. The times change and words evolve, they begin to be used in different context. Each year new words are selected for dictionaries and other words removed.

The world at any point would fair well from applying a basic theory in their communication style. The most important time to apply this is when you are delivering, receiving or sharing a message. Considering the way you deliver this the medium you do so are all important but the application of the following communication method will contribute to and develop your understanding.

Bataris Box.

This theory stems from conflict management, by understanding it you can develop a technique that meets your respective outcome.

The theory has four components, there is no hard and fast rule where it starts however its constant revolution, it can start at any point and be revisited throughout any communication. To apply this theory you need to consider who, what, how, where, when and why you are delivering a message.

The theory sets out the following;

  • Your attitude affects your behaviour
  • Your behaviour affects their attitude,
  • Their attitude affects their behaviour
  • Their behaviour affects your behaviour.

Understanding these four points will contribute to a more conducive communication.

Veterans Homeless crisis or media storm?

There is without doubt a homeless crisis in the UK. Over many years it has been attributed to lack of affordable housing, lack of access to social housing and lack of government support.

Throughout the UK homelessness has been approached from different angles, some of which has hit the headlines in various news media including  the following;

At least 13,000 hero soldiers left HOMELESS after leaving the military – and almost all have PTSD

The Mirror/ Sunday People


More than 60,000 veterans are homeless, in prison or suffering with mental health

The Daily Post (wales)


Do these facts and figures ring true? Simply put no, I am firmly of the opinion that these figures are banded around, to insight political arguments or debates, it is apparent that these can lead to progress however, it also is clear that lots of time is spent talking about it rather than resolving it.

What is worrying is that Veterans are being used as political pawns, there are a huge number of service leavers that leave and contribute to society but also, they provide support for fellow veterans.

Companies like Combat Pest Control Recruit veterans. Why? Because most service personnel can turn their hand to anything and not only that they are reliable they are dependable.  More and more is being done to recognise that veterans have transferable skills.

The Armed Forces covenant is in place, a number of companies have signed up to this covenant and this has encouraged business to openly recruit from the veteran’s community.

This doesn’t solve the homeless crisis, no, but it does show that it is possible to achieve beyond the military.

Having spoken to several homeless individuals across London, I gained the understanding that some of these people are there through choice. Others for circumstances beyond there control. The reasons varied from losing their job to family break up to drink and drugs.

The cross section consisted of eight people three female five males, one stated he was a veteran. This was an unchecked claim. I did not pry I just spoke to them, about the reasons they were homeless. Some of the problems were the lack of social housing, the lack of support. The veteran stated that because of his nomadic lifestyle he didn’t stay in one place for more than a week.

Some other factors included drink and drug abuse meant that they couldn’t get mental health support as they needed to address the abuse first!

Another issue raised was that they wanted to work however as they didn’t have an address they struggled to secure work, they also were not able to draw benefits because of the lack of address.

What did this show, well this showed that there was a significant gap in communication, because if you wish to claim you can use the following as addresses;

  • hostel you’re staying in
  • friend or family member
  • day centre if you’re sleeping on the streets
  • local jobcentre

A number of homeless people across the UK need support, it is now winter, it is wet, the weather forecasters rumour that we will be set for a big freeze.

Homelessness has been around for centuries, this is due to society. It is now more and more prevalent in cities and towns across the UK.

I don’t have a resolution, but I want it to be clear that a larger proportion of veterans leave and succeed, the ones that don’t need that extra support and guidance.  It is time to change in a number of areas, these changes are happening and progressive. Lots of people donate to charities and as not for profit you expect them to spend the money to provide services.

This isn’t always possible, and people regularly take them to task however this is a charity wide issue. As a charity grows it needs to run like a business and needs to employee and pay appropriately to remain effective, and to provide the right support.

There is a crisis it is not just veterans and there are no clear states on the divide that exists but if you need to employee someone employee a veteran. Even if they don’t have the skills you want, they will be dedicated enough to gain them.

Don’t just walk past a homeless person speak to them, you don’t have to give them money, but you can buy them a hot drink or some food. It’s the time of year to be nice to one and other. How do I know this? Because it is a day in the year you don’t have to be kind once.


Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance

For years people have spoken and used the term ‘work life balance’. What does this mean?
It is described as the balance between that an individual needs between time allocated for work and other aspects of life, including social life, family life and leisure. This list is not exhaustive.

In the UK a full time employee is entitled to 28 days paid leave per year. This differs for part time workers. There is no doubt that the nature of life means that the balance is work, work and life.
As a base 2018 there are 252 working days. Leaving 113 days that are not earmarked as work days. This means that the importance of understanding how to manage your own work life balance and not rely on others, you are the master of your own fate.

This is a fast paced world, you will realise that the most of your time is spent at work so why on earth do we spend forever looking for the work life balance when we should be focusing on a life balance!
Its time to change, I can’t tell you how to do it, there is unsurmountable amount of people out there who claim to be able to change your life. You are the only person that can change this yes YOU!

Lets change this talk of work life balance and focus on enjoying life, happiness breeds happiness much as negativity breeds negativity. I am not saying spend your life working I am saying spend your life enjoying your days, they are finite.
Life can be rough at times there is no doubt but you should never give up. We arrive in this world screaming naked and helpless, you can make the path to death your own crucially never give up.

Finally if you need help to feel good then seek it, if you feel good share it we are in this together. Make life good not just a balance.

Episode 14 – Richard Mearns

Listen to this enjoy #trauma #mentalhealth


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Bang .. The guns fell silent

Its that time of year the UK (and others) remember, the eleventh hour of the eleventh month on the eleventh day.

Putting this into context 16 Million people died, 37 Million people injured, both civilian and military

Not there yet the current population of London is 8.7 Million. 7 million people were left permanently disabled as a result of conflict.

100 years ago the guns fell silent, the Armistice was signed in Paris 11/11/1918, this was to be the end of the war to end all wars. Tragically we know that wasn’t the case and wars continue to rage around the world.
Looking at various reports in the media relating to the choice to wear the poppy, including what colour red white purple. I have seen some interesting arguments have been put, there have also been people you have chosen to hijack Remembrance Day.
Freedom doesn’t mean that you can abuse someone because the choose not to wear the poppy, some people pay their respects in other ways, some have contractual reasons but pay their respects. Others feel that the act of remembrance glorifies war, its the joy of freedom.

No matter what you choose, no matter what your view many people gave their lives to ensure you have the freedom of choice. I will be wearing my medals and my poppy on 11/11/2018 and showing my 9 year old the importance of what it means to remember.
For those who wish to hijack this time, look around you and realise.

We Will Remember Them

ONLY THE DEAD HAVE SEEN THE END OF WARadobe_post_20181107_073854

We need to ensure we remember those whose gave their lives, support those who are brave enough to continue to lay down their lives and their minds for the stability and safety of the UK.

Lest We Forget.