Alternative communication skills to support researcher development

Thursday 30 Jan, 9:30 – 12:30, University Place 6.205

This interactive workshop introduces a set of alternative communication skills that can be used to support individual researcher development and, at the same time, to increase collegiality among researchers. The approach can be applied to strategic planning, to issues of personal or interpersonal significance, and to strictly intellectual issues. For example:

  • How can I best formulate the intended impact of my research proposal?
  • My PI is changing my research in ways that I don’t like.
  • What do I understand to be the role of pre-existing schematic understanding in the procedures of Grounded Theory? (Or supply your own conceptual problem.)

A basic assumption of the workshop is that participants are in sympathy with the principles of reflective practice: i.e. we learn by reflecting on our actions and articulating what we have learned as an input to future planning.  The central idea of the workshop is to release the potential of non-judgmental communication. This means, in simplest terms: You can say whatever you want to. No one will agree or disagree with you. Now, what do you want to say? This is a novel and demanding situation. It is also, of course, the very opposite of the communicative environment in which we usually operate, where argument, critique, discussion and evaluation are paramount. That is the point. While argument, critique, discussion and evaluation are very useful in carrying out research, the amount of energy expended in defending, scoring points, avoiding defeat and winning also takes its toll. Creating a non-judgmental environment for an agreed period of time does not replace the need for argument, critique, discussion and evaluation. It offers additional opportunities to find different ways forward. The practical objectives of the workshop are that participants will (1) work on their own issues and take their thinking forward, (2) acquire communication skills that will be new to many and (3), having completed the workshop, they will be in a position to judge whether or not  non-judgmental communication might be useful to them in their individual and collegial development as researchers.

Presenter: Dr. Julian Edge, Independent Consultant

Julian Edge is in the process of transitioning out of a working life as language teacher, teacher educator, researcher, research supervisor and writer into becoming a part-time counsellor specialising in facilitating personal development in changing and uncertain times. Ah, and he may carry on writing.

To register for the event, please click here.


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